Johnson Peak Loop

28 Sep 2008 - by David Mccracken

This was a quick solo dayhike, but I didn't see anything in the archives so I thought I'd type in a quick report.

Johnson Peak is basically the highpoint on the ridge between the Elizabeth Lake drainage and the Rafferty Creek drainage south of Tuolumne Meadows. Going off the beta in Secor (class 2 from Elizabeth Lake), I started up from that side. Once I got to the top, I scouted out a route down to the east and came down via the Rafferty Creek trail.

A few random points:

*) Climbing up from Elizabeth Lake, you naturally end up climbing the South Ridge of the peak. The ridge is class-2 talus with a bit of brush. Tedious, but relatively easy routefinding and you can stay pretty much right on top of the ridge the whole way.

*) After dropping back down the South Ridge and then heading to the east, I looked back up at the peak and saw a direct class-2 route up the ENE side. Probably a bit faster/easier if you are coming up from the Rafferty Creek drainage.

*) On the Elizabeth Lake side, there are a couple of small lakes that would be great for camping (one even has a nice little beach), but they are inside the Tuolumne Meadows no-camping zone.

*) Dropping down towards Rafferty Creek, it is just endless class-2 slabs. Very easy enjoyable hiking. I hit the Rafferty Creek trail about 3.5 miles south of the John Muir trail junction, which put me about 5 miles from the car. A bit longer than the Elizabeth Lake side, but the different views and fun routefinding were worth the extra effort.

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