Yosemite High Route Guide — Download


Available for pre-order.

I plan to release a First Edition by March 1, 2019, just before Yosemite begins to accept wilderness permit reservations. It will include all critical resources: preparatory information, and a route description, datasheet, and mapset for the Primary Route and for multiple recommended section-hikes.


The Yosemite High Route Guide includes must-have resources for thru- and section-hikers.


The Guide includes a complete and excellent Mapset, with separate print-ready PDF’s for the Primary Route and its Alternates, and each of the Section Hikes. The maps were developed using CalTopo, using as a base map the gold standard USGS 7.5-minute topographic series.

The maps are so extensively annotated that you will probably refer to the Guidebook text only for the most complex sections. Intentionally, I did not draw a specific line of travel on the map — I didn’t want to steal your fun by telling you exactly where to go.

When printed on 11 x 17 paper, the map scale will be its native 1:24,000. Printing on smaller paper will compress the topographic detail, perhaps to the point of being illegible. Contour intervals are 40 feet.

// Download a sample map

Printing tips for topographic maps

// insert: screenshot of sample map


The Guidebook has three parts:

Part 1 (“Before you go”) has information to help you plan your trip, e.g. transportation, permitting, direction of travel, resupply, recommended equipment. This information is in addition to the preparatory materials at the mini-site.

Part 2 and Part 3 (“As you go”) are complementary to the Mapset. They offer general information and context, and in-depth route information for sections that really need. The Primary Route (thru-hike) and its Alternates, Bypasses, and Extra Credits are described in Part 2. The Section Hikes are described in Part 3.

Part 1, 2, and 3 are provided as a separate PDF file, designed for printing on Letter 8.5 x 11 inch paper. Part 1 need not be printed since it has minimal or no relevance in the field, but you may prefer a physical copy to read and annotate before your trip. Thru-hikers should print Part 2. Section-hikers should print from Part 2 and Part 3 the pages that are relevant to their itinerary.

// Download pages 1 & 2 from Part 2 — “As You Go”

// insert: screenshot of guidebook


These quick-reference spreadsheets list the incremental and cumulative distances and vertical change between key landmarks. They are extremely useful in planning your trip, scheduling your day, and gauging your pace. Datasheets for the Primary Route and Section Hikes are included.

// Download page 1 of the Datasheet for the Primary Route

// insert: screenshot of datasheet

GPX file

I have included a GPX file with very limited information. You’ll find waypoints for trailheads and for select high points, and a track that will help you identify the topographic map tiles you need to download onto your handheld GPS or smartphone. It does not include a track for the recommended route — that’s for you to figure out.

Early-season hazards

Snow and water hazards will be encountered on the Yosemite High Route through June (after a normal winter, plus/minus after non-normal winters). The Guide includes a consolidated list of these hazards, in addition to fuller treatment in the route description.

Download details

With a decent internet connection, the entire Guide can be easily downloaded. The files have been compressed into a single zipped file and must be extracted using standard Windows or Apple software before accessing.

If you need a copy on DVD, please contact me with your mailing address, and attach a receipt of purchase.

If your access expires before you have had a chance to download the files, of if you lose the files at some point, contact me so that I can renew your access.

Resources not included

In addition to the detailed set of topographic maps included with the Guide, I would also recommend:


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