North Dome, Yosemite NP

  • Distance: 8.8 miles, out and back
  • Trailhead Elevation: 8,100 feet (2,470 meters)
  • Location: Tioga Raod
  • North Dome Elevation: 7,540 feet (2,300 meters)

Another family trip to our beloved national park, another dome!
North Dome is a granite rock facing the famous Half Dome.
To get there, we started at 10 am. The trail starts off Tioga Raod, passing through the woods. I love everything about the woods; the smell, the shade, the calm, the loftiness and the suspense. You don’t know what’s hidden behind the curves and the trees till you get closer….We saw plenty of deers playing in the woods.

The Yosemite was closed for over three months due to COVID-19 pandemic, so many animals were fearlessly walking around on the roads and trails which normally wold be crowded from the tourists. I was following the Yosemite page on social media during the lockdown to catch glimpses of carefree wildlife roaming around in the park. Since this was the first weekend since the park was opened, I seriously was hoping to see many animals during my trip.

We passed this couple who was coming back, they told us to be careful because there was a baby black bear just a 100 yards ahead of us! We walked a few steps further and sure enough, we saw this beautiful baby bear crossing our trail. We stopped and let it pass. We were a little nervous moving forward because we knew that the mama bear would be close to the baby and we didn’t want to cross our paths from the momma. We waited there for a while and watched the baby disappear in the woods. We decided to stay close to each other and moved on. I have seen the bears in the Yosemite in the past, mostly from the car, but this was the closest encounter ever. All this happened within the first 30 minutes in the trail, this already made our day!

Halfway in, the trail got exposed and we started seeing the familiar granite peaks from the other side of the valley.
We saw the trail splitting off on the left to the Indian Arch, but we decided to hit that during our return.
We kept on going till we started seeing the half dome. We were getting closer and closer, we got to this ridge from where it became clearer.

The actual North Dome was underneath the ridge were on, so we started climbing down to get to it, last steep walk, and there we were!
The location of the North Dome is just so perfect, it gives you an incredibly close up view to the Half Dome. Not only that, but you also get to see the Clouds Rest on the left too, and the entire valley. I am not exaggerating, but this by far was the best view of the Half Dome, Clouds Rest and Glacier point, all in one panorama spanning across from the Yosemite Valley.
This was just a perfect little family adventure, we had so much fun being here, there weren’t as many people because it’s not your popular valley hike plus the limited number of permits were being distributed due to the pandemic.

we visited the Indian Arch on our way back, its a small half a mile detour, it was a fun addition to the trail.

I am not sure why we waited so long to get here, but I already made plans to come back here with my friends!

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