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Mount Hoffman Hike

Mount Hoffman Hike

Trip Highlights:

Mount Hoffman

May Lake

A John Muir Favorite

One of the best day hikes in Yosemite, Mount Hoffman is a lesser known peak which is actually quite easily reached with an exciting scramble at the top. This hike takes you past the beautifully blue May Lake, a high alpine lake at 9,329′. We then follow the trail away from the lake and above tree-line to the rock-boulders that make up the last climb to the top of what is known as the geographical center of Yosemite National Park. Mount Hoffman was also known as offering one of John Muir’s favorite views within all of the park, offering a full 360 degree view of the high country. All tours are private.

Due to a record setting snowpack this winter, we expect access to the Tioga Rd/Hwy 120 through northern Yosemite on/after July 1st. We have updated our availability accordingly. For more information see: Yosemite’s Historical Seasonal Opening & Closing Dates. Expect wet/muddy trails, and the possibility of stream/river crossings and/or walking on/crossing snow. Trekking poles will be provided. Also be prepared to experience Yosemite in unparalleled beauty as it comes to life after one of the wettest winter seasons on record. If seasonal access or trail conditions present any ongoing issues, another hike/tour of similar quality/length will be offered through consultation with you in the week prior to your departure with us. Tours/hikes can also be modified accordingly with the guide upon meeting and/or as needed, throughout your day of adventure. For more information and what to expect, see: Yosemite’s 2023 Snowpack & 2023 Summer Expectations.

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June 15 – October 31


6-8 Hours

Mileage & Difficulty:

11 Miles


1-2 People: $500
3-4 People: $600
5+ People: $150/Person

All Tours Are Private

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Meeting Location: Sunrise Trailhead at 8,150′
High Point: Mount Hoffman summit at 10,850′
Elevation Gain: 2,700′

This trip can begin in one of two ways depending on personal preference. Your guide can either meet you at Sunrise Lakes Trailhead near Tenaya Lake’s Western shore, which will make the day’s hike 11 miles total, or we may meet at May Lake Parking lot (if open), which cuts off 4 miles from the day making the trek 7 miles round trip. From Sunrise trailhead, it is a quick and flat warmup hike .7 miles to Tioga Pass road. Here we will cross a crosswalk to continue 1.3 miles on a 700 foot vertical foot ascent to May Lake Parking lot. If you choose to begin the day at May Lake parking lot, don’t worry about the aforementioned; your trip will start here.

From May Lake Parking lot, the trail takes us along a mildly strenuous 1.1 miles ascending 500 vertical feet to the May Lake high sierra camp, an absolutely beautiful high sierra lake, and one of the largest by area in Yosemite National Park. After enjoying a swim, snacks, water and relaxation here at May Lake, we will continue to our final destination, a 2 mile, 1,500 vertical foot climb to the peak of Mount Hoffman. This is the most strenuous 2 miles of the day, being uphill the whole way. The last mile up, we will be hiking upon loose granite boulders and rocks through a indefinite trail marked by cairns, or rock stacks. From the base of the summit, it is about a 150 vertical foot moderately steep scramble up granitic boulders to the peak. Reaching the peak is very much worth the tough trek, being the geographical center of the park and reaching higher than Cloud’s Rest and Half Dome at 10,850 feet, Mount Hoffman provides a 360-degree perspective of the entire park. With incredible views of Half Dome, Cloud’s Rest, the Clark Range, the Cathedral Range and Tuolumne’s High Country, and of the park’s northern borders it is easy to understand why this huge exfoliating mountain was John Muir’s favorite view.

After you have had your fill of the overwhelming views from the peak, we will backtrack the trail, all downhill, descending 1,500 vertical feet back to May Lake, where another swim or fishing session may be enjoyed. Now we continue retracing 1.1 miles down to the May Lake parking lot. If you started here, this is where our day will end after sweet reminisces and goodbyes. If you began at Sunrise Lakes trailhead, our final stretch will be two excess miles descending 700 vertical feet back to the finish line at Sunrise parking lot.


  • All tours are private.
  • Guide(s) carry first aid kits, water purification methods, toilet paper (for emergencies), suntan lotion and bug repellent. Please plan to bring your own lunch, snacks, water bottles, etc.
  • Should weather, fire, and/or delayed seasonal openings affect the chosen itinerary, a different itinerary will be offered. You will be kept in contact throughout this process.

Join Us For A Guided Tour


June 15 – October 31
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#1 Rated Guide Service in the West

Half Dome in a Day participant, 2021
Half Dome in a Day participant, 2021
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I did a private one-on-one hike with a guide to Half Dome. This was such an amazing experience! The guide was very knowledgeable regarding Yosemite, and I realized I wouldn't have completed it without the help of the guide. His expertise and calmness during the cables really enabled me to push through and complete this amazing hike!”
Day hike guest, 2021
Day hike guest, 2021
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We were a group of 7 family members (ages 22-65 years old), for all of us was our first hiking/backpacking/camping experience. We all have such an amazing yet challenging experience, it was really worthy! Thank you so much to our guides Nicole and Jack for your cheers, your spirit, your cooking, your yoga time, your knowledge and for doing this family trip so great! We really enjoy it!!
Day hike guest, 2021
Day hike guest, 2021
@Lynsey F
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I booked a guided hike for Clouds Rest as I was unsuccessful in my ballot for Half Dome. My friend was unable to make it so I decided to book a guided hike for myself. From beginning to end, Lasting Adventures was great. They replied to me quickly, and my guide was excellent! He offered me hiking poles in case I hadn't taken any and had plenty other essentials on hand.

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