Mount Lyell, Yosemite National Park

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Mount Lyell

Mount Lyell, the highest peak in Yosemite National Park at 13,114 feet, offers a mountain adventure for those who love to hike or climb, with magnificent vistas in all directions. Read More

  • Mount Lyell, at 13,114 feet, is the highest peak in Yosemite National Park
  • The largest glacier in the park sits atop Mount Lyell
  • For a challenging climb, you can take any one of a number of routes to the top
  • Hike from Lyell Canyon and enjoy the backcountry and wildlife


Despite Mount Lyell CA being thirteen miles from the nearest trailhead, it is still the most popular destination within Yosemite National Park. It is at the triple divide between the Merced River, the Tuolumne River and Rush Creek. It also holds the largest glacier in Yosemite, the Lyell Glacier.

Location & Information

Mount Lyell California lies near the southeast border of the park at the southeast end of the Cathedral Range. You can get there by traveling on Tioga Road, turning towards Tuolumne Lodge and parking just before the Lodge in the parking lot on the left hand side of the road.

Tioga Road is only open from approximately late May to late October, so this is the only time you’ll be able to have access to Mount Lyell.

Contact information: 209-372-0200


  • Climbing
    Mount Lyell is one of the more difficult climbs within Yosemite. There are a few routes you can take to the top, including Lyell-Maclure, Glacier Direct and East Arete.
  • Hiking
    Hiking Mount Lyell Yosemite is a favorite pastime of visitors, and you don’t have to go all the way to the summit. Taking the John Muir Trail from Tuolumne Meadows starts out easy and becomes of moderate difficulty as you come to Donahue Pass. The sights and sounds of the park come alive when hiking the backcountry.
  • Camping
    Camp out in the upper section of Lyell Canyon, ensuring you get a permit for overnight camping in the backcountry. There are other places that make good camping spots, and all provide a unique adventure.

Fun Facts

Yosemite Mount Lyell was named after Charles Lyell, a well-known English geologist. Lyell wrote about the many economic advantages of geological surveys, thus endorsing and encouraging modern surveys, such as the US Geological Survey, which mapped natural resources within Yosemite.