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Hiking & Walking: California > Yosemite National Park

Quick Facts

North Dome (via Yosemite Falls) Trail

Beginning Elevation: 3,990 Feet (1243.8 Meters) Yosemite Falls Parking Area
Difficulty: Difficult Strenuous
Elevation Gain, Round Trip: 6,300 Feet (1963.8 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 3,990 Feet (1243.8 Meters) Mirror Lake Trailhead
Length, Round Trip: 17.5 Miles (29.17 Kilometers)
Recommended Season: Late Summer
Usage: Light
Vehicle Accessibility: Shuttle Bus or passenger vehicle


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General Description

This trail leads along the northern rim of Yosemite Valley. It begins from the Sunnyside Campground or the Yosemite Lodge parking area and ends at the Mirror Lake Trailhead. It is a steep route climbing and descending the valley walls. The very ambitious can attempt this as a long day hike or camp in the backcountry south of Tioga Road.

If beginning from the Yosemite Lodge follow the Valley Floor Trail westward from the parking area. Within one half mile the trail intersects the Upper Yosemite Falls Trail. Begin hiking northward and up on the falls trail.

The trail ascends immediately with dozens of short switchbacks leading up the northern valley wall. It climbs approximately 1,000 feet in the first mile, but the forest provides ample shade. This first mile ends at Columbia Rock, which provides sweeping views of the Yosemite Valley, that include Half Dome and Cathedral Spires.

Along the trail the switchbacks continue. After a short descent Upper Yosemite Falls come into view. The view of the falls improves as the trail climbs and crosses an exposed area prone to rock falls. The trail climbs for the next two miles completing 135 switchbacks before leveling.

A trail junction at three and a half miles separates the Upper Yosemite Falls Trail from the Eagle Peak Trail. Bear right to reach the falls overlook. A short ascent brings hikers through a highly impacted area with several campsites. Continue southeastward to the overlook.

To reach Yosemite Point return to the high point and campsites along the eastern leg of the trail. Walk directly east from this point to a bridge across Yosemite Creek. Cross the bridge and walk one third mile to Yosemite Point.

From Yosemite Point the trail leads northward ascending slightly. Reaching approximately 7,300 feet the trail begins to descend into the Indian Canyon Creek drainage. It crosses the creek then ascends out of the gully.

Nearly three miles from Yosemite Point is a trail junction. The left fork leads northward along Lehamite Creek to a saddle. Follow the right fork to reach North Dome. It crosses Lehamite Creek and Royal Arch Creek before arriving at another trail junction in one and a half miles.

At this junction turn right to reach the summit of North Dome in a half mile. After lingering at this overlook of Yosemite Valley turn around and walk north toward Indian Rock. A spur trail leading to the right brings you to Indian Ridge Arch.

Less than four miles from North Dome is a trail intersection. Turn right here and follow the path eastward then southward to Snow Creek. The trail descends steadily for the next two and a half miles paralleling Snow Creek. A short distance past the next trail junction it begins to switchback past Basket Dome and into Tenaya Creek Canyon. Below the switchbacks it is less than two miles to the Mirror Lake Trailhead.

Directions from Arch Rock Entrance: Follow Highway 140 into the Yosemite Valley. Six and a half miles from the entrance station the road splits. Take the right fork, which becomes Southside Drive, to the Yosemite Lodge parking area. The trail begins from the western side of the lot behind the lodge.

Directions from Yosemite Village Shuttle: Disembark from the shuttle at stop 17. Follow the paved trail to the disabled parking area near the lakes. The trail to North Dome can be started from this trailhead by following the tread beyond Mirror Lake to Snow Creek.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Open: Mid-April through October (NOTE: Snow may cover the trail during the Fall and Spring.) .



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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Trailhead Parking Yosemite Lodge parking area, shuttle stop 8; Mirror Lake Trailhead, shuttle stop 17
Yes
ICON Backpacking North Dome Trail
Yes
ICON Dispersed Camping North Dome Trail
Yes
ICON Geology North Dome Trail
Yes
ICON Hiking & Walking North Dome (via Yosemite Falls) Trail
Yes
ICON Viewing Scenery North Dome Trail
Yes



Related Activities
Mirror Lake Interpretive Trail - This trail leads to Mirror Lake and beyond with sweeping views of the terrain surrounding Tenaya Creek.

Upper Yosemite Falls Trail - This steep trail ascends three and a half miles to the crest of Upper Yosemite Falls, the highest waterfall in North America.



More Information

Visitor Information:

Yosemite National Park, P.O. Box 577 , Yosemite, CA, 95389, Phone: 209-372-0200, Fax: 209-372-0220, TTY: 209-372-4726

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