Dog Lake rests near the shadow of Lembert Dome in the High Sierra of Yosemite National Park, California, USA.
Following completion of the descent from the Lembert Dome, the logical decision to hike the shared trail to Dog Lake seems intuitively obvious. Hiking to Dog Lake is a nearby and easy extension.
To begin the Dog Lake hike from the shared trail-head back at Tioga Road would be 2.4 mile (3.8 KM) hike with an elevation gain of about 600 ft (183 m).
From the base of Lembert Dome, the trail returns past the beautiful pond below the sheer north face and across the clearly signed trail junction leading to Dog Lake.
The trail to Dog Lake is relatively flat through fir and lodgepole pine forest. Almost immediately the route passes a trail on the left which leads to horse riding stables more easily accessed from the main road.
Further along, another clearly signed trail junction heads left 4.9 miles (7.8 KM) to Young Lakes. Past this trail junction it is a short hike on a gentle decline to the west end of Dog Lake.
The trail terminates at a T-junction which will allow circumvention of the lake in either direction. Heading left is driven by the intention to explore a small but prominent peninsula on the northwest side of the lake.
The shoreline of Dog Lake is very beautiful and marshland in the foreground is framed by crystal-clear water with majestic mountains in the distance.
The half-mile-long (0.8 KM) lake rests at 9,240 ft (2,816 m) of elevation.
The peninsula that juts into the northwest corner of Dog Lake is sandy, sparsely forested and an ethereal place to sit and ponder.
There are opportunities to capture afternoon sunlight on the crystal-clear shoreline waters of Dog Lake accentuated by brilliant, green marshland, driftwood and submerged timber. The fresh aroma hanging on gentle breeze is intoxicating.
An intuitive and erroneous decision assumes the shortest route back to the parking area will be to return once again past the pristine pond below, and the spur trail into, Lembert Dome.
This flaw in logic results in completing the entire loop around Lembert Dome, providing the enjoyment of not previously hiked trail and a much longer hike along Tioga Road.
The misguided initiative is worthwhile and several photographs of the dome are captured that would have otherwise been missed.
In spite of the fact considerable distance has already been hiked this day, there is one more hiking opportunity nearby in the Tuolumne Meadows area of Yosemite National Park too good to pass up.
Soda Springs is more spectacular than originally anticipated.