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Hike the North Dome Loop via Yosemite Falls Trail

Yosemite Valley, California

based on 1 reviews



18 miles

Elevation Gain

5200 ft

Route Type



Added by Matt Purciel

A full day hike with all the spectacular views of Yosemite Falls, Yosemite Valley and Half Dome this is one hike you don't want to miss.

One ofthe most challenging and rewarding hikes on the northern rim of YosemiteValley.

This is an alternative to the often crowdedMist, Panorama or 4-Mile Trails. Or if you are not able to grab a permit tohike Half Dome this is great choice. Some of the highlights include hiking tothe top of North America’s tallest waterfall, Columbia Rock, Yosemite Pointwith direct views of Half Dome, North Dome with a 270 degree panorama of theentire valley, Snow Creek Falls and the tranquil Mirror Lake.

Thetrail begins at the Yosemite Falls trail and ends up at the eastern end of YosemiteValley near Mirror Lake which you can make a loop depending on where you start.I would recommend taking the free bus to the Visitor Parking/Camp 4 (#7) stopto cut off some miles. Begin your adventure hiking up Yosemite Falls Trailfound in the back of Camp 4. Soon you rise above the valley floor as views of YosemiteValley and iconic landmarks come into view.  After you climb 1,000 feet, you come toColumbia Rock with a vista of the Half Dome to the east and Cathedral Rocks tothe west. The next leg is the upper half of the trail which is steep and rocky. You will climb another 1,700 feet inelevation to the top of the valley totaling 3.6 miles. Congratulate yourself atthis point knowing you have hiked most of the elevation. Make sure to hike outto the rim of Yosemite Falls and enjoy it’s stunning beauty and majestic viewsof the valley.

At thetop of the Yosemite Falls Trail, extend your hike east to Yosemite Point(follow signs for North Dome). It is only .8 mile to Yosemite Point whichoffers unique views of Half Dome, gives you an opportunity to see Lost ArrowSpire, and provides panoramic views of many other peaks like Eagle Peak, partof the Three Brothers. Continue hiking towards North Dome, as the trail leavesthe rim and heads into the red fir and lodgepole pine forest. It’s approximately3.8 miles to North Dome from here undulating up and down a couple ridges.Before long you hike around a smaller dome as North Dome comes into view. Enjoythe scenery and continue hiking down and out to North Dome. Wander around NorthDome soaking in the incredible views before you. To the east is Basket Dome,Teyana Canyon and Clouds Rest. The magnificent granite edifice of Half Dome isalmost directly in front of you. Then to the west is the Valley Floor beforeyou with Glacier Point, Cathedrals Rocks, El Capitan and Yosemite Falls. If youhang out long enough you might run into a climber making it to the top of NorthDome.

FromNorth Dome the trail heads north gaining some elevation as it follows Indianridge and around Indian Rock. This is a decent stretch of 2.5 miles until youhead down into the Snow Creek Valley. Then the fun begins soon after the SnowCreek footbridge with a steep 3.8 mile decent down into Tenaya Canyon andMirror Lake. Once you arrive at Mirror Lake it’s less than a mile tocivilization. 

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Hike the North Dome Loop via Yosemite Falls Trail Reviews

This would probably be considered the harder route to North Dome because of the climb out of the valley. But it is a beautiful hike and you will see a lot along the way!

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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