Distance

6 Miles

Elevation Gain

2140 Feet

Activities

Camping, Fishing, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Summer, Autumn

Type

Out-and-Back

Added by

Emily Noyd

Lake
Scenic

Mt. Hoffman is the geographic center of Yosemite National Park. Scrambling to the top yields an amazing 360' perspective of Yosemite's peaks. Enjoy mellow May Lake before trekking straight up to Hoffman for the epic views.

The May Lake trailhead is at the end of a 2 mile unpaved road leading north from Tioga Road. The trailhead has pit toilets and bear lockers. (Please be sure to store any food, garbage, scented items, and empty coolers in these lockers while hiking!)

After hiking an easy 1.3 miles, you'll arrive at May Lake, nestled at the base of Mt. Hoffman and the site of a seasonal High Sierra Camp. There's space for backpackers as well, with bear lockers and a pit toilet. Don't forget to pick up your backcountry permit at any Wilderness permit station, the day of your trip or the day before at 11 am. Please remember there's no swimming in May Lake, but with Mt. Hoffman looming above, it's a beautiful spot for sunrise and sunset.

Onward to the top of Hoffman! Skirt the lake heading west, before following the social trail to climber's left. In early summer there may still be patches of snow in this area. The trail follows sparse trees and meadows before climbing up the granite. Cairns may or may not be marking the easiest route, but heading straight up is the goal. Find yourself on a small saddle between two summits. A radio repeater is to the west, and a scramble to the eastern peak gives views of May Lake, Tenaya Lake, Tuolumne, the Cathedral and Clark Ranges, Cloud's Rest, and Half Dome. 

Community Photos

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Nearby Lodging

From $386/night

The Majestic Yosemite Hotel

Yosemite Valley, California

From $108/night

Housekeeping Camp

Yosemite Valley, California

From $90/night

Half Dome Village

Yosemite Valley, California

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating:  Rate this Adventure

Have you done this adventure? Leave a review!

Distance

6 Miles

Elevation Gain

2140 Feet

Activities

Camping, Fishing, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Summer, Autumn

Type

Out-and-Back

Added by

Emily Noyd

Nearby Adventures

Adventure

Hike Mt. Hoffmann via the East Chute

Adventure

Hike to May Lake

Adventure

Hike the Half Dome & Clouds Rest Loop

Adventure

Climb Hermaphrodite Flake to Boltway in Yosemite National Park

More Nearby Adventures

Tours

More Tours

Related Stories

destinations

A Magical Yosemite Valley Winter Storm

A Yosemite Winter Wonderland

gear

La Sportiva Women's Skwama Climbing Shoe Review

Super sticky, super responsive, and just as badass as the men’s version of the shoe.

travel

A Few Days in Rossland, BC - A Must-Stop on the Powder Highway

If this town of less than 4,000 friendly folks doesn’t charm your socks off, the terrain at RED M...

destinations

WATCH: A Way of Life Under Attack - 'Welcome to Gwichyaa Zhee'

All over this country, indigenous people are literally just fighting for their identity.

More Stories