A very satisfying scramble to the highest peak in the Cathedral Peak area of the Cathedral Range. This goes through some beautiful scenery in the Yosemite high country to an outstanding viewpoint on a relatively moderate half day or more outing.
Cathedral Peak from the cirque below Echo Ridge
Trailhead parking for the Cathedral Lakes is on Hwy. 120 in Yosemite National Park at the west end of Tuolumne Meadows about a mile west of the Visitors Center.
This is a very popular trailhead with roadside parking. There are bear boxes available. Rangers check for food left in vehicles and issue tickets.
Echo Ridge and Peaks from the north approach
Take the Cathedral Lakes Trail about 1/2 mile to the good use trail off to the left going to Budd Lake. Follow the trail up past Cathedral Peak and Budd Lake to the open cirque. Echo Ridge is the big arching peak up ahead with Echo Peaks poking up to the right. Hike up to the right over easy benches and slabs to the saddle between Echo Ridge and the Echo Peaks. Take the west slope to the left up until it becomes an easy knife edge to the summit.
This route is approximately 6 miles round trip and 2,700' gain.
Echo Ridge and Echo Peaks from Cathedral Peak
Matthes Crest and Clark Range from the saddle below Echo Ridge
Just water, snacks or lunch and whatever warm clothing is needed depending on the weather. Watch the skies for thunderstorms building as the day progresses in summer.