10 Tips for Hiking Half Dome, a Phenomenal Mountain Trail in Yosemite
Hiking Half Dome Yosemite is our idea of a perfect day. Some say it takes 12 hours to go all the way to the edge of the dome and back, but with experience, good equipment and perfect weather conditions, you could make the trip faster.
Half Dome is situated in Yosemite National Park, in the northeastern Mariposa County, California, at the eastern end of Yosemite Valley. Probably Yosemite’s most familiar rock formation, this unusual granite dome rises more than 1,444 m above the valley floor. It seems like a solitary rock that has been cut, but the truth is that Half Dome is nearly as whole as it ever was.
Photo by Rainer Hübenthal
Here are just 10 useful tips you should consider before hiking Half Dome Yosemite:
1. Download a trail map. If you are new to hiking, chances are you might get lost. Sure, in the rush season there will be many people around to follow, but it is best to have things covered on your own.
2. Check the weather in advance. Avoid hiking Half Dome on cloudy days-being exposed to lightnings is probably not what you would like ruining your day. Rain is also dangerous, as the cable route will become slippery.
3. Half Dome permits can be procured here, by submitting a lottery application. I assume this new system is looking to avoid crowds.Without a permit, you can only go as far as the subdome. This will also help.
4. Best time to hike Half Dome is when the cables are up, from mid-May or early June through Columbus Day weekend in October.
5. Stay safe. Don’t get overwhelmed by the past accidents, but keep in mind that this is no child’s play. Bring along good shoes (snickers are not enough) and gloves- if you don’t want to hurt your hands while gripping the cables. You can find more tips for staying safe in the cable area here.
Photo by Av9
6. Don’t take things lightly. Hiking Half Dome is extremely difficult, so you might want to be physically prepared for it.
7. The Mist Trail Route is absolutely spectacular, with unsurpassed views of Nevada Fall. In order to make the most of it, take the hike to Half Dome during spring.
8. Be patient. Be aware that your hike may be delayed. And expect crowds.
9. Bring plenty of water and food, but keep them zipped in your backpack.
10. Have a look at the video at the end of the post.
And last but not least, we welcome you to improve this list. Have you been to Yosemite? Did you go on this magnificent one-day hike? Please leave a comment below with suggestions and impressions.
Photo by Netwalker
Photo by Evan Stevens
Photo by Calhiker