Porcupine Creek - North Dome
ElevationAscent: 1,206' 367 m
Descent: -1,207' -368 m
High: 8,084' 2,464 m
Low: 7,437' 2,267 m
GradeAvg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 41% (22°)
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“Travel from Porcupine Creek on Tioga Road to North Dome, with stunning views of Half Dome.”— David Hitchcock
The area around North Dome is very exposed with few trees, so make sure you have plenty of water and sunscreen.
There is a rock hop at Porcupine Creek 0.7 miles into the route, that may need to be crossed via a log upstream if the creek is high.
The trail continues south along Indian Ridge before it drops sharply to the left where it picks up a ridgeline. You now start to encounter stupendous views of El Capitan, Half Dome, Clouds Rest, the Three Brothers, and Mount Starr King. You'll descend over slick granite rock at this point until you hit a junction at 3.9 miles.
The trail goes to the left and south, and while you feel like you are on the wrong trail or moving away from North Dome, you are on the trail. You pass Basket Dome on your way up to a saddle, and then work your way up the crown of North Dome. When you reach the summit, you'll be rewarded for your work by some of the finest views in Yosemite. Merced Canyon, Yosemite Valley, Illiouette Gorge, and Tenaya Canyon all meet below North Dome. Half Dome, Clouds Rest, Quarter Domes, Glacier Point, Mount Starr King, and the stars of the valley are all in view at this point.
Once you have enjoyed the views and explored the area, return to the trailhead via the way you came.
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Land Manager: NPS - Yosemite