It may seem like there are a lot of lakes in Yosemite that you can hike to, and there is good reason for that. It’s because there is. People love seeing lakes, so trailblazers around the world have made sure that each and every lake is accessible to the public, giving you quite a few options when you are making your hiking schedule. Fortunately, Lukens Lake does distinguish itself enough to make it a fun area to hike, and an even more fun lake to see. Though not quite as picturesque as some lakes, it is quite pretty, and a nearby meadow that is absolutely filled with wildflowers makes this a very good place to visit. Even better, because of a combination of clear skies and high elevation, shooting stars often shoot through the skies in spectacularly visible fashion, giving hikers their own firework show once the sun goes down. You just have to make sure you get there at the right time of year!
When to Visit
Though the wildflowers are great, and sprout around June to Mid-July, we recommend you keep an eye on when meteor showers are most visible. Nothing quite beats the reflection of shooting stars in the lake’s waters, and it is something you do not want to miss. Unfortunately, there is no exact timetable of when these showers happen; but, if you are lucky, and if you plan according to star watch calendars, you may get an experience you will never forget.
Difficulty and Trail Distance
If you take the short route, which is only 1.6 miles long, you shouldn’t have any difficulty at all. We would give it just a 3/10 on the difficulty scale. The long route, which is 4.6 miles and starts at the White Wolf Lodge, is slightly more difficult than the short route, but only because of the length. The elevation gains are negligible (only 200 feet) and the trail itself is wide and lacking of obstacles. Most should be able to complete either route.
You won’t be alone at the lake, but you won’t be over crowded either. It’s only a medium, but definitely expect certain nights to be more busy than others—particularly if a meteor shower is scheduled for that night.