The mountain is named for the cartographer Charles F. Hoffmann, who was part of the California Geological Survey of the Sierra Nevada. The mountain is named after the cartographer Charles F. Hoffman, who was a member of the 1863 to 1867 Whitney Geological Survey. If you’re only interested in hiking to May Lake and don’t have the appetite for Mount Hoffman, make a point of continuing beyond the camp. Hoffman is the geographic center of Yosemite National Park and an excellent, though strenuous, hike for May Lake visitors. There may be sections still marked by ducks – three rocks piled on top of each other. Please don’t feed him and don’t leave packs sitting out unguarded. Eventually, the trees will start to disperse a little bit, and you will get great views of Mt Hoffman, which stands above May Lake. To this point, I’ve avoided mentioning the views south, which you will undoubtedly have noticed on one of your possibly numerous breaks from the stiff climb. This short trek (less than two miles to the peak) is steep with a boulder scramble to the top. In August the stream is very low and there are a few water holes surrounded by mud. You don’t have to go to the top for great views. Getting a spot in the High Sierra Camp is a challenge. You can’t always expect a helicopter rescue, fatal, near fatal or close call incidents/accidents in camping, backpacking, climbing and mountaineering, Can a person who is prescribed an epi-pen risk going into the wilderness? Do the hard work of locating and sticking to the original path reflected by the GPS track here. May Lake Please enable it from your browser or operating system. Take a stroll along the water’s edge or dip your toes in the shallows. Located on a quiet, high mountain lake, perfect for relaxing and fishing, the camp is a fantastic blend of hospitality and high country scenery. You can enter the lottery in fall the year before you plan to visit. Location: 37.843233, -119.50345 Hoffmann from May Lake, on the other hand, is easy to lose and treacherous. Here and there along the trail are wet areas with Shooting Stars in July or Corn Lilies in August. The trail turns southwest to begin climbing up to a ledge that sports some great views across May Lake to the northeast, where Mount Conness, the highest point in the Sierra north of Tioga Pass, dominates the Sierra Crest. Looking from Tuolumne Meadows, moving right to left towards the northeast you can see: White Mountian, Ragged Peak, Mt Conness, Sheep peak, Shepard crest, Tuolumne Peak, Virginia Mtn. The creation of new cairns inspires later hikers to follow those newer cairns off of the main route, which reinforces a new informal trail on sensitive mountain habitat. May Lake Elevation: 9,270 feet (2,825 meters) Mt. Above Tuolumne Meadows and across to Tenaya Lake, from left to right, you might be able to identify: Gaylor Peak, Tioga Pass, Dana Plateau, Mt Dana, Mt Gibbs, Cathedral Peak, Unicorn Peak, Lower Cathedral Lake, Johnson Peak, Cockscomb, Koip Peak, Echo Peaks, Blacktop Peak, Tresidder Peak, Rafferty Peak, Matthes Crest and Donohue Peak. Decker was short-hauled from the Scott is an L.A. native and San Diego transplant who pulls every trick in the book to get out on the trail. Hoffmann Elevation: 10,845 feet (3,305 meters) Elevation Gain: 500 feet (150 meters) to May Lake; 2,000 feet (600 meters) to Mt. route when he fell over 100 feet, striking his head. You know face a 1,200 foot climb over the next 0.9 mile as you approach the summit of Mount Hoffman. Mount Hoffman and Tenaya Lake "…I would go straight to Mount Hoffman, spend the night on the summit, [and] next morning go down by May Lake to Tenaya Lake." Across the reflective waters is Mount Hoffman, a broad 10,850-foot summit. Bring a good regional map covering the park and spend a happy hour acquainting yourself with the features of this stunning panorama. Yosemite Conservancy will then follow up with an email to let you know if you’ve been awarded a permit or not. Today’s camps feature meals provided by camp cooks, more evolved lodging on cots inside tent cabins, and access to beautiful destinations. The final ascent follows a clearly defined path over sandy scree on a moderate ascent made more challenging by altitude. Don’t start for the top here, it’s easier further up the trail. Part of gallery of color pictures of US National Parks by professional photographer QT Luong, available as … collapsed lung. If you can spot the white hat at the bottom of both photos you might be able to spot the two hikers in both photos: Two more photos from Manny Respicio, including a big fat Marmot who is aggressive about trying to get your food. I won’t get into why those are flagrant violations of Leave no Trace principles, but I will talk a bit about the problems with navigational cairns. This is a great consolation prize for folks who don’t want to tackle Hoffman, as the view just from this spot is pretty phenomenal on its own. Beyond, you’ll notice the Clark Range, crowned by spire-like Mount Clark. If you wish to continue to the High Sierra Camp, which lies on the lake’s eastern shore, keep right at this split. Mt Hoffman is the perfect hiking destination. I know this is hard because the people before you have made it harder to do so. May Lake Trail, Yosemite National Park Picture: Map of trail to May Lake and Mount Hoffman - Check out Tripadvisor members' 30,080 candid photos and videos of May Lake Trail If you do travel, please be mindful of small gateway communities and avoid as much interaction as you can. "Mount Hoffman is a mass of gray granite that rises almost in the center of the Yosemite Park, about eight or … The excellent summit views, short summit trail (3 miles), and close proximity to Tioga Road (aka CA SR-120, distance 2 miles) ensure this is so (characteristics it shares with Mount Dana and Lembert Dome). Hoffman Scrambling to the top yields an amazing 360' perspective of Yosemite's peaks. Hoffman by taking the rugged trail from the north side of the lake. To reach this lake the trail winds along the granite flank of Mount Hoffman. area, a steep loose granite slope. In addition to the sweeping views south across the upper reaches of Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point, and the Clark Range, along with the eastern view toward the Cathedral Range and Sierra Crest, you now enjoy unparalleled views north across the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne toward high points above Virginia and Matterhorn Canyons and the Rancheria Creek watershed. From the May Lake Trailhead, locate the trailhead between the pit toilets and a small pond. And honestly, if you’re paying attention, the trail is never that hard to follow in the first place. Yosemite Mt Hoffman via May Lake ( GoPro HD) - Duration: 3:25. Mount Hoffman is significantly harder, and it includes route-finding, steep grades, intense sun-exposure, and a short Class 2 scramble to the summit. To see the only lake that, it can be said with some certainty, got a geologist some action. Hoffman is the geographic center of Yosemite National Park. Photos of Mount Hoffman from Glacier Point and Tenaya Lake: The hike past May Lake (9,229′ elevation) to the top of Mount Hoffman (10850′) is listed in trail guides as a strenuous day hike, even if you cut your trail mileage by driving the 1.8 mile one lane road from road marker T21. Continuing scanning to the south to spot Clouds Rest rising high above Tenaya Canyon. Keep to the left of the summit, as the right side of the summit is a more challenging Class 3 scramble with a few moments of exposed Class 4 scrambling. The summit block stands above a notch that allows a first taste of the northern view. Hoffmann Hiking Time: 1.5 - 4 hours Why hike to May Lake? Continued following Mount Hoffman’s sandy southern face on an oblique path heading northwest until you reach the true summit block on the western end of the mountain. 3:25. At one point, I saw cairns within 50 feet of each other marking three separate paths. They’re necessary now because there are too many diverging paths to follow. (Old Tioga Rd.) Swimming in May Lake is not permitted. High Sierra Camp in the Tuolumne Subdistrict reported hearing cries for injuries. A day hike from Tioga Pass Road takes you by May Lake up to Mount Hoffman. Day 3: May Lake to Mount Hoffman to Exit; Leave your tents behind and bring day-hike gear only for the climb to the top of Mount Hoffman. Views of the lake are best on the east side just north of the camp, as you can take in the eastern wall of Mount Hoffman rising high above the lake’s sparkling waters. May Lake sits beneath 10,845 foot Mt. Visit the permit reservation website, and follow the prompts on the digital form. Below a picture after the hike to the top, of people sitting on a large, partially submerged rock, thinking about going swimming in the cold water. Hiking Advice has hot weather hiking advice, hiking logistics and the answer to the question: When is the best time of day to cross a mountain stream? The nearest formal campground is Porcupine Flat, a first-come, first-served campground on Tioga Road about 3 miles west from the May Lake turn-off. To reach the summit from the lake, you have to climb 1,600 feet over three miles. _____________________________________________. was organized due to the steep terrain. The cairns that hikers have left can sometimes steer you away from the true path (see a brief rant about cairns at the end of this write-up), but so long as you continue uphill and northwest through sparse thickets of whitebark pine, you will eventually reach a much more clearly defined trail for the final ascent to Mount Hoffman’s summit block at 2.4 miles. May Lake sits nestled in along the eastern flank of Mount Hoffman. The May Lake hike is pretty easy, and just about anybody complete it. As mentioned above, this is a dual-destination hike, meaning that you can keep your hike specifically to May Lake, or you can include Mount Hoffman, the route for which begins from the western end of May Lake. With recent wildfire damage and ongoing waves of COVID-19 infections and restrictions, National Forest, National Park, and other public land closures, restrictions, or social distancing guidelines may be in-effect. Here (photos by Manny Respicio, 2004 trip) the view down to May Lake from the top and for a sense of the space and distance shown in that shot, a closeup from that shot of hikers on the mountain. If you’d like to escape the crowds, head … From the drop-down menus, select Tioga Road (including May Lake) as your region, and then select May Lake as your desired trailhead. There is a beautiful High Sierra Camp there, which would be worth staying at if it is open. and in assuring the overall success of the operation. Please don’t add more. Location: 37.842667, -119.498467. Above May Lake. May Lake is an easy 1.2 miles from the end-of-the-road trail head by a small pond through lodgepole pines with occasional previews of the views from the top. At 1.6 miles, the climb becomes steeper as you work through a talus field and then climb along a meadow-y creek on a southwest course. from My First Summer in the Sierra, http://www.sierraclub.org/john_muir_exhibit/writings/my_first_summer_in_the_sierra/chapter_6.html, Enhance your drive to the park: Road trip advice and etiquette, Copyright © 2020 | WordPress Theme by MH Themes, https://www.nps.gov/yose/blogs/lyell-glacier.htm, Give me proof you’re such a great teacher. Not much farther from the end of the longer meadow, you might spot a second meadow down on the left off the trail, a bright green in mid-July. This is just a taste of the view, as the summit reveals the northern and western halves of the park to pair with evolved and improved vistas to the south and east that you’ve already witnessed. Check out these August 14, 1903 and August 14, 2003 photos of the Lyell Glacier melt: The second photo was taken by Hassan Jules Basagic IV for his masters thesis (used with his permission). You might have to squeeze between shrubs and small trees: In August we saw Groundsel, Columbine and Monkeyflower blooming: and you will get to a long meadow with a resident Marmot. Although the original incarnation of the camps eventually folded in bankruptcy, the concept evolved until the five primary wilderness camps (Merced Lake, May Lake, Vogelsang, Glen Aulin, and Sunrise) remained to form the famous High Sierra Camp Loop, a 51 mile loop ending and beginning at Tuolumne Meadows that visits some of Yosemite’s best high country scenery. Sulphur Flower and Penstemon / Sulphur Flower. Follow the trail as well as you can as you reach a pair of downed pines which have caused hikers to carve out a braid of new informal routes that create some confusing diversions off of the main trail. Whitebark Pines. Just as you reach May Lake, the trail forks; take the left fork and it'll lead you all the way to the ridge. Employees of the camp and rogue backpackers tend to sleep on the ridge, under the stars. rescue personnel provided advanced life support while a short-haul rescue After making this turn to the northwest, the trail begins climbing away from the forest through a rocky, informal path occasionally marked by cairns. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. The potential for camping overnight at May Lake’s High Sierra Camp creates the possibility for enjoying this fantastic hike in a comfortable, historic fashion. 1. All along the route there are views of Mount Hoffman, like this one along the shore of the lake. Distance: 4.8 miles | and Whorl Mtn. 199.) The path to Mt. Hike with Jina 1,425 views. his airway. and the proposed new trail for comparison: The views are great from here if you don’t want to conquer the top, such as Clouds Rest and Half Dome (with binoculars or a good telephoto you can see the hikers on the cables). MAY LAKE AND MOUNT HOFFMAN July* Join us on a guide and guest favorite to the geographic center of the park. Four photos below by/from Chris Throm (2003 trip). The western view is less distinctive as rolling mountains blanketed in forest yield to hazy foothills, but you can still spot some notable features out this way, including El Capitan and the Devils Dance Floor. The trail leads directly to and then through the camp with a few short side paths approaching the banks of the lake. In order to get to the top, you will need to hike for another 2 miles with 1,500 elevation gain along side of sweeping views of Yosemite. The view across May Lake vanishes as you round a bend and arrive on a second, wooded shelf at 1.8 miles. see also: Cell phones in the wilderness which has advice on how/when to use a cell phone to contact 911 in the wilderness and a warning about interference between cell phones, iPods and avalanche beacons. Nearing May Lake the trail splits. Look southeast to spot the western half of Tenaya Lake lying in the heart of the valley. Clark, Gray Peak, Clouds Rest, Buena Vista Crest, Quarter Domes, Buena Vista Peak, Mt Starr King, Horse Ridge and Half Dome. The ducks are sometimes misleading. The calm of May Lake is irresistible. Your email address will not be published. The trail leaves the hubbub of the camp behind and then passes through a pair of wildflower-flecked meadows before making a short descent to the lip of a beautiful valley. Enjoy a brief respite from the climbing as you pass under a denser forest canopy before arriving above a larger meadow at 1.9 miles. 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