North Dome Trail via Yosemite Falls is a 9.3 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Yosemite National Park, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from April until October.
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.
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.
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.
Beautiful and well worth the steep parts!
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!
It's a view you have to see. Amazing! Depending on when you go bring lot's of water and watch your step.
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.
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.
Moderate hike but can sometimes be strenuous. Altitude and uphill sections can be demanding. Take lots of water ! Trekking poles a big plus going down loose and slippery granite areas, especially just before the last leg. Be in good cardio shape for this one.