Summary: This trail is not an official NPS trail, so don't look for it on the maps. There is an unofficial use trail to its summit, so navigation isn't a problem. Being a use trail, there are very little switchbacks...just all uphill trail. The first half mile is the easiest as the trail wonders through Dana Meadows. After that be prepared for some serious up-hill hiking. About 2 miles in the trail levels off and is marked by a 3 foot tall cairn. From here the going is the toughest, requiring a keen eye to pick the best route through massive rocks up to the summit. Once at the top you are rewarded with views of Yosemite's high country, Mono Lake and the surrounding eastern Sierra. Be prepared for cold and wind, even in the summer months! Don't forget that camera!!
For more details and photos visit my website The Backcountry: Mount Dana.
Trailhead: Depending on your location, enter Yosemite National Park via highway 120, 140 or 41. Be prepared to pay $20 for the entrance fee. Once in the park head to the Tioga Pass Entrance Station. Parking is either the small lot across from the entrance building or along the road, outside the park. (Lat:37.91 Lon:-119.25)
Trail Guides for Mount Dana - Yosemite National Park, CA:
Yosemite National Park
by Jeffrey P. Schaffer (Wilderness Press)
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers,
Ranger Contact: Yosemite Wilderness Center, 209-372-0740
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Mike Matenkosky, who has posted 18 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Submit your own review
Reviewed by GW on 10/20/2011
On 10-3-11, my wife and I, along with our son, challenged the Mt Dana trail. The rangers had forewarned us it was a terrible day at 35 degrees with 30-35 mph winds. My wife made it nearly to the cairn marker but our son and I kept trekking. We succeeded!! Not one of us had AMS symptons. What a magnificant view on top. On our hike down, snow flurries began to fall. On Sat., 10-8-11, my wife and I hiked about an hour on snowshoes since 18 inches had fallen on Wed., 10-5-11. It was beautiful.
Reviewed by Will on 6/25/2007
Just did this hike for the first time, and was my first time above 13,000ft. Its a tough hike, and the last 1000ft or so of rock-hopping up to the summit is annoying, but boy is it worth it. The view from the summit is truly awe inspiring. I spent a day acclimatizing in Toulomne Meadows prior to the hike, which really seemed to help with the altitude. Note that the trail runs directly from the park ranger booth at the Park Entrance - the park ranger was happy to offer advice on the hike.
Reviewed by nicolas on 5/24/2007
We hiked this one in May 2007, after an early Tioga Road opening. Photos are posted here: http://nicolassmith.smugmug.com/gallery/2886908 Check out the snow sliding we did downhill at the end--a nice shortcut!
Reviewed by A. Riedel on 6/2/2003
This one is a beast, but, ah, what a beautiful beast. I have attempted Dana on four occasions, reaching the summit twice. The other two times I have been turned back by weather, so if clouds are close by, don't risk it - lightning struck 50 feet from where I was standing along the upper ridge. This has to be one of the most awe-inspiring summits in the United States, I have never seen a prettier one. As for the distance - I was told by a ranger that it is 2.85 miles to the top, maiking this one incredibly steep - 3300' gain in less than 3 miles, enjoy it, you will want to come back again and again.
Reviewed by Bob on 5/6/2003
Awesome hike, well worth it. Acclimatize if you can because of the 13,000 altitude. Ive heard from folks who have been atop Whitney that the view from Dana is better. Its a fantastic view-stunning. The hike itself is pretty straight-forward, and is mostly way above treeline. From a distance the slopes of Dana appear very smooth but actually the upper flanks are rather large scree. Be sure to stay to the north/NW ridge when starting up and going down the summit pyramid, which rises from a plateau you reach after a couple miles (Youll see a large rock cairn, stay to the left of it as you proceed towards the ridge. I used Mt. Hoffman (10,500) in the center of Yosemite NP as a build-up for this one two days earlier. Great views as well.
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
Keys: California Hiking, California Trails, California Hikes, Mariposa County Hiking, Mariposa County Trails, Mariposa County Hikes