Although less well known than its neighbors, at 11,168 feet Echo Ridge is a local high point and prominent ridge in the vicinity of Cathedral Peak
. As the highest point in the Cathedral Range northwest of Vogelsang Peak
, it presents fine views of nearby Cathedral Peak, the Cockscomb
, Matthes Crest
and of course the Echo Peaks
Echo Ridge is a fun class 2/3 scramble from Echo Col to the southwest and class 4 from the Cockscomb to the northeast. It is often tagged as part of a traverse of the Cathedral Range.
The route from the southwest begins at 'Wilts Col', the saddle between the Echo Peaks and Echo Ridge. Initially the route ascends slabs and talus slopes but by staying toward the south you can eventually gain a high quality granite ridge which offers sweet exposure and prime views of Matthes Crest and beyond. Follow the ridge to the summit for the most exciting route or head back onto lower talus to the north for less exposed but looser passage.
The ridge is 4th class from the northeast. If traversing from the Cockscomb, the 4th class can be bypassed by staying on easy 2nd class slopes to the south of the ridge which will deposit you at Echo Col and the southwest route. More information on the 4th class route will be forthcoming but in the interim please contact me if you have additional details you would like to add.
From the Cathedral Lakes trailhead in Tuolumne Meadows
, follow the John Muir trail for about 1/2 mile until you find the climbers trail that departs to the left. This use trail is also the popular approach to Cathedral Peak. Follow the trail up the Budd Creek drainage until the Echo Peaks are in view. Continue cross-country up towards the saddle between the Echo Peaks and the Echo Ridge.
Red Tape & Camping
No permits are required for dayhikes. Permits are required for camping in Yosemite wilderness, but no camping is allowed in Budd Creek drainage. As with all Tuolumne camping, bear resistant food containers are required. The Cathedral Lakes Trailhead is one of the more popular and tends to reach its quota quickly. The nearest wilderness permit station is in Tuolumne Meadows, located in a parking lot just east of Lembert Dome. Please visit the Tuolumne Meadows
page for more detailed information.