Chiquito Pass and Clover Meadow

Revised May 2011 - please send updates to the webmaster

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info view GPS waypoints: simple Waypoint+ format, download GPX file, or overlay on interactive map.
Leave Hwy 99 in either Fresno or Madera, following the Fresno/Madera to Oakhurst driving directions to Oakhurst. The Chiquito Pass trailhead is northeast of Madera sort of near Bass Lake and Oakhurst. The driving directions to Clover Meadow Ranger Station, the Isberg Pass Trailhead, and the Mammoth Trailhead, are basically the same - just continue beyond the Chiquito Pass trailhead as noted below.

For details of the roads and trailheads on the overview map, scroll down or click for:

  • the drive through Oakhurst
  • Chiquito Pass from Globe Rock or Quartz Mountain
  • Clover Meadow Ranger Station for Mammoth and Isberg Pass

    Overview map of roads covered by this trailhead page:


    North from Four Corners through Oakhurst, then northeast:

    See GPS routes OAKHURST-QUARTZ, OAKHURST-CHIQUITO, and OAKHURST-CLOVER.

    Take Hwy 41 north from Four Corners (waypoint 4CRNRS) through Coarsegold to the junction with Hwy 49 in Oakhurst (waypoint OAKHST). In Oakhurst, you can pick up permits at the Yosemite Visitor Center (waypoint YOSVIS) during business hours, or if you call ahead they may tape them to the door around the side by the Coke machine. If you don't have a GPS, the visitor center is across the highway from the Shilo Inn. About 3.5 miles north of Oakhurst, Road 222 (which is actually labelled Bass Lake Road) turns southeast toward Bass Lake at Yosemite Forks (waypoint YOSFRK). Signs should be prominent, but if you see Sugar Pine you've gone way too far up Hwy 41.

    For Sky Ranch Road to Quartz Mountain trailhead for Chiquito Pass: Stay on Hwy 41 for 0.6 miles north of Yosemite Forks (waypoint YOSFRK). Turn right (east) on Sky Ranch Road (waypoint SKYJ41) and follow it east then north into very extensive switchbacks. This road is mostly dirt, but suitable for passenger cars. There is a shorter but much rougher 4WD alternative to reach Quartz Mtn from Cold Springs, described below.

    For Beasore Road to the main Chiquito and Clover Meadow trailheads: Turn toward Bass Lake at Yosemmite Forks (waypoint YOSFRK), then 3.5 miles later turn left on Road 274 (waypoint 222274), where you might not even notice the intersection as the main road changes name and the road you were on angles off to the right. Continue southeast to the north shore of Bass Lake (while 222 continues on the south shore) for 2.4 miles. On the north side of the lake, you turn left on Beasore Road (waypoint 274BEA) which is marked with a green sign that says Clover Meadow. The road now gets seriously narrow and winding as you go north past several small turnoffs including Cold Springs (waypoint COLDSP) and Beasore Meadows (waypoint BEAMDW).

    Beasore Road actually goes to the Chiquto Pass trailhead (about 20 miles northwest from where you get on it at 274BEA). Continuing past Globe Rock (waypoint GLOBRK) to Clover Meadow (for Isberg and Mammoth) puts you on the McCreary Cutoff, which may escape you because the main road changes name when you don't turn off. Good maps will show a significant loop through McCreary Meadow over to Minarets Road / Mammoth Road. If you see McCreary or Clover Meadow, you've gone about 10 miles past the Chiquto Pass trailhead!

    Continuing northeast from Oakhurst: (not all waypoints are plotted here)


    Chiquito Pass Trailheads:

    NOTE: Chris Franchuk and Steve Rodrigues contributed the Quartz Mountain details.
    I haven't actually been there, so please let me know if anything got lost in the translation!

    See GPS routes OAKHURST-CHIQUITO, OAKHURST-QUARTZ, and BEASORE TO SKY RANCH.

    Follow the directions above to either Sky Ranch Road or Beasore Road.

    If you're going to the 'standard' Chiquito Pass trailhead (waypoint CHIQTH) follow Beasore from Bass Lake. If you're going to the Quartz Mountain trailhead (waypoint QUARTZ) you can either take Beasore to Cold Springs (waypoint COLDSP) and then cut over to Sky Ranch, or you can take Sky Ranch all the way from Hwy 41 until it ends (waypoint QUARTZ).

    If you drive up Beasore, you're looking for Cold Springs or Globe Rock. Cold Springs Summit (waypoint COLDSP) is a 4-way intersection 11.4 miles up Beasore Road from Bass Lake (waypoint 274BEA). It's another 7.5 miles to Globe Rock (waypoint GLOBRK). Just before Globe Rock there is a "pavement ends" sign, but the pavement doesn't actually end for almost two miles - it goes right past the Chiquito Pass turnoff to the Upper Chiquito Campground.

    At GLOBRK, turn north off what appears to be the main route and stay on Beasore Rd 2.5 miles north to the standard Chiquito Pass trailhead (waypoint CHIQTH). The 'standard' Chiquito Pass trailhead (waypoint CHIQTH) is 1000 feet lower than the Quartz Mountain trailhead (waypoint QUARTZ) but it's easier to drive there because it's almost all paved.

    Beasore turns into the yellow line going north to waypoint CHIQTH on the maps above and below. The main road (McCreary Cutoff), shown in blue or red east of GLOBRK, heads east to the Clover Meadow Ranger Station (waypoint CLOVRS). It's comforting to have a GPS with waypoint GLOBRK pre-entered so you can't miss the turnoff.

    Just a bit past Globe Rock is Upper Chiquito Campground, where you could spend the night. On the other hand, the camping situation at the trailhead is excellent, with a few fire rings and tons of parking in among the big trees. No fees, no facilities. This is national forest, not a park, so the rules are a lot looser. 3 miles up the trail from CHIQTH is Chiquito Pass, where you enter Yosemite without the crowds.

    Franchuk documented the Quartz Mountain shortcut from Cold Springs (waypoint COLDSP) to Sky Ranch Road (waypoint SKY4WD) which is 4WD or at least high clearance (see route BEASORE TO SKY RANCH, shown in yellow on the map). Rodrigues took Sky Ranch Road all the way from Hwy 41 (waypoint SKYJ41) and said it was fine for any passenger car. He came out via the Franchuk shortcut: "This road is very bouncy and bumpy, albeit passable in my Subaru Forester (7.5 inch ground clearance), although I did bounce and hit the car ceiling at one point!" You can avoid the worst part of the shortcut by detouring over to Kelty Meadow on the way in (from waypoint KELTYJ to KELTYM, shown in black on the map) then following Sky Ranch around Fresno Dome to the Quartz Mountain trailhead (waypoint QUARTZ).

    Quartz Mountain shortcut: At Cold Springs Summit (waypoint COLDSP) turn left onto unpaved Road 6S10S (the yellow line on the map below). In about 1.5 miles (waypoint KELTYJ) meet a road on the right that may be signed for Quartz Mtn (at this point follow signs for Quartz Mtn to trailhead). You have two options, the first being shorter but on a rougher road:

    1. Turn right and follow a 4WD road for 3 miles until reaching Sky Ranch Road 6S10 (waypoint SKY4WD). Turn right onto Sky Ranch Road passing the Grizzly Lake Trailhead on the right after 4.8 miles. Continue, passing Cold Springs Meadow road on the left in another 0.5 miles. In another 3.2 miles, a spur road goes left downhill. Take this spur road 0.5 miles to the trailhead parking area. The trailhead is on the far side near a Forest Service bulletin board.
    2. Go straight and in 3 miles reach Sky Ranch Road 6S10 near Kelty Meadow and Campground (waypoint KELTYM). Go straight onto Sky Ranch Road 6S10 and in around 2 miles pass the Fresno Dome Campground on the left. Continue, passing the Fresno Dome Trailhead on the right (waypoint FDOMTH). 1.8 miles past the Fresno Dome Trailhead, go past the 4WD road on the right (waypoint SKY4WD) and continue on Sky Ranch Road as in option #1.

    Chiquito and Quartz Mtn trailheads for Chiquito Pass:
    (yellow line to SKY4WD is not suitable for passenger cars, but CHIQTH is OK for any vehicle)


    Clover Meadow Ranger Station and Isberg/Mammoth Trailheads:

    See GPS route OAKHURST-CLOVER

    Beasore does not go to Clover Meadow, but the main road does! When you pass Globe Rock the main road (shown in red on the map below) becomes the McCreary Cutoff and soon changes from pavement to dirt suitable for all vehicles. It's comforting to have a GPS with waypoint GLOBRK pre-entered, but if you just follow the main road to Clover Meadow you don't need to worry about that turnoff.

    Follow the directions above to Beasore Road. As you drive up Beasore look for Cold Springs and Globe Rock. Cold Springs Summit (waypoint COLDSP) is a 4-way intersection 11.4 miles from Bass Lake (waypoint 274BEA). It's another 7.5 miles to Globe Rock (waypoint GLOBRK). Just before Globe Rock there is a "pavement ends" sign, but the pavement doesn't actually end for almost two miles - it goes right past Globe Rock (the Chiquito Pass turnoff) to the Upper Chiquito Campground.

    6 miles beyond Globe Rock are the Jackass Flat (waypoint JACKAS) and Norris Lake (waypoint NORRIS) trailheads, which head north to the south side of Madera Peak and might provide a good alternate approach to Gale and Sing peaks (normally climbed via Chiquito Pass). Beyond that is the intersection with Minarets Road (waypoint MINJCT) and finally the Clover Meadow Ranger Station (waypoint CLOVRS), which is about 13 miles from Globe Rock and about 2.5 hours drive from Madera. If you keep going on the yellow line below, you come to the Isberg Pass (waypoint ISBERG) and Mammoth (waypoint MAM2WD) trailheads.

    The Clover Meadow ranger station (waypoint CLOVRS) is only open in the summer. It is where you pick up wilderness permits for all area trailheads, unless you goto one at the Yosemite Visitor Center in Oakhurst (waypoint YOSVIS). It's about 6 miles from the ranger station all the way to road's end at the Mammoth trailhead (waypoint MAM2WD). The road is fine for passenger cars but is not paved.

    From CLOVRS, the road goes north past the Granite Creek Campground turnoff (waypoint GCCAMP) where some mapping software shows the road going right but in fact the road goes left. Follow the sign for Isberg Pass and Mammoth trailheads. From the campground turnoff you'll go northwest and then northeast before crossing the West Fork of Granite Creek and turning right (east) at another well-marked junction (waypoint WGCJCT). (My notes show the sign here says it's 2 miles to the Isberg trailhead and 4 miles to the Mammoth trailhead, but that may be measured from the campground.)

    Less than a mile from the west fork junction (WGCJCT), the real road diverges sharply from the road shown on the 7.5' topo maps. There is no sign and no junction, and my GPS track log is plotted on the map below. The road is in the trees, so the track log may not be perfect! The current road skirts Soldier Meadow and Indian Meadow on the north, staying high and dry (probably to avoid an area that washed out).

    The Isberg Pass trail crosses the road just west of the East Fork of Granite Creek, at about 7100' (waypoint ISBERG), where there is trailhead parking with no facilities. This trail comes from the Granite Creek campground and goes north to Isberg Pass on the southern edge of Yosemite. You can use it to climb peaks near Red or Gray, but most people come this way to climb Foerster, Electra, and Rodgers. Hemlock Crossing features a beautiful waterfall and pool, and continuing up-canyon from there gets you to a stunning valley between Mt Davis and Rodgers Peak, or a western approach to Ritter and Banner via Lake Catherine.

    The Mammoth Trailhead is where 4 trails converge at 7500' on the 7.5' topo map (waypoint MAM2WD). There are no facilities, it's dusty, and two of the trails are apparently open to 4WDs (to Green and Cattle Mtn) so you can expect a less than perfect trailhead experience during hunting season. The trailhead sign is 50 yards from the parking area, on the ridge, with a sign indicating Reds Meadow and Sheep Crossing. A good trail drops east to Sheep Crossing on your way to Iron Mountain, Granite Staircase, etc.


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