Mount Dana - Hike

Hike

From the Tioga Pass Road there are many easy routes. (class 1), available that lead to the summit along the mountain's western or southern slopes. These routes rise 3,108 feet (947 m) in elevation in 2.9 miles (4.7 km), (a 20.3% average grade). The trail is not frequently maintained.

There is a clearly marked path leading just above tree line. After topping a ridge, a set of use-paths and ducked routes are present, with the main path running along the easterly ridgeline. Additionally, numerous alternate trail segments begin and end at various points on the southwestern face, making parts of this hike a difficult class 2. The path segments turn into scree toward the summit, where a shallow stone-walled shelter and register are found. Significant snow fields on the mountain slopes can exist late into the summer season. Total round trip hiking time can be anywhere between 3 and 12 hours depending many factors, such as acclimatization to elevation.

After reaching a plateau above the tree line, almost all vegetation disappears with the exception of lichen and a few high alpine Sky Pilot (Polemonium eximium). Fauna are largely limited to spiders and insects, such as black/brown grasshoppers. The only mammals other than humans are marmots and American Pikas which are lagomorphs related to rabbits.

Thunderstorms are known to arise suddenly, making the rocks slippery, and the hiking dangerous year round.

Even experienced hikers can face altitude sickness, due to the high elevation.

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