Climb Matterhorn Peak via the East Couloir

    Rate this Adventure 10 miles 6000 ft gain

    Added by Josiah Roe

    Made famous by Jack Kerouac in his novel "Dharma Bums", Matterhorn Peak is considered by many to be the start of the High Sierra. No peak in the Sierras to the north is taller, and the Matterhorn provides breathtaking views of the Sawtooth Ridge and the Yosemite, Carson-Iceberg, and the Hoover Wildernesses. In winter it is one of the most popular ski-mountaineering peaks in the Sierras.

    Matterhorn Peak in the northeastern Yosemite Wilderness is an SPS Emblem Peak and many regard it as the beginning of the High Sierra, as there are no peaks higher to the north in the Sierra Nevada.

    There are many routes to the summit, but the shortest and most direct (though not easiest) begins at the Twin Lakes Horse Creek Trailhead at the Mono Village Resort, aka "RV Hell", near Bridgeport, CA. It's a 5 mile march to the summit with 5,280' of elevation gain.

    The route follows the Horse Creek Trail along the Horse Creek drainage for about 3.5 miles, where you'll be able to see (and hear) the drainage from the Matterhorn Glacier on the granite cliffs to your right. A half-mile or so past and up from where the drainage meets Horse Creek, you'll scramble up the ridgeline to the east of the drainage and through the trees towards the small lake, which is on the topo map. This hikers trail may be obviously marked.

    There are several good campsights on the hills and granite ledges above the lake. To reach the glacier, continue up the ridgeline to the east of the drainage. The East Couloir is the obvious gap to the left of the peak. Contour across the glacier towards the Couloir, and it's a loose scramble and slog to the top of the Couloir.

    From the top of the Couloir, you can take the class 3 East Ridge ridge to the summit or you can continue around to the Southern aspect for easier terrain.

    Read More
    Rock Climbing
    Survival
    Snowboarding
    Chillin
    Camping
    Photography
    Skiing
    Swimming
    Snowshoeing
    Hiking
    Easy Parking
    Groups
    Lake
    River
    Scenic
    Wildflowers
    Wildlife

    Go Pro.

    We're committed to building a better, more inclusive home for the modern outdoors. Go PRO to support our mission and get benefits like gear deals, no ads, and more!

    Learn More

    Reviews

    Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

    Leave No Trace

    Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

    We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

    Stay Nearby

    Bridgeport, California

    Lower Twin Lakes At Bridgeport

    Twin Lakes Road

    Paha

    Twin Lakes Road

    Robinson Creek North

    Bridgeport, California

    Honeymoon Flat

    Nearby Adventures

    Hike to Barney Lake in Hoover Wilderness

    3.0

    Hike to Peeler Lake

    11 mi / 2400 ft gain

    Backpack to Green Lake and Virginia Pass

    17 mi / 4452 ft gain

    Soak at Buckeye Hot Springs

    4.0
    More Nearby Adventures