South Ridge

Page Type
California, United States, North America
Route Type:
Hike / Scramble
Time Required:
One to two days
Class II

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Page By:
South Ridge
Created On: Oct 31, 2003
Last Edited On: Oct 31, 2003


Several possible trailheads are listed below with directions to the peak.

1) Hetch Hetchy Reservoir is accessible off of Route 120 near the western entrance to Yosemite National Park. From Hwy 120, drive north on Evergreen Road. Turn right on Hetch Hetchy Road and drive for 9.1 miles until you get to the parking area at O'Shaughnessy Dam.

Matthew Holliman notes that Hetchy Hetchy Road is only open at certain times, usually 7am-8pm. Check the NPS site for current times.

Take the trail north to Jack Main Canyon until you reach the PCT. Continue north for 1.5 miles, then follow the outlet stream coming from Otter Lake to the west. (18 miles total)

2) Kennedy Meadows Resort is located off of CA Highway 108, just west of the Sonora Pass. The trailhead is located at the end of the parking area for the Kennedy Meadows Resort. Overnight parking at the resort lot is $5/night and can be paid at the resort lobby. Alternatively, free parking is available at the signed forest service "trailhead" parking lot, which is located about 3/4 mile from the trailhead.

Kennedy Meadows also operates a pack (horse) station. They will let you park overnight for free (and shower for free upon return) if you pack in with them one-way*. They also have rental cabins, a supply store, small restaurant and saloon. You can hike the (22 miles) to Schofield Peak, or have Kennedy Meadows take you to Maxwell Lake, leaving you with a 7.5 mile hike.

Follow the Huckleberry Trail all the way to Maxwell Lake (14.5 miles). This is a great place to camp. Next, continue south on the Huckleberry trail for another 1.5 miles and take the trail split south to Twin Lakes. Upon reaching Upper Twin Lake, take the trail to the west which follows the northern shore of Lower Twin Lake. The trail disappears but follow the outlet stream of the Twin Lakes until the profile of Haystack Peak comes into view to the south. Follow the outlet stream of Peninsula Lake up until you reach the Lake. Schofield Peak overlooks the far (south) end of Peninsula Lake.

3) The Leavitt Lake trailhead is only accessible with an SUV with high clearance and 4-wheel drive. Leavitt Lake road is located 3.8 miles east of the Sonora Pass off of CA Hwy 108. It's 3 miles to Leavitt Lake over very rough terrain and a couple of stream crossings. Free parking is available on the north side of the lake. Follow the Leavitt Pass trail south, up and over Big Sam, for 10 miles until you reach Emigrant Pass. Take the trail split to the south. Near Grizzly Meadow, take the trail split to the SW that leads through Horse Meadow. You'll reach the Huckleberry trail at the far end of Horse Meadow. Head south for .75 miles and take the trail split to Twin Lakes. Follow the directions above to Peninsula Lake. (21 miles total)

4) The Cherry Lake trailhead is located in the SW corner of the Emigrant Wilderness Area and is accessible earlier in the season than the other trailheads. From Groveland, take Hwy 120 east for 13.6 miles to Cherry Oil Road 1N07, just past the South Fork of the Tuolumne River. Follow it 5.3 miles to a junction with paved Hetch Hetchy Road, then go left on the poorly paved road 17.6 miles to dirt Cottonwood Road 1N04. Head east and drive over the Cherry Lake dam. Continue on Road 1N14 for 1/2 mile. Turn left at the fork in road onto Road 1N45Y. Look for the trailhead sign for old Kibbie Ridge Trail. Parking is free.

Follow the Kibbie Ridge trail north and eventually towards the east past Lord Meadow until you get to the south end of Huckleberry Lake (19.3 miles). Follow the trail on the south side of the lake for another 3/4 mile to the trail split to Fawn Lake. Continue past Fawn Lake on this poorly maintained trail until you reach Peninsula Lake. If you lose the trail, just follow the inlet stream to Fawn Lake to its point of origin at Peninsula Lake.(23 miles total)

* Call well in advance to reserve horse and guide if you decide to pack in with Kennedy Meadows.

Route Description

The ascent begins at Upper Peninsula Lake. Follow the ridgeline directly south of the lake up granite slabs. The slope will flatten out a bit at about 9600'. Follow the obvious route to the left for a few paces and then turn right and ascend the shelf that rises to just west of the summit. Once on the western ridge, it is just a few steps and an easy walk up to the summit.

Click here for a topo map of the route.

Start elevation: 9,166'
Summit: 9,935'
Elevation gain: 769'
Distance: .5 mile

Essential Gear

There is no special equipment required for this climb during the summer months except for the usual overnight backcountry camping gear.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.

South Ridge

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