Dana Plateau

Yosemite National Park, California

August 3, 2008

Getting there:

Above Tioga Lake there is a parking area on the east side of the road. Park there and find a fisherman's trail down and around the south side of the lake. You will come to a trail juncture with a sign. Turn right and head up on the slopes into the forest. Eventually the trail will meet a stream which you follow for a ways. You reach a bench and follow the trail to the north side of the meadow, up a rocky band and then onto a scree slope. The trail comes and goes.

We did a roughly 6 mile hike round trip starting at an elevation of 9738' and getting to 11,650' at the high point. Click on the image below to access the Google Map.

This is a high mountain hike, you should be prepared for it!

Some Geology:

DANA PLATEAU, unglaciated remnant of an ancient land surface sharply truncated by glacial cirques. Ellery Lake and the Toga Road lie 2,000 ft below. At upper right is Mount Dana, with an unglaciated surface sloping downward to right. These two remnant surfaces are parts of a once-continuous surface breached by a glacial cirque excavated by past glaciers and now containing the present-day Dana Glacier, seen as the gray, oval-shaped spot on the snow below Mount Dana (see fig. 82). Photograph by Robert W. Cameron. Cameron and Co. (Fig. 77)

from The Geological Story of Yosemite National Park (1987) by N. King Huber

image 1
image 1, Allium sp. (Onion)

image 2
image 2, Castilleja sp.

image 3
image 3, Pedicularis attollens (Little Elephant's Head)

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image 4, Mimulus guttatus (Common Large Monkeyflower)

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image 5, unidentified

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image 6, Orthilia secunda (Siebells Wintergreen)

image 7
image 7, Calochortus leichtlinii (Mariposa Lily)

image 8
image 8, Monardella odoratissima (Coyote Mint)

image 9
image 9, Lupinus sp.

image 10
image 10, Sphenosciadium capitellatum (Ranger's Button)

image 11
image 11, Butterflies on Monardella

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image 12, Butterflies on Monardella

image 13
image 13, Lupinus sp.

image 14
image 14, Thistle, unidentified

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image 15, Cabbage butterfly on Monardella

image 16
image 16, Allium campanulatum (Sierra Onion) within Thistle rosette

image 17
image 17, Plantathera leucostachys (Sierra Rein Orchid)

image 18
image 18, Lilium parvum (Alpine Lily)

image 19
image 19, Aster breweri (Brewer's aster)

image 20
image 20, Elymus elymoides (squirreltail)

image 21
image 21, Holodiscus discolor (creambush)

image 22
image 22, Yosemite toad (?) tadpoles

image 23
image 23, Aquilegia pubescens (Sierra columbine)

image 24
image 24, interesting rock

image 25
image 25, Thistle rosette

image 26
image 26, unidentified

image 27
image 27, chipmunk with vegatation

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image 28, chipmunk with vegatation

image 29
image 29, Epilobium obcordatum (Rockfringe)

image 30
image 30, Mimulus sp.

image 31
image 31, Eriogonium sp. (buckwheat)

image 32
image 32, Ivesia gordonii (Alpine Ivesia) [Note: based on number of stamens, petals more like Ivesia pygmaea]

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image 33, Eriogonum sp.

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image 34, Eriogonum sp.

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image 35, Eriogonum sp.

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image 36, Debbie hiking on the plateau, the blocks are remnants of the surface that existed before the Cenozoic uplift and incision of the Sierra from 25 million years ago.

image 37
image 37, Castilleja sp.

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image 38, looking down the Dana Glacier valley.

image 39
image 39, Eriogonum rosense (Rosy buckwheat)

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image 40, botanist at work

image 41
image 41, butterfly

image 42
image 42, Sedum roseum ssp. integrifolium (large stonecrop)

image 43
image 43, Salix arctica (arctic willow)

image 44
image 44, Potentilla sp.

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image 45, Potentilla sp.

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image 46, Mimulus sp. with whorled penstemon (Penstemon heterodoxus)

image 47
image 47, Geum sp.

image 48
image 48, Potentilla fruticosa (shrubby cinquefoil)

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image 49, Glacier creek

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image 50, juvenile Clark's Nutcracker

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image 51, juvenile Clark's Nutcracker