Place Name: Mono County
Place Description: State: California
Elevation: 12,327 Feet
Prominence: 2,007 Fee,t
Elevation Gain: 3,560 Feet
Lists: Sierra Peaks Section, Western States Climbers, California P2K
A Fun Hike From Tioga Pass
Mount Warren is a high elevation summit rising to the north of Tioga Pass located in the Hoover Wilderness. Despite its proximity to Yosemite, Mount Warren is still relatively unknown outside of peak bagging circles.
- Nice trail to start
- Exceptional views
- Easy to combo with other peaks
- Loose talus
- Weather comms station on summit
- Some bushwhacking
Sitting on the doorstep of Yosemite National Park and Tioga Pass, Mount Warren boasts both elevation and prominence. While those two variables will excite peak baggers, this talus laden summit sees very few visitors.
The main route for Mount Warren starts at the unofficial Warren Fork Trailhead. There is an antiquated forest service gate blocking off a dirt road and a large parking area across the highway while driving Tioga Pass. Although this area looks shutdown, it is very much open to hiking.
Park here and head around the gate.
For the first mile or so, the hike is along a very nice trail. I’m not exactly sure where it goes, however, it does pass through a walk-in campground area with picnic tables. This camp area must have been closed down at some point by the forest service.
From here, you will enter the Hoover Wilderness and follow the shores of the Warren Fork. It’s imperative that you download a gps track for this hike so that you know where to break off trail to the right and start uphill.
The first section climbs through some brush. However, if you are lucky, you can find a good route that minimizes the bushwhacking. Eventually this will pop out into an open forest where much easier hiking is available.
After a short distance, you will enter a long meadow that has a beautiful view of Mount Dana behind you.
Walk the length of the meadow and then angle to the right around a rocky runout.
The hiking enters an open forest again and then climbs up to the edge of the tree line. Eventually the views really open up as you see the giant wall of talus and the gully that leads up towards Warren.
Enter the rocky gully and aim straight towards the obvious pass. However, there is a very narrow choke point at the top of this and that is the gateway to the upper mountain.
Once through the passage, Mount Warren and its dark red summit is in plain view. If heading for Warren, you can follow this drainage towards the summit. However, if you want to tag Warren Fin, break off to the left and gain the ridge line above you.
Regardless of which route you take to the summit; Mount Warren is a large pile of talus. I never did find any use trails on the upper mountain, although I’ve read others have.
Even though the summit has a radio tower of some sort there are still splendid views. Mono Lake is just below to the east.
Mount Conness, North Peak, Excelsior Mountain and Dunderberg Peak are all across the wilderness from you.
Mount Dana is the dominant peak to the southwest.
The Final Word
Despite the lack of love Mount Warren receives, this is still a worthy summit to add to your collection. The hike is steep and short, making it a great half day excursion if you are an avid peak bagger and in shape. This could easily be combined with nearby Tioga Peak as a separate hike or a traverse over to Lee Vining Peak could be an option.
While it’s a great peak to climb, it’s more than likely one you will only climb once in your life. With so many other great peaks nearby, a second look is probably not in the cards.