Half Dome

OutAndBack • 16 mi • 4842 ft

Half Dome is the symbol of Yosemite; its summit the goal of just about everybody who has ever donned a pair of hiking boots. It is a grueling workout, especially if you do it in one day, but if you spend the night in Little Yosemite Valley and tackle the peak first thing the second morning, you'll have a better chance of avoiding the traffic jams that sometimes build up at the base of the cables. The cables? The last 400 feet are over what feels like nearly vertical (though the angle is probably more like 45 degrees), smooth, exfoliating granite, so a series of horizontal bars about 5 feet apart, flanked by chains with which to pull yourself up are the only way to get there without technical climbing equipment. It sounds scary but is done by kids and grandmas and everybody in between. Because of its popularity, special rules for obtaining wilderness permits to climb it are in effect and are rigorously enforced
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Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Yosemite
Length: 16 total miles
Elevation Gain: 4,842 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Strenuous
Duration: One long day or overnight
Season: All summer, whenever the cables are up (they are removed when the going gets icy)
Local Contacts: Yosemite National Park
Local Maps: USGS Half Dome and Yosemite Falls quads
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Recent Trail Reviews


Hiked to the top of Half dome today!!! It was an amazing experience. . . if it wasn't for my fiance I would have never made it to the top!!!

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