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North Dome Loop

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North Dome Loop

Postby maytag » Sat Oct 20, 2012 1:13 pm

Does anyone have any information or experience with day hiking to North Dome as a loop. We are thinking we would start via Yosemite Falls Trail and return via Snow Creek. We realize that this is MILEAGE & ELEVATION but this is what works for us.
How much time to allow?
Best direction?

Thank you

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Re: North Dome Loop

Postby AlmostThere » Sat Oct 20, 2012 7:50 pm

If you're going to hike it in spring, it'll be beautiful. Get an early start, be careful on the stream crossings. Going up either trail is going to be a fun-filled trip up granite filled switchbacks. (I'm being a little sarcastic here, these trails are knee-hammers and I did not care for them.)

If you're doing it in the next few weeks, take layered clothing, maybe some traction devices for your shoes, maybe trekking poles too. Start really early (not much light left in the day to hike this kind of distance) and have headlamps, if you hike at an average pace you'll be hiking in the dark. It's snowing Monday and Tuesday, and this will make it slushy and icy.

You're looking at 17-18 miles to hike, and 6,000+ feet of cumulative gain, for the day. Harder than Half Dome.

I would go from Porcupine Flat for a moderate 8 miles round trip. But if you don't have a car I can see how that would be difficult.
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Re: North Dome Loop

Postby ndwoods » Sun Oct 21, 2012 2:48 pm

It's a lovely hike. I did it as an overnighter tho....:)
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Re: North Dome Loop

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sun Oct 21, 2012 5:52 pm

I have done it as a day hike, and twice as an overnight. It CAN be done in a day but I enjoyed the overnight trip more. I also did it in Spring, using snowshoes for the upper part - two nights out. It was spectacular in the snow. If you are willing to carry water a ways, this opens up a lot of potential spectacular view camp spots. If you cowboy camp or use a bivy, there are tons of tiny flat spots to camp on. There is a spring near North Dome but it is not absolutely reliable. I have done it both ways - it is a toss up probably with good reasons for each direction. Yosemite Falls trail has more shade. From a photographic standpoint, the views of Half Dome are better in the evening if that is a goal. In early season, if the upper part is snow covered, coming up from Snow Creek, it can be hard to find and intersect the proper trail where all the trails join. I got less confused going the other direction (start at Yosemite Falls). It is pretty thick timber up there and if just map reading, it is easy to get temporarily lost if the trail is partially or completely covered with snow.
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