Hite Cove Trail - Hike and Swim near El Portal, California
Hite Cove Trail, Sierra National Forest, 4938 Hites Cove Trail, El Portal, CA 95318, USA,El Portal,California
37.64972, -119.88503
5.8 miles W of El Portal, California
Address: Hite Cove Trail, Sierra National Forest, 4938 Hites Cove Trail, El Portal, CA 95318, USA
GPS: 37°38'59.0"N 119°53'6.1"W
Maps | Directions
State: California

National Park

Hike and Swim

This hike is popular among wildflower enthusiasts. Located in Yosemite National Park, Hite Cove trail is one of the areas that blooms earliest for wildflowers. While areas in the high country usually don't see complete snowmelt and wildflower blooming until July, Hite Cove offers park visitors the opportunity beginning earlier in the season.

If visitors just want to walk around and see the flowers, the trail can be about 2-4 miles round trip. However, if they want to go all the way to Hite Cove, it is about a 9 mile round trip hike. Along the way hikers will be able to see where the south and central fork of the Merced River merge and continue until the Pacific. There is not one single spot along the trail that is the most popular. Because of this, there might be a lot of people on the trail but they will be spread out along the trail, making for less congestion. If only going to see the wildflowers, then hikers can turn around at any point in time. About 2 miles into the trail there won't be any new types of wildflowers to see, so feel free to turn around at any time. 

Hite Cove used to be a seasonal home to the Ahwahneechee Native Americans and later to a group of gold miners. All artifacts found along the trail and in Hite Cove should remain where they were found. 

2.7K Edited by cteicheira

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Be courteous, informed, and prepared. Read trailhead guidelines, stay on the trail, and don’t feed the wildlife.

More Info
  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel & camp on durable surfaces
  3. Dispose of waste properly
  4. Leave what you find
  5. Minimize campfire impacts
  6. Respect wildlife
  7. Be considerate of other visitors

Directions

From El Portal, California

  1. Head west on Foresta Rd (82 ft)
  2. Turn left to stay on Foresta Rd (453 ft)
  3. Turn left onto El Portal Rd (0.1 mi)
  4. Turn right onto CA-140 W (4.5 mi)
  5. Turn left onto Hites Mine Rd (2.4 mi)
  6. Turn right onto Hites Cove Trail/Hites Mine Rd
    Destination will be on the left
    (5.0 mi)
or

A place to swim in the South Fork Merced River, a hike off of RT 140. Take Rt 140 (past Bryceburg) to where the Merced River and South Fork Merced Rivers come together at a large bridge. Park at a turnout on the north side of the bridge and cross the road and go toward the river (there are some chalets here). Find the trail along the South Fork and follow it toward the Hites Cove area. There will be some side trails off to the river and swimming holes. Courtesy of swimmingholes.org

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A Flight Around Hite Cove by Prodme1
Hite Cove Trail hiking by John Kim Hiking Hite's Cove near Yosemite National Park by Corporate To Cross Country

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