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!
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, Allium sp. (Onion)
image 2, Castilleja sp.
image 3, Pedicularis attollens (Little Elephant's Head)
image 4, Mimulus guttatus (Common Large Monkeyflower)
image 5, unidentified
image 6, Orthilia secunda (Siebells Wintergreen)
image 7, Calochortus leichtlinii (Mariposa Lily)
image 8, Monardella odoratissima (Coyote Mint)
image 9, Lupinus sp.
image 10, Sphenosciadium capitellatum (Ranger's Button)
image 11, Butterflies on Monardella
image 12, Butterflies on Monardella
image 13, Lupinus sp.
image 14, Thistle, unidentified
image 15, Cabbage butterfly on Monardella
image 16, Allium campanulatum (Sierra Onion) within Thistle rosette
image 17, Plantathera leucostachys (Sierra Rein Orchid)
image 18, Lilium parvum (Alpine Lily)
image 19, Aster breweri (Brewer's aster)
image 20, Elymus elymoides (squirreltail)
image 21, Holodiscus discolor (creambush)
image 22, Yosemite toad (?) tadpoles
image 23, Aquilegia pubescens (Sierra columbine)
image 24, interesting rock
image 25, Thistle rosette
image 26, unidentified
image 27, chipmunk with vegatation
image 28, chipmunk with vegatation
image 29, Epilobium obcordatum (Rockfringe)
image 30, Mimulus sp.
image 31, Eriogonium sp. (buckwheat)
image 32, Ivesia gordonii (Alpine Ivesia) [Note: based on number of stamens, petals more like Ivesia pygmaea]
image 33, Eriogonum sp.
image 34, Eriogonum sp.
image 35, Eriogonum sp.
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, Castilleja sp.
image 38, looking down the Dana Glacier valley.
image 39, Eriogonum rosense (Rosy buckwheat)
image 40, botanist at work
image 41, butterfly
image 42, Sedum roseum ssp. integrifolium (large stonecrop)
image 43, Salix arctica (arctic willow)
image 44, Potentilla sp.
image 45, Potentilla sp.
image 46, Mimulus sp. with whorled penstemon (Penstemon heterodoxus)
image 47, Geum sp.
image 48, Potentilla fruticosa (shrubby cinquefoil)
image 49, Glacier creek
image 50, juvenile Clark's Nutcracker
image 51, juvenile Clark's Nutcracker