View from Gaylor Peak

View from Gaylor Peak

We spent last Friday through Sunday in the Sierra. There was an overnight backpack in Cottonwood Basin scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, so on Friday morning we decided to do a short acclimation hike somewhere near Tioga Pass (around 10k feet). It was the perfect opportunity to get up a peak I’d been wanting to climb for some time – Gaylor Peak.

Gaylor Peak is a short hike (~1 mile one way) with about 1000 feet of gain. It begins at the Gaylor Lakes trailhead right next to the Tioga Pass entry station for Yosemite National Park. There is trail for half of the approach, and the second half is easy class 1 cross-country from the saddle above Gaylor Lakes. The summit is a nice rocky ridge with plenty of room for people, though we were the only ones up there on Friday morning.

The best part of this hike is the views. The payoff to effort ratio is great – a mere hour’s hike will get you the kind of views that you’d expect from the bigger peaks in the park. The views into the Gaylor and Granite Lakes basin below is expansive and there is a 360 degree view of the peaks of the Yosemite sub-ranges.

Use this hike as a short stretch of the legs when passing through Tioga, or as a warm up hike for one of the bigger peaks like Dana, Conness, or Lyell. It’s so easy I’m surprised there aren’t more people who hike this one. Don’t miss it!


Rebecca Sowards-Emmerd

Mountain sports addict. Dog Mom. Craft beer drinker. Tech nerd. The best days are those spent above 10k ft. Meet me on Twitter, Facebook, or Google +


John Soares · July 28, 2010 at 7:23 am

Rebecca, this sounds like a great hike. My partner Stephanie and I are planning a trip to King’s Canyon and Yosemite for the first week of September, so I’ll put this on the short list.

Ken Shoufer · July 31, 2010 at 10:58 pm

I must have passed this trail head several times on my way across the park and never noticed. Thanks for the post. I’ll check it out the next time I’m in Yosemite.

Tweets that mention Gaylor Peak near Tioga Pass | Calipidder -- · July 28, 2010 at 5:17 am

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by R. Sowards-Emmerd and David, cheapskate2009. cheapskate2009 said: RT @randomcuriosity: Gorgeous views in the gallery… RT @calipidder: Blog Post: Gaylor Peak near Tioga Pass […]

Cottonwood Lakes Basin Overnight Backpack | Calipidder · November 17, 2013 at 12:25 pm

[…] Vining campground around 12:30 am in between two RVs. The following morning we hiked Gaylor Peak (trip report) and then headed into the Mono Visitor Center to pick up a permit for Cottonwood Lakes trailhead […]

Tioga Peak: 11,526 ft - CalipidderCalipidder | [kal-uh-pid-er] – noun: Free Range Backpacker, Climber, Runner, Gear Nerd · April 29, 2015 at 4:10 pm

[…] Peak is an excellent and easy short climb. Much like Gaylor Peak, the effort to payoff ratio is great – a couple of hours and very simple cross-country travel […]

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