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North Dome Camping?

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Re: North Dome Camping?

Postby CharlieW » Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:23 am

I did this 4 or 5 times in the 90s. I generally cowboy camped on the dome itself, but remember more sheltered campsites nearby. It was a fantastic view of Half Dome as you can see above, and surprisingly uncrowded considering location and view. A few other campers were there maybe half the time. I guess it might be more crowded now ... but maybe not since it isn't part of anyone's thru-hike.



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Re: North Dome Camping?

Postby InsaneBoost » Tue Apr 14, 2015 12:42 pm

Should I be thinking about bringing an extra Platypus or something else for water due to the lack of streams and such? Right now I have a 3L MSR Reservoir, and a 1L bottle.
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Re: North Dome Camping?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue Apr 14, 2015 7:06 pm

Lehamite, Indian Canyon and Royal Arch Creeks have very small drainages. After three years of drought, underflow and springs that may normally feed these creeks after surface snow is gone, may be inadequate to create flow. The Yosemite web-cam shows the flow in Yosemite Creek, which has an extensive watershed, and it looks pretty anemic compared to normal. I would take two platypus's and fill up when you can. I have carried two full 2-l platypuses for up to 5 miles. It is a bummer when you realize you did not need them, but it saves the day if your water source turns out dry! If you also look at today's web cam from Sentinal Dome, you can see that all the recent snow has already melted.
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Re: North Dome Camping?

Postby markskor » Tue Apr 14, 2015 7:48 pm

Assume, as you mentioned this to be a short hike, you are starting off Tuolumne off 120 - doing an out and back to North Dome? Been following this thread for a while, and for the last 3 years have done a similar trek as my season's warm-up hike, except, instead of an "out and back" trip - ugh!, I prefer going all the way Tuolumne - Valley...about the same miles - thoughts: (see TOPO)

Starting Tuolumne (stay overnight BP?) - the main problem is getting from TM to your starting trailhead (Olmsted Point has no overnight parking); and, once down in the Valley, getting back to the car - I make great use of both the free shuttles and YARTS.

Suggest 2 possible options -
1) down Snow Creek - After arising TM BP, grab the morning free Yosemite TM shuttle at the store (which conveniently only goes to/ as far as Olmsted Point) and start the trail from there (BTW, an easy TH to get a permit the day before) and almost all downhill to top of Snow Creek. Forget about North Dome here. Camp just below the bridge (see WD's picture) - great views, good water...and then down Snow Creek trail next day. IMHO, the views from North Dome and the Snow Creek overlook are quite similar...except, one has water. BTW, hiking up the Snow Creek switchbacks, not recommended for anybody, especially if a cherished girlfriend.

or...
2) down Yosemite Falls Trail - Park car at (or YARTS morning bus TM to) the first Porcupine Flats TH (the one with the chitter)...start out there. The last water before the rim (as stated) Lahamite Creek, located just before you go over the hump to see the Arch, and afterwards visit North Dome. If staying North Dome, this is a shorter hiking day, alas no water close at the end, and I usually backtrack to Snow Creek Overlook again to camp, or continue on west hiking the north rim trail to the top of Yosemite Falls and staying overnight there. Later in the season, expect Royal Arch and Indian Canyon creeks to be dry...Lahamite probably will still have water.

BTW, great swimming holes atop Yosemite Falls, and as most visiters atop the big falls are day-hikers, you will probably have the top all to yourself after 5:00 PM - magic!. Next day, down the Falls trail...Stay Valley BP and/or evening YARTS to go back to your car.
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Re: North Dome Camping?

Postby tim » Tue Apr 14, 2015 11:23 pm

We'll be up there next week before Tioga Rd opens, so will need to ascend from the Valley. I was assuming Snow Creek is the better option to ascend since getting to the campsite requires less altitude gain. But are you suggesting an ascent of the Yosemite Falls trail would be preferable to Snow Creek? We'd plan to do the loop over North Dome on the second day and descend on Day 3.
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Re: North Dome Camping?

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Apr 15, 2015 6:57 pm

Tioga Road opened today.....

ETA: Just saw another announcement clarifying it's only open from the east side to the park gate.

Ah well, I was halfway there to going to North Dome myself, but there are other places to go.

:thumbsup:
Last edited by AlmostThere on Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: North Dome Camping?

Postby markskor » Wed Apr 15, 2015 9:26 pm

tim wrote: Are you suggesting an ascent of the Yosemite Falls trail would be preferable to Snow Creek? We'd plan to do the loop over North Dome on the second day and descend on Day 3.

If a 3-day trip just to see North Dome and early in the season, Snow Creek trail probably easier, especially if camping at the bridge at the top. Yours is a good hiking plan...sounds fun.
Both trails can be a slow slog if on new-season legs...and if doing a rim-loop, starting at Camp 4, you have that 800 feet of up after the big falls (Yosemite Point), so figure that in too.
BTW, Later on in the summer, Snow Creek trail sees all sun - gets friggin' hot/no water - at that time actually prefer the falls trail but both similar in time to the top...Snow Creek does have that 2-miles of flats before you start the ups.

FWIW, would rather come in/down from 120 any day...but I am old.
All 3 THs starting from the Valley and going up (Happy Isles, Snow Creek, and Yosemite Falls) have been known to cause great harm to relationships, especially among overloaded novice hikers.
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Re: North Dome Camping?

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:14 am

An ascent of Yosemite Falls is preferable to Snow Creek for me... but a start on the OBOFRT would be preferable to either. I'd take a few days and just do the north rim trail. Visit El Cap, Eagle Peak, top of Yosemite Falls, and plunge down Snow Creek to Mirror Lake to freak out tourists with my backpacker grunge.
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Re: North Dome Camping?

Postby FeetFirst » Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:16 am

AlmostThere wrote:... but a start on the OBOFRT would be preferable to either. I'd take a few days and just do the north rim trail. Visit El Cap, Eagle Peak, top of Yosemite Falls, and plunge down Snow Creek to Mirror Lake to freak out tourists with my backpacker grunge.


:thumbsup: Agreed. I was thinking the same thing.

Unfortunately, the El Cap shuttle doesn't start running till May 22nd, so until then you'll either have to hoof the extra miles to the TH from the Camp 4 Valley shuttle stop, hitch a ride there, or park at the TH and hitch/walk back to your car upon return.
I'm still rather convinced that you can achieve more than you've ever dreamed of if you just lower your standards.
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Re: North Dome Camping?

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:55 am

FeetFirst wrote:
AlmostThere wrote:... but a start on the OBOFRT would be preferable to either. I'd take a few days and just do the north rim trail. Visit El Cap, Eagle Peak, top of Yosemite Falls, and plunge down Snow Creek to Mirror Lake to freak out tourists with my backpacker grunge.


:thumbsup: Agreed. I was thinking the same thing.

Unfortunately, the El Cap shuttle doesn't start running till May 22nd, so until then you'll either have to hoof the extra miles to the TH from the Camp 4 Valley shuttle stop, hitch a ride there, or park at the TH and hitch/walk back to your car upon return.


Or, you ride or hike to the valley mile 7 sign, and go up Rockslides - which is not on a map but a valid trailhead listed on the full trailheads report. Bonus bouldering up the rockslide on the way to the first junction.
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Re: North Dome Camping?

Postby FeetFirst » Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:12 am

AlmostThere wrote:
Or, you ride or hike to the valley mile 7 sign, and go up Rockslides - which is not on a map but a valid trailhead listed on the full trailheads report. Bonus bouldering up the rockslide on the way to the first junction.


That's what I was referring to. The Rockslides TH (also listed in the on-line permit application) is about a half a mile west from the El Cap Shuttle stop E4 (El Cap bridge).
I'm still rather convinced that you can achieve more than you've ever dreamed of if you just lower your standards.
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Re: North Dome Camping?

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:22 am

FeetFirst wrote:
AlmostThere wrote:
Or, you ride or hike to the valley mile 7 sign, and go up Rockslides - which is not on a map but a valid trailhead listed on the full trailheads report. Bonus bouldering up the rockslide on the way to the first junction.


That's what I was referring to. The Rockslides TH (also listed in the on-line permit application) is about a half a mile west from the El Cap Shuttle stop E4 (El Cap bridge).


I was initially thinking of the trailhead on the road up to Crane Flat, which would be less work than Rockslides. I use that one to day hike the top of Devil's Dance Floor when we can't access tamarack flat. Tho one must be able to float across white thorn these days....
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