REI Community
Lyell Canyon and Donahue Pass

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Kuna Crest T 
Kuna Crest Traverse - Mammoth Peak to Kuna Peak T 

Lyell Canyon and Donahue Pass Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 37.84301, -119.28586 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 4,987
Administrators: M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Greg Gibson on Oct 5, 2006
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]

Closures for Peregrine Falcon Protection MORE INFO >>>


High altitude climbing. And the highest mountain peak in all the park. For the most part it isn't that hard of climbing as most is class 3-4 however there is a little class 5 stuff no harder than 5.8+.

The hike over the glacier will require crampons and an axe is advisable, since injury here is not a pretty as to its remote location.

The views are incredible and make this a favorite area of mine.

Getting There 

Lyell Canyon trailhead is on Tuolumne Lodge Road off 120 in the meadows.

Take the Pacific Crest Trail south, where it soon joins the John Muir trail, heading generally southeast. This follows the Lyell Fork of the Tuolumne River up Lyell Canyon, to many destinations.

After about 14 miles you will reach Donahue Pass.

To reach the northern routes of Mount Lyell from there, turn right at Mount Rogers and Electra Peak. Hike up Lyell Glacier and choose your poison.

Climbing Season

Weather station 6.8 miles from here

2 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',0],['2 Stars',2],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

Featured Route For Lyell Canyon and Donahue Pass
Rock Climbing Photo: Taken from the Hyw 120.  Mammoth Peak on the right...

Kuna Crest Traverse - Mammoth Peak to Kuna Peak 5.0 2- 4 I 6 MM 1c  California : Yosemite National Park : ... : Lyell Canyon and Donahue Pa...
A good way to spend time up high in Yosemite. About four miles of this traverse is at 12,000 ft.From the Toulumne Lodge, hike the trail toward Mt. Lyell. Walk past the turn off to Vogelsang before turning off the trail and heading toward Mammoth Peak. Cross the river and scramble up the peak's northwest side.From the top of Mammoth Peak, traverse south (2nd class) hitting apprx. seven high points.The crux is a sawtooth section linking the Kuna Crest and Kuna Peak. The rock is dangerous here,...[more]   Browse More Classics in California

Comments on Lyell Canyon and Donahue Pass Add Comment
Show which comments
By Greg Gibson
From: Napa, Ca
Aug 6, 2006
I just got back from the end of Lyell Canyon around Donahue Pass. I was wondering if any one else has considered climbing much in the area.

There are some just beautiful walls up there.
By Chris Owen
From: Big Bear Lake
Aug 10, 2009
Mount Lyell has been added to the High Sierra Section.
By Osprey Overhang
From: ...
May 4, 2010
I've climbed all the peaks in this area, but nothing with a rope. There is some amazing stuff around the area. I was told some Vogelsang High Camp alumni have put routes up there. Dawson? I'll ponder the names a bit, but I've seen old hand drawn topos at some of the High Camps. Don't know if they are still there.

The Kuna Crest is a traverse test piece that I can't get out of my mind even years later. Bring a rope for it if you do it. I think it is in the Peaks Passes and Trails book. Mammoth Peak to Kuna Peak with many high points in between. Trying to find good info on it can be tough. You might wonder why it is obscure even though it dominates the area between Gibbs and Lyell.

Mountain Project

The Definitive Climbing Resource

MTB Project

Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

Powder Project

Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
FREE Stickers · Gyms · RSS · School of Rock · Contact · About