Grisedale Tarn sits in a high bowl in the hills between Dollywaggon Pike, Fairfield and Seat Sandal. The tarn has an oval shape, with steep slopes to the north and south, more gentle slopes to the west and the entrance to Grisedale to the east.
The bowl it sits in has a triangular feel, with three exits and three surrounding fells. The symmetry is a little spoilt by Seat Sandal's lack of height compared to the other two fells, but this is still a very fine tarn in a very fine location.
On a summer day this is a busy mountain pass, with an endless procession of people heading up Dollywaggon Pike on the way to Helvellyn - this is a good route for anyone coming from the east, but who doesn't want to risk the deadly edges of Helvellyn.
Grid Reference of centre: NY 349 120
How to Reach
There are three routes to Grisedale Tarn from valley bottoms.
A good footpath runs up Grisedale from Patterdale, reaching the tarn after passing impressive crags. From this direction the tarn comes into sight very late.
A footpath runs alongside Raise Beck from Dunmail Raise, crosses the col between Seat Sandal and Dollywaggon Pike and then splits, to run along either side of the tarn.
The third route comes up from the Grasmere area, following either Tongue Gill or Little Tongue Gill before crossing the col between Seat Sandal and Fairfield to reach the tarn from the south.
Our ascent of Helvellyn visits Grisedale Tarn on the way up.
A couple of very short unnamed becks flow into Grisedale Tarn.
Grisedale Beck flows north-east out of Grisedale Tarn and runs down Grisedale, running into Patterdale just south of Ullswater.