Above Frozen Tenaya Lake: Christmas Eve Hike up Tenaya Peak

Tenaya Lake from Tenaya Peak, 12/24/11 (photo by Beth Pratt)

Tenaya Lake taken from Tenaya Peak, summer (photo by Beth Pratt)

Last week I walked and glided in sneakers across the frozen Tenaya Lake, delighted to be up on Tioga Road after the National Park Service reopened it--a rare experience in winter. The weather has remained fair, and indeed we seem likely to break the all-time record for the latest closing of Tioga Pass in the road's history--January 1.

Today, I watched the skaters having fun on the lake--but from 2,000 feet above them! I decided that since I walked across Tenaya Lake last week, I would walk above it for my Christmas Eve hike. What an amazing day! Although the lack of snow and almost balmy temperatures made for perfect fall hiking (in December) I was a little alarmed at the lack of snow as I hiked mostly on bare granite. Despite fears of an impending drought, I had a marvelous day in Yosemite and the perfect early Christmas present-the chance to explore the winter world of the high country near Tuolumne.

Here's a video I took from the top of Tenaya Peak. You can see people skating far below and I included a 360 view.

And some more photos:

East shore of Tenaya Lake with skaters (photo by Beth Pratt)

People and skaters along Tioga Road (photo by Beth Pratt)

Tenaya Peak (photo by Beth Pratt)

Tenaya Creek frozen (photo by Beth Pratt)

Mildred Lake (photo by Beth Pratt)

Vogelsang from Tenaya Peak (photo by Beth Pratt)

Mt Conness and Lembert Dome from Tenaya Peak (photo by Beth Pratt)

West shore Tenaya Lake in the afternoon (photo by Beth Pratt)