Like any other postcard ready lake that is scattered around the Sierras, Elizabeth Lake provides gorgeous scenery, a tranquil atmosphere, and a fun and interesting trip for any prospective Yosemite hiker. Set in a small, evergreen surrounded bowl, with the impressive bookends of great granite promontories, Elizabeth Lake is precisely what you would expect from a lake in the middle of Yosemite: beautiful. Not much outside of Yosemite compares to what this lake can offer, so it is definitely worth a hike if you’ve never been.
High elevation and a steady climb for the first mile of the hike render this a bit of a difficult one. But, you shouldn’t worry too much; most should be able to handle it, even with its 4.6 mile length. We would give it a solid 4/10 in terms of difficulty.
Hiking Time and Distance
As we already mentioned, it’s around 4.6 miles long, so make sure you are prepared for a bit of a hike (it takes most people 2 – 3 hours to complete it. With that said, a lot of people also like walking around the lake too, which can add another hour to your trip length, considering the size of it. So, if you are looking forward to doing that, make sure you factor it into your schedule.
Crowd Factor and Elevation
At 9,500 feet, this is among the higher elevated lakes in the region—but, you only have to worry about an elevation gain of around 900 feet. This, along with the relative shortness of the hike, results in decent sized crowds, depending on the day. But, fortunately, you don’t have to worry about extreme crowds at any point, mostly because of the relentless slope at the beginning of the trail.