North Dome via Porcupine Creek Trail

Lee Vining, California 93541

North Dome via Porcupine Creek Trail

North Dome (via Porcupine Creek Trail) Professional Review and Guide

"North Dome, a 7,542-foot granite promontory on the north rim, offers the best close-up view there is of Half Dome and Clouds Rest. The bald, polished dome sits 3,571 feet above the Yosemite Valley, with captivating panoramas of the valley, Tenaya Canyon, Glacier Point, Sentinel Dome, Liberty Cap, Panorama Cliff and Illilouette Fall. Two routes from Yosemite Valley also access North Dome, but both routes are very strenuous—Yosemite Falls Trail (Hike 32) and Tenaya Canyon (Hike 35). This hike follows the third and easiest route to North Dome via the Porcupine Creek Trail beginning from Tioga Road."

North Dome (via Porcupine Creek Trail) Reviews

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This is a great day hike if you’re looking for something up and out of the Valley. We hiked this on an early weekend in October with cool weather and a mild wind blowing. Once out at North Dome it can be windy but the views are definitely worth the hike and the stiff breeze you may have to put up with. We left the Porcupine Creek trailhead at around 11am and retuned to the cars at about 4:30pm. This included taking about an hour lunch out on North Dome. The hike is not that strenuous but be prepared to be out for about 5 - 6 hours depending on your conditioning. Also, depending on your conditioning, allow yourself an extra ½ hour or so on the return to make the climb back up from North Dome to Indian Ridge. The trail drops approx 700 feet from the ridge out to the point. At this time of the year there is no water in the streams to pump water so make sure and take plenty. The views from North Dome are spectacular. Make sure to hike all the way out to the end. Some folks thought the trail ended at the first overlook when you first catch the views of Clouds Rest and Half Dome. However the trail continues on and down for about another ½ mile out to the point. This is where the best views are. If you’re looking for views comparable to what you’d get from the top of Half Dome but aren’t up for the 17 mile round trip hike to the top of Half Dome, take the approx 1 hour drive from the Valley floor to the trailhead at the Porcupine Creek parking area on Tioga Pass Road and make the 2 hour hike out to North Dome.

North Dome (via Porcupine Creek Trail) Photos

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Trail Information

Lee Vining
Nearby City
650 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Easy to Moderate
Skill Level
4.5 hours
Best spring through fall
Yosemite National Park
Local Contacts
USGS Yosemite Falls
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018