Cathedral Peak Climber's Approach

Yosemite National Park, California 95389

Elevation Gain1,548ft
Trailhead Elevation10,321ft
Elevation Min/Max8840/10332ft
Elevation Start/End10321/10321ft

Cathedral Peak Climber's Approach

Cathedral Peak Climber's Approach is a hiking trail in Tuolumne County, California. It is within Yosemite National Park. It is 2.2 miles long and begins at 10,321 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 4.5 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,548 feet. Along the trail there is an information board. The trail ends near the Carabinner Post and Carabinner Post information guideposts. This trail connects with the following: John Muir Trail and Cathedral Peak Climber's Trail.

Cathedral Peak Climber's Approach Professional Reviews and Guides

"Cathedral Lakes are a popular hiking destination along the John Muir Trail in Tuolumne Meadows. Just about anyone with a little gumption can reach one or both of these alpine lakes, though the average person might be tired after the trek to both. The trail, frequented by horses and backpackers as well as day hikers, follows an even gradient. Most of its ups and downs are relatively gentle, and there are plenty of large trees, rocky dome spires, and even spots of lightning damage to look at."

"This enjoyable traverse can provide a welcome respite from the unnerving, runout climbs commonly found on the domes of Tuolumne Meadows. The traverse is a peakbagger’s dream as well, with the possibility of climbing as many as 15 summits in one long day: Unicorn Peak, the Cockscomb, Matthes Crest, Echo Ridge, the nine Echo Peaks, Cathedral Peak, and Eichorn Pinnacle. The Matthes Crest, Echo Peak #9, the Southeast Buttress of Cathedral Peak, and Eichorn Pinnacle all involve exposed Class 5 climbing. The other peaks generally feature fourth class routes."

"Named by the Whitney Survey in 1863, Cathedral Peak is one of the most beautiful peaks in the range. Josiah Whitney later wrote in Geology Magazine, “We had a fine view of a very prominent, exceedingly grand landmark through all the region, and to which the name of Cathedral Peak has been given . . . the majesty of its form and its dimensions are such, that any work of human hands would sink into insignificance if placed beside it.” John Muir made the first ascent of this peak in 1869 and declared, “This I may say is the first time I have been at church in California.” Muir’s ascent was perhaps the most difficult rock climb of his time; the exposed jam crack on the final summit tower involves a short section of exposed and tricky climbing. Characteristically, Muir understated the difficulties of the climb. “I made my way up to its topmost spire, which I reached at noon, having loitered by the way to study the fine trees.”"

"Set in a high mountain valley between a meadow, a forest, and glacier-polished slabs of granite, Cathedral is one of Yosemite’s prettiest lakes. The lake and its slightly higher twin (Upper Cathedral) are very popular with backpackers, but both are close enough for an out-and-back day hike."

"From the stately spires of Cathedral Peak cleaving the deep blue sky to the serene lakes in broad granite saucers, the lavish scenery on the Cathedral Lakes Trail is guaranteed to please even the most jaded hiker. The Cathedral Lakes Trail offers hikers a choice of scenic destinations. The Cathedral Lakes are an ideal destination for a day hike or a low-mileage backpack. Hikers looking for a longer trip may continue on to campsites at the Sunrise High Sierra Camp (HSC) and then complete their trip by making a semi-loop to Tenaya Lake. The summer shuttle bus will solve any transportation difficulties involved in starting and ending at different trailheads."

"One of the classics of Tuolumne and the High Sierra. Cathedral Peak is a striking formation, seen from many places throughout Yosemite. It offers a reasonably short hike to a technically interesting peak. The summit affords great views of the Tuolumne dome country. The aptly named Cathedral Peak is an eye-catching peak from almost any angle. The lower northern summit gives way to a gradual slope that ascends a mile or so to the abrupt tower of the true summit. Its shape really does suggest a European cathedral: Imagine climbing the side of the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris and scaling the high point from the roof."

Cathedral Peak Climber's Approach Reviews

4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
icon1 Total
4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
This was a great labor day weekend hike. It is about 6.6 miles. My two sons and I started up the trail about 3:45 pm. The hike was about 2 and 1/2 hours to Cathedral Lake and 1 1/2 hours down. We did the last 30 minutes in the dark. The scenery was breathtaking. We went through some great forest paths. Along the route we saw 6 deer and a few beavers. It is a fantastic trail for the difficulty (moderate) time (4 hrs) , the elevation (10,500 ft) and the scenery (the best there is).

Cathedral Peak Climber's Approach Photos

Help others discover amazing sights!

Trail Information

Yosemite National Park
Nearby City
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park
Local Contacts
USGS Tenaya Lake
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Sep 2018