Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park


Latitude, Longitude: 37.835481, -119.384601

Cockscomb is an aptly named peak, particularly when viewed from the northwest, located in the Yosemite Wilderness near Tuolumne Meadows. It is often overlooked due to its proximity to Cathedral Peak, Matthes Crest, and Echo Peaks, but is an excellent climb in its own right. All of its routes are difficult, the easiest is class 4. There are two summits (west & east) separated by about 10 feet and a sharp notch between them. The west summit is a small perch that barely hold two persons, while the east summit is a knife-edge that makes for a pretty dicey perch. It is difficult to surmise which is actually higher as they are within a few inches of each other. The west summit seems to be climbed most often while the east summit is a more difficult challenge. Climb them both if you're concerned about reaching the true summit. There are grand views to be had of the surrounding peaks in this region from the top.


The easiest approach is via the Cathedral Lakes trail in Tuolumne Meadows. From either the east or west, take Highway 120 into Yosemite NP and drive to Tuolumne Meadows. The Cathedral Lakes Trailhead is located on the west end of the meadow, about a mile west of the visitor center. It is a very busy trailhead and there are usually a dozen or more cars parked there at any given time during the summer. A second approach can be made from the Elizabeth Lake Trailhead that begins in the Tuolumne Meadows Campground. There is no parking at the trailhead which is located on the south side of the campground. You can park at the Tuolumne Store and head directly south through the campground.