Backpack to Dewey Point from Tunnel View

Backpack to Dewey Point from Tunnel View

Yosemite Valley Tunnel View

Distance

9.3 Miles

Elevation Gain

2979 Feet

Activities

Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Type

Out-and-Back

Forest
Scenic
Wildlife

Spend a night on the bare rock of Yosemite's south rim. Watch the valley turn red in the silent majesty of the sunset above the sequoia forest.

Dewey Point lies on the western side of the Pohono Trail, across the valley from El Capitan and above Cathedral Rocks. When I was there in September, it was deserted but for a few birds drifting on the thermals above the cliffs. The sunset was stunning. It felt like there was nothing between me and John Muir's cathedral.

There's a number of ways you can reach Dewey Point—from Glacier or Taft Point, for example—but it's closest to Tunnel View. Hiking via Tunnel View is a shorter distance but more significant elevation gain. From what I can tell from the trailhead information on the NPS site, you can park at Tunnel View with a Wilderness Permit, but I haven't researched parking designations in detail since I was doing a through-hike to a different part of the park.

During the summer season there are different options available for public transportation both inside and outside the park. A fee-based bus tours between Yosemite Valley and Glacier Point from late May to early November, which you could use as a shuttle if you decide to do a point-to-point hike. In the off-season, you're better off hitchhiking.

You will need a Wilderness Permit, which are available for reservation up to 24 weeks in advance. If you don't reserve one, you can try getting a first-come, first-served permit beginning at 11 AM on the day you leave. From November to April, wilderness permits are available without a reservation.

Secret reason why Dewey is a top spot to camp? More dry wood than you know what to do with. Once the sun has gone down, light a campfire and take in the stars. However, please be very careful to adequately put out the fire. Use water. I spoke to the park firefighters who told me that the sandy 'Yosemite dust' is not an effective extinguisher.

Consider day hiking to Taft Point before returning to Tunnel View! It's a beautiful part of the south rim. When I hiked the Pohono Trail in September, there was a couple of nearly dry creeks, but Bridalveil Creek—which is after Dewey Point and before Taft—had plenty of water. Make sure you know how to properly store food and what to do if you come across a bear.

You can also do this adventure from the McGurk Meadow Trailhead off Glacier Point Rd.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Nearby Lodging

From $152/night

High Sierra Camps

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK

From $219/night

Yosemite Valley Lodge

9006 Yosemite Lodge Drive

From $108/night

Housekeeping Camp

Yosemite Valley, California

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Beautiful view on the top

Awesome backpacking trip. The elevation was brutal right a the trailhead though. Make sure to stop by Crocker Point as well.

Distance

9.3 Miles

Elevation Gain

2979 Feet

Activities

Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Type

Out-and-Back

Nearby Adventures

Adventure

Backpack Yosemite's South Rim

Adventure

Photograph Yosemite's Tunnel View

Adventure

Hike from Tunnel View to Glacier Point

Adventure

Hike to Artist Point in Yosemite National Park

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