The Dana Plateau is on the north-eastern side of the Dana massif and approximately 500 ft below the summit. Several routes ascend perfect high Sierra granite on the Third Pillar of Dana, the most popular being The Regular Route. The Third Pillar of Dana is a prominent prow visible from the east on the Tioga pass road, however it is generally accessed from the west just outside Yosemite N.P. The Regular route is a classic and on summer weekends will often see multiple parties. However other routes on the Third Pillar are climbed far less frequently. Another excellent climb in the area is the Dana Couloir (low-angle ice), which shares the same access as the Third Pillar. The Mobil station at the intersection of the Tioga pass road and highway 395 is a surprisingly good choice to get dinner after doing a climb in this area. Definitely worth checking out.
Park at the Tioga Lake parking lot just west of the eastern entrance to Yosemite on Tioga Pass road (highway 120). In early or late season, getting to this point by car depends on when the Tioga Pass road is open - check www.i80.dot.ca.gov/hq/roadinfo/sr120 or call Yosemite national park road information at 209-372-0200. The parking lot is at about 9,500 ft elevation. From there follow the trail down to Tioga Lake that starts behind the bathrooms. Take the trail around to the eastern side of the lake. When Glacier Creek is reached, leave the lake and head east up the canyon following the creek. Follow the climber's trail for about a mile until the trees begin to thin out a bit. Continuing up canyon from here will take one eventually to the base of Dana Couloir. Instead, angle up and left to access the plateau. The way will be occasionally marked by cairns. After heading up a wide and open boulder field for about 1/2 mile the ground levels to the plateau. This is approximately 3,000 ft above the parking lot and will take about 1 to 3 hours depending on fitness level.
Browse More Classics in Dana Plateau
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Dana Plateau:
Third Pillar, Regular Route 5.10a Trad, Alpine, 5 pitches, 800 feet, Grade III
Lenticular Limbo 5.10+ Trad, Alpine, 4 pitches, 700 feet, Grade III
Featured Route For Dana Plateau
Third Pillar, Regular Route 5.10a CA : High Sierra : Dana Plateau
This route is one of the high Sierra classics. All 5 pitches have excellent climbing on very high quality granite. While most of the climbing is on cracks there is a mix of face and chimney climbing on the route as well. It can be done with a 50 m rope, but a 60 m rope will make things easier. Supertopo has an excellent description of the route in their High Sierra Climbing book (p. 108). Other good references include Secor's The High Sierra (second edition, p. 376), Croft's The Good, The G...[more] Browse More Classics in CA