Alpine climbing NCCS rating
Grade II
Elevation Gain
2,000.00 ft (609.60 m)
2.50 mi (4.02 km)
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Mount Tyndall is a Sierra 14er in Inyo National Forest that rises to 14,025 feet. It's one of the more commonly climbed 14ers in the range because of its moderate routes and proximity to Shepherd Pass (12,000 feet), but getting there is still no easy trek. Shepherd Pass is more than 11 miles and a 6,000 feet climb from the nearest trailhead, so Tyndall typically takes at least two days even though the peak itself is relatively straightforward.

The North Rib is the most direct route from Shepherd Pass, and has become the standard ascent for Tyndall (the Northwest Ridge is technically easier but longer and less straightforward). From a distance the North Rib looks quite intimidating, but once on it you'll realize that although it is steep, the many features provide a maze of fairly stable rock to the top. With a bit of routefinding you can avoid anything harder than Class 3.

When nearing the top of the rib, be sure to trend left and aim for an obvious notch in the summit ridgeline. If you head for the notch too soon or too late you may encounter 4th class terrain, but you can simply backtrack and reset. Once through the notch, it's a simple boulder hop along the ridgeline to the summit. On top you'll have an incredible panorama of nearby Mount Williamson (14,380 feet) and the many lakes below, plus more Sierra summits all around, including the jagged Kaweah Peaks in the distance.

Descending by the same route is recommended, even though the routefinding is a bit trickier on the way down. If the exposure on the way up didn't feel comfortable, you could instead descend by the Northwest Ridge boulder field––Class 2 but in many ways more tedious than the Class 3 North Rib.

Although Tyndall can be done in a day from the Shepherd Pass Trailhead, most people break it into two or three days and camp at the pass or at Anvil Camp, which is lower on the Shepherd Pass Trail. All overnight trips require a wilderness permit from Inyo National Forest.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Wilderness Permit

Open Year-round





California 14er. Most direct route to the summit. Can descend the same route.


Long approach.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions

Trailhead Elevation

12,160.00 ft (3,706.37 m)

Highest point

14,020.00 ft (4,273.30 m)


Backcountry camping
Big vistas
Geologically significant



Typically multi-day


Permit required


Permit self-issue on site


Primary aspect

North facing

Drinking water

Unfrozen water


Nearby Lodging + Camping


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