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Yosemite National Park: Lembert Dome And Dog Lake

ca

Star Star Star Star Star

Distance: 3.7 miles


Grab unparalleled views from Lembert Dome before wading in Dog Lake‰Ûªs sun-dappled waters on this 3.6-miler through idyllic Tuolumne Meadows.
  • Dog Lake: Distant Peaks
  • Dog Lake Trailhead
  • Trail Sign
  • Trail
  • Climbing Lembert Dome
  • Lembert Dome: Exposed Rock
  • Lembert Dome: Peak View
  • Lembert Dome: Panoramas
  • Granite And Timber
  • Rock
  • Lembert Dome
  • Lembert Dome: Southward View
  • Small Pond
  • Dog Lake
  • Dog Lake: Mount Dana View

On this low-key out-and-back through Tuolumne Meadows, you’ll notch must-see panoramas from Lembert Dome’s exposed summit before meandering to one of Yosemite’s more accessible high-country lakes. Begin by crossing Tioga Road and climbing through a cool tunnel of lodgepole pines.

After turning left on a spur trail, trees yield to exposed granite slabs as you scamper, occasionally on all fours, to Lembert’s rounded, open peak. Below, the rolling contours of Tuolumne Meaows stretch to a horizon punctuated by toothy, sky-scraping peaks: Mount Florence, Cathedral Peak, White Mountain, Mount Conness and Ragged Peak are all visible.

After descending from Lembert, stroll through another shady corridor of lodgepole en route to the sunny, clear-watered Dog Lake. Bordered by pines on three sides, Dog Lake opens up to a sprawling meadow on its eastern shore. The gap lends itself to views of Mounts Gibbs and Dana to the east, while Mount Conness rises above the lodgepoles to the north. Shallow and drenched in sunlight, Dog Lake’s lapping waters practically beg for a dip before your return to the trailhead.

Weekdays, early mornings and late afternoons provide your best shot at solitude at Dog Lake. For a longer, more secluded high-country lake excursion around Tuolumne Meadows, load up your pack for a 15-mile overnight to Young Lakes.

PLAN IT
GUIDEBOOK AND MAP
The Complete Guidebook to Yosemite National Park, 6th Edition ($12.95, yosemitegifts.com). Consult the time-tested authority on Yosemite, or plan other trips in the park using BACKPACKER’s Destination’s page (backpacker.com/destinations/category/206). Get around the park using Yosemite’s free shuttle service (nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/upload/valleyshuttle.pdf).

FEES/PERMITS To enter park: $20 per car, $10 per pedestrian/ bicyclist. Pass is valid for seven days. Backcountry permits are required for all overnight stays from May through October. Reservations for a permit can be obtained no earlier than 24 weeks before the first night of your stay. Permits cost $5 per reservation and $5 per person in the party. Depending on availability, permits can also be obtained at the wilderness center on the day of your trip.

CONTACT
Call the Wilderness Permit Office at (209) 372-0740; nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/wildpermits.htm

CONDITIONS Tioga Pass Road (Highway 120) is closed between October and May. Water is available along the trail at mile 2.8, mile 3.8, mile 5.4 (seasonal), mile 7.9, mile 11.7, mile 13, and mile 14.4.

GPS DATA Download tracks and waypoints, print or order custom topos, from the menu on the left.

LOCAL LINKS
GAS
LEE VINING: CHEVRON
51557 Highway 395
Lee Vining, CA 93541
(760) 647-6330

GROVELAND: CLAIM JUMPER OUTPOST
17586 Highway 120
Groveland-Big Oak Flat, CA 95305
(209) 962-7153

GEAR
MAMMOTH MOUNTAINEERING SUPPLY
3189 Main St.
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546
(888) 395-3951

GROCERIES

EL PORTAL: EL PORTAL MARKET
10913 Highway 140
El Portal, CA 95318
(209) 379-2700

MAMMOTH LAKES: VONS
481 Old Mammoth Rd.
Mammoth Lakes, CA
(760) 934-4536

RESTAURANTS
MAMMOTH LAKES: ANGEL’S RESTAURANT
20 Sierra Blvd.
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546
(760) 934-7427

CURRY VILLAGE: DEGNAN’S DELI
9015 Village Dr.
Curry Village, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389
(290) 372-8454

LEE VINING: NICELY’S RESTAURANT
Highway 395 and 4th St.
Lee Vining, CA 93541
(760) 647-6477

GROVELAND: CAFÉ CHARLOTTE
18736 Main St.
Groveland, CA 95321
(209) 962-6455

EL PORTAL: YOSEMITE VIEW RESTAURANT
11156 Highway 140
El Portal, CA 95318
(209) 379-2681

-Text: Brian Beer. Map and photographs: Jeff Chow

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