Back to index Vogelsang Peak Hike
Trip Date:  08/20/2015

Distance
: 6.0 Miles

Vertical Gain: 1400'

Group Size: 8
Hike Rating:  Easy   Moderate    Hard   Strenuous
Vogelsang Peak Hike
Download GPX GPX for this trip
Vogelsang Peak Elevation Profile
Start Coordinates:   N 37 47.710, W 119 20.714     End Coordinates:   Same as Start Coordinates

Car Shuttle Req'd:   No Parking Directions:   The closest parking to the trailhead at Vogelsang High Sierra Camp is at Tuolumne Meadows, approximately 7 1/2 miles NNW of the camp.  To get there, take Highway 395 south from Monitor Pass toward Mono Lake.  At Lee Vining, turn on Highway 120 (Tioga Pass) and enter Yosemite Park on the east side.  About 10 miles into the park turn at the Wilderness Permit area (Tuolumne Meadows Lodge Road) and continue to the parking coordinates for backpacker vehicles.
Hazards of Note:   Some elevation gain, mosquitos. Crowd Factor:   Moderate.  The trail up toward Vogelsang Pass is reasonably popular with hikers looking to explore the area behind Vogelsang High Sierra Camp.  The trail after the first mile and a half is then cross-country, meaning you will encounter far less (but still some) others on the way.
General Notes:
The actual beginning of the trail can be found as you head around to the backside (south) of the High Sierra Camp main building.  Follow the trail for a little ways until it reaches Vogelsang Lake, and then follow along the western edge of the lake with great views back across the water and toward the area of the campsite from where you started out.  Just past the lake, there is a small row of white pine trees growing on the right side of the trail, and this is the point where you will exit the trail and head up the small ancient glacier carved valley directly toward the base of the peak.  When you get to the end of the valley, the path will head south, as far up against the mountainside as you can be while climbing up a fairly rocky wash.  A well-defined use trail was followed for most of the way up this wash, and then about 1/4 from the top the trail crossed over to the other side of the wash to finish up at a plateau with a fantastic overlook to the south of Lyell Peak and five or six glacial lakes which could be found below it.
From this point you will head up to the southeast, picking your way through small shrubs and scrub plants toward the rocky top of the peak.  Do not head too far to the left of the peak, as the actual ridgeline is very sharp with an ominous dropoff about a 1000 feet on the other side.  There is a short Class III scramble up to the actual top of the mountain once you are very close to the finish.



Our starting point for the day at our campsite near the base of Fletcher Peak.  Just outside of the frame to the left is the tranquil Fletcher Lake. Starting point
Bob, Phil, Lee, and Gail ready to set off on the day's adventure.
Trailhead
Our first good view of Vogelsang Lake, showing the green in the distance which is the stand of White Pine that indicates where to turn off the main trail. First view of Vogelsang Lake
Hikers in our group making their way up the early part of the trail, with Vogelsang Lake just visible to the upper right. Group shot
Starting the climb up above and past the lake, a look back at Fletcher Peak on the right and Mt. Conness far in the distance beyond Tuolumne Meadows.
View back on the lake 
Yours truly hanging out along the trail above the lake. Yours truly 
Our group making its way up the last part of the trail before cutting off along the cross country section.
More trudging
A look back from where we came in the foreground, as well as back toward Tuolumne Meadows far in the distance in front of the mountain range behind. A look back 
A look up to the west toward the top of Vogelsang Peak, and the draw which will be climbed up to the gap in the left and then the rest of the way up the ridgeline. Up the draw
At the saddle was a perfectly clear view of the Clark Range which stretches off to the south west.  By the next day this view was obscured by a fire which just started in Kings Canyon NP. Greg and Clarkes
Others in the group making their way up the draw, as far to the right side along the way as possible. Up the draw
Starting up the last part of the ridgeline toward the top we spotted another person already enjoying the views from the peak. On the peak
Our group paused for a moment at the saddle to enjoy one last break (and the views) before heading up the last part to the top of Vogelsang Peak. Last break before up 
A few members of our group took some extra time to really soak in the amazing location. Lots of up
Finally at the top, our group got to enjoy pretty phenominal views in all directions.Group gathering
Our friend Maddie, from Australia, just couldn't contain her enthusiasm for the location and beauty at the top of the mountain.Looking south
This is an interesting telephoto shot from the peak showing our campsite far below, just to the left of the lake.Back down at camp
A look south from the peak to nearby Mt. Lyell, the tallest mountain in the entire park.  There are no less than six visible lakes in this one amazing view.Lyell Peak
Looking west from the peak shows Emeric Lake in the foreground, a long ago location for the Vogelsang High Sierra Camp, as well as iconic Half Dome and even El Capitan visible far in the distance on the left side.Half Dome
Looking east from the peak, this shows the draw that was climbed on the way up as well as the saddle on the upper right side where we had our last break before the final ascent.Looking back down
Members of our group making their way carefully back down the draw, as well as a couple others not in our group who decided not to continue on to the peak.Heading down
Gail and Maddie picking their way carefully through some of these car-sized rocks.Boulders
GPS Track of the full hike. GPS Track of Hike