Hiking Project Logo

Ostrander Lake Cutoff



0.9 mile 1.4 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 74' 23 m
Descent: -23' -7 m
High: 7,163' 2,183 m
Low: 7,093' 2,162 m


Avg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 8% (5°)


No Dogs
Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by David Hitchcock

A trail that links the Ghost Forest/Deer Creek Bypass to the Ostrander Lake Trail.

David Hitchcock

Features River/Creek · Wildflowers

Glacier Point Road is closed in the winter and spring until the road is cleared of snow. You can check road conditions at nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/... or by dialing 1-209-372-0200, dialing extensions 1/1.


The Ostrander Lake Cutoff provides a shortcut between the Ghost Forest to Deer Camp Bypass and the Ostrander Lake Trail. It can be reached by hiking from Bridalveil Creek Campground along the Ghost Trail or by taking the Ostrander Lake Trail from Glacier Point Road.

As it departs the Ghost Forest to Deer Camp Bypass, the trail meanders through the evergreen forests found in this part of the park. The trail is fairly level for the first .6 miles before climbing gently from Bridalveil Creek up to the junction with the Ostrander Lake Trail. Flowering plants can be found along the trail in the spring while snow and ice can be found covering portions of the trail in the late fall as snow hides from the sun in the shadows of the forest. Animal tracks can be found along the trail, especially after a rainstorm or snowstorm.

The trail is a singletrack through the forest, which is no more than a foot wide in most places. There are a few places where downed trees cross the trail but they are easily overcome by climbing over them or hiking around. Around .6 miles, the trail becomes eroded as it weaves through the forest. Climbing gently uphill, the trail finally emerges in an open area where you have several options for continuing your hike. You can take the Ostrander Lake Trail to the right and follow it as it climbs toward Ostrander Lake and the ski hut found there. If you take the Ostrander Lake Trail to the left, the trail heads back to Glacier Point Road where you can take the Ghost Trail back to the beginning of the Ostrander Lake Cutoff Trail.

Flora & Fauna

Evidence of deer, bear, raccoons, coyotes, and rabbits can be seen along the trail, especially as it nears Bridalveil Creek where they go for water or for food. There are lots of evergreen trees throughout the trail, providing shade throughout.

Hiked this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know


Land Manager: NPS - Yosemite

Rate This Trail

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Trail

Check In


Nov 5, 2016
David Hitchcock
Took the Cutoff Trail from Ostrander Lake Trail to the Ghost Forest Trail. Made for a nice loop. Several downed trees blocked the trail.

Trail Ratings

  2.0 from 1 vote


  2.0 from 1 vote
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Trail Rankings


in California


2 Views Last Month
110 Since Sep 24, 2015



Parts of the trail are heavily eroded as it approaches Bridalveil Creek.
Nov 7, 2016 near Yosemit…, CA
Downed trees pose an obstacle, but can be overcome by walking around or climbing over.
Nov 7, 2016 near Yosemit…, CA
Animals and humans share the trail, which can be easily seen in the winter time.
Nov 7, 2016 near Yosemit…, CA
The narrow trail works its way through a pine forest.
Nov 7, 2016 near Yosemit…, CA