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Camp at Washburn Lake and Florence Creek

7,614 ft7,592 ft3 days16.4 mi/day

Triple Peak Fork Merced River Loop is nestled in the most remote southeastern edge of Yosemite and is made for those willing to escape from everything but secluded outing amidst Yosemite’s famed alpine backcountry. The trail features various scenic peaks and lakes that are hard not to be impressed by: Johnson, Rafferty, Fletcher, and Vogelsang Peaks are magnificent, while Washburn, Babcock, Emeric, and Boothe Lakes offer excellent fishing and superb scenery. Staggering vistas, numerous side trip options to remote valleys and lakes, and limitless streams of the deep, serene Merced River add to the trail’s charm. 

Overview map
Day 1
11.2 mi
2,050 ft
1,446 ft
Start the day on the Rafferty Creek Trail and take east at the second PCT/JMT junction, where the trail weaves its way along the Lyell Fork through lodgepole forest and granite slabs. Pass a large boulder-strewn meadow with some pleasant vistas of the Sierra Crest to the north between Mount Connes and Tioga Pass. After the Tuolumne Pass, head south on the traverse above Boothe Lake past Vogelsang High Sierra Camp before climbing to Vogelsang Lake and camping alongside Florence Creek.
Rafferty Creek Trailhead
0 mi
8,666 ft

The trailhead can bring you to various trails in Yosemite, from easy hikes in the woods to a number of scenic trips, including the iconic Pacific Crest Trail. 

Rafferty Creek Falls
2.7 mi
9,121 ft

A pretty waterfall flowing along granite boulders.

6.1 mi
9,886 ft

Great views of Rafferty Peak, Johnson Peak, and Fletcher Peak, as well as Boothe Lake.

Boothe Lake
7.2 mi
9,887 ft

Located below the Vogelsang High Sierra Camp and Fletcher Peak, Boothe Lake receives few visitors.

Vogelsang Lake
7.9 mi
10,341 ft

The most dramatic lake in the vicinity, Vogelsang Lake, is flanked by the steep granite walls of Fletcher Peak

Florence Creek Campsites
11.2 mi
9,238 ft

A few sites adjacent to the confluence of Florence and Lewis Creeks. Great views of Florence Creeks as it steeply drops down granite beds into a gorgeous pool. 

Day 2
19.3 mi
2,720 ft
4,334 ft
After meandering through Florence Creek, the path descends through the forest to the Lewis Creek fork and climbs across the western banks of Mount Florence, where you can enjoy the superb views of the neighboring summits and impressive canopy of western white pines. Once past the cascading Lyell Fork Merced River, the trail ascends steeply over the switchbacks along the southern side of the canyon - the views only improve as you get higher and include the highest Yosemite’s point - Mount Lyell, which makes it worth a challenge. The path weaves its way along Foerster Creek past a shallow saddle and enters a dense hemlock forest. Take a leisurely walk in the Triple Peak Fork Meadow and meander around juniper and red fir forest, enjoying the views of deep, serene river’s forks confluence. Head west past a pretty waterfall and a dry slope until you reach Washburn Lake, your next destination point.
19.1 mi
9,971 ft

Enjoy the view of Rodgers Peak to the west - it's the fourth-highest mountain in Yosemite National Park.

Isberg Pass Junction
22.8 mi
9,879 ft

From here, you can take a side trip south to Isberg Pass - you'll pass by a beautiful granite hillside decorated with various alpine wildflowers every now and then. If you look northwest, you'll be able to see all the Clark Range peaks and most of the Cathedral Range peaks - such vistas are likely to take your breath away. At the top of the climb, soak in a pure hidden treasure encircled by impressive peaks - an enormous meadow and two stunning lakes. 

Washburn Lake Campsite
30.4 mi
7,627 ft

You can find some nice sites by the head of the lake.

Though be sure to look up before setting a camp! The lake is known to have significant treefall so check for dead or dying trees.

Day 3
18.6 mi
2,844 ft
1,811 ft
Scenic lakes are calling! Beyond Washburn Lake, you’ll be treated to an entirely different feel on the sandy trail into a canyon. The path moderately descends through an open forest winding its way along the river and veers east as the canyon widens. Once past the Merced Lake Ranger Station, head right on the Lewis Creek Trail and climb steeply with expansive Half Dome and Merced Lake views to the west. Once at the Fletcher Creek junction, continue a moderate, mostly exposed to the sun climb past Babcock and Emeric Lakes. After a moderate climb to Tuolumne Pass, enjoy the sustained loss of elevation and the opportunity to admire that scenery again on your way back to the trailhead!
33.9 mi
7,956 ft

Enjoy the view of Merced Lake and Little Yosemite Valley.

Babcock Lake
35.9 mi
8,911 ft

A tranquil lake named in honor of a state wildlife official, John P. Babcock.

Emeric Lake
38.5 mi
9,335 ft

Gorgeous lake with great fishing for rainbow trout. 

Rafferty Creek Trailhead
49.1 mi
8,666 ft
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