Visitors on a quick trip to Yosemite National Park often miss out on the beauty along Tioga Road (Hwy 120 through the park). Lembert Dome is one of many lesser known domes (compared to Half Dome) but SO much fun for a quick hike up!
Why we love it: Depending on your mood, you can either do a 2.8 mile full loop around the dome clockwise from the Lembert Dome parking area, or you can take a shorter (but steeper) direct path from the Dog Lake parking lot. You can also choose to do the full loop and add Dog Lake for a four-mile hike.
For the Young Ones (0-10): Our kiddo was technically nine years-old on this trail, and as an experienced hiker he was winded going up the steep path from the Dog Lake parking lot (you’re at 8k feet!). We didn’t risk going to the tippy top of the dome, but he still really enjoyed the views up top and it wasn’t too challenging overall. I wouldn’t take anyone under age of seven or eight, and would only take any kids if they’re experienced hikers and aren’t daredevils.
For the Big Kids (10+): For the big kids this is is short hike with great views as a reward. We enjoyed a picnic up top and, if you’re more daring than we are, the young adults may enjoy an attempt to get to the very top. We were on the dome by ourselves, so it may be possible there’s a safe route – I just didn’t see it and didn’t want to chance it. Everyone on the dome should have shoes with grip or hang back where my son is in this photo.
Keep in Mind:
- It’s windy and exposed up top – be prepared and do NOT attempt during thunderstorms!
- Use the food lockers in the parking lot for any food you’re not taking with you. It’d be a shame to get back to your vehicle with a bear enjoying a meal inside.
- Tuolumne Meadows hiking map: Print or take a screenshot of this map! The one they hand you at the entrance isn’t detailed enough to help you understand where you need to look for the parking turnoffs. If you’re going the posted speed limit, you should see the Lembert Dome parking lot easily on your left. Not too far past it, there’s a road that goes down to your right for the Dog Lake parking.
- Tioga Road closes for snow and ice – make sure to check conditions before you head out!
Around the Area: We loved starting our day on this hike and then hitting up nearby Soda Springs, Tuolumne Meadows, and Tenaya Lake!
Difficulty Level: Moderate.