Trail of the Mount Hoffman hike in Yosemite National Park
Trail of the Mount Hoffman hike in Yosemite National Park

Mount Hoffman hike

Yosemite National Park
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Mountain trail at Mount Hoffman Hike in Yosemite National ParkMan hiking on snow at Mount Hoffman Hike in Yosemite National ParkSmall cabin at Mount Hoffman Hike in Yosemite National ParkMan hiking at Mount Hoffman Hike in Yosemite National ParkMountain at Mount Hoffman Hike in Yosemite National ParkView of the area from the mountain at Mount Hoffman Hike in Yosemite National ParkMan hiking at Mount Hoffman Hike in Yosemite National ParkView from the mountain at Mount Hoffman Hike in Yosemite National ParkView from the mountain on Mount Hoffman Hike in Yosemite National ParkMan climbing on the rocks at Mount Hoffman Hike in Yosemite National ParkMount Hoffman Hike in Yosemite National Park has amazing views from the topView of Mt Hoffman at Mount Hoffman Hike in Yosemite National Park

Mount Hoffman hike

Distance: 6.5mi
Elevation: 2,067ft
Time: 4.5-7h

Difficulty Rating:

User Ratings:
9.4 Overall Rating
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We loved the hike up Mount Hoffman. The views from the summit were said by John Muir to be amongst the most dramatic in the valley and May Lake is stunning. All around a winner in Yosemite, but wait for the snow to melt!

Mount Hoffman hike Map

Getting there

From the Crane Flat gas station take the Tioga Road (Highway 120) east for approximately 27.0mi and take the road on your left (north) to May Lake. Continue on this narrow, potholed road for 1.1mi and park in the parking lot.

I’ve done this 42 people have done this
I want to do this 83 want to do this route

About

When to do

June through September

Backcountry Campsites

No

Toilets

Trailhead

Family friendly

No

Route Signage

Poor

Crowd Levels

Moderate

Route Type

Out and back


Mount Hoffman
Elevation Graph


Route Description for Mount Hoffman

Park at the end of May Lake Rd. (Old Tioga Rd.) and follow the easy, clear path up to May Lake. There is a beautiful High Sierra Camp there, which would be worth staying at if it is open.

The path to Mt. Hoffman can at times be very difficult to see, as there are limited signs. This is especially challenging when snow is still present. Continue around the left side of the lake and ascend through a small ravine. You will cross a few rivers and gain a small ridge with views down into Yosemite Valley.

Continue along the trail as it switchbacks up above the tree line. A common mistake is to go right once you are coming out of the trees, and go between the two very visible towers. There appears a saddle with vegetation and some Cairns leading to it, however this is a dangerous route with a lot of loose rocks overhead and some boulder hopping.

Instead of going right, head left of the leftmost tower and go up a somewhat rocky path that gets you to a plateau. It is a much easier route that involves no scrambling through we couldn’t find a clear path to take us up and there was a fair amount of snow.

On the plateau there are beautiful views in every direction, including a lookout over the entire park. If you don’t like exposure, explore around this plateau, as it’s stunning.

From the plateau there will be three apparent towers; the two you saw ascending and one behind them. Go around the third tower and cross over a large snowfield. Mount Hoffman is the peak with the antenna coming from it.

There is some somewhat serious scrambling to get to the real peak. Good route finding skills are a must. However, the view from the very top is exquisite. John Muir claimed this as the finest view in Yosemite.

If you want to find more great hikes in Yosemite, check out Clouds Rest, Sentinel Dome, Yosemite Valley or Panorama Trail!

Insider Hints

  • If you can, spend a night at the May Lake High Sierra Camp for an incredible experience.

Comments

lemontree 8 months ago

Snow everywhere. Most fascinating valley I've seen in my life.

10.0 Overall Rating
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yanagichan 8 months ago

Highly recommend to anyone wanting to test their mental and physical boundaries!

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6h 00m Time Taken
Nora T. 9 months ago

Loved it! Not hard hike. Loved the view from the top of Mt Hoffmann.

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Stumpyboots 9 months ago

One of the most underrated hikes in Yosemite. Best panoramic view

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Jellybean 9 months ago

May Lake is gorgeous and Easy to get to. You can see it from different parts of the trail.

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TailBlazer 9 months ago

This hike was awesome. We went in early June, and it was a nice way to escape the crowds in Yosemite Valley. Lake is pristine with trees against granite peaks.

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Stewart Graham 9 months ago

The May Lake was beautiful and the trail was a little bit challenging.

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footfall 9 months ago

The views are amazing at the summit as you can see in all directions including to the North, which is hidden throughout the hike. Highly recommend this for anyone visiting Yosemite and looking for a shorter day climb!

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Cisco K. 9 months ago

Nice hike that doesn’t take all day to finish. May lake is simply gorgeous.

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Emma Paxton 9 months ago

Spectacular views all around. It almost goes without saying, but bring water, even though it’s a moderate hike.

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29 Comments Show all

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