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Lembert Dome Loop

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite + Central Sierra, California

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Lembert Dome Loop

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  • The south and west aspects of Lembert Dome (9,449') as seen shortly after starting on the trail.- Lembert Dome Loop
  • Much of the loop travels in the shade of a lodgepole pine forest.- Lembert Dome Loop
  • View of Lembert Dome from a nearby slab. The northeast shoulder, seen here, is the route most people take to gain the summit. - Lembert Dome Loop
  • The northeast shoulder of Lembert Dome with Johnson Peak (11,040') poking up on the far ridgeline.- Lembert Dome Loop
  • The northeast shoulder of Lembert Dome with Cathedral Peak (10,912') in the distance.- Lembert Dome Loop
  • View north from near Lembert Dome.- Lembert Dome Loop
  • The expanse of Tuolumne Meadows lies below.- Lembert Dome Loop
  • Lembert Dome's summit.- Lembert Dome Loop
  • Looking southeast toward Mount Lyell and the Lyell Glacier.- Lembert Dome Loop
  • Lembert Dome's summit.- Lembert Dome Loop
  • Tuolumne Meadows, Unicorn peak, Cockscomb Peak and Cathedral Peak from the summit of Lembert Dome.- Lembert Dome Loop
  • Looking up Lembert Dome from the southwest ridge.- Lembert Dome Loop
  • The Lembert Dome Loop crosses Highway 120.- Lembert Dome Loop
  • The trail parallels the Dana Fork of the Tuolumne River for a short stretch.- Lembert Dome Loop
  • The loop shares a brief section with the Pacific Crest Trail and the John Muir Trail.- Lembert Dome Loop
  • Lembert Dome as seen from near the parking area.- Lembert Dome Loop
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Elevated views of Tuolumne Meadows. Summiting a massive granite dome.
Cons: 
Seasonal access when Highway 120 is open.
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Region:
Yosemite + Central Sierra, CA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
900.00 ft (274.32 m)
Parking Pass: 
National Park Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
3.20 mi (5.15 km)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
8,600.00 ft (2,621.28 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Team

Wondering where to get an elevated view of Tuolumne Meadows and the surrounding area? Look no further than the summit of the granite monolith of Lembert Dome. Rising 800 feet above the eastern edge of the meadow, Lembert Dome affords some of the best Panaromic views that Tuolumne Meadows has to offer.

The easiest route to access Lembert Dome is the Lembert Dome Loop, which gets your boots off a typical dirt trail and up onto the Dome’s scenic granite summit (there's also a quicker Class 3 ascent option climbing a line up the southeast face). The loop circumnavigates the dome, and a spur trail heads up the backside and onto the northeast shoulder, culminating in a world-class vista.

From the Lembert Dome Parking area, head north on Lembert Dome/Dog Lake Trail, which is marked by signage and located adjacent to the vault toilets. After some gradual climbing through a lodgepole pine forest, take the right fork at the Lembert Dome/Dog Lake junction. Continue circling around the back side of the dome while keeping an eye out for the spur trail that leads up the dome’s northeast shoulder. This spur trail junction is also signed.

The climb up Lembert Dome’s back side leaves behind the dirt at treeline and ascends the granite shoulder. The ascent is a walk-up route with borderline Class 2 climbing in a few places depending on the route taken, but it generally it shouldn’t pose a problem for anyone able to make the hike up to the back side of the dome. From the summit, panoramic views include all of Tuolumne Meadows, the Cathedral Range to the south, and the Sierra Crest peaks of Mount Dana, Mount Gibbs and the Mount Lyell glacier to the east. A bit of exploring around the summit offers additional vistas, just be careful not to get too close to steep terrain, there is plenty of it. To the west of the summit and a bit lower in elevation you'll find another fantastic viewpoint from which to take in the wonders of Tuolumne. The setting is hard to beat for a lunch or rest stop.

For the descent, retrace your steps back to the dirt trail and return to the loop, taking a right back at the junction. Continue down to Highway 120/Tioga Pass Road, cross it, and head south through the Dog Lake parking area. Here you’ll head west along the Pacific Crest Trail/John Muir Trail, paralleling the Dana Fork of the Tuolumne River. The trail leads past the Tuolumne Meadows Wilderness Center and intersects again with Highway 120 across from the Lembert Dome parking area where your adventure began.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(12 within a 30 mile radius)

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(80 within a 30 mile radius)

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