Mount Hoffmann Hike

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite + Central Sierra, California

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Mount Hoffmann Hike

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  • Mount Hoffmann across from May Lake.- Mount Hoffmann Hike
  • Mount Hoffmann.- Mount Hoffmann Hike
  • View from the trail to Mount Hoffman.- Mount Hoffmann Hike
  • View from the trail to Mount Hoffman.- Mount Hoffmann Hike
  • Looking back on May Lake.- Mount Hoffmann Hike
  • Southern view toward Half Dome.- Mount Hoffmann Hike
  • Half Dome from the trail to Mount Hoffman.- Mount Hoffmann Hike
  • Eastern view from the trail to Mount Hoffman.- Mount Hoffmann Hike
  • View from Mount Hoffman's summit.- Mount Hoffmann Hike
  • Half Dome from the summit of Mount Hoffman.- Mount Hoffmann Hike
  • May Lake.- Mount Hoffmann Hike
  • Northwestern view from the summit of Mount Hoffman.- Mount Hoffmann Hike
  • Northwestern view from Mount Hoffman's summit.- Mount Hoffmann Hike
  • Northern view from Mount Hoffman's summit.- Mount Hoffmann Hike
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Beautiful 360-degree views of Yosemite. Solitude.
Cons: 
Steep incline. Loose gravel trail.
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Region:
Yosemite + Central Sierra, CA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,575.00 ft (480.06 m)
Parking Pass: 
National Park Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Suitable for: 
Hiking
Total Distance: 
3.50 mi (5.63 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
9,270.00 ft (2,825.50 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

The hike up to Mount Hoffmann is a steep and strenuous 2-hour hike with tremendous views of Yosemite National Park. The trail begins at the backpackers campsite by May Lake and continues up the rugged slope of the mountain. To get there, take the May Lake High Sierra Camp and Backpackers Camp Trail that begins at the Snow Creek parking lot to the southwestern side of the lake. The first few switchbacks gently climb a dirt path along the lake and through a conifer forest. About halfway up, views of Half Dome and Clouds Rest begin to peak through the trees.

The last third of a mile is the most difficult, as the dirt path becomes loose gravel and the slope increases dramatically. Expect to be climbing with four limbs at times. The trail at the summit evens out a bit, and you can walk around the meadow to see 360-degree views of Yosemite and the High Sierra.

While the trail starts off in a sub-alpine coniferous forest, it leads up the mountain past the tree line at 9,500 feet into an alpine ecosystem. Some of the vegetation you may see include several types of sedges, mat muhly (a type of grass), Sierra false needlegrass, and the gray-leafed Sierra willow. Trees don't tend to grow at these elevations due to the short, cool summers and long, cold, windy winters. However, a few animals such as ground squirrels, yellow-bellied marmots, and bighorn sheep have adapted to withstand these conditions.

It is recommended that you bring plenty of water, snacks, and sunscreen. There is little to no shade for the majority of the hike. Note that road access via Tioga Road is seasonal.

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Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(10 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(68 within a 30 mile radius)

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