The Trail and the Plants
Overlooking Tuolumne Meadows, on the east side, is the smooth granite of Lambert Dome. The dome rises about 1000’ above the meadows offering dramatic vistas of this Yosemite landmark. There are two ways to reach the summit trail; the shorter track starts from the parking area on the way to Tuolumne Meadows Lodge. Turn into the first parking area on the left (the further parking is for the Lodge).
The trailhead is near the Bear boxes on the upper side of the parking area. The trail is not long, about 1 mile to the summit. There is a short stair-like climb to the Hwy 120 road crossing, and then the trail gradually climbs through the Lodgepole Pine forest. At about .4 mile the junction to Lembert Dome comes in from the left, follow this through more pine forest to reach the base of the dome.
Ahead is a short but thrilling climb, go up ridge directly ahead. The dome drops off sharply on the right and is gradually steeper on the left. Although it looks very smooth the granite has weathered into a good walking surface. I would still not go out on the steeper left side; it is a little too thrilling.
The final ascent of the rounded top of the Dome is the tricky part. Look for a series of crevices and carefully work your way up them.
Reaching the top you are lifted out the pine forest into the sky with the Sierra crest rising all around. Off to the west is Tuolumne Meadows and the far end of the dome offers a spectacular view. Head down the very sharp ridgeline to a saddle and then out across a flat area to the viewpoint. There are several ‘Erratic’s’ (boulders left when the glacier melted away) placed on top of this area. The view of the meadows is breathtaking.
After enjoying the views head back the way you came, carefully up the sharp ridgeline to the summit. Coming off the summit I put pride aside and slide down the steep crevice areas on my rear.