A New, Majestic High Route Through Yosemite

This loop through Yosemite could just be the finest high-altitude thru-hike in the country.

Where the boundary of Yosemite National Park overlaps with the Sierra Crest, from Dorothy Lake Pass in the north to Rodgers Peak in the south, there exists a world-class high route around the upper headwaters of the Tuolumne and Merced rivers that stays entirely within the park.

South of Rodgers Peak, the park boundary straddles the divide between the upper Merced and the North Fork of the San Joaquin, two major westbound rivers. This topography remains conducive to a high route to Triple Divide Peak, beyond which the watershed divide and boundary fade into less interesting foothills.

Thankfully, here the seldom visited Clark Range T-bones the boundary, providing worthy terrain for another ten miles.

North and west of Dorothy Lake Pass, the park boundary roughly follows the watershed divide between the Tuolumne and Clavey rivers, the latter of which drains the Emigrant Wilderness.

The route is majestic, remote, and largely off-trail but still technically practical for a backpacker. It shares just one pass with the Sierra High Route, and utilizes the Pacific Crest Trail/John Muir Trail for only a half-mile. The wilderness experience matches and sometimes exceeds that of other established high routes.

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