Mariposa County, California

Backpack to Dewey Point from Tunnel View

9.3 Miles Total - 2979 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Jonathon Reed

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.

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Tags

Camping
Photography
Backpacking
Hiking
Forest
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

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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.

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