As you make your way through Yosemite National Park
, ensure extra time to explore famous Tuolumne Meadows. Surrounded by granite domes, craggy peaks, and miles of hiking trails, this High Sierra landscape spans wide. But for a truly grand view, you’ve got to get out of your car and go on a short hike to bold—and bald—Lembert Dome. The trail gets down to business immediately, with only one way to go: up! The good news is that the ascent is short. (You’ll climb 900 feet in just 1.5 miles.) The final push to the tip-top of the dome is a bit of a rock scramble (manageable with mindful footwork), and the payoff is one of the best panoramic views this side of Half Dome. This year’s late winter means the meadows below are extra green and surrounding peaks are still capped with snow. Snap a photo, give it a fist pump (Lembert leaps aren’t advised), and try not to lose your hat on your way back down (winds can pick up suddenly). Been there, dome that.
From Hwy. 120 in Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite, turn right at the sign for the Wilderness Center. Follow the road .25-mile back to the Dog Lake parking area (don’t park at the Lembert Dome parking/picnic area along Hwy. 120.) The trail starts at the north end of the parking lot and crosses Hwy. 120. Follow the signs up to the dome. No dogs.