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North Rim Trail



5.3 mile 8.5 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 2,080' 634 m
Descent: -349' -106 m
High: 7,698' 2,346 m
Low: 5,866' 1,788 m


Avg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 42% (23°)


No Dogs
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Trail shared by calico metzer

A trail connecting the Tamarack Campground to El Cap. The route is beautiful and deserted!

calico metzer

Features River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers


This is a fantastic trail as long as you are ready for it! Making the trek from Tamarack Campground, to El Cap is a long but enjoyable feat. You'll access this trail by first taking the Big Oak Flat Road trail and branching north. This section of the trail takes you through some beautiful backcountry, fields of flowers and streams with a lot of undulation. The elevation change is not huge, but you are traveling along the ridge so you have a lot of inclines and declines along the way. Take this route with a buddy as it may be the only other person you see all day.

There is very little info about this trail but I can tell you it's gorgeous. This trail has it all with trees, flowers, meadows, and streams. If you want a quiet path that few see, this is one of them. As a routine hiker, I was a little surprised that it felt difficult, but you are higher in elevation than the valley so altitude is something to keep in mind. There are streams, but make sure you have water especially depending on the season. Winter can bring snow pack to this area, and the access road to the Tamarack Campground is closed from December-May, limiting the access to the area further.

This path is best taken as a connection path for an ultimately longer journey:
The best recommendation is to start at Tamarack Campground and make your way to El Cap, before then taking the Eagle Peak Trail to the summit, and continuing on the El Capitan to Upper Yosemite Falls and turning off onto the Upper Yosemite Falls which leads down to Camp 4 in the valley. Getting to Tamarack Campground can be tricky. Most of the road is finally paved now, but there are still some big bumps in the road!


Land Manager: NPS - Yosemite

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Aug 31, 2019
Lisa Roach
Part of day 1 with Colleen, Nichole, and Christine. 9mi — 7h 00m
Jun 30, 2019
Ryan Russell
Jun 22, 2019
Cynthia B.
Jul 28, 2018
Chris Toso
May 20, 2018
Doug Finke
Aug 12, 2017
Adam Azpiazu
Dec 6, 2015
calico metzer
Apr 19, 2014
Lisa Roach
Old Big Oak Flat Road - Yosemite Falls and down day hike. With Jen W. 17mi

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 3 votes


  4.7 from 3 votes
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in California


29 Views Last Month
3,738 Since Sep 2, 2015



On top of El Capitan, Yosemite National Park.
Feb 12, 2016 near Yosemit…, CA
No flowers in this one but many of the fields had gorgeous purple flowers throughout.
Dec 31, 2015 near Yosemit…, CA
The trail takes you through open forest, large meadows, and streams. Lots of tree and plant varieties.
Dec 31, 2015 near Yosemit…, CA
Trail opens up to many beautiful meadows.
Dec 31, 2015 near Yosemit…, CA
First views of the valley floor as you get closer.
Dec 31, 2015 near Yosemit…, CA
Some of the flowers you might see.
Dec 31, 2015 near Yosemit…, CA