The weather was still holding and the destination was North Dome and/or Indian Arch Rock. This was a new trail for me. With mostly a southern exposure, the trail was clear for the most part. The temps were in the mid 40s in the morning and closer to mid 50s by mid day.
This little bonsai was soaking in the winter sunshine. Last January it was probably under 15 feet of snow!
There are only a couple water crossings on this trail. The first was kinda intimidating! While the ice was really thick, it was also very slippery.
In the heavy forest there are some patches of ice and frozen snow on the trail. Not so bad going up hill, but watch down coming back down. I was really glad to have hiking poles to assist!
Once up on top the trail continues along Indian Ridge with great views of the valley walls.
The trail turns off to the east and into the trees at the end of Indian Ridge, but not before this fantastic view of North Dome. This was my turn around point; it's probably another 1 1/2 miles down to the Dome from here. But I wanted to see Indian Rock.
Returning north on the trail I got my first glimpse of the Arch in the distance through the trees.
The trail to Arch climbs steeply and offers more great views of Half Dome and Sentinel Dome in the distance. (Of course, Half Dome is spectacular from the North Dome trail too, but my pics from there, not so much!).
I stopped part way up the hill for lunch. Noticing tiny acorns on the ground I was looking around for an oak tree. Then realized they were from low growing alpine oak like bushes.
Without the acorn I would have assumed they were manaznita.
The Indian Rock formation is massive; still, it seems very fragile!
This was a hard hike; close to 8 miles at 8000 feet elevation, but oh soooo worth it!