Tenaya Lake Getting Major Makeover

In Environment, News

Tenaya Lake and surrounding environs. Photo by Loyd Schutte.

Tenaya Lake is getting a major makeover thanks to the Yosemite Conservancy. The makeover will consist of restoration to Tenaya Lake’s east beach and surrounding wetlands, and trails.

“Tenaya Lake has a captivating natural beauty that charms park visitors young and old alike. Those coming to the east beach area will have an even better high country lake experience as a result of the restoration efforts made possible by our donors,” said Mike Tollefson, president, Yosemite Conservancy.

The visitor experience will be enhanced thanks to extensive habitat restoration plans for the east beach area. The trail from the parking lot to the beach will be relocated so it no longer crosses a fragile wetland, and native willows and other wetland plants will be re-introduced for better soil protection. The new trail, which will be wheelchair-accessible, will include educational signage highlighting Tenaya Lake’s sensitive ecology, recreational history and trail systems. Picnic areas are being thoughtfully restored, and will include the addition of a long communal table perfect for larger family gatherings.

“The new trailhead will be clearly marked to keep hikers on track and out of sensitive environments,” said Yosemite National Park Superintendent Don Neubacher. “There will be a sense of arrival at the lakefront where visitors will have special places to relax and share the experience with family and friends.”

“The restoration work will address the effects of overuse while preserving the lake’s natural integrity and beauty,” said Neubacher. “At the same time, it will improve accessibility and will make the overall visitor experience even better for an incredibly diverse group of users.” NPS

The makeover is funded by the Yosemite Conservancy who put up $1.7 million for the project which began last year. The lake’s popularity and it’s location directly of the Tioga Road resulted in crowded parking areas, unsafe traffic conditions, unintended harm to fragile ecosystems, shoreline erosion and unwanted run-off from the roadway and parking areas. No expected completion date was announced.

Photo by Loyd Schutte.

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