• Rainbow over Half Dome


    National Park California

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  • Temporary Closures Due to Fire

    All main roads within Yosemite National Park, including the Big Oak Flat Road, are open. Crane Flat, Bridalveil Creek, and Yosemite Creek Campgrounds are temporarily closed. The community of Foresta remains closed. More »

Lakes and Rivers

Dome rise behind Tenaya Lake

Very few lakes are easily accessible in Yosemite National Park. Tenaya Lake (above) is one of the easiest to get to (when the Tioga Road is open, late May or early June to sometime in November) and is quite popular for picnicking, swimming, and canoeing. You can see Tenaya Lake from Olmsted Point and as you drive past it. Two picnic areas are available (one of them is wheelchair accessible).

Mirror Lake (in Yosemite Valley) is famous for its reflections of Half Dome and Mount Watkins when the water level is high enough (in spring); it's more a pond than a lake.

Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, created by damming the Tuolumne River, is another lake that's accessible by car.

Most lakes in Yosemite are in the wilderness and require hiking.

Rivers flow through Wawona, Yosemite Valley, and Tuolumne Meadows; numerous seasonal creeks flow throughout the park. Take a look at a park map for details.

If you will visit rivers or lakes, please take a look at our water safety information.


Did You Know?

Upper Yosemite Fall with spring runoff

Yosemite Falls is fed mostly by snowmelt. Peak flow usually happens in late May, but by August, Yosemite Falls is often dry. It begins flowing again a few months later, after winter snows arrive.