Red Peak Pass Backpacking in Yosemite National Park

click for larger map

Curtis and I did 5 days, 4 nights backpacking the Red Peak Pass loop in Yosemite, entering and exiting for Glacier Point. According to the National Geographic topo maps the loop was 50 miles long (Although unfortunately you have to buy both the Yosemite SW and Yosemite SE National Geographic maps for this trail, available at any of the ranger stations or online). This was the longest distance either of us have backpacked in one trip.

We first learned about the loop when staying overnight in the Little Yosemite Valley Campground on our way to half dome last year. Everyone was sitting around the community fire pit listening to one an off duty ranger tell his tales from this “Clark Range Loop” that he had just completed. It was long, but it was scenic, not busy, and the trail had one wind through and around the Clark range, Red peak, Merced peak, Ottoway Lake and many many smaller lakes and vistas. We have added it to the list of “someday” backpacking trips that night. Again this year we saw it profiled in Backpacker Magazine, this time called the “Red Peak Pass Loop” reminding us we should just go for it. Having no other forth of July plans we did just that.

Our trip 50 miles into Yosemite's backcountry

If you are looking for some info on stream crossing, water availability, bugs, and trail conditions you should definitely check out the the blog post detailing each day:

6 Responses

  1. Bill Hensley
    Bill Hensley · April 16, 2013 at 19:35:43 · →

    *Love* this trip report. We took the same route for the first four days (we branched up to the Muir Trail for our last night), and it was the best backpacking trip I’ve had.

  2. Jack
    Jack · March 24, 2014 at 20:46:13 · →


    Thanks a lot for a great trip report! It’s really helpful because a few friends and I were planning to do this exact hike starting on June 28, going through July 4th.

    How was the weather? Wondering if it’s worthwhile to bring a hardshell or to just bring a wind jacket instead…

  3. Jon Casimir
    Jon Casimir · March 15, 2016 at 12:51:07 · →

    I am really interested in this route but am planning a trip with a few guys that are older and so they can do about 8 miles a day max. Is there a way to shorten the route?

  4. Mathias
    Mathias · April 20, 2016 at 00:19:19 · →

    Hey Denise, thank you for sharing your experience. We want to Hike Red Peak pass starting from Chilnualna Falls at the beginning of June. Do you think the pass is manageable by than? Also, do you know if there is more snow than usual in Yosemite?

Leave a Reply


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: