"Cathedral Lake Falls"

Yosemite National Park, California, USA

About “Cathedral Lake Falls”

Hiking Distance: roadside
Suggested Time:

Date first visited: 2004-06-04
Date last visited: 2004-06-04

Waterfall Latitude: 37.84585
Waterfall Longitude: -119.43203

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

“Cathedral Lake Falls” is a name I made up for this easy-to-miss waterfall on the Tioga Road just before the Pywiack Dome.

From what we could tell, it didn’t look like it was accessible by normal means so I settled for this somewhat poor view of it (and hence poor photo).

Tenaya_Lake_008_06042004 - 'Tenaya Lake Falls'
‘Tenaya Lake Falls’

I don’t know how long the flow of this obscure cascade would last, but I’d imagine it doesn’t last long or else there would’ve been more attention paid to it, I’m sure.

I’m totally speculating here, but it looked like it drained Cathedral Lake, which was why I made up this name for the falls.

So the jagged Cathedral Peak made for a nice backdrop to the falls.

Perhaps one of these days, I’ll go back and see if there’s a safe way to access the falls – whether it’s by the Cathedral Lake Trail or by a scramble off the Tioga Road.

If anything, it piqued my interest in actually hiking to Cathedral Lake and see Cathedral Peak as well…


“Cathedral Lake Falls” resides in Yosemite National Park. For information or inquiries about the park as well as current conditions, visit the National Park Service website.

Tenaya_Lake_006_06042004 - Pywiack Dome, which was right by the roadside pullout where I noticed 'Cathedral Lake Falls'

Drive on Tioga Road and just as you drive past Tenaya Lake heading east, look for a pullout just before Pywiack Dome. From this pullout, you should be able to see the falls if it’s flowing.

To give you some context, this waterfall is accessible when the Tioga Road has been mostly snow free, which also means we would be able to enter Yosemite through Tioga Pass from Mammoth Lakes (roughly an hours drive; Hwy 120 turnoff from Hwy 395 is just south of Lee Vining). Mammoth Lakes is roughly 5 hours drive from Los Angeles via the Hwy 14 and Hwy 395.

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Tagged with: cathedral lake, tioga, tuolumne, yosemite, high country, sierra, california, waterfall, lee vining, tenaya lake, olmstead point, 120

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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
Read More About Johnny | A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls.