Added 1976-08-29 18:36:54
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GlobalMotion Media, Inc
Half Dome Hike
Post Date:
2017-10-20 18:36:54

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Yosemite National Park’s iconic day hike, with stunning views over Yosemite Valley, 16.5 miles.

Staring out at almost 1 vertical mile over Yosemite Valley stands Half Dome, Yosemite’s iconic masterpiece. While many tourists snap pictures of this giant from their cars on the valley floor, few have have the privilege of hiking the challenging trail. For those who are capable, the Half Dome hike is a favorite and a perfect hike to experience the nation’s third national park. You should allow a full day for this 14 (or 16) mile hike. Most hikers take between 10 and 12 hours with rests and time at the top, and many make it a 2-day trip with an overnight stay at Little Yosemite Valley Campground, which is roughly half way up. It is best to leave early in the morning (sunrise or earlier) to avoid the midday heat and the large crowds. Make sure to check for weather conditions before hiking, as thunderstorms can appear quickly, and you may not want to be the highest thing on the top of Half Dome when they arrive. The cables are usually up between Memorial Day and Columbus day, but this also varies with the weather. The wonderful hike starts at Happy Isles trailhead (shuttle stop #16), which is near Curry Village (there is also a parking lot and campground nearby).

The 4800 feet of elevation gain is very strenuous, starting with steep climb in the beginning to Vernal Falls (1.5m, 2.4km), followed by another steep climb to the top of Nevada Falls (3.4m, 5.5km). After the second waterfall, there is about 1 mile of fairly level hiking until you reach Little Yosemite Campground, followed by steep switchbacks through the forest. At about 7 miles (11.2km) you will reach a break in the trees, with a beautiful view of the side of Half dome with the valley below. After some steep switchbacks carved like stairs into the rock, you will reach Half Dome with only 400 feet to go. These last 400 feet are the most challenging, but also the most rewarding (although you may not realize it until you are comfortably back on the valley floor).


EveryTrail Guides are written by noted travel publishers and local experts to give you the most memorable travel experience. They offer awesome tour itineraries with rich Points of Interest at key sights and junctions that include detailed descriptions and instructions, full-size photos and/or videos.

✓ Easy to follow track overlaid on the map so you can never get lost!
✓ Detailed Points of Interest (POIs) at key sights and junctions.
✓ Connect the guide to your EveryTrail account to transfer ownership to other EveryTrail apps.
✓ Open up directions to the start of the guide right on your phone in the Maps application.

Note: Continued use of GPS running in the background can dramatically decrease battery life.


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  • Half Dome Hike Screenshot

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