Elevation: 7,170 ft
GPS: 37.758, -119.562 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 35,975 total · 213/month
Shared By: Josh Janes on Sep 21, 2006
Admins: M Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes
Access Issue: Latest updates on Covid and 2020 visits. Details

Description

The massive North Dome is like having a little bit of Tuolumne right in the Valley... or right above the Valley... and... well, I think the rock quality is better than Tuolumne too, but I can only speak for Crest Jewel. Expect a possibly long approach and descent, sun all day, possible high winds, and fantastic views down Valley and across at Half Dome.

Getting There

The two sensible approaches are to climb Royal Arches or to approach from HW 120 at the Porcupine Creek Trailhead. The former requires a lot of climbing, the latter requires 5 miles of relatively level hiking.

Royal Arches: After finishing the climbing and gaining the trail into the woods, scramble up some steep steps to a large boulder at a level area. Move around behind this boulder and pick up a good trail that heads due east along the top of the Royal Arches wall. Eventually this trail crosses some slabs and the views of North Dome tempt one to scramble directly up to it. Resist and continue into the woods until directly below North Dome and above the Washington Column. At this saddle, and just before dropping down the other side, the trail branches off up towards North Dome and past a bunch of cool boulder and obvious bivy spots. Continue into the woods on a good trail until reaching the base of the dome. Some climbs start straight ahead, others up and around the left flank.

Porcupine Creek Trailhead: Follow the trail into the woods due north until almost reaching the back (and top) of North Dome. Cross the major trail that heads west (Yosemite Falls Trail) and pick up a smaller, but well traveled, trail that winds down around the west side of North Dome. Eventually this trail falls apart and you have the choice of keeping near North Dome (possibly heinous bushwacking) or continuing well west to reach a passage down through massive, steep slabs. I've only gone down these slabs (as a descent from North Dome) and they turned out to be quite easy, but I was left in doubt as to whether they'd be passible (and whether or not I was going the right way at all) until the very end.

2 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at North Dome

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 71
South Face Route
Trad 7 pitches
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b R
 142
Crest Jewel (and Crest Jewel Dir…
Trad, Sport 15 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
South Face Route
 71
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 7 pitches
Crest Jewel (and Crest Jewe…
 142
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b R Trad, Sport 15 pitches
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