This hike should take about 4 hours round trip from trailhead. Hike to the second highest peak in Yosemite at 3979 m (13061 feet) above sea level, it's relatively easier for 13er.

There's something special about the landscape that Yosemite National Park offers, and the scenery around Mount Dana is no different.

The trail begins at the Tioga Gate entrance to Yosemite with the trailhead at the north end of the small parking lot south of the gate. It winds through the ponds, streams, and meadows of Dana Meadows. You'll start gaining elevation once out of the meadows until you get to a plateau beneath the last 1000 feet to the summit. At this point you'll already start getting some views of the lakes to the west.

The trail leading up to the summit is pretty well marked by cairns, but takes a bit of effort to ensure you don't stray off as everything is just a big ol' boulder field. Remember that you are at a pretty high elevation and that any light-headedness or nausea shouldn't be taken lightly. Remember to take your time.

Once at the summit, you'll have all of Yosemite National Park to the southwest, and Mono lake and Nevada to the east. It's pretty spectacular, especially if you're not used to the rolling terrain that the Sierra Nevada presents. I've been on top of many mountains, and while it's not the most elevation I've ever gained, it was definitely an accomplishment for me to get to the top of Mount Dana in the short time I had in Yosemite.

Pack List

  • Hiking boots
  • Hiking poles
  • Appropriate clothing and layers
  • Water and snacks
  • Camera
  • Bear spray
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RT Distance 6 Miles
Elevation Gain 3120 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
Lake
Scenic

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Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Hike to Middle Gaylor Lake, Yosemite NP

The main trail to the Middle Gaylor Lake is 2 miles round-trip, but if you’re looking for more adventure, you can hike a little further to Upper Gaylor Lake (which will add a mile to your trip) or co.

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Climb the Third Pillar of Dana

From Highway 120 (Tioga Road) you can park at the lot just above Tioga Lake. Another mile up the road is the Yosemite entrance, so if you hit that, you've gone too far.

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Backpack over Koip Peak Pass

This trip begins in Yosemite National Park and can be completed as an out-and-back or by hiking one-way to the Ansel Adams Wilderness and exiting at Silver Lake on the east side of the mountains.

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