Three Brothers, Yosemite National Park

Three Brothers


The Three Brothers peaks in Yosemite National Park loom high above Yosemite Valley in their granite splendor, a rock formation not to be missed on any Yosemite vacation itinerary.

  • The Three Brothers are granite peaks towering over Yosemite Valley
  • Get great views of this rock formation from the Cathedral Picnic Area
  • Hike the Valley Floor Loop to take in many natural wonders within Yosemite
  • Take the Lower Yosemite Fall Trail to get to the top of Eagle Peak

Overview

Just to the east of El Capitan, and facing Cathedral Spires, there are three sloping and bare granite peaks, the Three Brothers. A famous sight within Yosemite National Park, these peaks are Eagle Peak, the uppermost “brother,” the Middle Brother and Lower Brother. John Muir considered the view from the top of Eagle Peak to be the most beautiful view available of Yosemite Valley.

Location & Information

You can view the Three Brothers from a number of spots within Yosemite. You can get a great view from the Cathedral Picnic Area. Cathedral Picnic Area is on the left side of the road as you drive east on Southside Drive into Yosemite Valley. To get to a trail that will take you to the top of Eagle Peak, you will find the Lower Falls trailhead at shuttle stop 6, near Yosemite Lodge.

Yosemite Valley is accessible all year but the best time to visit (especially if you are going to hike to the top of the Three Brothers) is from May to October.

Contact information: 209-372-0200

Activities

Hiking
The best views of the Three Brothers come from hiking the easy Valley Floor Loop. This moderate hike takes 5 to 7 hours to do the full loop, and only 2.5 to 3.5 hours for the half loop, but either will present views of Sentinel Rock, El Capitan, the Three Brothers and much more. Of course, many will want to hike to the top of Eagle Peak, the uppermost peak of the three. Take Lower Yosemite Fall Trail to get the commanding views so loved by John Muir. The hike is 7 miles out and back with an elevation gain of 2,730 feet.

Fun Facts

It is said that the Three Brothers were named for the three sons of Chief Tenaya, chief of the Ahwahneechee tribe. His young sons were Indian scouts who were taken prisoner when the Mariposa Battalion went into the valley in 1851 in search of Native Americans to relocate to reservations. Per legend, the three sons were captured near the base of this rock formation.


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