A spectacular summit, and though it's not easy, the short distance makes the reward to work ratio makes for an outstanding objective.
Mount Dana is the second-highest peak in Yosemite, and the views from the top are outstanding. The trail starts at the Tioga Pass Entrance Station, then crosses the eastern edge of Dana Meadow before climbing 1,700 feet to a rocky ridge. The final 1,000 feet of elevation requires scampering up loose scree. The trail can be confusing; stay near the eastern edge and look for the cairns that mark the way.
When you reach the summit you'll be on the crest of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Enjoy the sweeping, 360-degree views. To the northeast, surrounded by arid desert, is Mono Lake. The crest of the Sierras, which extends to the northwest and southeast, is filled with dramatic peaks, including Mount Conness.
Thanks to guidebook author and photographer, James Kaiser, for sharing this trail description. If youre interested in learning more details about great day hikes, weather, camping / lodging, and geology, check out his book: Guide to Yosemite National Park