Isberg Peak is located on the border between Yosemite National Park and Ansel Adams Wilderness. The first ascent of this relatively unknown peak was made by famous landscape photographer Ansel Adams and his partner Francis Holman in April, 1924. Although Yosemite is very well-traveled by backpackers and mountaineers, this remote corner of the park is lightly traveled and the peak probably receives only a handful of visitors each year. On the section of a backpacking trip through this area, we saw no one for almost 48 hours. Isberg Peak is located just to the North of Isberg Pass and is a class 2 scramble from there. There is an easy class 1 slope on the west of the peak, but it is farther from the trail. Isberg is surrounded by granite mountains, but the peak itself is made up of a reddish rock. The actual peak is the highpoint in the ridge and not the more defined point just to the Northeast. A small, man-made tower of rocks marks the summit though there is no register (that I could find). Views from the summit include the Clark Range (Mt. Clark, Red Peak, Merced Peak) to the West, Mt. Florence, Mt. Lyell and Mt. Maclure to the North, as well as the Minerets with Ritter and Banner. If you are ever in this area, a short hike to Isberg Peak is definately worth your time.
The closest trailhead is located at Granite Creek Campground in the South. It is reached via the long and bumpy Beasore Road, which starts at Bass Lake and reaches Clover Meadow Ranger Station in 31 miles. Proceed another mile to Granite Creek. Take the Isberg Pass trail past Cora Lakes and Sadler Lake to Isberg Pass (13 miles). Another trailhead is Yosemite Valley. Take the JMT to Little Yosemite Valley and take the Merced Lake Trail a long ways to Isberg Pass.
Because of its remote location, the peak will probably require an overnight wilderness permit from either Ansel Adams Wilderness (Granite Creek), or from Yosemite NP. No permit is required if you do it as a (very long) day hike. The usual Yosemite Valley restrictions ($20, parking issues) apply if you start from there, but there is no charge to start from Granite Creek.
When To Climb
This peak is most easily climbed when snow levels are low (late June-October). This would be a very difficult peak to do in winter or spring because of the long approach.
If you are starting from Granite Creek you will probably spend the night there. The campgrounds are free of charge and are first come-first served. Good backcountry camping spots are Sadler Lake (South shore only) if you are approaching from the South. You can camp on the Merced river if you come from Yosemite. Any backcountry camping requires a wilderness permit.
For current conditions there are several links on the Forest Service Page
Be ready for winter weather at all times of year.