Climb Matterhorn Peak via the East Couloir

Climb Matterhorn Peak via the East Couloir

Rate this Adventure Matterhorn Trailhead

Distance

10 Miles

Elevation Gain

6000 Feet

Activities

Survival, Snowboarding, Chillin, Camping, Photography, Skiing, Swimming, Snowshoeing, Hiking, Rock Climbing

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Year Round

Added by

Josiah Roe

Easy Parking
Groups
Lake
River
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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.

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

Nearby Lodging

From $143/night

Tuolumne Meadows Lodge

Tioga Rd, YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, CA 95389, USA

From $137/night

White Wolf Lodge

Yosemite National Park, California

From $386/night

The Majestic Yosemite Hotel

Yosemite Valley, California

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating:  Rate this Adventure

Have you done this adventure? Leave a review!

Distance

10 Miles

Elevation Gain

6000 Feet

Activities

Survival, Snowboarding, Chillin, Camping, Photography, Skiing, Swimming, Snowshoeing, Hiking, Rock Climbing

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Year Round

Added by

Josiah Roe

Nearby Adventures

Adventure

Hike to Barney Lake in Hoover Wilderness

Adventure

Hike to Peeler Lake

Adventure

Backpack to Green Lake and Virginia Pass

Adventure

Soak at Buckeye Hot Springs

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