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Mount Dana Summit Trail is a 7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Lee Vining, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October.

Length7 miElevation gain3103 ftRoute typeOut & Back
BackpackingHikingNature tripsRock climbingBird watchingForestLakeViewsWildflowersWildlifeRockyScrambleOff trailNo shadeFeeNo dogs
Description
Waypoints (7)
Tips

Yosemite National Park charges a fee to enter. Fees are $35 per vehicle or $30 per motorcycle. If you are entering on foot, horse, or bike the fee is $20 per person. You can also purchase a park specific annual pass for $70. 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!

- High elevation hikes can lead to altitude sickness. Acclimatization is the best way to avoid the ill effects, and always water and painkillers. - Bring plenty of water as there are no places to fill up after the hike through the Dana meadows. - Tioga Pass road is generally closed Nov-May and trail conditions due to snow and ice may make this trail difficult even when the trail is open. Check with park rangers to confirm conditions. - Be prepared for the wind and the cold at the top of the mountain. - There are some restrooms at the parking lot but no water. So plan accordingly.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (291)
Photos (687)
Recordings (280)
Completed (492)
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Sertan Usanmaz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 27, 2020
HikingGreat!

Awesome trail, great views and a killer workout! Make sure you take plenty of water and sunscreen. Feel free to follow me on my Instagram account for more dope hiking adventures! @sertanusanmaz

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Eddie Velazquez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 5, 2020
HikingGreat!

Started at 5am and got to the summit at 8. I definitely underestimated this hike but it wasn’t miserable. It was definitely strenuous but the views at the top were absolutely incredible.

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Jeff H.
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Hiking
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Vadim Vadim
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Hiking
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Henant Cheema
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Hiking

Tough, super rocky, be careful!

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Ran Oren
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 24, 2020
HikingGreat!Rocky

Amazing trail with spectacular view.

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Andy Kasimatis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 22, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful trek, clear for most of the day but haze started rolling in once up at summit. Bit of a scramble with many areas of loose gravel and dirt, best to take care with all footing and don’t rush! Some areas of limited landmarks for trail but look out for stone markers, they help!

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Nate Fabel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 19, 2020
HikingGreat!Rocky

Clear skies and clean air to the summit! Wildfire smoke moved in at noon.

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Sean Lyon
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Intense hike! Spectacular 360 views of Yosemite and Mono Lake area.

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Aparna Khan
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Hiking
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Rekha Goel
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Hiking
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Hongche Liu
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 3, 2020
Hiking

The entire trail is on the west side of the peak. One only sees the incredible east side at the top - Mono lake, cathedral. Look at the attached pictures. I met a guy who said it's his 3rd trip this year. Asked about his other concquers, he said he just finished a ridge trail in Colorado connecting 2 14ers. Earlier, he did mount Whitney. why do you come here after mount Whitney? because the view here is way better.

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Matt Frost
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 2, 2020
Hiking

A little more of a challenge than I thought it would be. Overall a good workout with beautiful views. Please don’t take the hike lightly.

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Trisha Sarathi
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Hiking

Check out my blog post about this hike! There's a short vlog included as well :) https://sarathitrisha.wixsite.com/trekwithtrisha/post/mount-dana-summit-trail

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Philip Royer
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Bea C
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Hiking
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Santhosh Cheeniyil
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Hiking
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Mitra A
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 7, 2020
HikingNo shadeRockyScramble

The trail was honestly super fun! It isn’t long, but it’s pretty steep. We took a number of breaks on the way up to stay hydrated and acclimate to the elevation. The view from the top is amazing. This hike is a great option if you can’t get a permit to enter Yosemite but you still want to hike in.

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Lori M
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 6, 2020
HikingRocky

As you enter through Yosemite’s East entrance the trail starts behind the rangers parking area to your left. You can park in a lot shortly past the.entrance. Keep an eye out for deer in the forested section, I saw four bucks. Hiking poles are helpful navigating the steep loose rocky areas. As others have said bring enough water, most of the trail is exposed.

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Tracy Ocampo
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Jen Fisk
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 4, 2020
HikingGreat!No shadeOff trailRocky

This was not an easy one no doubt. I started from the Tioga Campground and went around the lake and through the meadow to add about 1.3 miles on the front end before starting the trail. The first bit is a breeze, shaded and beautiful. The incline picks up a mile or so in and once you clear the tree line (very obvious) say goodbye to shade, take a lot of water. There’s nothing crazy special from there on honestly, the views are great of course but it’s just a basic trail until you reach the plateau. Once you hit the other side of that, the trail disappears and it’s all gravel or large rocks but pretty easy to stay on course- just keep moving upward really. My dog came along and loved it! On a Thursday there weren’t many people so I had her off leash but would have leashed her if needed. She’s small (25lbs) so coming down I had her over my shoulders just to clear the large rocks where the trail disappears, mostly so she wouldn’t gain too much momentum coming down and get caught in a crack but if your dog is acclimated, in shape, and well behaved it’s a great one for them! The summit is amazing, somehow there was no wind, bad weather, or smoke around. It really was the perfect condition all day. We swam in one of the small lakes at the bottom to cool off and made it out to tell the tale- for over 13K feet it’s a good one.

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Taylor Aballi
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 4, 2020
HikingGreat!
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Backcountry Pilgrim
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 2, 2020
HikingGreat!Rocky

It's just an OK hike compared to most other Yosemite trails (there's a reason the cover photo doesn't even include the mountain LOL). BUT - if you want to climb above 13k' as a day hike, it's great for that. The view from the summit is impressive as well. Also it's 5 miles, not 7.

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