Mount Dana Summit Trail

HARD 39 reviews
#25 of 165 trails in

Mount Dana Summit Trail is a 5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Mariposa, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October.

DISTANCE
5.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3156 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

backpacking

birding

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

A day hike to Mt. Dana, the second highest mountain in Yosemite National Park. Mt. Dana is relatively easily accessible peak and is the second highest in Yosemite National Park (Mt. Lyell is the highest one). The trail head is located right next to the east entrance of the Yosemite National Park. There are no trail markers or maps but there is an unofficial use trail to the top and is pretty easy to follow. The trail starts with an easy walk through the meadows before it starts going up through a series of switchbacks. After about 1.5 miles from the trailhead and about 1,500 feet high, you reach a flat area and the peak comes into sight. You are about half way at that point and the serious climb is about to start. After you walk across the flat area, the trail gets lost in the rocks and you have to follow your instincts and the stone cairn markers and head towards the peak. You will be hiking up loose rock and need to be careful with your footing. Once you reach the top, the views are incredible!

hiking
10 days ago

hiking
11 days ago

29 days ago

So beautiful! Every step is worth it. Can be intimidating during the last half mile straight up, just don't look up and focus on step by step. Going down feels so long, actually for me it was harder than going up .

hiking
1 month ago

Great views from the summit, after a pretty steep climb on a good, but often rocky, use trail.

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

Beautiful 360 views, including a view of Mono Lake. Very steep, well-marked trail. Be careful of possible altitude sickness. I would recommend giving yourself at least one night nearby to get acclimated.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

2 months ago

I have actually been wanting to do this trail for quite some time. But I have to admit that it seemed rather intimidating, especially to someone like myself who doesn't quite 'measure up' as a hiker. But everything seemed to go pretty well as far as hiking up the trail. There were a couple of spots with snow, and one spot where I actually had to cross a snowfield on a slope. Buy there were enough sun cups in the snow that it was no big deal.

One thing about this hike REALLY surprised me - the presence of a pretty decent trail to the top. Many reports on this hike seem to say that, on the final climb, you are pretty much rock hopping. But it seems that, at this time, there is a pretty decent and easy to follow trail to the top. Even if you should stray from the trail, the rock cairns will help keep you on track. And the trail wasn't even hard to follow in pitch darkness.

Needless to say, views are STUPENDOUS from this mountain. Unfortunately, because of delays getting on the road, I didn't start this hike until 6:00 in the evening. So it was dark by the time I got to the summit - no views of Mono Lake. But the views on the way up were GREAT. It is certainly a rather different way to view the whole Tuolumne Meadows/Dana Meadows area. And, of course, the feeling of the alpine tundra area of the mountain itself was nothing short of surreal.

The bottom line? If you like high alpine hiking, this is the trail for you. You get to see AWESOME scenery and summit a 13000ft mountain that is not too far from the park road. Come see a part of Yosemite that most people simply pass up!

geocaching
2 months ago

awesome views at the summit. Well worth the hike.Slow paced our selves and spent approx 6 hours included long stop at the summit.

hiking
2 months ago

4 distinct landscapes(forest, flowers, grass, stone) make this a very interesting hike. It is up there in elevation so altitude sickness may be an issue for some but our group came from the valley (300ft elev.) same day and most were able to complete without any issues...though it does get tough on the last 300 yards of scramble so take your time and listen to your body. Incredible views pretty much start to finish. Recommended for well seasoned hikers in good physical shape.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiking on above 10000ft elevation reminds me my upcoming Mt Whitney hike is not a piece of cake. In this Mt Dana day trip, we got afternoon thunderstorms, but overall it worth the trip, because we got rewarded beautiful wildflowers and breathtaking views.

2 months ago

Very difficult hike acclimate first enjoy the scenery

hiking
2 months ago

Well considering you gain over 3,000ft. el. in just 2 1/2 miles and you're already at 10,000ft. what would you expect? NOBODY'S going to 'run' up this.

hiking
2 months ago

8/7/17- Challenging hike with the significant elevation gain in a short distance. Did this as a warm-up and acclimitazation hike for Mt. Whitney (8/9). The views were breathtaking! I really enjoyed the variety of settings- start in wooded area with beautiful flowers and small ponds. Above tree-line had fantastic views looking into Yosemite. At the summit were 360 views of snow-capped mountains and Mono Lake. One of the most beautiful hikes I have done. The trail was blocked in a couple places by snow patches, but could easily be maneuvered around. We stayed to the right on the first patch then easily crossed over the snow (someone had even put down stepping stones). The second patch was bigger and we stayed to the left as we ascended until an obvious area to traverse. This was no big deal- easy, obvious. Met three 10 year old kids on the trail who had no problem. Follow the cairns to the summit. This hike is so worth it for the views! Note: there is no sign at the trailhead. We parked on the road just shy of the Tioga Road Yosemite entrance. Across the street from that building is a big tree and the trailhead starts just to the left of it.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Very difficult, but doable. Allow enough time the day before to get acclimated to the high elevation. There are 3 snowfields that are a bit treacherous but doable. I was able to go up the right side of the second one, then cross where it was flatter. You can glissade (sled) down the highest one, but the snow is a bit mushy. Look for the cairns. The trail is easier to locate and stay on when you are descending than when you are going up. I hiked super slow and took about 8 hours. Hiking poles a must for crossing the rocky terrain. Bring bug repellant as well because the mosquitoes were relentless in the forested section (first mile or so).

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

This is a great trail for a Peak of this magnitude. We got off trail trying to avoid the snow fields but if you you just go straight through the fields if they are present then look for the LARGE cairns; they will keep you on trail and lead you directly to the summit. If you have to ask yourself if you are on the main trail, you probably aren't.

hiking
3 months ago