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hiking
5 days ago

The toughest I have ever done!! absolutely worth it! Me and friend went during off season when the cables came down. If that's the case please bring safety equipment (carabineers, harness, leather gloves) if you are planning to do the 400 ft. climb along the face of Half Dome. We did not have that equipment so I didn't do it, because safety always comes first! Have a safe hike guys and don't forget to bring lots of water and salted snacks :)

One for the bucket list.

hiking
11 days ago

Jeff Olson (11-7-18, Wednesday): From the campsite at Foresthill Road it is just under 1 mile to the beginning of the trail where there is a metal box where you can put on paper your experience for others to read. The trail is down from the box to the right. This trail was cleared Spring 2018; downed trees and blackberry bushes were cleared all the way to the river. The trail has a pretty steady grade of 20-40 degrees all the way down, a little steeper closer to the river. I took 2 hours going down, taking my time. It took me 2.8 hours back up, much harder! I didn't go up-river past the makeshift campsite at the end of this trail at the river. So I don't know if the trail upstream is clear of bushes, etc. No mosquitoes but gnats in abundance. A warm Fall season up to now, with barely freezing temperatures at night. I fished a little and caught a small trout. Easy with a pheasant tail nymph fly; released back into the river. A nice day-hike but strenuous. Once you reach the river, the big rocks just downstream a few hundred feet offer a nice place to relax, get some sun and swim or fish. Access to the river from the trail is very steep with few places to get down safely; one spot by the makeshift campsite. The miners cabin just past and up a few hundred feet from the makeshift campsite is well preserved and interesting to see. I saw nobody on or near the trail all day. One small creek about 1/3 the way down had a little water running; enough to filter if needed. I recommend 2 liters of water per person as you head up the trail from the river. No snakes, deer or bears seen. A nice day hike for the hardy hikers.

hiking
11 days ago

Awesome hike with amazing views at the top of half dome. I did this as a day hike in November with the cables down. I left the valley at 630 am right as the sun was coming out and I was the ONLY person at half dome. Had the whole place to myself. The hiking by Vernal and Nevada falls is the toughest part. Half dome is easy with a harness, some rope, and some leather gloves. Half dome with the cables down is a much more enjoyable experience, you just have to be more prepared but definitely worth it! Total hike took 9 hours to the top of half dome and back to the valley, the hike is tough and exhausting but with the appropriate rest and breaks it can be very enjoyable.

hiking
12 days ago

Really nicely maintained trail with clear markers. Loved the Fall colors. Stunning view from Cougar Rock.

this was an easy well maintained trail. Enjoyed lunch while cooling off in one of the many fresh water holes

hiking
20 days ago

Certainly a hike for your bucket list. Just make sure that you get your permits in advance. We tried to get ours on 5 separate occasions and never got lucky. In the end, on our last day in Yosemite, we decided to hike up anyway to see how far we would be allowed to go. As luck had it, we ran into a group of other hikers who had 2 extra permits, so we were able to make it all the way to the top. Otherwise, the permit check is just below Subdome, which means is that there are some views to be had even without the permit, however, they are nowhere near as impressive as from the top and you won't even see the Half Dome at all. The rangers check the your permit against an ID of at least one person in the group, so if you don't get lucky with your own applications, you really need to find a group of people who have extra permits - getting a permit from people who get tired and turn back doesn't help.

As for the hike itself, it is not nearly as difficult as I had expected it to be. That said, it does take a better part of the day, so be prepared for it, head out early in the morning and bring plenty of water, especially if going in summer. The cables look scarier than they in fact are - the only annoying thing about them is trying to avoid all the people going in the other direction, especially if you arrive during a busier day.

On the way back, my suggestion would be to take the John Muir Trail between Nevada and Vernal Falls. It might be slightly longer but offers stunning views of Nevada Falls and is also less steep than the Mist Trail - something your knees might thank you for later.

In all, if you have the chance and ability, I really can't recommend this highly enough!

Just did this hike today and was nice little hike. Only about 5 miles. Falls was beautiful. No people and free parking. Dirt road driving is rough so take proper vehicle.

Views are awesome and very comfortable trail. Gets steep toward the end and somewhat sketchy. Hard coming down since its a constant decline.

hiking
25 days ago

unique area with great views. Leave dog at home:(

Vernal and Nevada trail is the hardest part. Once you past that, the rest of the trail is a piece of cake until you get to the sub dome part. Be prepared to scramble your way up to get to the end.

generally: amazing backpack in trinity alps with variety of scenery (river, meadow, valley, mountain ridges, alpine lakes) with many options of camping locations at various distances, uncrowded, gorgeous fall colors
Road conditions: paved until last mile, dirt road with some potholes but passable in low clearance vehicle
Permit: free and unlimited at weaverville ranger station
Trail; well maintained until Morris meadows then slightly overgrown to the lakes
Scenery: first 9 mile along the river with vibrant fall colors; numerous campsites along the river; meadow w sweeping views of the valley, hike to the lakes w continued fall colors, stunning views of sawtooth ridge, gorgeous alpine lakes at the end
Weather: hiked in October and warm (60-70s) during the day and chilly (20-30s at night) but manageable w a fire (allowed at the meadow not the lakes)
Wildlife: birds, deer, close encounter w a mountain lion at our campsite(!); no bears or rattlesnakes
People: saw a handful on our way in and two on our way out; no one camping at the meadow with us or up at the lakes

backpacking
1 month ago

I took a prolonged 5 day trip out on Stuart Fork Trail and I was not disappointed. The views up to Emerald and Sapphire Creek are amazing and the trek is well worth it. The north route to Sapphire Lake was a bit of a climb but from my understanding easier than the southern route.

hiking
1 month ago

So maybe we cheated a bit on this, and instead of trekking up from Yosemite Valley floor (y'alls that do it: mad props! that's beast mode hiking right there!), we camped out at the Little Yosemite Valley, and trekked up to the rock at sunset to have a nice view with our dinner...
it is NOT an easy hike... esp. the last part (subdome and the cables). by the time we got to the rock, it was about an hour and 15 minutes to sunset, and thank god there were only three people on the cables coming down, otherwise, it was just our group of 6. i don't know if i'd be able to do the cables if there were a ton of people on them... it is sketchy as heck. do invest in good grippy shoes and super grippy gloves. you'll thank both later. our guide gave us a good advice (it goes esp. for those who have the fear of heights): don't look around, concentrate on the next plank in-front of you, and go from plank to plank in counts of five... take all the rest you need.
THE VIEWS ARE WORTH IT!!!
my personal suggestion for this hike would be to break it up... trek up to LYV, spend the night or rest up... and then continue with the trek up to Half Dome, or do it the next day. :)

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike! Did it 10/14 (first weekend that cables are down). Set off at sunrise, up the Mist trail and back down JMT. Took around 7 hours total with no traffic up to summit. I was actually expecting the hike up to be more strenuous since I’ve just started hiking, but it was absolutely fine. Most tiring bit are the stairs up to sub dome. I had perfect conditions for this and it wasn’t too hot so I survived fine on 2l of water. Saw mother bear and 2 cubs on the way back too!

THANK YOU to those who piled cairns/ducks, especially along 50. A great view awaits those that have the fortitude to climb the boulders at the top. We had no wind and the summit to ourselves.

hiking
1 month ago

Read a bunch of reviews and feel like most are somewhat exaggerated. Did this hike in about 9.5 hours, and you definitely want to start at about 2am. I started at 2:30am by myself, first time hiking in the dark with an REI 20$ headlamp, and what an experience. Couldn’t see but could hear the water falls roaring, and the night critters were frequent on the trail. The headlamp did its job and being up on the cables at sunrise was magical, as well as the dark night sky on the way up. Going down was no problem until vernal/nevada fall, when the trail was packed with people, without much regard for others on the trail. For this I probably would have went JMT, but I wanted to see the things I couldn’t see on the way up. Also the sub dome is not that grueling, and it really only lasts about 20 minutes to the base of the cables.

Didn’t do much training for this, did Four Mile Trail, Eagle Peak, clouds rest, and MT. Hoffman spread out in weeks time. Took 30 liters of water with me and a water filter, to cut down on weight and didn’t have to use the filter (starting in the dark keeps the heat down). Overall awesome experience, happy to do it. Saw loads of people going up as I was going down so start early before 5am if you want to miss that, as there was no waiting on the cables going up or down, which made it easier.

I give it 5 stars but I got lost on my first attempt. I started at the south gate trailhead and completely missed the right when you reach the forest. I followed rock carins for a ways down the slope and realized there was no trail there after reaching the valley at the bottom. I did come across a really cool slime mold along the way. I went back the next day and started from the panther meadow trailhead and completed the hike and tried to make obvious trail makers hopefully to prevent anyone else from missing the turn. The hike was absolutely beautiful.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice to have done it but the views aren’t the best. You can’t see Half Dome from Half Dome.

Excellent hike and knock out views.

Amazing!!! Such a cool bucket list hike. It’s the cables that make it so unique and such a cool experience. Took us about 10 hours round trip. Our feet were hurting at the end and we were definitely tired. Started at 6:15a and found easy parking in the parking lot closest to the trailhead. We were surprised that the parking lot was so full. Met a lot of nice and enthusiastic hikers. Had an amazing day! Can’t believe we hiked half dome!!!! We won our permits unexpectedly for the last day that the cables were up. Pretty lucky!

1 month ago

Awesome hike and definitely a bucket list item. Did it October 6th, took under 11 hours, absolutely gorgeous day and the views are killer as always. Took Mist trail up and John Muir trail back- though the JMT is longer by a mile the grade is much easier on the knees going down.
- while Mist trail is hard especially between Vernal and Nevada Falls, in my opinion Sub-Dome is the hardest part. It lasts forever or so it feels and the cables look easier in comparison.
- second time doing it, not sure I'll do it again but that's what I said 6 years ago so we'll see.

hiking
1 month ago

Okay, so I would definitely recommend training for this intensely. I only did one or two trails that were nowhere near this incline and it took me forever to do this. I am actually pretty apologetic to my friends for adding on extra time, but I didn't want to get injured, and I already fell coming down (no injuries other than a bruised ankle of the tiniest degree.) We started at the closest campground parking lot and walked to Half Dome through Vernal Falls and Nevada and the Valley.

The whole trip took us 16 hours! We started at 4 AM and took a lot of breaks, spent two hours at the top of the Dome, maybe 40 minutes climbing to Subdome, 20-30 minutes climbing the cables, and took even more breaks coming back down because it was worse and really difficult. Our 18.4 mile hike ended at about 7:35 PM! (48-60F weather)

I took 7L of water, which was excessive and probably why I slowed my friend group down a lot. I can get altitude sickness, so I was prepared to drink and pee a lot on the way, but my friends each drank 1.5L when they ran empty and they took 5L each. We hiked the last day the cables were up 10/9/18.

I saw people going down the cables two different ways. Do whatever works best for you. My friend had to go backwards down the cables, because her knees are bad and she had brace on one. She felt that it was easier to lean into the mountain and look down at her legs for the next purchase of rock while she was grabbing onto one side of the rope. However, I felt that I had more control facing outwards just like walking downstairs. Both of my hands were on both cables and I clenched and unclenched my fists to lower myself down with my legs and let gravity help as I got to each wood block at the stanchions. My backpack was still quite heavy from water, and I felt better balanced that way.


I recommend:

5-6L of water unless you have a filtration system to get water at the last water area before the Dome

BRIGHT Headlamp - I got a cheap one with the highest reviews on Amazon for $26

Hiking poles - They saved me coming down. I didn't order early enough on Amazon, but my Amazon ones were $25. I had to buy Black Diamond for like $100. They aren't for everyone, but I almost slipped on the rock stairs coming down the last few miles over 10 times and they helped. My arms, back, and chest are sore, but at least I didn't break anything.

Hiking shoes with treads - Oboz. I bought them new and didn't even have to break them in; I saw someone going up the cables in skater shoes and feared for his life. He couldn't even stand after 5 stancions and I told him he should go back down.

Gloves - You need ones for the cables. Some people use those thick garden gloves form Home Depot, cheaper than rock climbing gloves. Please don't leave them at subdome "for people to use." The rangers ask us not to. If you want to give your gloves away, just ask people you pass going backwards if they want some. My friend did and a stranger gratefully accepted.

Snacks - Clif Gels/Gu/Honey Stingers. Salt tabs, electrolyte tabs, a bottle of gatorade if you don't have that to sip on during the trip. (You nee to have equal water and electrolyte intake. Do not just bring all gatorade. You will dehydrate faster.) Make sure to bring a protein and carb filled snack for every hour. You WILL NOT make it without this.

Pickle Juice - THE BRAND not just the stuff in the pickle jar - I recommend this for cramps. It saved me and my friends. Maybe 2-3 small bottles for each person. They are really cheap and they work wonders. Drink before the hike to prevent cramps, but honestly, they can take cramps away during an onset too within a few minutes.

Layers of clothing - check the weather, but my feather down vest was a great help, along with my sun shaded hat to protect the back of my neck

Hand Warmers - trust me, this rocked for the beginning and end of my hike

Harness + gigantic caribiner - I saw several people have this and it made me wish I had this for peace of mind. Safety net going up and down, but you need to figure out if your gloves are easy enough to use with them while you hook and unhook each time you meet a stanchion pole WHILE you hold/balance your body.

Phone, Go Pro, external battery - some people get signal (I didn't), but your camera is so worth this view. Sometimes phones will die rather quickly on this hike, so have a backup battery. Pictures to remember the feeling of triumph!

Scary, long but totally amazing!!!!

hiking
1 month ago

Half Dome is worth doing. I work out 2/3 days a week and didn't get in as many prep hikes as I had planned. I mainly walked my dogs 2 times a week for 3 miles at a time for about a month. I wish I had prepped properly. BUT I would still do this hike even though I am not as fit as I would like to have been. I went October 5th. Weather was great and the path was not overly crowded. We started at 8am because it rained the day before and we wanted to be sure the dome would be dry when we got there. In hindsight I would have gone up at 6am as originally planned. Total time took 14 hours from happy isles. The shortest version of this hike is up and down the vernal route which is over 16 miles round trip, not sure why all trails says this hike is 14 miles. If you get stuck in the dark coming down and went up the mist trail take the mist trail, it's better to go out the way you returned. It would be too much work to take muir trail out in the dark if you aren't familiar with the route. There were people on the mist trail in the dark and they got confused on the trail down between Nevada falls down to Vernal falls. Don't just follow people on the way out they may get you off track. Pay attention to the trail and don't veer off just because others do and you should be fine. If you plan to take the mist trail down poles will help you a lot. I took 3 liters of water which was a good amount I had a water filter just in case, but didn't need it. In the summer a filter might be a good idea so you can lighten your load. Pack light!!! You will be happy you did. Must haves head lamp, painkillers, bandaids, shoes with grip, gloves that cover your fingers and have good grip, and good snacks. Have patience and take breaks you need on the way up, it is the hike of perpetual almost there. I hated going up Vernal but going down Nevada sucked as well because the steps down slope a bit which isn't the best for your balance. The steps on the subdome can be frustrating but once you finish the subdome the cables don't seem so bad. Just take your time going up the cables and yes facing half dome going down the cables is the best way to go down. Be nice to your fellow hikers we're all in this together.

hiking
1 month ago

Tough trail. It’s all up hill to the peak then you have to climb boulders to the top. Nice views though.

Amazing and intimidating till you do it.
Beautiful scenery and terrain !!
Definitely need to train 8 weeks before..
Once a week hike and once a week stepper at the gym .
MAKE. SURE TO CARRY THREE OR MORE LITERS OF WATER.
Wouldn’t have done it without amazing group of friends.

Cables looked intimidating but it was a fun hike. I agree sub dome is the hardest part of hike. I used the gloves that was recommended and it worked out perfect

Tuesday, October 2, 2018: weather was supposed to be cool and possibly rainy- not so. The reviews are correct that it gets hot along the trail, although there was quite a bit of shade. It isn't a hike I'd like to do in the summer months; there are plenty of swimming holes in Northern CA closer to my home. It's more of a walk than a hike anyway as there were only a few uphills, etc. Deer, bear, and maybe cougar tracks seen in the dirt trail. The road in was gravel and washboard but didn't need 4 wheel drive. I was fine in my Fiesta. Did not see anyone else along the trail. 1 hour in, 1 hour out. Overall a fun walk and a lovely day.

did it on 9/29/2018. Last year I went on the Rocky Canyon route. This one is slightly less physical but much longer. The first leg is easy, reached Sylvia lake in less than 2 hours. The hard work is in second leg, took me more time as I got lost on the slabs while I was battling up to the peak. There is another peak with similar elevation north west Pyramid peak, it's between Mt Price and Pyramid Peak on google map. It seems doable and will try it next time

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