Yosemite Mountain Peaks – Photos of High Sierra Icons

While I’ve enjoyed their presence on countless high country hikes, it’s only recently that I’ve begun to identify these beautiful Yosemite mountain peaks. Whether you’re a rock climber, mountain climber, hiker or photographer, the natural allure of these Sierra treasures can’t be denied.

Mount Starr King, with Clark, Merced, Gray & Red Peaks

Yosemite Mountain Peaks – Index of Photos

Mount Starr King

Elevation: 9,091 ft

Mount Starr King & Puffy Clouds - Black and white in May - Yosemite mountain peaks
Mount Starr King & Puffy Clouds – B&W in May

Rising a thousand feet up from its surroundings, picturesque Mount Starr King is a symmetry lover’s dream come true. Although it may not be the highest peak in the park, it certainly is nice to look at.

Above I caught the slopes in early May, with patches of snow and picture-perfect clouds drifting by overhead.

Clouds Rest

Elevation: 9,931 ft

Zoomed shot of snowy Clouds Rest peak behind granite North Dome - Yosemite mountain peaks
Zoomed shot of snowy Clouds Rest behind North Dome

Speaking of clouds, Clouds Rest is one of those brutal, yet rewarding hikes I always hear about, but have yet to experience. The photo above has a kind of “inception” feel to it, because I took it from Yosemite Point…and it looks over North Dome…all the way to snowy Clouds Rest in the distance.

Another Clouds Rest claim to fame is that from the top, you can actually look down on Half Dome. Someday soon…

Mount Clark

Elevation: 11,522 ft

Prominent Crest of Mount Clark, cropped from Yosemite Point - Black and White - Yosemite Mountain Peaks
Prominent Crest of Mount Clark, cropped from Yosemite Point

Without a doubt, Mount Clark is one of the most prominent and recognizable peaks Yosemite has to offer. The top is more of a “knob” than a sharp peak, and this feature surely helps distinguish it from the surrounding mountaintops.

By all means, climb up to a valley lookout and get a good glimpse of this high Sierra beauty! It’s centrally located, in the valley you really can’t miss it.

Yosemite Mountain Peaks – Sierra East

The eastern alpine region of the park is undeniably rugged. While this area tends to be more sparse and dry, it still maintains its own unique character and charm.

Cathedral Peak

Elevation: 10,912 ft

Perfect cone of Cathedral Peak with patchy snow, taken from highway 120 at Tuolomne Meadows
Perfect, Snowy Cone – from highway 120 at Tuolomne Meadows

Without question, I consider Cathedral Peak to be the crown jewel of Yosemite’s peaks. While it’s not the tallest by any stretch, it has an elegance all its own. FYI, it’s a great hike as well.

The Cockscomb

Elevation: 11,065 ft

The Cockscomb mountain peak off Tioga Road - Black and White
Perfect, jagged mountaintop – B&W

The Cockscomb is (at least from this angle) one of the most jagged and pointy of the Yosemite mountain peaks. For example, it has a sharp crest – reminiscent of the iconic Matterhorn. This vantage is from high in the Sierras, on the dome above Olmsted Point. Bring a good zoom lens!

Tenaya Peak

Elevation: 10,306 ft

Tenaya Creek pool below Tenaya Peak
Tenaya Creek pool below Tenaya Peak

Even though I identified Tenaya Peak quite some time ago, I only recently realized that it’s the peak overlooking stunning Tenaya Lake. Of course this makes perfect sense, but somehow I overlooked this simple fact! Above you’ll see the peak looking down on Tenaya Creek as well.

Distant Tenaya Peak & granite Yosemite Valley, shot from Glacier Point
Smooth Granite valley view, with Tenaya Peak on left

From a distance, this peak certainly has an odd characteristic – it appears to be bending down to the left! This sweeping granite view of Tenaya Peak was actually captured from very far away, near Glacier Point. (A discerning eye may also make out Echo Peaks to the right.)

Echo Peaks – A Cluster of Yosemite Mountain Peaks

Elevation: 11,160

Echo Peaks portrait in black and white - zoomed in from Glacier Point
Jagged crests known as Echo Peaks

Speaking of which, this striking black and white photo of Echo Peaks was also taken from Glacier Point. While it was a warm May afternoon, there was still leftover snow from a particularly stormy winter.

I like how the dark clouds below provide depth and framing in this shot.

Mount Dana

Elevation: 13,061

Mount Dana peak with patchy June Snow - from Tioga Road
Mount Dana peak with patchy June Snow

Surprisingly, Mount Dana is one of the highest peaks in Yosemite – you’d never know it! To me it looks more like giant mound than the 2nd highest peak in the park. Still though, its accessibility along Tioga Pass Road (and it’s sweeping views from the top) make it quite popular with mountain climbers.

Mammoth Peak

Elevation: 12,113

Snowy Mammoth Peak overlooking  Tioga Lake - Yosemite mountain peaks
Snowy Mammoth Peak overlooking Tioga Lake

Now that’s a gorgeous mountainscape. This view of Mammoth Peak is especially complimented by serene Tioga Lake below. Even though I took these shots in late June, there was still a good deal of snow left on the mountain.

Snow covered Mammoth Peak in June, with reflection in Tioga Lake
Wider view with lake reflection

Yosemite Mountain Peaks – In Summary

While I have yet to experience (and share with you) all the high sierra has to offer, I did my best with my experience so far. To repeat, I will continue exploring and updating as time goes by. If there’s anything you’d like to add or correct, do feel free to contact me!


Nathan Allen

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– Nathan Allen

About Me

Photographer Nathan Allen

I’m Nathan Allen, photographer / creator of YosemiteParkPhotos.com (Yosemite Photos) and international travel site I Dreamed Of This. In truth, I lived in San Francisco, New York, & Singapore…but nothing compares to life in the mountains. I share my experiences HERE.