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.
Yosemite Mountain Peaks – Index of Photos
- Mount Starr King
- Clouds Rest
- Mount Clark
- Cathedral Peak
- The Cockscomb
- Tenaya Peak
- Echo Peaks
- Mount Dana
- Mammoth Peak
Mount Starr King
Elevation: 9,091 ft
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.
Elevation: 9,931 ft
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…
Elevation: 11,522 ft
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.
Elevation: 10,912 ft
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.
Elevation: 11,065 ft
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!
Elevation: 10,306 ft
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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About My Photos
The images on this website are available for licensing and/or sale as framed prints. If you’d like to purchase them for a blog, news article, or gift, feel free to contact me with the specifics. This way you’re supporting photographers such as me directly (as opposed to buying from a faceless stock photo corporation).
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– 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.