Southern Yosemite High Route

I did this hike in two sections (we were smoked out halfway into our first attempt.)

Section I: Mt. Lyell Range, August 2021

If you pay for Skurka’s guide, you will see that there is not one route, but many different routes you can take. For ease of getting permits, Adam, Noe and I decided to start down in Bloody Canyon. I later went back and ran the rest of the southern YHR from Tuolomne meadows to Mono Pass.

The scenery was incredible and pretty soon we found ourselves at the base of Mt. Lyell. I couldn’t resist the urge to climb it, so I did, and met Adam and Noe down on the other side. The views from Lyell were stunning: Panoramic views of the Ritter Range and Yosemite. The pass going over Lyell/Mclure saddle is at least class IV. It is listed as an alternate on the route, but I wouldn’t recommend it unless you are a confident scrambler.

Unfortunately that next day, smoke began to come in. We wanted to save the Clark Range for another time when we could appreciate the views. We bailed out and followed the Merced River all the way down from its headwaters to Yosemite Valley.

Section II: Clark Range + Clouds Rest, June 2022

Since we got off the route in the middle of the wilderness due to smoke, getting back on trail was going to involve at least a day of approach. Luckily a good opportunity presented itself. My friends Arman and Sarabeth were hiking the Sierra High Route, I joined them for most of section IV, one of my favorite sections. After walking with them for a few days I was right back where I had gotten off the Yosemite High Route the year before. Highlights from the approach hike:

Now I was back on the YHR, and I headed north into the beautiful Clark Range.

The core route ends down by the Merced River in the middle of the wilderness, I chose to climb up Cloud’s Rest, down to Tenaya Lake and end my hike there.