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Porcupine Creek - North Dome

 4.5 (11)

Length


9.0 Miles 14.5 Kilometers


1,422' 433 m

Ascent

-1,420' -433 m

Descent

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

38%

Max Grade (21°)

8,092' 2,466 m

High

7,418' 2,261 m

Low

Shared By David Hitchcock

Conditions


All Clear 47 days ago
Mostly Dry, Some Mud, Fallen Trees - From the HWY 120 up until the trail junctions, there are some muddy areas but you can easily step around. Plenty of fallen trees but NPS workers were seen clearing the trail so should be good as of this update. History

Getting forecast...

Travel from Porcupine Creek on Tioga Road to North Dome, with stunning views of Half Dome.

David Hitchcock

Dogs No Dogs

Features Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly A great option for older kids to experience the best of the Yosemite on a fairly easy trail. Kids will love the sense of achievement they experience upon reaching the top of North Dome.

Overview

This trail provides the easiest route to North Dome, which offers outstanding views of Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, Clouds Rest, and Glacier Point. Since it's the easiest and shortest route to the North Rim, it's one of the most popular routes up there.
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.

Need to Know

Take the Indian Rock Trail spur either on your way to or back from North Dome to view the only granite Arch in Yosemite, and the whole High Sierras. Offers great views of the surrounding area.

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.

Description

From the trailhead at Porcupine Flat, head downhill and meet the old road following it to Porcupine Creek at 0.7 miles. You continue through a red fir and lodgepole pine forest that climbs slightly for over a mile until you arrive at a series of trail junctions. Keep straight though the first junction, and then at another fork, keep left toward North Dome. 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 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.

Flora & Fauna

Deer, bear, chipmunks, squirrels, and porcupines can be seen in this area.

Contacts

Land Manager: NPS - Yosemite

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Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Jun 7, 2018
Krystle Reynolds
Jun 4, 2018
Mike Aspiras
9mi
Aug 18, 2017
Trent Smith
Aug 18, 2017
Antonello N.
Duration refers to the total return hike, including stops 9.9mi — 4h 30m
Aug 9, 2017
Amna Dolphin
Aug 7, 2017
Jenny King Dugan
Sidetrip up to Indian Rock. Very cool.
Jul 14, 2017
Victoria Salti
Gorgeous view 9mi
Jul 9, 2017
Jacob Bohigian

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 11 votes

#492

Overall
  4.5 from 11 votes
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Rankings

#86

in California

#492

Overall
384 Views Last Month
4,633 Since Jan 27, 2016
Intermediate Intermediate

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