Snake Dike approach : LUSENET : Mountaineering : One Thread

Gentlepeople, What's the best way to approach Snake Dike on half Dome? It looks to me as if one could start up the old Sierra Point trail to its end, then go straight on up the broad ridge directly to the base of the climb, if that is legal and feasible. What can you tell me? Thanks, Roy Crawford

-- Roy Crawford (, July 07, 1998


I used George's approach. A nice hike at the begining. We went up too much early and had to do a few climbing moves. After that, I kept traversing to the left and then went up ok, but my friends who were more on the right complained about manzanita.

-- Quang-Tuan Luong (, October 15, 1998.

Sierra Point Trial?? Haven't heard of it. The way I've done it (4 times) is as follows: From the top of Nevada Falls, head up the trail into Little Yosemite Valley a bit (maybe 1/4 mile). At some point, cut left into the brush, over a ridge, and then thrash your way left of Lost Lake (a swampy place shown on the map). The going gets easier past this, but eventually you have the final manzanita covered hillside to grapple with. This is the slope immediately below the route, it is nearly a thousand vertical feet high I would guess.

Do not head up under the South Face and try to traverse left to the base of the route. There are tricky slabs on the traverse. Instead, I've always attacked the hillside a little left of the base of the route, heading up steep gullys (you may find a trail), then wandering right to the base of the route where there is a large cairn.

To get to the top of Nevada Falls you can either hike up from Happy Isles or start from Glacier Point. The latter is quicker on the way in but you must go uphill at the end of the day. Either way, a minimum of 3 hours is needed from the car to the base of the route, probably more like 4 unless you are real fast.


-- George Bell (, July 08, 1998.

An alternative to George's suggestion: Instead of hiking all the way up to the top of Nevada Falls, take the Mist Trail up past Vernal Fall and then, at the toe of Liberty Cap, cut left into the gully between Mt. Watkins and Liberty Cap. You will come out near Lost Lake and then you proceed as normal. Very pleasant hike...


-- David Hill (, September 09, 1998.

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