Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 37.98250°N / 119.3128°W
Additional Information Elevation: 12242 ft / 3731 m
Sign the Climber's Log


For alpine routes in the Sierra Nevada, North Peak's accessibility from the road makes this a popular peak for climbing ice couloirs. It is easily reached in a few hours from the trailhead and is known as one of the most prestine areas in the Sierra Range. The approach is easy as compared to most other ice climbs in the area, the climbing is enjoyable and never too severe and it can be linked with Mt Conness' North Ridge to make for a spectacular traverse.

Other less technical routes, such as the Southeast Chute, the Southwest Face and the Northwest Ridge allow hikers and climbers of all skill levels to also enjoy this peak. Spring skiing is also popular on the slopes and chutes of North Peak, as well as those on nearby Mount Conness and the Conness Glacier.

Getting There

From Hwy 395 and the town of Lee Vining: Turn west on Hwy 120 (Tioga Pass) and continue up the Lee Vining Grade, past Ellery Lake, looking for the turn off to Saddlebag Lake on your right (if you come to the Tioga Pass Resort, you've gone to far.) Turn right (north) toward Saddlebag Lake and continue up the paved/dirt road for two miles to its end at the lake. As one nears the lake, the trailhead parking lot and the group camping area will be the first turn-off on the right. The campground is the second right hand turn-off.

From Hwy 120 at Crane Flat: At the Crane Flat Chevron Station, turn left (north) and continue on Hwy 120 through Tuolumne Meadows and out the east Yosemite Park entrance. Continue down Tioga Pass and look for the Saddlebag Lake turn off, on the left, a few hundred feet past the Tioga Pass Resort.

Approach: From the hiker's parking lot, follow the trail that crosses Lee Vining Creek below the spillway and continue along the west shore of Saddlebag Lake. At the north end of the Lake, several trails fork off that lead to the many routes of North Peak.

Current Weather Conditions

Useful Weather Links (use your "back" button to return to the North Peak main page)
USGS Weather & Road Conditions
NOAA Weather Service
The best web-site for general Eastern Sierra information

When To Climb

From Spring skiing, to climbing the ice couloirs in the Fall, North Peak and the surrounding areas offer numerous adventures for the backcountry traveler during most of the year.

When the Tioga Pass road opens in Spring, skiers travel crosscountry to ski the slopes and chutes of North Peak. Later, when the Saddlebag lake road opens, climbers and hikers can more easily access the the peak for rock/snow scrambles and snow climbs up the couloirs. In late Summer and Fall, when the snow in the couloirs has hardened into alpine ice, climbers have relatively easy access to some of the finest moderate ice climbs in the High Sierra.

Red Tape

1) Camping and camp fires are prohibited in the Harvey Monroe Hall Research Natural Area, which includes the Conness Lakes basin and extends approximately two miles east from the White Mountain crest/Yosemite Park boundary.
2) Permits are not required for day use and there is no trailhead quota in effect for this area.
3) Wilderness permits are required for overnight visits to the Hoover Wilderness. Permits can be obtained at any Inyo National Forest ranger station, or at the NFS kiosk at Saddlebag Lake from 7:00 am - 11:00 am, Fridays and Saturdays during the regular season.
4) Follow all backcountry camping regulations, which include camping at least 100 feet from trails and water sources.

Source: Mono Basin Visitor Center (USDA Forest Service). Lee Vining, CA. (760) 647-3044


Because of the relatively short approach required to climb North Peak, the most convenient camping is in one of the many nearby campgrounds.

FC/FS = first-come, first-served

-Saddlebag Campground - 22 sites, FC/FS
-Sawmill Campground (walk-in) - 12 sites, FC/FS
-Tioga Lake Campground - 13 sites, FC/FS
-Ellery Lake Campground - 13 sites, FC/FS
-Junction Campground (at the junction of Hwy 120 and Saddlebag Lake road) - 12 sites, FC/FS
-Tuolumne Meadows Campground - 300 sites (approx. 11 miles from the North Peak trailhead)
-Lower Lee Vining Campground (non Forest Service)
-Cattleguard Campground (non Forest Service)
-Upper Lee Vining 1 (non Forest Service)
-Upper Lee Vining 2 (non Forest Service)
-Big Bend Campground
Note: Most, if not all, of the Lee Vining Canyon campgrounds sit in aspen groves along Lee Vining Creek and are especially nice during the Fall season. During the Summer, mosquitos can be an issue.

For the non-campers
-Tioga Pass Resort
-Murpheys' Motel (Lee Vining)
-Tuolumne Meadows Lodge (Tuolumne Meadows)

Backcountry Camping: See the "Red Tape" section for general information and regulations.

Emergency / Area Information

Mono County Sheriff: (800) 447-1912
24-hour towing service: (209) 372-8320
24-hour emergency medical clinic (Yosemite Valley): (209) 372-4637
Dental clinic (Yosemite Valley): (209) 372-4200
Tuolumne Meadows gas station: (209) 372-8410

Tuolumne Meadows / Tioga Pass bus shuttle: (209) 372-0263
Tuolumne Meadows Mountaineering School: (209) 372-8435
Tioga Pass Resort: (209) 372-4471
U.S. Forest Service / Mono Lake Visitor Center. Lee Vining, CA: (760) 647-3044

External Links

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

Viewing: 1-3 of 3

LincolnB - Sep 17, 2011 11:25 pm - Hasn't voted

Boat Shuttle

There is a boat shuttle that runs every hour or so from the lodge at Saddleback lake -- $11 round trip (in 2011). Shaves a mile or so each way off the hike.


Zscapes - Aug 3, 2016 8:36 pm - Hasn't voted

Boat Shuttle (Water Taxi)

Round trip is now $13... Runs twice an hour on the hour and the half...


Alpinist - Aug 28, 2022 6:16 am - Voted 10/10

Resort closed

The water taxi at Saddlebag Lake is not running in 2022. The Saddlebag Lake Resort closed. It was purchased by the owners of the Sawmill Campground. They need to make some repairs before they (hopefully) reopen in 2023.

Viewing: 1-3 of 3



Children refers to the set of objects that logically fall under a given object. For example, the Aconcagua mountain page is a child of the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits.' The Aconcagua mountain itself has many routes, photos, and trip reports as children.