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Guide to Tuolumne Meadows Trails (1960) by Allan Shields


I. LEMBERT DOME

(1-easy half day, 900 ft., 4 miles).

The summit of this Tuolumne landmark provides a commanding view of practically the entire Tuolumne Meadows region, including Mt. Lyell, the highest park prominence (13,114 ft.) and Mt. Dana, the second highest (13.053 ft.). On this hike it is possible to find all seven of the cone bearing trees (3)* of the region by making the circle trip (see below).

Lembert Dome is named for John Baptist Lembert who homesteaded in Tuolumne in 1885, raising Angora goats between 1889-90, finally patenting his land in 1895. He was murdered in his cabin on Cascade Creek in 1896; his property passed to his brother, who then sold it to the McCauley brothers in 1898. Lembert’s property included the Sierra Club property and the Soda Spring. The Sierra Club purchased the property in 1912 and it is still (1960) in their title.

Directions: Find the trail by crossing the bridge of the Tuolumne River, continue to the base of the dome, following through the forest or across the meadow, keeping to your left around the dome base until you reach the small, building which houses a radio transmitter. The main trail begins immediately behind the building. After you have climbed about 2/3 of the ridge, you will reach a trail division. Take the right hand trail, following it to the back shoulder of the dome. When you reach the top of the back shoulder, turn right and follow the natural contour toward the summit (southerly). Though there is no trail from the shoulder, there are obvious easy routes up the granite slope to the summit. Look for the register to sign. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DESCEND BY WAY OF THE SLOPE OF THE DOME. IT IS VERY DANGEROUS.

To return, simply retrace steps. Better still, make a circle trip by returning to the back shoulder and turning right down through the forest, staying close enough to the Dome to keep your bearings. By following the dome base down through the forest, you will come out on the main road. Turn right and walk back

A commanding view of
Yosemite’s high country can
be obtained from the top of
Lembert Dome.
    McCrary, NPS
[click to enlarge]
A commanding view of Yosemite’s high country can be obtained from the top of Lembert Dome. McCrary, NPS
Sierra junipers
seem to prefer
solitude and
seek out the
desolate wind-
swept granite
slopes. This
one grows on
Lembert Dome.
[click to enlarge]

McCrary, NPS
Sierra junipers seem to prefer solitude and seek out the desolate wind-swept granite slopes. This one grows on Lembert Dome. McCrary, NPS
to point of origin, or cross road into forest and parallel the road.

Special features: Only seven cone-bearing trees occur in Tuolumne. By making the circle trip, you may find all seven. On the way up, watch for the lodgepole pine (3, p. 21), mountain hemlock (3, p. 34) and the western white pine (3, p. 16). On the lower slopes of the dome, after starting out on the granite, watch for a few whitebark pines 3, p. 19). On the way down, look for California red fir (3, p. 29), Jeffrey pine (3, p. 10), and Sierra juniper (3, p. 44).

Lembert Dome abounds in glacial evidence. Erratic boulders are evident on the back shoulder in profusion. Look and feel under the rocks for glacial polish that has weathered very little. Do not move rocks. From the summit one can look over on many square miles of scoured granite, and understand why Muir refers to Tuolumne as an area of maximal glaciation (6, 21, 39).

Birds most commonly encountered include the Clark’s nutcracker (1, p. 115), mountain chickadee (1, p. 115), and the Oregon junco (1, p. 137).

A topographic map will be indispensable in naming the major peaks. A compass is helpful in orienting the map, but not necessary.

‘See Bibliography on p. 201. Number refers to corresponding work on the list.

Glacial polish and erratic boulders show that in post ages, Lembert Dome was overridden by glaciers. McCrary, NPS Glacial polish
and erratic
boulders show
that in post
ages, Lembert
Dome was
overridden by
glaciers.
McCrary, NPS
[click to enlarge]


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