“A route to North Dome with stunning views of Half Dome, Clouds Rest, and Yosemite Valley.
— David Hitchcock
Tioga Road east of Crane Flat and west of Tioga Pass Entrance station is closed in the winter and spring until the road is cleared of snow. You can check road conditions atnps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/…
or by dialing 1-209-372-0200, dialing extensions 1/1.
Park at the Porcupine Creek Trailhead and make your way out 1.5 miles to pick up this trail. The trail down to Snow Creek goes off to the left while the Lehamite Creek Trail
goes off to the right. Your trail is straight ahead.
The trail moves steadily uphill either through forest, or over open rock until you reach Indian Ridge. Here, you encounter the spur trail to Indian Arch, which is worth the trip either now or on your way back from Half Dome
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 Dome, 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.
Flora & Fauna
Deer, bear, chipmunks, squirrels, and porcupines can be seen in this area.