Virtual Guidebook to Yosemite and the Central Sierra Nevada
Mirror Lake in Yosemite Valley
Yosemite National Park California


Tenaya Creek is a major tributary of the Merced River, coming down from Tenaya Lake on the north side of Half Dome and Clouds Rest. An ancient rockfall dammed the creek and formed a shallow lake that became famous for its reflections of the view up Tenaya Canyon.

Through the second half of the 20th century Mirror Lake gradually filled with sediment and made an ecological transition to a wet meadow. There is still one small viewpoint with just enough water for a reflection.



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Half Dome from a marshy area at the mouth of Tenaya Canyon

(February 23, 2002)


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The traditional viewpoint up Tenaya Canyon over Mirror Lake

(May 16, 2004)


Next Locality: Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley