Mount Hoffman Trail

MODERATE 22 reviews
#24 of 157 trails in

Mount Hoffman Trail is a 8.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Mariposa, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until November.

8.9 miles
2480 feet
Out & Back



nature trips




wild flowers



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!

6 days 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.

9 days ago

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

10 days ago

11 days ago

16 days 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.

23 days ago

24 days 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.

2 months ago

5 months ago

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.

8 months ago

9 months ago

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!

9 months ago

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

9 months ago

10 months ago

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.

11 months ago

Gorgeous hike

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Monday, October 12, 2015

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.