Tenaya Lake Photos – A Beautiful Roadside Gem

Due to its roadside location (and stunning azure waters), this has got to be the best known lake in Tioga’s granite wonderland. Here you’ll find day trippers and picnickers swimming and lounging lakeside in the sun. Enjoy this collection of Tenaya Lake photos – taken from the shore and from up above the lake at various locations.

From above Olmsted Point - Tenaya Lake photos
Tenaya Lake in the granite wilderness

Tenaya Lake sits in a “bowl” below oddly shaped Tenaya Peak, as well as a few other interesting granite formations. I always thought Tenaya peak looks like a mountain top slumping to the left, a bit like the “Leaning Tower of Pisa”. You can see this peak from as far away as Glacier Point if you look carefully. 

View of Tenaya Lake through the Pine Trees above Olmsted Point
View of Tenaya Lake through the Pine Trees above Olmsted Point

Anyway, Tenaya Lake offers some of the best “road trip” scenery the high Sierra has to offer. A particularly nice view of the lake and surroundings can be found by hiking above Olmsted Point, which is nearby.

Lakeside View along Highway 120, Tioga Road
Lakeside View

As far as I know there is no camping here, but you can reserve a spot further up the road at Tuolumne campground (assuming you do it far in advance).

View over the trees, from nearby & above the lake
View from nearby & above the lake

As with all Tioga Rd destinations, this area closes every year for the winter. Parking may be limited at the peak of summer, especially on weekends and holidays.

Peeking over the boulders nearby - Tenaya Lake photos
A vista with beautiful big boulders

If you could manage it, the best time to visit would be just after opening, on a Tuesday or Wednesday. Just bring a jacket in case it’s still a bit chilly.

Tourist cars parked lakeside on Tioga Road
Note the lake’s proximity to Tioga Road.

This picture with parked cars shows how incredibly close the road passes to the water – it does make me wonder if the road has ever flooded before.

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About My Photos

The images on this website are available for licensing and/or sale as framed prints. If you’d like to purchase them for a blog, news article, or gift, feel free to contact me with the specifics. This way you’re supporting photographers such as me directly (as opposed to buying from a faceless stock photo corporation).

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– Nathan Allen

About Me

Photographer Nathan Allen

I’m Nathan Allen, photographer / creator of YosemiteParkPhotos.com (Yosemite Photos) and international travel site I Dreamed Of This. In truth, I lived in San Francisco, New York, & Singapore…but nothing compares to life in the mountains. I share my experiences HERE.