The Ostrander Lake tour starts along Glacier Point road and takes you through the woods, across the meadow, over the creek, into to the lake (swimming is optional) and back to Glacier point on this 12 mile (not including side hikes) round trip tour. From the trailhead, our path heads southeast away from people to an area that is stunningly beautiful but not known to many who visit the park.
A Just Roughin' It backpacking trip to Ostrander Lake is a great trip for the novice backpacker or for the entire family! This out and back hike will take you through the woods, across a meadow, over a creek and into the lake, with great high mountain views along the way. While this lake is one of the closest backcountry lakes to a main road, it is over 6 miles away so get away from the crowds of Yosemite Valley and go jump in a lake!
The below itinerary depicts a standard 3 day trip. If you are looking for 2 days, take out the 2nd day of off-trail exploration to the more remote Hart Lakes.
**Shuttle - this trip starts along Glacier Point Rd. If you do not have your own transportation and are taking YARTS, you will need to reserve space on the early (8:30am) Glacier Point shuttle. Spaces are limited and there is a fee.
After you meet your guide at the park, we will hike 6.2 miles (10 km) and gain about 1,500 ft (457m) in elevation to camp near the scenic shore of Ostrander Lake where we will camp both nights. Along the way we will pass through thick pine forests, across meadows and the Bridalveil Creek. The views from trail to the lake span for miles and are well worth the hike up. There will be plenty of time to explore or go for a swim this afternoon.
After breakfast, we will put on our daypacks for some off-trail exploration to the more remote Hart Lakes. Many times we have hiked over to this location and not seen another soul. After we return to camp, you can take a swim while your guide prepares another delicious meal. The distance hiked today is up to the group but usually 3 miles (5 km).
After breakfast, we pack up and return to Glacier Point Road via the same way we hiked on day 1. You experience the same amazing scenery on the return hike as we make our way back to civilization. We are usually back to the trailhead by early afternoon.
Share your experience! Review this trip
What was a great introduction to Yosemite, beyond the Valley. After some initial confusion about our meeting place we were briefed by our guide Dallan about setting off in the morning, and what to expect. My sister and I are both in our sixties and we found it hard work over those last few uphill miles into Lake Ostrander. But on arrival we soon recovered, set up camp and Dallan treated us to a delicious dinner. The next day we enjoyed the hike up to Lake Hart below Horseshoe Ridge amongst the most spectacular scenery overlooking the Yosemite National Park. The flowers, the small and large animals, the fish and insects we encountered were amazing. Thanks Dallan for making this trip so enjoyable, your cooking was great (including the roast marshmallows) and your knowledge of Yosemite greatly contributed to the experience. This trip was definitely a highlight of our month in the USA.
This was our first backpacking trip. It was a great experience. Our guide Gregor was very informative and knowledgeable about the area and backpacking. It was a tough hike, But not to bad. Ostrander Lake was beautiful and the whole area was great. Wild flowers in full bloom. We asked our guide to take us up to horseshoe ridge instead of Hart Lake, and he did. This was exciting and some of the best views of Yosemite. Did some wonderful fishing on Ostrander and landed some pretty Eastern Brook Trout. The food was good and filling. Our guide made sure we had everything we needed. This was our 20th wedding Anniversery hike. 5 star accommodations and adventure.my wife and I would recommend this hike for beginners or if you just want a great experience in the wild.
Thank you Gregor and JRI
Trip Cost Per Person
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- 5pm orientation the afternoon prior to your hike at Yosemite Valley at the backpacker's camp.
- Backpacking permits.
- Tent camping each night on the trail plus the night of orientation at the backpacker's camp*.
- All food while on the trail prepared by your guide - from dinner at orientation through breakfast on the last day*.
- Double occupancy tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, backpack, trekking poles. A single tent is available for an additional $50.
- A certified, medically trained guide that will lead you safely on your journey.
- An unforgettable experience!
*Camping at backpackers camp, dinner the night of orientation and breakfast the morning of the trip is $50/person additional and is not mandatory.
Our prices do not include guide gratuity ($25-$35 per person per day is recommended).
Now’s the time to consider purchasing a travel protection plan to help protect your trip investment. For more information on the available plans or to enroll, click here or contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 03-0152.
Travel Insurance is underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company, NAIC #22276. 11.17 W20
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