Mount Hoffman Trail

HARD 37 reviews
#23 of 208 trails in

Mount Hoffman Trail is a 8.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Mariposa, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until November.

DISTANCE
8.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,365 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

snow

no dogs

Easy access, spectacular views from the center of Yosemite. Centrally located at an elevation of 10,850' Yosemite's Mount Hoffman provides one of the best overall views of the park. The short hiking distance make this a popular hike. The trail to May Lake is a short and pleasant climb. From May Lake the official trail disappears and becomes somewhat steeper and there are several use trails to the summit. Route finding isn't difficult, but there is a section of loose rock to deal with. The only drawback of the summit experience is that you will have to share it with a tower that was erected years back, but the views make sharing worthwhile!

3 days ago

Nice hike, but not nearly as strenuous and scary as some seem to make it. The road is open to the trailhead which makes the hike about 6 miles round trip. The Hike to May Lake is a doddle, and heavily trafficked since there is a High Sierra Camp there. It's a nice lake, but nothing spectacular by Yosemite standards.

Stay South of the lake and follow an extremely good use trail. Once up and out of the basin you pass on meadow on your right. The good trail continues, but shortly after turns to the right and heads pretty up up the center of the slope on a reasonably good use trail marked with cairns. If you lose the trail generally move to the center of the slope to pick it up again. The trail improves markedly at the top of the slope and continues around the rock prominences on your right. The trail takes you to the last scramble.

Here stay to your left and follow the path of least resistance as you gain elevation. About 100 feet from the top you need to do some really easy scrambling to the summit. If you are finding the scrambling difficult you are too far to the right.

hiking
11 days ago

From the May Lake Trailhead, it is 400 feet elevation gain to May Lake. Go towards the restroom at May Lake and continue left, with the beautiful view of May Lake to your right. At 1.6 miles, the trail becomes fuzzy and is on granite for the next 0.2 miles - stay slightly right, and you will be on track. I deviated to the left here, and had to scramble up before the trail became visible again. Again, at 2 miles, you have gained another 400 feet in elevation. Here, leave the narrow forrest trail and make a 90 degree turn to your right. AllTrails downloaded map was really helpful and showed the inflection point. From 2 miles to 3.1 miles to the summit (satellite rods/tower), it is more or less a straight path going NW and you gain about 1060 feet of elevation. Above 10000 feet, there was a mass of snow to the right, but not in the path. Follow the cairns. You have to scramble up the last 200 feet of boulders, so drop you pack. There is a sheer drop off to the right of the tower, and the view is spectacular. Hiking alone, I was not comfortable hauling myself up the last 2 boulders (about 20 feet) to the satellite tower. I decided to turn back. AllTrails says that I was 2 feet shy of the summit of 10856'! I will have to go there again, with company! Coming down, follow the cairns as before. The path is more clearly visible on the return journey. Be safe, and enjoy the view at the top - Half Dome and Clouds Rest are clearly visible.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

This one is a butt kicker for sure. Unfortunately I didn’t take my time and ended up with elevation sickness at the top before you reach the last peak. Made it to 10,500. Lots of semi dangerous rock scrambles to get to the top as well but as long as you take your time it’s a very beautiful hike. May lake is gorgeous and the views are pretty amazing. Trail is pretty moderately steady until the last bit up to the top. I will be doing this again this summer only I’ll be sure to take my time as I go.

9 months ago

Beautiful trail w/ tremendous views. The rock scramble about 3/4 of the way up can be hard to navigate. Watch for the cairns going up and retrace your steps going down. I found the All Trails GPS very helpful.

hiking
10 months ago

Trail is easy to follow even though it's not maintained. Great views at the top, worth the effort to get up the steep section!

10 months ago

Beautiful hike past May Lake and then a scramble up a cairn-marked path. Stunning views! The last bit to the peak involves climbing up granite boulders.

11 months ago

Did this August 2. I've wanted to do but unsure of snow conditions. Started at may lake parking. I mossed the turn off for mount Hoffman. You go to the bathroom that works ( flushing toilet) and go left there. Stay along may lake to tree water crossing (missed it going but came back hat way). Lots the trail 5 times and had to use gps to reorient. Once you get to granite can't see trails so pick a landmark near trail for return. Not much snow to traverse. View at top was awesome but at noon smoke came in.

11 months ago

Very nice trail to the top be prepared to climb rocks take glass of water

11 months ago

Road still down as of 8/1. It's possible it could open. A lot of pot holes but seems like it would be navigable and no debris. As for the trail, May Lake is a gem and it's a cool ascent from May Lake (bear to the left at the lake) to the ridge. From there, the trail gets difficult to follow. Needed the All Trails GPS to get back on trail to get over the ridge in the right place and then the trail is barely maintained along a rock field. At that point it doesn't really matter - you are going up and aiming to the left of the two rocky promontories that look like they are the peak but they aren't. The slope is steep but not so steep that you would be in trouble if you were off trail. Just keep going up. Once you see Hoffmann with the antenna on it, there's a very obvious trail the rest of the way and really only the last section of the boulder scramble really gets into Class 2 territory where you need your hands in a few places (and your butt on the way down unless you're an adept boulder hopper). Views are spectacular - although the antenna is a bit annoying aesthetically. The way back down is simpler to navigate, since you can see the "thumb" at the bottom of the rock field that you are aiming for. A great hike, but be sure you have navigation aids past May Lake just in case.

11 months ago

As of July 25, the 2.1 mile access road is still closed up to the trail head for both May Lake and Mt. Hoffman. This road closure adds 4.2 miles round trip and 400 vertical feet to an already intense climb. Until the road opens (maybe not at all this season because of the long winter) this is a full-day adventure and not a half-day outing.

hiking
Thursday, February 23, 2017

Best part about this trail was that we hardly saw anyone! The views were breathtaking. It was a little hard to keep on the path once you got towards the top, there was a lot of bouldering. We got up there okay, but getting down was tricky for one of our group. She really had a hard time keeping balance on the boulders. Had to ask if we were on the right trail a couple of times. Be sure to research the trail and even if you just make it to May Lake, it's a very beautiful trail with a reward. My group was super impressed and said it was the perfect pick for a moderate 4 hour hike with amazing views.

hiking
Sunday, November 13, 2016

Had to hike up the road to may lake trail head due to road closure (additional 1.7miles). Hike to May Lake was nice and enough to work up a sweat....and then there was Mt Hoffman! I followed the fork left at the lake and only saw a few half built cairns. Determined to summit, I went directly up the face of the mountain (rather then around as the trail shows here)... in hindsight probably not the best decision as there were many icy and exposed sections of slick granite and loose rock. After sacking oxygen, burning legs and some sketchy spots I was welcomed to the top with a field of hard packed snow. I kicked footholds until I reached non snow covered parts and was pleased to see a large bare meadow of sorts at the summit! in attempts to avoid the very step descent the way I came, I wrapped around the peak in hope of finding the trail down...unfortunately no luck and I dipped far down in to the valley and had to climb back towards the lake... end message...while it was quite the workout and adventure, I wouldn't follow my lead for many reasons (including trail etiquette!) another take home message, really look for those cairns if they exist!

hiking
Wednesday, November 02, 2016

A must do hike. Fantastic vistas await you at the top.

hiking
Sunday, October 09, 2016

I hiked this today with my husband and 14 yr old son. Once you are in the parking lot, start to the left of entrance, close to the bathrooms. Getting to May Lake took maybe 25 min for us, it was very beautiful and very quiet. Ascending up Mount Hoffman was easy to moderate until you get up to maybe 1000 ft, where there's loose rock and you have to pay close attention to footpath. You'll see cairns, which is the first time I've ever been able to appreciate these, due to no trail markers. The last section, to me, was more difficult than moderate, but worth it.. a lot of big rocks to climb in and out of the path. Perhaps if didn't have a fear of falling, it wouldn't have seemed so difficult. The summit is not for the faint of heart., but the 360 views are to die for! My son got halfway up that final section to the tower/summit and stopped there upon my request. Even there, you have really gorgeous views of the lower valley below. From the parking lot to summit and back, with a few breaks, it took us 5 hours and 30 minutes.

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Gorgeous hike

hiking
Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Beautiful

hiking
Sunday, April 12, 2015

Mt. Hoffman is a great hike and scramble! The hike to May Lake itself is easy but after that is a wee bit of rock scrambling to the top. There were a few parts where I was apprehensive but that was due to my personal fear of falling. I went in May on the opening day of Tioga Pass and I ran into no one, but during the peak of summer I'd imagine the crowds along the trail to be fairly moderate since it's fairly short.

hiking
Monday, June 30, 2014

This hike provides astounding beauty, including the most amazing views of Yosemite. You'll have to scramble up the granite at the very end if you want to reach the summit, but it's worth it.

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