Matthes Crest is an extremely long knife edge fin that cuts across a spectacular part of Tuolumne. It is sought after for its length, moderate grade, and the unique element of a huge fin traverse in an awe inspiring area of the country. It is most widely known for its traverse, but many other routes exist on both sides.
The Matthes Crest Traverse is a true 5 star classic route characterized by mostly 4th class climbing with the occasional fifth class section. With immense exposure on many sections it offers a rare experience to enjoy such a long moderate route in an idyllic setting. Located in a region completely invisible to tourists or road traffic, it gives the true feel of a backcountry alpine climb.
Located in Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite. Park at the Cathedral Lakes trailhead along Highway 120. Bear boxes and port-a-potties are available here.
3 miles on good trails and 3 miles cross-country
1700' elevation gain (2,300' total gain to top of Matthes Crest)
Head South down the John Muir Trail toward Cathedral Lakes. After ~8 minutes the trail curves right and ascends about 30 granite rock steps. About 200' after these steps there is a well traveled climbers trail that is blocked by a log (to keep hikers on the correct trail). Follow this trail that runs along Budd Creek for a while then diverges right. It is a pretty good trail for about 1.5 miles. Cross a more open area of rock slightly right that is often marked by cairns. The trail reappears. Eventually you will see a creek crossing and the trail splits here. Following it up the hill on the right will take you to Cathedral Peaks. Instead cross the creek on your left across some fallen logs (very obvious). Continue following the trail on to Budd Lake. At the West end of Budd Lake, head South through a weakness by Echo Peaks. Ascend this steep/loose section and veer left (East) around Echo Peaks. Matthes Crest will come into view from this top section. Head down into the valley and walk cross country to the South end of Matthes Crest.
3 Total Routes
['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',0],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
Browse More Classics in Matthes Crest
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Matthes Crest:
Anduril 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
PG13 Trad, Alpine, 4 pitches, 470'
Featured Route For Matthes Crest
North ridge of Matthes Crest 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c CA
: Yosemite National Park
: ... : Matthes Crest
Amazing narrow fin of granite, above an ocean of granite. Variety of interesting moves, unfogettable rock structures, sustained for more than a thousand feet of climbing. More interesting and narrow than the South ridge (which is what most roped parties do and call the "traverse" of the Matthes Crest). Said by some long-time Sierra climbers to be their favorite ridge traverse. More ... is it the best moderate ridge in USA?. (All latitude/longitude points given below, also other helpful waypoints...[more] Browse More Classics in CA
Local Information for Matthes Crest
Latest Regional Forum Messages
From: Oakland CA
Aug 16, 2007
Just wanted to mention here that you can start on Tenaya peak, do matthes, and if you are fast finish on Cathedral for a killer linkup! i've done the first two legs twice now, very doable, but haven't done Cathedral...