Mountain Passes in Yosemite

Mountain Passes in the Sierra are thought of in two ways. Those that you Drive and those that you Concur by foot. Yosemite National Park in all its trails and Glacial wonders is filled with some of the most heart pounding mountain passes in the world.

Are you ready to tackle your bucket list of Yosemite Mountain Passes? They lead to some of the most beautiful locations: For our list today we will focus on the Passes you take by foot, even though Tioga Pass is one of our favorite Scenic Routes in the Sierra.

Mountain Pass Bucket list Yosemite National Park

Rock Island Pass – Located on the North East Boundary of the Park, Rock Island Pass is accessed via Twin Lake out of Bridgeport Ca and in the Hoover Wilderness. This trail goes by Barney Lake, Peeler Lake and down into Kerrick canyon – Rock Island Pass is a saddle in Tuolumne County and has an elevation of 10,157 feet.

Mono and Parker Pass into Ansel Adams Mono and Parker Pass are accessed via the Mono Pass trailhead in Yosemite National Park or from the Bloody Canyon trail from the East. The most common routes through Yosemite take you up along the Western Flank of Mt Gibbs. Trial splits towards the top for either Mono Pass at 10’604 ft into Sardine Lakes and Ansel Adams Wilderness or Parker Pass at 11’100 ft to Koip Pass in Ansel Adams.

Donahue Pass – This pass has an exit quota on it because it is part of the JMT and leads South to Garnet Lake and the John Muir Wilderness.  Its elevation is 11,066 feet. It is situated between Mount Lyell and Donohue Peak. The John Muir Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail both transverse the pass.

Vogelsang Pass at 10’670 feet Vogelsang Pass is a short hike from Vogelsang High Camp. Hiking Vogelsang pass gives visitors access to Multiple backcountry lakes and the Clark range region of Yosemite. Best Access is via Rafferty Creek trail out of Tuolumne meadows a 7.5 mile trek with 2000 feet elevation gain.

Chiquito Pass – The Chiquito Pass trail is 2.8 miles long and top elevation of 8,045 ft.. It begins at Road 5s04 Chiquito Trailhead and ends at Yosemite National Park Boundary. The trail is open for the following uses: Hiking, a wilderness permit is required for all overnight stays. To reach Chiquito Trailhead. take Beasore Rd when you see Globe Rock on the right make a left turn on to rd 5S04 (Globe Rock), after about two miles on this road you will reach the trailhead. The most common destinations from Chiquito Trailhead is Chain lakes (inside Yosemite National Park) 5.7 miles, and Ottoway Lakes 15.4 miles from the trail head.

Styx Pass– Elevation 7,634 ft. Located on the North West Boundary of the park, route destinations Boundary Lakes or Many Island Lakes via the Emigrant Wilderness.

Benson Pass– 10’974 – Benson Pass is 0.8 miles west of Wilson Creek and 1.3 miles east of Smedberg Lake. Benson Pass – Northeast Yosemite Grand Tour is a 53.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail

Dorothy Lake Pass – elevation 9’596 – This is the Exit path of the PCT out of Yosemite National Park headed north to Sonora Pass.

Seavey Pass – Seavey Pass is located 1.4 miles south-southeast of Price Peak and 1.6 miles northeast of Piute Mountain. *Elevation: 9,058 miles Directions In Yosemite National Park, 2.2 km (1.4 mi) south-southeast of Price Peak and 2.6 km (1.6 mi) northeast of Piute Mountain.

Virginia Pass – Virginia Pass is on the east wall at the heading of Virginia Canyon, 0.8 miles northwest of Camiaca Peak and 1.1 miles east of Virginia Peak. Elevation: 10,531 feet Directions In Yosemite National Park, on the east wall at the heading of Virginia Canyon, 0.8 mi northwest of Camiaca Peak and …



Publisher of Sierra Rec Magazine. An avid hiker and explorer of mountain lifestyle and adventure. I love to discover new trails, hike along rivers and hang a hammock along the shores of a mountain lake. I often great people on the trail and have found some of my favorite places from the advice of people I meet in the Wilderness. I love the sierra and just like sharing what I know.

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