Half Dome

Yosemite, California

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34 Reviews
5 out of 5
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
Hiking Yosemite National Park

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Hiking Yosemite National Park

by Suzanne Swedo (Falcon Guides)

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

© 2016 Suzanne Swedo/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Yosemite
Distance: 16
Elevation Gain: 4,842 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 1-2 days
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
Driving Directions: Directions to Half Dome

Recent Trail Reviews

7/25/2012
1

What a great hike. You get scenery change, a challenge and views of the valley and high country. Leave early in summer heat, defined by headlamp necessity!!


9/12/2010
1

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!!!


7/7/2010
0

10/3/2009
1

Most diffiicult hike I have ever done. The cable climb is hairy, dont go on a weekend, too many people. The end result was an awesome experience


10/3/2009
0

What can I say??? It's Half Dome! Great trail, excellent views and very strenuous. The first time I hiked to the top, I did it during a mid-week backpacking trip and started from Little Yosemite Valley. It was PERFECT! This time, we did it in one day (on a Saturday when the cables were about to come down the next week) from the valley and it was brutal. By the time we made it to the cables, there was a line to the top like a line at Disneyland during a holiday weekend. It took over an hour to get up the cables. There were several people who were there that shouldn't have been. They would freeze and panic on the cables and have to turn around. Next time, I'm doing it mid-week like the first time. It's an awesome trail and well worth the physical anguish.



Activity Feed

Apr 2018