An uncommon view of Yosemite from an uncrowded viewpoint – and also a classic climb
This is an interesting hike because you start from Tuolumne Meadows (Tenaya Lake) and head down six miles on a trail (Porcupine Creek trail) to the top of North Dome, where you enjoy views of Yosemite Valley not typically seen. Plus you are right across from Half Dome, definitely a better view of the face than way down in the valley. We had lunch on top of North Dome, alone. We actually also had breakfast alone there since we hiked in very early but no surprise there.
There is also a classic face climb called Crest Jewell that heads up the side of North Dome. We bush-whacked our way down and then traversed out along the base to start the climb, but next time we’d like to do the Royal Arches up to North Dome “link-up”.
Note that although a pleasant hike and any hike in Yosemite is pretty darn good, you don’t get much for views until you actually get near North Dome.