This peak is the highest point in Yosemite National Park (YNP) and there is a magnificent view from its summit, including the top section of El Capitan.
The second largest glacier in the High Sierra lies on its north side, and many climbers approach the peak from this glacier.
Tuolumne Meadows south along the John Muir Trail for the glacier routes (permits here), and June Lake Loop Road up Rush Creek to Marie Lakes for routes on the south side follow Inyo link on main High Sierra page.
Rush Creek Trail This is a long approach starting at the Rush Creek Trailhead at Silver Lake, past Agnew, Gem, and Waugh Lakes to the John Muir Trail, then north to the Marie Lakes Trail. Allow 7 hours for this hike. On the way out there's some significant up and down past Gem Lake - aaarrrgghhh! Beautiful views of Banner along the JMT and up to Lower Marie Lake. Very few campsites here, but there is one above the north east corner of the lake, by some trees, on the right side, just before the end of the trail which leads down to the lake.
This route includes a very exciting ridge traverse. The East Arete proper can also be gained from either the glacier north of, or the cwm south of Lyell, both of which are considerably easier. There is also a way to reach the East Col from the ridge directly east (gained from Middle Marie Lake), this is also 4th class.Use Rush Creek trail.Route ApproachAfter wading across the outlet of Lower Marie Lake, hike easily along its west shore and over the creek that drains Middle Ma...[more]Browse More Classics in CA