5.2 miles, Half day
Mt. Dana is relatively easily accessible 13000+ ft peak and is the second highest in Yosemite National Park (Mt. Lyell is the highest one). The trail head is located right next to the East entrance of the Yosemite National Park.
There are no trail markers or maps but there is an unofficial use trail to the top and is pretty easy to follow. The trail starts with an easy walk through the meadows before it starts going up through a series of switchbacks. After about 1.5 miles from the trailhead and about 1500 ft high, you reach a flat area and the peak comes into sight. You are about half away at that point and the serious climb is about to start.
After you walk across the flat area, the trail gets lost in the rocks and you have to follow your instincts and the stone cairn markers and head towards the peak. You will be hiking up loose rock and need to be careful with your footing.
Once you reach the top, the views are just incredible!
- Bring lot of water as there are no places to fill up after the hike through the Dana meadows.
- Be prepared for the wind and the cold at the top of the mountain.
- There are some restrooms at the parking lot but no water. So plan accordingly.