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The original plan was to go up Dana Plateau, traverse along the ridge to the summit of Mt. Dana and down the regular route. However, the traverse described as Class 3 was written by a climber, not a hiker, and we weren't willing to attempt it. We returned by dropping into Glacier Canyon, and following the established use trail out to Tioga Lake, and then up the meadows to Tioga Pass.Map(s) of perambulations below.
We started by following the Mt. Dana trail to near the base of the talus fields, then contouring mostly below the talus, then across the talus as we turned into Glacier Canyon. We crossed the canyon and followed the use trail up the swale into Dana Plateau. We skirted the edge, with its spectacular views over the Mono Valley on the way to the peak of the plateau. There the plateau narrows to a craggy knife-edge ridge beyond our abilities.
On the way down, we followed the inner edge of the canyon, with its different spectacular views. At a break in the canyon wall, we dropped into the canyon, down to just below the head of the cirque. From there we followed a fairly distinct use trail down the canyon and eventually met up with the well established Glacier Canyon trail for the steep and dusty drop towards Tioga Lake.
About 9 miles and 3700 feet of ascent.
Sunny and breezy.
Map of hike location and route detail maps, route in blue and red
Dana Plateau / Robert Parks / email@example.com / revised May