North Dome Trail via Tioga Road

HARD 87 reviews
#18 of 213 trails in

North Dome Trail via Tioga Road is a 9.1 mile lightly 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 April until October.

DISTANCE
9.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,742 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

A great day hike to the best viewpoint in Yosemite or a perfect overnighter on a granite dome. This is a great hike right off the Tioga Road in Yosemite that takes you through some great meadows, past a rare granite arch called Indian Arch, and onto the granite of North Dome. North Dome is on the North Rim of Yosemite Valley right across from Half Dome, making the North Dome view spectacular. North Dome juts out into Yosemite Valley, giving you a sweeping panorama of the Valley to the West, Half Dome to the South, and Clouds Rest and the Yosemite high country stretching out to the East. There are a couple great camp sites right near the dome giving great access for sunrise and sunset viewing and pictures. The trail actually decreases in elevation from the road to North Dome, but only by about 800 ft. A few ups and downs along the trail make the trail a moderate hike, but not strenuous by any means. On the way back, the last mile up to the road seems a lot longer than it did on the way down.

Second time and still my favorite trail

hiking
1 month ago

The next time I'm introducing an out-of-towner to Yosemite, this is the hike we'll do. The view from North Dome of Half Dome and the valley is stunning.

1 month ago

Great Walk. Nothing too strenuous. Just a few steep sections. Try and get it done early in the day to beat the heat. The views from North Dome are amazing. Plenty of wildflowers along the path.

hiking
1 month ago

Left Tuolomne campground at about 10am on Saturday after July 4th and got to the trailhead around 10:40. Descent is relatively easy and stable for the first 3 miles or so, pretty flat/downhill. Ascent to Indian Rock is strenuous but comes relatively early in the hike and is a good warmup. Descent from Indian Rock to North Dome trailhead is steep-ish, but you won’t notice because you’ll be looking at Half Dome the whole time. Amazing views. Once you get to North Dome trailhead you will see signs for North Dome. Make sure you follow the trail to the left if you are looking at Half Dome. My girlfriend and I turned right and tried bouldering down until we realized that we were about to become splats on the valley floor. Hike to North Dome from the sign is relatively easy. Have lunch and take pictures at North Dome, as the views are likely the best you’ll ever see. Our hike back was really tough. Make sure you bring enough water. We probably had 1.5 liters and it was nowhere near enough. At least 3 liters for 2 people, preferably 2 liters per person. It was also unusually hot for the elevation (80 degrees Fahrenheit). Round trip time including 35 minute break: 4.5 hours. Would highly recommend, but not an easy or moderate hike by any means. Make sure you are in shape and well hydrated. You are losing and climbing ~2,000ft in elevation.

hiking
1 month ago

Well maintained trail with great view at the end.

hiking
1 month ago

Did this two and a half weeks ago. Scenic trail and killer views from North Dome. We’re a couple - one pretty unfit at time of hike (had to drag self up the last bit!!), one moderately fit (no worries - only got a slight puff on). Recommend checking out Indian Rock - short detour (NB - alltrails way point for this wasn’t super accurate when we did it - detour is well marked on trail though so just wait until you see it or ask someone).

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this last week and it was amazing! Great views of the whole park.. it’s the easiest hike I’ve done in Yosemite with a great payoff when it comes to views.. spent about an hour at the top just taking in all the views it has to offer.

hiking
2 months ago

So nice !!

hiking
2 months ago

I highly recommend this trail! The views on this trail are incredible, and the hike itself really isn’t to bad. Over all this is a great trail for all levels!

hiking
2 months ago

This trail gave breathtaking panoramics that I've never seen from any other spot in Yosemite. Just as the description states, you can see everything but the mountain you are on.I would not consider this a hard hike, but moderate. Most of the hike is easy, but there is little stretch of a switchback or two, and the first granite face that you go down on your way to it seems much more steep on your way back up which qualifies as a moderate trek in my book, only due to the incline that you make on the return to the car. Parking was limited, and a lot of vehicles were along the road. There was a great place off to the right that offered some great view, about 2 miles in to the trail. Definitely recommend this hike. It was cooler being high up, and there was a very strong breeze/wind making it very cold once actually out on the dome. I'd recommend to take a wind breaker and maybe even some pants if you plan to hang out there.

backpacking
2 months ago

We started at the Porcupine Creek trail head and headed into the Yosemite wilderness for a few nights of backpacking. North Dome had amazing views and was very memorable. Lots of people on the trail but it wasn't too crowded at all. On a clear day you can see much of the valley, some waterfalls and get an epic picture with Half Dome in the background.
It's a long hike, lots of ups and downs. Make sure to see the Natural Arch!
After North Dome and making a complete loop with the natural arch, and back down the hills toward Lehamite creek, we camped another night then followed the trail to Yosemite Point (amazing), Upper Yosemite Falls and Yosemite Creek area.
Make sure to bring lots of water and sunscreen! We hung out on the top of north dome for at least an hour - eating lunch, taking pictures and just gazing at the gorgeous views.

hiking
2 months ago

This trail is a lot of fun. It can be a little hard to find the trail when you get to the rocky section towards the end, so be attentive. We missed out on the view at the end due to heavy fog but the hike out was amazing nonetheless.

hiking
6 months ago

All good when you first start out and the top of North Dome was stunning. Coming back was kind of tough on the knees. I was sore for days after but worth it.

backpacking
9 months ago

Started on tioga road at the porcupine trailhead descended down then was flat for a good mile or so then slight 2 or 300 foot climb up a switchback visited Indian rock and camped right above north dome for the night incredible sunset next day descended down to the dome and hung out for a while great view but was even better from our campsite because half dome to the left. Coming back up was a good little ass kicker then headed back down to the valley from a trailhead that kicked my butt longest mile or 2 I ever hiked coming back down by mirror lake .. I think it was called the snow creek trail ... altogether felt like we hike 10-12 Miles that day I was absolutely exhausted when I made it back to my cabin

hiking
11 months ago

This was a challenging hike for sure--after you've put down 6 miles or so, the last three are tough! but, view on the dome is amazing, and lots of times you'll have the place to yourself. definitely recommend going to indian arch rock, i think it's called.

hiking
11 months ago

Be prepared for the reality that the first granite expanse you encounter is not north Dome! You have to continue for about 3/4 mile down into a 200' deep saddle and the climb up the south face of North Dome proper. I heard a lot people express dissapointment when they thought they had arrived on North Dome only to realize they still had a butt kicking 3/4 hike a ahead :) still it's an absolutely amazing jaunt.

hiking
Monday, August 14, 2017

This is a great hike. And it's easy compared to other popular Yosemite hikes. We just had a lot of forest fire smoke, so the views were less than great, and the views are sort of the point on this one.

I would love to follow this trail down to Upper falls and El Cap someday.

hiking
Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The fourth day of Yosemite hiking: We hiked from Tioga Road to North Dome. On the way to North Dome, we took a side trip to Natural Arch of Indian Rock.

hiking
Saturday, July 15, 2017

Great hike. Not too hard besides the heat... we did a loop back following the Yosemite Valley trail and then back to Tioga road.

Friday, July 14, 2017

I can’t wait to go back.. this time with camping gear for the north dome.

hiking
Saturday, July 08, 2017

First off I got harassed by a marmot on Indian rock, so watch out for that. Absolutely gorgeous views the entire way, especially at North Dome which gives you an unsurpassed view of Half Dome. Extending the trail out to Yosemite Point is recommended. Although the upper falls are cool to see, going down to them from Yosemite point and then back up adds minimally to the experience while requiring a decent effort. 4 liters was just barely enough for me, but if you have purification there's numerous places to fill up and can go with even less.

hiking
Saturday, July 08, 2017

This is a great alternative to half dome with incredible up-close views of half dome at the end. The way to north dome is a descent from the trailhead, so save your energy for the climb back up. The toughest part was the dome itself, its steeper than the rest of the trail. Warms up very quickly on the dome as the day progresses and gets very hot while climbing back up the dome. But there is plenty of shade on all other parts of the trail. There was just a little bit of snow at about mile 1 (right after the creek crossing), but the rest of the trail is dry. A beautiful hike that's not very challenging but has rewarding views!

hiking
Sunday, May 21, 2017

Very nice hike and a great alternative if you can't get a permit for Half Dome. It's not as hard or as long, but still a good distance and effort.

backpacking
Wednesday, March 08, 2017

What can I say? This is truly a breathtaking trip. It'll steal your breath with the amazing sites. It'll also require a bit of breath and good old fashioned hard work to climb the falls. Spend the first night on the river above the falls: there's a great campsite with fire ring and tree coverage just about 300 feet from the river. Water is easily accessible from there for drinking, cooking, etc.

Once you get about +\- 2 hours from North Dome water gets scarce. There's none on North Dome at all. Bring it in from the closest clean creek you can find. It's totally worth it. The view, oh the view. We saw some many meteors. So near to see a campfire or two across the valley on half dome. Be on the watch for a mountain lion. We didn't have any trouble but one came close in the late evening.

Enjoy!

Friday, October 07, 2016

The view of Half Dome was unlike anything I've seen. Incredible view of the valley and great view of Half Dome. Stop by Indian Arch if you have enough time; I didn't think it would be as cool as it was. The hike itself was steep and difficult at times, but if you are in good shape it's manageable.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Beautiful and well worth the steep parts!

hiking
Friday, April 15, 2016

At the start (7000+ft of elevation) you get to feel it in your lungs if you haven't hung around to get acclimated. But the trail begins fairly level, shady for about half the distance and towards the dome, a gradual descent as you begin to stare at the face of Half Dome. Bring some binoculars and watch those lucky climbers pull their way up the cables!

hiking
Thursday, October 01, 2015

It's a view you have to see. Amazing! Depending on when you go bring lot's of water and watch your step.

hiking
Tuesday, August 05, 2014

The view here is amazing to say the least, no water out there, lots of rocks and wind. Hiked up from Yosemite Falls, good elevation gains in altitude up past treeline. Side trip to Indian Arch Rock is great place and views of valley are great.

hiking
Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Some reviews rate this as moderate and I can understand that but if your not in great physical shape and not acclimated to 8000 feet then this hike can be difficult. I'm in fairly good shape (66) and the return back to the trailhead was difficult for me. I carried a full camelback and 2 extra liters of water, used all of it. Thin air really took it out of me. Great hike though. I'd do it again.

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