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North Dome Backpacking Help

PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 2:24 pm
by HenrySavage
Hello friends,
I am planning on backpacking to North Dome in early September. Plan is to leave from the porcupine creek trail head and to spend the first night of our trip near North Dome. I have two questions and would love any and all feedback. First question is has anyone been up there in the last few weeks and is there a decent water source near by. From what I can tell on the map Lehamite Creek is the closest but I'm not even sure if its flowing this time of year. Anyone know of anything closer or if Lehamite is my best option? Second question is does anyone have any suggestions for where to set up camp near North Dome. I would like to be close enough to enjoy a beautiful sunset on the dome but am hoping to not have to walk too far back to camp in the dark... Thanks the feedback folks :D


Re: North Dome Backpacking Help

PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:58 pm
by balzaccom
Yep, the closest water to North Dome is Lehamite Creek, and there are a couple modest campsites around there. It still had water in it in October of few years ago when we did this route as a day hike.

It's about 4 miles from there to Porcupine Flat Trailhead, I think. But that's a mile or more from North Dome. Camping ON North Dome? Not sure you'd like that. We prefer a place that has a little more privacy, and frankly, a little better toilet facilities. Not sure where you would go on North Dome itself, and the trail that hikes back up the granite to the main North Rim Trail is actually quite steep. Not something you'd like to try to do in the dark.

You might have better luck along the Snow Creek Trail. Snow Creek should have water as well, and the views from the top there are also nice.

Re: North Dome Backpacking Help

PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:17 pm
by HenrySavage
Thanks for the response. I probably should have been more clear. This is only the first night of a longer trip we are planning. Just want to do one night as close to north dome as possible. Planning to get within the general vicinity of North Dome and set up a tent. Then planning to hike down to the nearest water source to bring back ample water for the night. I'm sure North Dome probably isn't the most hospitable campground but I read a few folks reviews on that said there are beautiful sunsets and a few small established campsites nearby. Do you remember there being any established campsites at or close to north dome when you were on your trip? Also if you don't mind answering is the walk from North Dome to lehimite creek fairly easy? Thanks again for helping us out.

Re: North Dome Backpacking Help

PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:29 pm
by WanderingJim
HenrySavage wrote: I'm sure North Dome probably isn't the most hospitable campground

Actually, there are a few very nice campsites right next to the top of North Dome. Once you climb down from the ridge above, there are several spots and enough flat area to not roll off the edge easily. :)

From there it's just a quick hop out to the top of North Dome for the sunset and sunrise (both are spectacular from there).

Re: North Dome Backpacking Help

PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 12:50 pm
by Phil
I would second the notion of the dome itself not being the most hospitable to camping. The ridge above has some sites, but the better ones are down in the saddle once you start walking down the spur trail to the dome. For water, once you pass the big junction a few miles past the Porcupine Creek trailhead, about halfway out further along to ND is Royal Arch Creek. Can't say this year, but it generally has good flow until late in the season. It crosses the trail, so if it's going, you'll see it. Get your water there. If not, it's down and over to Lehamite Creek.

And yes, the walk down from North Dome to Lehamite is easy; a little rocky at first, then forested and a gentle grade the rest of the way.