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Mt. Conness

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Friendly Muscle T 
North Ridge T 
South West Face (Harding) Route T 
West Ridge, Mount Conness T 

Mt. Conness  


Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 12,590'
Location: 37.9672, -119.3192 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 104,919
Administrators: M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: M.Morley on Jun 24, 2007
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southwest face from the start of the descent gully...

Description 

Mt. Conness (named after former California senator John Conness) straddles Yosemite National Park and Inyo National Forest, forming the eastern border of the Park. It is the third highest peak in Yosemite National Park (first is Mt. Lyell at 13,114 ft, second is Mt. Dana at 13,061 ft). The Conness Glacier lies to the east.

Getting There 

The most direct way to approach both the North Ridge and West Ridge routes is from the trailhead at Saddlebag Lake (10,060'). A longer approach from Tuolumne Meadows to Young Lakes is also possible. Allow a minimum of 2 hours for the approach.

Climbing Season



Weather station 5.1 miles from here

4 Total Routes

['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',0],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',2],['5.7',0],['5.8',0],['5.9',0],['5.10',2],['5.11',0],['5.12',0],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Mt. Conness:
North Ridge   Easy 5th 1+ 3 I 5 M 1c     Trad, Alpine   
West Ridge, Mount Conness   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, Alpine, 10 pitches, 1500'   
South West Face (Harding) Route   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, Alpine, 9 pitches, 1200'   
Browse More Classics in Mt. Conness

Featured Route For Mt. Conness
On the West Ridge of Mt. Conness

West Ridge, Mount Conness 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b  CA : Yosemite National Park : ... : Mt. Conness
A fun back country route. Just stay on the ridge as much as possible for the best climbing on the best granite. ...[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of Mt. Conness Slideshow Add Photo
These waterfalls are not only pretty, they also mark the spot where you should diverge off of the main trail and go up the hill to the right in order to reach the east ridge and summit plateau. July 2010
These waterfalls are not only pretty, they also ma...
Looking back down the Conness Lakes drainage to the east.
BETA PHOTO: Looking back down the Conness Lakes drainage to th...
Approach to North Ridge of Mt. Conness, absolutely wonderful
Approach to North Ridge of Mt. Conness, absolutely...
SW Face of Mt. Conness
SW Face of Mt. Conness
Mt. Conness SW Face
Mt. Conness SW Face
One of the streams that cuts through a meadow just below a glacier on Mt. Conness. The stream becomes a waterfall a hundred yards further down. Photo by Brian Aitken taken 07/24/2012.
One of the streams that cuts through a meadow just...
Mt. Conness in warmer days
Mt. Conness in warmer days
The SW Face of Mt. Conness
BETA PHOTO: The SW Face of Mt. Conness
North Ridge, Mt. Conness at day break
BETA PHOTO: North Ridge, Mt. Conness at day break
Conness summit and top of west ridge, from near the descent notch
Conness summit and top of west ridge, from near th...
Mt. Conness from a distance, Tioga Peak in the foreground. <br /> <br />Picture taken from Glacier Canyon
Mt. Conness from a distance, Tioga Peak in the for...
This view on the approach is why I recommend the longer, but less vertical approach from Tuolumne Meadows.
This view on the approach is why I recommend the l...
East Ridge of Conness as seen from the summit.
BETA PHOTO: East Ridge of Conness as seen from the summit.
Looking back at the lakes from the start to the North Ridge. Photo by Brian Aitken taken 07/24/2012.
Looking back at the lakes from the start to the No...
Conness Glacier
BETA PHOTO: Conness Glacier
From pitch 7 (perhaps) high exposure on West ridge Mt Conness
BETA PHOTO: From pitch 7 (perhaps) high exposure on West ridge...
Mt. Conness on the approach from Saddlebag Lake.
BETA PHOTO: Mt. Conness on the approach from Saddlebag Lake.
North and East Ridges of Conness seen from North Peak.
BETA PHOTO: North and East Ridges of Conness seen from North P...
Conness Lakes and the start of the North Ridge, as viewed from the upper part of the East Ridge.
Conness Lakes and the start of the North Ridge, as...
From about half way up the stellar ridge.
From about half way up the stellar ridge.
Taking in the views of Mt. Conness from the Conness Lakes
Taking in the views of Mt. Conness from the Connes...
The notch at upper right can be seen from the flat meadow area above the waterfall. Topping out over that notch would land you on the summit sandy plateau with your first view of the actual Conness summit.  26 Aug 2011.
BETA PHOTO: The notch at upper right can be seen from the flat...
North West face of Coness
North West face of Coness
First view of the Conness summit on the right once topping out past the notch onto the sandy plateau. 26 Aug 2011.
BETA PHOTO: First view of the Conness summit on the right once...

Show All 27 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on Mt. Conness Add Comment
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By Luke Stefurak
From: Mountain View, CA
Sep 21, 2009
Approach beta from Sawmill Campground at Saddlebag Lake can be found here:
dreaminvertical.com/?p=1793
By Laine
From: Reno, NV
Sep 6, 2011
I found Stefurak's beta useful, however, we found that we had to hike at least 5-10 mins downhill, south of the plateau before we found the correct descent gully to the base of the SW face/ W ridge. The cairn marking the trail down the gully was not visible until we were directly on top of it.
By Murf
Sep 6, 2011
Laine has a great point. Luke's beta is spot on until the end. I don't believe there is any reason to go all the way to the cemented Geo Survey windbreaks. The correct descent is just to the right of the left snowbank in this photo.



On the sandy plateau, continue towards Conness dropping slightly. There are a couple of bivy windbreaks well lower than the high shoulder with the Geo Survey ones. From these, drop into the sandy wash and then back up to the area between the two snowbanks in the photo above tending toward the left notches.
By kenr
Aug 8, 2013
Approach details also in the Comments on the MP West Ridge page.

GPX file containing key latitude/longitude waypoints and some useful tracks for approach is linked from this page .
By Nick_M
Aug 21, 2014
My recommendation for people who don't hate hiking and love the mountains beyond just the climbing route to be done. Appreciation for views, route finding, and off-trail sub-alpine and alpine travel required.

I'm much more fond of approaching Conness from the South (Lembert Dome). The standard Saddlebag approach basically summits the mountain, and then descends down to you're route. This felt a bit silly.

Approaching from Lembert Dome is longer distance, but much less elevation. 5-ish miles on trail lead you to the incredibly beautiful Young Lake, from which you can drool, froth, and do whatever else you do when confronted with the head-on view of Conness' South Face, framed by a sub-alpine lake. This perspective on the approach makes this method, to me, 100x more enjoyable than Saddlebag. From here, head cross-country through the forest, aiming at Conness. Travel is fairly easy as far as off-trail goes, as vegetation is sparse in those forests. A map and compass bearing helps, but it's kinda hard to miss that mountain. Walk straight up to the South Face or West Ridge, and climb it! Descending Saddlebag to a stashed car could make for a really cool, aesthetic day of travel in the mountains.
Get psyched!
Get psyched!