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Re: North Dome Loop

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North Dome Loop
October 20, 2012 01:20PM
Does anyone have any information or experience with day hiking to North Dome as a loop. We are thinking we would start via Yosemite Falls Trail and return via Snow Creek. We realize that this is MILEAGE & ELEVATION but this is what works for us.
How much time to allow?
Best direction?
Anyone?

Thank you
Re: North Dome Loop
October 20, 2012 02:23PM
Re: North Dome Loop
October 20, 2012 04:53PM
I've done it a couple of times. It's an all day hike. Start early, and carry headlamps in case someone has trouble and you end getting down late. Take some moleskin or equivalent to treat any possible blisters on the 106 switchbacks going down Snow Creek. Ditto for naproxen, etc.

I usually add Basket Dome to the route and bushwhack from there over to Snow Creek (see link), but that's a significant grunt. If you haven't done it before, what you have planned makes for a great, but very strenuous day hike. You don't need to go looking for off-trail stuff to do.

However, the short side trail to Indian Rock is worth it.

Between Lehamite Creek and Snow Creek there is no reliable water. Remember that empty water bottles weigh almost nothing going up the Falls trail, so carry some extra ones to fill up at the bridge.

Have fun. It should be a memorable trip. The views are fantastic.
Re: North Dome Loop
October 20, 2012 06:10PM
Thank you for the response wherever! Are the switchbacks similar in difficulty to heading up yosemite falls? Do you recommend going in the opposite direction?

Thanks!
Re: North Dome Loop
October 20, 2012 11:26PM
Quote
lilagray
Thank you for the response wherever! Are the switchbacks similar in difficulty to heading up yosemite falls? Do you recommend going in the opposite direction?

Thanks!

If you stay on the trails, the difficulty is the same in either direction. The choice of direction, in my opinion, depends on the temperature and your photographic aspirations. Snow Creek is in the sun in the morning, and gets shade earlier in the afternoon. In hot weather, I'd go up the falls and down Snow Creek. Also, Half Dome is poorly lit for photography in the morning, which is a reason to hit the falls trail first.

If it is really cold, go up Snow Creek and down the falls trail. You will get more sunshine on the trail itself that way.

You didn't mention what time of year we are talking about. If it's in the next month or two, be mentally prepared to just turn around and go back the way you came if you get into sheets of refrozen ice crust on top of snow, or if the weather turns bad. Of course, if you carry crampons, and that sort of stuff, it's another matter. There are some threads about that on this forum.

But you should be OK just hiking for a few weeks, since the ground isn't frozen. The prediction for this Monday is for snowfall above 5500 feet. That should melt fairly quickly, if there isn't another storm just around the corner. The main thing this time of year is keep your plans flexible. There are lots of fun things to do without completing the loop that you planned.
avatar Re: North Dome Loop
October 20, 2012 07:34PM
Both sets of switchbacks are a lot of work,. Going up Yosemite Falls trail is nice in that you get the reward of being first at Columbia Rock, and then at the top of the falls, whereas going up snowcreek the reward is simply being done with the switchbacks and being into the forest...certianly less climactic. And if you go up the Yosemite Falls trail and are just plain worn out after getting to the top of the falls you can come back down and you will have achieved something more than just getting up some switchbacks.
The cross country mentioned by wherever (Indian Rock down to Snowcreek, is relatively easy, and better downhill imho.
Be sure to check the shuttle bus hours. Coming down Snowcreek at the end puts you at Mirror Lake, and if you miss the last shuttle you will be left with more exhausted walking in the dark to get back to your car/tent/hotel room.
avatar Re: North Dome Loop
October 21, 2012 02:39PM
Quote
Bearproof
Both sets of switchbacks are a lot of work,. Going up Yosemite Falls trail is nice in that you get the reward of being first at Columbia Rock, and then at the top of the falls, whereas going up snowcreek the reward is simply being done with the switchbacks and being into the forest...certianly less climactic.

It may be less impressive along the trail itself, but this is just five minutes or so off the top of the Snow Creek Trail...





Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/21/2012 02:44PM by ttilley.
Re: North Dome Loop
October 21, 2012 06:22PM
Indeed, doesn't matter if you just came up the Snowcreek trail switchbacks or are about to head down them, allow yourself a nice break at this spot.
avatar Re: North Dome Loop
October 21, 2012 07:37PM
It's ok.



And it's why I personally would just do this trek as 3 hikes.
1 - Snow Creek and play around
2 - Yose Creek and play around
3 - North Dome and play around (Indian Arch AND Rock are worth exploring)

By doing the loop... it prob. doesn't give one time to stop and enjoy enough imo.
Def. not this time of year.

Then again w/o doing the loop one prob. will miss the incredible "arch" falls.

Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: North Dome Loop
October 21, 2012 08:59PM
Quote
chick-on
It's ok.

And it's why I personally would just do this trek as 3 hikes.
1 - Snow Creek and play around
2 - Yose Creek and play around
3 - North Dome and play around (Indian Arch AND Rock are worth exploring)

By doing the loop... it prob. doesn't give one time to stop and enjoy enough imo.
Def. not this time of year.

Then again w/o doing the loop one prob. will miss the incredible "arch" falls.

Have fun

Too subtle. Not everyone knows that you have fallen arches.

Isn't that photo taken from Basket Dome, not North Dome?
avatar Re: North Dome Loop
October 22, 2012 07:51AM
Quote
wherever
Isn't that photo taken from Basket Dome, not North Dome?
Neither. Taken from BM6700 area like the two above it. Just not looking at Mt. Half a Dome.
smiling smiley



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: North Dome Loop
October 20, 2012 09:03PM
I did the loop starting up snow creek and coming down Yos. falls. Not sure why we chose that direction but it was fun. Think it took 11-12 hours
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