Highlights: Mount Dana, at 13,061′, is the second highest peak in Yosemite only shy to Mount Lyell at 13,114′. However, many people agree that the Mount Dana hike offers the better view of the two with amazing views at the crest of the Sierras. This strenuous hike rises almost 3,000′ in just over 3-miles, but is simply one of the best of all Yosemite hiking trails!
Meeting Location: Tioga Pass Gate at 9.943′
High Point: Mt. Dana Summit at 13,061′
Elevation Gain: 3,118′
Meeting time and location: 8:00am on the northeast side of Hwy 120 right outside the Tioga Gate to the park, located on the Eastern side of Yosemite.This is along Hwy 120 (also known as Tioga Road). It takes approximately 1.75 hours to drive to this location from Yosemite Valley.
The Mount Dana hike is the highest elevation day hike offered by Lasting Adventures Inc, beginning at nearly 10,000 feet in elevation. Though it is a short hike, the three miles to Mount Dana’s peak, Yosemite’s second tallest mountain standing at 13,053 feet, is a very strenuous uphill charge ascending 3000 vertical feet. Being one of the park’s only non-granitic mountains, lose shale and an indefinite trail make the last mile or so quite an adventure, but highly worth the difficulty.
We begin our first mile through moderately flat terrain, trekking through the gorgeous Dana Meadows, a high sierra meadow painted with gorgeous grasses, flowers and crystal-clear meandering streams. Be sure to bring lots of water, for the succeeding two miles is a serious climb, ascending 3000 vertical feet with very little opportunity to refill water. Now begins the toughest part of the day, an intense and thrilling 2-mile ascent to the top of Mount Dana. As mentioned earlier, it is easy to lose the trail in the splintering shale, so please follow the guides, who will keep you safe and comfortable whilst shooting for the top.
Being atop this immense peak offers incredible views west into Tuolumne Meadows’ high country, south towards the Ritter Range outside of park boundaries into Ansel Adams Wilderness, and to the east you will find no greater view of the huge and stunning Mono Lake than from atop this peak. After enjoying the breath-taking views and thin, cool, refreshing air, so begins our descent back to where we started. 3000 vertical feet in 2 miles back into Dana Meadows, and a refreshing mile long cool down hike through flat terrain back to the Tioga Pass gate where we parked our vehicles.
Guides carry first aid kits, water purification methods, toilet paper (for emergencies), suntan lotion and bug repellent. Please plan to bring your own lunch, snacks, water bottles, etc. Remember, all profits from our guided trips go towards supporting our youth summer camp program.
Note: Should weather, fire, and/or delayed seasonal openings affect the chosen itinerary, a different itinerary will be offered. You will be kept in contact throughout this process.