Climb Matterhorn Peak via the East Couloir

Matterhorn Trailhead - Search Nearby - 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.

Distance

10 Miles RT

Elevation Gain

6000 ft Gain

Activities

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

Easy Parking
Groups
Lake
River
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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

Coleville / Walker KOA

Coleville, California

From $386/night

The Majestic Yosemite Hotel

Yosemite Valley, California

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

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