California, United States
Mount Dana is a mountain on the eastern edge of Yosemite National Park in the U.S. state of California. At an elevation of 13061 feet, it is the second highest mountain in Yosemite (after Mount Lyell). Mount Dana is the highest peak in Yosemite that is a simple hike to the summit. Mount Dana is named after James Dwight Dana, who was a professor of geology at Yale College.
Mount Dana is composed of prebatholithic rock that is mostly reddish metamorphic rock, which was composed by metavolcanics of surfacing magma from the Mesozoic Era.
Mount Dana's northern face includes a small, receding glacier known as the Dana Glacier.
The Dana Meadows lie at the foot of the mountain.
From the top, lakes throughout Dana Meadows, Mono Lake, and many other mountains are in view.
Mount Dana is typically hiked from its western face beginning at the Tioga Pass Yosemite Park entrance and
is a class 1-2 hike, rising 3108 feet in elevation in 2.9 miles from the park entrance at Tioga Pass (a 20.3% average grade). The trail is not maintained, so users must assume any risk.
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.