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Lookout Point Trail

Difficult

Trail

1.3 mile 2.1 kilometer point to point
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 496' 151 m
Descent: -2' -1 m
High: 5,291' 1,613 m
Low: 4,798' 1,462 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 26% (15°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Trail shared by David Hitchcock

A narrow climb to Lookout Point, where views of Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, Wapama Falls, and the surrounding hills await.

David Hitchcock

Features Views · Wildflowers

Evergreen Road into Hetch Hetchy can be closed due to snow in the winter or a washout after storms. You can check road conditions at nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/... or by dialing 1-209-372-0200, dialing extensions 1/1. Chain restrictions may also go into effect at any time in the winter, so bring chains with you. The Hetch Hetchy Road closes in the evenings, so check with the ranger at the entrance station to confirm when the gate will be closed during your visit.

Description

This trail provides a quiet hike through Yosemite with excellent view of lower Tuolumne River canyon and views of the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. Wapama Falls can be seen from here as well as a 360-degree view of the surrounding hillsides. Due to its location away from the valley, its likely that you'll be the only person on this trail.

The trailhead is accessed by taking the Mather Ranger Station Trail for about .2 miles from the Hetch Hetchy Entrance station. This trail weaves into the National Forest before coming to an intersection with trails that lead to Camp Mather to the right. If you continue straight, the trail leads to Mather Ranger Station; if you go to the left, you find the Lookout Point Trail. As the trail leaves the intersection, it begins to work its way back toward Hetch Hetchy Road and approaches the Yosemite NP boundary. The road is never far from the trail.

The trail passes through a narrow gate and you re-enter Yosemite. The trail is very narrow and rocky through this section and can be overgrown in sections as it is not heavily traveled. It requires you to watch your footing as there are loose rocks along the trail. Approaching the road around .3 miles, the trail cuts back to the right before it begins to climb up the gully. Most of this area was burned in a fire in 1996, but the trees are starting to recover. In the spring, water may be flowing in a small creek that descends through the gully, but is dry later in the summer and fall. At the top of the gully, the trail begins to level out as it makes its way toward a fork. If you continue to the right, the trail leads toward Hetch Hetchy Reservoir while the Lookout Trail breaks off to the left at the fork.

The trail follows a narrow path along a seasonal pond before climbing up the rocky hillside to the summit. Swinging around the hill, the trail disappears but you can easily hike up the rocks to the summit. Jeffrey pines can be seen as you approach the summit, where a 360-degree view of the area awaits you. In the distance, you can see the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and the waterfalls that flow into the reservoir. You can see the Tuolumne River canyon and the damage that the Rim Fire (2013) caused. While not as awe-inspiring as other vistas in Yosemite, it is less crowded and provides great views of the area. Once you have taken in the view, you can head back to your car or go back to the fork and continue on toward the reservoir.

Flora & Fauna

In the fall, the deciduous trees that are growing on the hills around the trail are golden as their leaves change color. Many of the evergreen trees were burned during a fire in 1996 and the Rim Fire in 2013, and the area is in the process of recovering. In the spring, wildflowers can be seen along sections of the trail.

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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know

Contacts

Land Manager: NPS - Yosemite

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Nov 9, 2016
David Hitchcock
Hiked from the entrance station to Lookout Point. The fall colors were amazing and the damage from the Rim Fire was very evident.

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 2 votes

#8

in Hetch Hetchy

#9490

Overall
  4.0 from 2 votes
5 Star
50%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
50%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#8

in Hetch Hetchy

#1,021

in California

#9,490

Overall
8 Views Last Month
588 Since May 19, 2016
Difficult

0%
33%
67%
0%

Photos

The view from Lookout Point toward the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir.
Nov 10, 2016 near Yosemit…, CA
Panorama from Lookout Point looking in the direction of Hetch Hetchy Reservoir.
Nov 10, 2016 near Yosemit…, CA
Looking at the surrounding landscape, the damage of the Rim Fire of 2013 is still evident as thousands of scorched trees stand on the hills.
Nov 10, 2016 near Yosemit…, CA
As the trail crests the hill, the trail changes to dirt and winds its way through burnt forest.
Nov 10, 2016 near Yosemit…, CA
The surrounding hills above Lookout Point.
Nov 10, 2016 near Yosemit…, CA
In the fall, you can see the leaves changing color, as well as evidence of the Rim Fire.
Nov 6, 2016 near Yosemit…, CA

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