Elevation: 10,587 ft
GPS: 37.848, -119.406 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 178,190 total · 1,133/month
Shared By: Nick Wilder on Jun 22, 2006 with improvements by Anson
Admins: M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes
Today
39°F - 21°F 4°C - -6°C
Fri
44°F - 26°F 7°C - -3°C
Sat
44°F - 19°F 7°C - -7°C
Sun
32°F - 19°F 0°C - -7°C
Memorial Day
39°F - 22°F 4°C - -6°C
Tue
46°F - 25°F 8°C - -4°C
Access Issue: Yosemite National Park climbing closures and conditions Details

Description

One of the most stunning peaks in Yosemite, Cathedral is blessed with some great moderate climbing. The approach takes about an hour and is long enough from the road and hiking trails to give you a little peace (often to be shared with many climbers - start early).

The summit is a small block big enough for a couple people to squeeze on. Their might be bolts on the top, but usually not. Downclimbing off the summit block can be scary, but John Muir did it in 1869, so you can too.

It's a great big lightning rod - get off ASAP if thunder comes your way. Other than descending, escaping up and right is the usually possible until you get to talus.

Getting There

From the Cathedral Lakes trailhead, take the main trail for 10 minutes. Soon after a set of stone steps look, look for a major climbers trail branching left (see photo). Do not get suckered into an earlier, smaller path that follows the stream. Keep on the trail until it fades away near the base Cathedral Peak. Pick the easiest path to the lowest point of the southeast buttress.

17 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

Location: Cathedral Peak Change
Type:  to 
Quality:
Pitches:
Sort by:   then:
 

Classic Climbing Routes at Cathedral Peak

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b PG13
 28
John Muir Route (The Mountaineer…
Trad, Alpine
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a PG13
 4
Garden Party
Trad, Alpine
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 1,219
Southeast Buttress
Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13
 3
Family Flake
Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13
 5
Hops'n'Barley
Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 3
Double Down
Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
 4
Metal Pecker
Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R
 6
Panic Pillar
Trad, Alpine
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13
 7
Grand Central
Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
John Muir Route (The Mounta… Southeast Slopes
 28
4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b PG13 Trad, Alpine
Garden Party N Buttress
 4
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a PG13 Trad, Alpine
Southeast Buttress Southeast Slopes
 1,219
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
Family Flake N Buttress
 3
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13 Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
Hops'n'Barley N Buttress
 5
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13 Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
Double Down N Buttress
 3
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
Metal Pecker N Buttress
 4
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13 Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
Panic Pillar Panic Pillar
 6
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R Trad, Alpine
Grand Central N Buttress
 7
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13 Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
More Classic Climbs in Cathedral Peak »

Weather Averages

High
 
Low
 
Precip
 
Days w Precip
 
Prime Climbing Season
J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D

Photos

Countzen Shin
Santa Monica, CA
Countzen Shin   Santa Monica, CA
The climbers route Beta in the Tulumnoe free climbs guide book (supertopo.com/packs/tuolfre… ) is pretty off. We were hiking in pre-sunrise and using that book as beta for the approach and got pretty lost. The actual climbers trail has been uploaded by me to wikiloc.com.

wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do…

Also some descent beta since I couldn't find visuals anywhere.
wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do… Oct 17, 2014
ARMoss  
We spent ~30 minutes thinking we'd either missed our turn off the Cathedral Lakes Trail or hadn't gone far enough. General consensus at the base of the cliff was that the approach description was misleading. In case you don't have service to click on the links below, our opinion is that a better description of the approach would be:

From the Cathedral Lakes trailhead, take the main trail for 10 minutes. Soon after a set of stone steps look, look for a major climbers trail branching left. Follow this trail, continuing up the valley and out onto slabs, watching for cairns to mark the way. After ~1.5 miles, you will see the trail split. Do not get suckered into the smaller path that follows the stream. Keep on the trail until it fades away near the base Cathedral Peak. Pick the easiest path to the lowest point of the southeast buttress. Sep 1, 2015
David Knowles
Palo Alto, CA
David Knowles   Palo Alto, CA
Currently the turn off from JMT is marked by a cairn on either side of the trail. Also the NPS have done amazing work making a legit descent trail. Use it! Jul 2, 2018