Medlicott Dome is one of the biggest domes in Tuolumne, if not the biggest in sheer size and volume. It is located on the south side of CA-120, between Mariolumne Dome and Dozier Dome, not too far from Pywiack Dome. It has a huge number of climbing routes, most of which are bolted faces with occasional cracks and offwidths. Among them are such classics as Shagadellic (5.8), Ceibola (5.10b), Goldmember (5.9), Super Chicken (5.9), Piss Easy (5.8 R) and now infamous Bachar-Yerian (5.11c R/X). The dome has two distinct climbing areas: its right and left sides (as you look at it from the road). The dome's right side hosts the route known to be the hardest face climb in Tuolumne today - Peace (5.13c/d), first climbed and bolted by Ron Kauk and featured in the Masters of Stone IV video.
Aside from rock climbing, this dome is a perfect destination for hikers and backpackers who seek solitude and incredible scenery. Short approach and easy class 3 scrambling will get you to the top, offer expansive and rare views of the Yosemite high country, and the opportunity to rest by the beautiful lake hidden on the left side of the dome's summit. You will also be in a close proximity of Cathedral lakes.
With the exception of a few classic moderate routes, it is never crowded, even on a busy holiday weekend.
You can find detailed instructions on how to get to Tuolumne on this page.
Typically, this dome is approached from CA-120. There are several options to get to the base of the dome from the road, but the most common and easiest one originates from the small parking lot approximately 200 yards north of Low Profile Dome. This lot holds 6-7 cars and can get full during weekends. If it is full, park alongside the road (where it is safe) or at any of the parking lots nearby. From the mentioned parking lot, follow a well-worn trail that leads towards the dome for about five minutes. As you cross another trail that runs parallel to the road, continue straight-up towards the dome. Soon enough, you will start gaining elevation and scrambling to the dome's base. The trail will reach the dome by the Bachar-Yerian area (right side) and skirt around it on the right side towards Cathedral Lakes. You can leave the trail here and either stay on the right side of the formation for some harder climbing, or go left for more moderate routes.
When you enter the park, flash your fancy National Park card or cough up $20 per vehicle (valid for 7 days). For day-hikes/climbs from Tuolumne, no special permits are required. If you would like to backpack and sleep outside in the dome's vicinity, you need to obtain a backcountry permit. Consult with Tuolumne Ranger Station for permits' availability.
When To Climb
Early in the season, there is likely to be a lot of snow at the base of the dome that will make the approach to some routes complicated and adventurous. This snow usually melts by mid July. Hence, the best time to climb here is between July and late September/early October, basically until Tioga Pass closes for the season.
Please refer to the Tuolumne Meadows Camping page for detailed information about camping available in the area. The most convenient camping location for Medlicott Dome would be in Tuolumne Meadows.
The weather in Tuolumne during the summer months is usually fantastic. Sunny, warm, and not too humid. However, watch out for frequent afternoon thunderstorms during these months! In order to avoid an epic of being stuck in the middle of the climb when its raining, start early or climb fast. When it starts raining, many routes on the dome turn into waterfalls.
For an up-to-date weather forecast in Yosemite NP, please refer to the graph below.