This is the beginning of the steepest section. Once you arrive at Mirror Lake it’s less than a mile tocivilization. Offers great views of the surrounding area. I exited the trees at the base of Half Dome, towering high above. The area around North Dome is very exposed with few trees, so make sure you have plenty of water and sunscreen. Prepare well, drink much water, eat many salty snacks and enjoy! Explore the North Rim of Yosemite Valley on this three or four day excursion into John Muir’s famous “Range of Light.” This trip is a great early season Yosemite adventure up to the rim that overlooks one of the world’s scenic treasures, Yosemite Valley. Yosemite: North Dome via Snow Creek Hiking trail in Curry Village, California (United States). Hitchhiking or the YARTS bus will bring you back to the car. Many of the areas along the rim of the valley are day-use-only zones. Here the trail turns due north along Indian Ridge and up the headwaters of Snow Creek. Up Snow Creek switchbacks just past Mirror Lake, around Indian Peak (didn't do peak or even visit arch, sigh), to N. Dome, then on to Yosemite Falls and descent after dark. You just can’t get any better views of snowy Clouds Rest and Half Dome from this trail. We continue on to the beginning of Snow Creek Trail, a steep climb out of the Valley that delivers views of Half Dome, Quarter Domes and Clouds Rest. Take time to summit the dome, it only adds another mile to your trek and is well worth it. After you have reached the top of the Snow Creek Trail you will feel like you are right across from the top of Half Dome. The Snow Creek Canyon Trail ends here at a 3-way intersection with the Snow Creek Falls Trail (heading south to the Valley) and the Snow Creek - Porcupine Creek Trail (eventually connecting in the west with trails to North Dome). Near the close of day we arrived at our campspot on North Dome, but we scarcely had enough time to properly set up camp and photograph the fantastic surroundings. The Snow Creek Canyon Trail ends here at a 3-way intersection with the Snow Creek Falls Trail (heading south to the Valley) and the Snow Creek - Porcupine Creek Trail (eventually connecting in the west with trails to North Dome). Our goal is to camp along Snow Creek this evening, at an elevation of about 7,000 feet (2,134 m). Started 8:30am, return 11pm. Opt to turn around at any point, or continue the strenuous climb as the canyon opens to panoramic vistas culminating at Snow Creek Footbridge. This is a wonderfully scenic trip with moderate days and highlights including hiking alongside the highest waterfall in North America (Yosemite Falls-2,425') and some of the best views of Yosemite Valley and Half Dome in the entire Park. While you can hike up to North Dome from Yosemite Valley (usually as a strenuous backpacking trip up the Upper Yosemite Fall Trail or Snow Creek Trail), hiking to North Dome from Tioga Road makes for a more manageable day hike through Yosemite's forested high country. A wilderness permit must be obtained for overnight trips. "Due to bear activity along the Snow Creek trail and the potential for bear/human interactions the area to the south and east of the footbridge is closed to overnight camping and unattended food (even if stores properly). 3000 Foot Ascent of Snow Creek Trail; Summit of North Dome; Description. Take the Indian Rock Trail spur either on your way to or back from North Dome to view the only granite Arch in Yosemite, and the whole High Sierras. From the dome, head North to the top of an exposed dirt area and you should see a small off shoot to your right and Indian Arch rock in the distance, also, a great side hike that only adds a ½ mile or so. My recommendations are start early because you will be doing a lot of this hike in the sun, sunscreen in a must because of the amount of sweating you will be doing, bug spray, and plenty of water. Some trails or park services may be closed this weekend so check with local authorities before heading out. The trail worked its way along the calmer water for a bit longer with more views of North Dome and Basket Dome before dipping into the trees and away from the creek. But we were in luck and snagged a permit from Porcupine Creek… Trail Report: Snow Creek - Indian Rock - North Dome - Upper Yosemite Falls - Camp 4. Snow Creek trail is not as popular as some of Yosemite’s other trails. We assumed North Dome would be booked out, and we’d have to hike in from an alternate trail (like Snow Creek). interested in hiking trails with fewer people, the Snow Creek and Pohono Trails are fine choices with stunning views. All Posts; Guides; General Information; Local Stories; Search. Updated November 10, 2017 This route is largely just about Half Dome and the views of the valley below. On this hike, there was a tree that had fallen next to the big rock. Day 4 The group packs up camp and we finish our loop by descending the Yosemite Snow Creek Trail. Well worth the switchbacks from Mirror Lake! I spoke to the rangers and Tenaya Lake outlet is still probably chest deep (slow moving) freezing water. The final miles of trail bring runners directly into Porcupine Flat campground and the awaiting food, drinks, showers, and relaxation. Then continue to reach the Snow Creek Trail and bed down for the evening. Today's hike will be about 8 miles (12.9 km). About 1 mile past Mirror Lake, the Snow Creek Trail takes off to the left, near a big rock. The next day you will hike east out of the creek toward North Dome. An alternative route (all downhill) is to start on Tioga Rd and descend to the Snow Creek footbridge, then finish the trip via Mirror Lake in the Valley. You have to be beyond the footbridge. This is a decent stretch of 2.5 miles until youhead down into the Snow Creek Valley. Download its GPS track and follow the itinerary on a map. After you venture beyond Mirror Lake, you'll be rewarded with views across Tenaya Canyon and be dwarfed by Half Dome as you climb out of Yosemite Valley, one switchback at a time. Distance: 9.4 mi round trip Elevation gain: 2,700 ft Difficulty: Strenuous Time: 6-7 hours Trailhead: Mirror Lake . Snow Creek is one of the only places you can camp in the backcountry with a perfect view of Half Dome from the tent. The Snow Creek Trail coming in from the left is met first, then ~100' further the trail that leads down Lehamite Creek and eventually to the top of Yosemite Falls continues straight and the Indian Ridge/North Dome trail heads left (southeast). AllThingsYosemite. The first part of the path contains an approx few meter fairly sharp incline. Yeah, its a shame- that's a pretty scenic spot w/ Half Dome right across the canyon. Lot of "bang for the buck," on this short trip, spending 3 days backpacking Yosemite Valley's North Rim. Day 4 . On the last day of your adventure, your guide will finish with a descent along Snow Creek Trail to the beginning of the loop. You almost need to slide down it (and wonder how on earth you are going to get back up -- but you will). Some trails or park services may be closed this weekend so check with local authorities before heading out. The Snow Creek Trail is the toughest trail out of the Yosemite Valley. In spring, that was a good thing: we had the trail almost to ourselves. This trail can be pretty intense but it's also very rewarding so I'd say it's worth it. You’ll be back in Yosemite Valley for lunchtime and descending the more than two miles (2,500 feet) will certainly work up an appetite. From North Dome, we will have outstanding views of Half Dome and Clouds Rest. As soon as the Snow Creek Trial forks off, we started that steep, uphill portion full of switchbacks. A wonderful boulder field full of white rock extended across the path from a fall years ago. Enjoy the rest the day at your leisure. At the top of the climb you’ll reach the intersection for the Indian Rock Trail. When you are near the end, the trail to North Dome will be on your left and is marked with a bunch of rocks, lining the start of the path. On This Page Navigation Winter view looking east from the Snow Creek trail Trail Overview. North Dome hike on Snow Creek Trail (in red), starting from near the Upper Pines Campground in Yosemite Valley. Then the fun begins soon after the SnowCreek footbridge with a steep 3.8 mile decent down into Tenaya Canyon andMirror Lake. When you get to the junction of the Snow Creek Trail on the left, keep hiking straight. Trails start at 4,000 feet and often climb to above 7,000 feet in as little as four miles; pack plenty of food, water, and warm clothes to deal with these rapidly changing conditions. Follow signs to Mirror Lake, continue past the lake, and turn left onto Snow Creek Trail. The Porcupine Flat approach is the shortest and flattest of the three, but it is accessible only when Tioga Road is open for overnight parking. I completed the loop above in two days between the 15th and 16th of May. It's relatively flat and easy, and you can take either the north or south sides to reach the Snow Creek trail proper, though the south side is periodically closed by rockslides. Help keep our trails and parks open during COVID-19 by committing to social distancing. The red line marks the Tenaya Creek Canyon loop trail, which passes Mirror Lake and returns to Yosemite Valley. The trail starts at Mirror Lake and climbs to Snow Creek Falls and North Dome, then converges to the Upper Falls trail: Get off the shuttle bus at the Mirror Lake stop Walk about 1km on the paved road to Mirror Lake (note: the lake is not visible from the trail) Follow the unpaved trail to the junction with the trail going to Happy Isles. My original plan was to loop around Tenaya and Clouds Rest but I changed plans because of the snow storm. FromNorth Dome the trail heads north gaining some elevation as it follows Indianridge and around Indian Rock. North Dome is a granite dome in Yosemite National Park, California.It is the southernmost summit of Indian Ridge, 0.6 miles (1.0 km) north of Washington Column and the Royal Arches on the northeastern wall of Yosemite Valley.It can be reached by trail from the Tioga Pass Road, or by going up the Yosemite Falls trail and heading east. Along the way, a side trip to Indian Rock allows hikers to see a beautiful and rare granite arch formation. As mentioned above, this description of the Snow Creek Trail bear repeating: Hikers, myself included, would describe the trail as “strenuous” and “brutally difficult.” It is the steepest of the five trails from the Yosemite Valley floor. The trail to the left takes you down to ... Once you are back on the North Dome Trail, there is more uphill hiking as you approach Indian Rock. Day 2 We awoke to a pervasive grayness, with snow flurries to boot. A storm (some snow, mostly wind) ravaged our unprotected camp that night, making it tough to sleep, and very nearly blew my tent down at one point. Both of the ways we’ve managed to see Snow Creek Falls involved going to the east end of Yosemite Valley. North Dome may be approached via Yosemite Falls (described here), Snow Creek (also in Yosemite Valley), Porcupine Flat (on Tioga Road), or fifth-class climbing up the face of the dome. 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