Explore May 2017 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

May 2017 Map
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hiking
6 days ago

Must do at least once. I've done it 2.9 times (don't chicken if you are like me, because you'll be back again to finish what you started) and it is indescribable. This last time, in August 2018, I spent the rest of our time in the Valley pointing to the top and telling my husband, "Hey, we were up there on Tuesday morning!!".

First two times, we started at 4 AM and made it up to the cables after 10 AM. There was a lot of traffic, and for this acrophobe, it just made things worse. However, once you summit the sub dome, the cables look IMPOSSIBLE. Get right up to them and you'll see it isn't as straight up as you think. I think having carabiners to clip yourself in just to ease your mind a bit is a great idea, though I've done it without each time. A couple tricky spots, but if you keep things one plank at a time, you'll get there.

In August, my husband and I started at 12 AM. Once we got to the mist trail, I realized we left our gloves in the car (get decent work gloves from Home Depot or somewhere similar as they will work WONDERFULLY for the cables; you need the grip). Had to trek back so we finally started before 1 AM. Hiking in the dark was rough. Took the mist trail up as usual. We reached the pre-dome at sunrise and made it to the top at about 7:30. Absolutely gorgeous. Cables will likely exhaust you, so get ready for a long trip down. We got back to the parking lot (took the mist trail down, though I would recommend the Muir trail down if your knees are in agony; I just wanted my husband to see the falls) at about 1 PM, so it took 12 hours in all, which was the same as the previous trips. Slept for a looooong time after that.

It got harder towards the end and the last portion was completely covered in snow. Overall great hike with multiple waterfall views. We just did this today and loved it. You also get multiple AMAZING views of Wowona Dome throughout the whole hike. We only saw one couple on the hike the entire time. Would definitely recommend!

Amazing hike! A must do!

Gorgeous hike, it wasn’t difficult at all. Lots to see, the beauty is breathtaking!!

Loved this hike! We split this up into two days so we could camp in little Yosemite valley.

19 days ago

Did this in 2016. Was beautiful and well worth it.

hiking
20 days ago

Such an awesome hike! Definitely recommend! Make sure that you bring gloves that can grip the cables if you plan on going to the summit!

backpacking
24 days ago

Awesome trail!!! If you plan well, go during a full moon. The light of the moon reflects off the granite mountains and lights up the entire area. For the most part the trail is well distinguished however there are two spots where the trial is on granite rocks with no trial marks. Walked trail late September and there was minimal water running in streams so bring plenty of you plan on hiking at that time. But plenty of water at end of hike at the lakes.

Great views of a different part of Yosemite and away from the big crowds. The trail is dotted with small waterfalls. The trip to the top and back was about 8.8 miles, so plan your day accordingly. Since it's out and back, you can turn around at any point. I'm glad I brought a heavy jacket. It got pretty cold at the top. We have no issues with Mountain lions or bugs. There was no snow either, even though it was mid December. I don't think I would try the steep parts of the trail when it's icy. Great day on the trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Stunning views. Amazing rushing river in early June. Love this park! Watch out for snakes on the trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Loved your review Rashid! Agree. This hike is one to remember.

hiking
1 month ago

Scariest hike ever. I'm talking about the cable portion, it is steep as hell and even steeper than photos when you see it in person. But it is do-able you just have to focus on moving to the next wooden board. The wooden boards I believe are spaced out 10 feet from each other from the bottom of the dome to the top. It took us about an hour just to get to the top because there was traffic lots of people going up and down simultaneously. We had to take turns for those coming down and those going up. To get to the top without traffic should only take maybe 10-15 mins to give perspective on what traffic does. Also the traffic IMO makes it more scary because you have to hold onto the cables even longer.

I'd recommend using gloves with a latex coating to help with the cables as it gives your hands much more grip and you'll avoid blistering your hands like many other people.

I'd recommend doing it if you want to face your fears. Just take it one wooden board at a time until you reach the top and you'll be fine. Lots of people did it and have done it.

Would I do it again? Probably not lol just because it was scary as shit. BUT DO IT ONCE AT LEAST :D

11/25/18 One of our favorites so far! The trail was a fairly easy hike. Any inclines were very gradual. We really enjoyed the variety of scenic views, from giant sequoias, to rock formations, small waterfalls, babbling brooks and a look out point overlooking kings canyon. The trail was easy to follow and never any cliffs to worry about. There was just a little bit of snow. Enough for us to make a small snowman to honor our friends in Wisconsin. While we didn’t see any wildlife it’s certainly out there. We saw a couple dozen bear pop piles. Note: carry bear spray just to be safe. Temps were in the mid 40’s with abundant sunshine. It was perfect weather. We looped the trail counterclockwise. With a short trail snack we finished in 3 hours for a total of 8.25 miles. On our drive out on the dirt road we came across a LARGE BOULDER in the middle of the road. It fell while we were on the trail. We managed to get around it but it was very tight. We notified the ranger. Hopefully they remove it soon. Definitely a hazard. Would definitely do this hike again!

if you hustle it can be done in 4.5 hours, about 9 miles round trip, the view at the end of the trail is worth it!! a lot of mountain lion warnings

Amazing hike did this back in September and forgot to put a review, but this hike is beautiful! We left early in the morning at 2am and it was perfect going up in the dark with headlamps and enjoying seeing things from a different perspective rather than going later like 7am so heading down you see everything that you didn’t going up so it makes the hike better since it’s pretty much a 10hr hike. Going up early at 2am and not knowing much farther you have to go was just great, but to just keep moving and the hike went by quick because by the time daylight started to show we were at the base of sub dome. Heading down was quick n easy, but by 10am traffic rolls in and makes it difficult.

Leave early for the hike to make the cables with little to no traffic. Make it before 8am cause up top people start to roll in and head down the cables with traffic is a pain to wait for people to pass n continue to descend.

The hike in general starts pretty easy for those that hike normally. The hike gets tough when you hit the foot high steps n they continue to get higher n higher, but that’s why you start early n you don’t see how much farther you have to go. Sub dome is just the same a bunch of foot high steps, but aren’t to bad if you go early and rest at the steps. Cables were surprisingly easy both up and down. Down is easiest, but going up isn’t bad if you have RUBBER GLOVES. Crazy beautiful site seeing going up cables and top. Used my GoPro and the videos are awesome.

Pack some good food and 4L of water. I managed to make it with 3L and have some left over,but it’s probably because we left early in morning.

Go prepared (food&water), go early, proper gear (boots&gloves, don’t forget permit, and enjoy the views going down.

hiking
1 month ago

What can I say, basically nothing beats this for a day hike.

Depends on the time we here you though it can be very nice or very buggy!

hiking
2 months 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 :)

Nice hike, a little Smokey from a controlled burn nearby but a beautiful day. Great views of Half Dome, the valley and surrounding mountain ranges. Indian rock was worth the short hike and also had some nice views from the arch. The hike is moderate to hard for beginners and very easy for the young lady that jogged by us not once, but three times while on the trail, amazingly fit...

Absolutely stunning trail

Loved it. Lots of gnats. Extra protein or breathe out of your nose!

One for the bucket list.

hiking
2 months 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.

SUPER WORTH IT!!! Beautiful views and MASSIVE trees! Would definitely recommend

hiking
2 months ago

It was 45 F when we started this hike at 0830 on 10/4/18. It had poured rain the previous day and ice warnings were in the forecast which I think scared everyone away. We saw no one on the way up and only a handful of people on the way back. The temperature never got warm enough to where the bugs were a problem even though we were prepared with head nets and bug spray. The first part of the hike was through the valley with gorgeous views on either side. After the junction to the Bubb's creek trail the trail begins a gradual ascent up to the falls. There is a section where you come out of the trees and you have unimpeded views of the canyon that are pretty spectacular. If you're a photographer, a wide angle lens is a must (or take multiple photos and stitch them together in post, or just take a panorama w/ your camera phone). Right before we got to the falls ran into a cinnamon colored black bear and her cub. That was a treat. The falls themselves are not spectacular as far as falls go, but it's a convenient turn around point. On the return we followed the Bubbs Creek trail across the river then took the spur back to the trailhead. Not as scenic as the trail coming out, but it was flat and easy. A pretty easy hike with a high ROE (return on effort).

hiking
2 months 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!

Incredible day hike! Started from valley which makes the mileage a tad over 20 miles with 6300+ elevation gain. Got a late start of 8am but finished within 7 hours including a few breaks. Forgot my bladder so only had a liter Nalgene bottle. Not a huge problem as there were plenty of creeks to purify water from if needed (however didn’t need to fill up in the end). Trail starts with steps along the falls and then flattens out quite a bit before reaching switchbacks about halfway through the hike. Some exposure as you get near clouds rest so be wary if you are bringing anyone who is a timid hiker. The hike had great diversity and was really pleasant as it wasn’t incredibly steep or mundanely flat. Definitely doesn’t feel like you’ve climbed 6300 ft in the end. However, the knees did feel it quite a bit after the descent. This hike is by far the best one I’ve done in Yosemite. Amazing payoff, great terrain, comfortable and you get a bit of altitude. Looooved it and would highly recommend to anyone who loves hiking.

hiking
2 months ago

A very good trail with moderate traffic. Went on a Saturday morning and continued along the same trail until Paradise Valley. The extra bit was well worth it, with very good views and a nice calm part of the Kings River. Did not see any bears, although we heard one growling nearby.

Bring at least a liter of water per person! This is not an easy hike and it took us about 5 hours to complete including a lunch break. Crossed paths with many hikers who either didn’t have water or brought a single 500 ml bottle.

The first 2/3 of the hike is through a nice shady woodland, but the real payoff is emerging from the woods and seeing the Valley below you. I did lose the trail at one point trying to get to the Dome, but retrace your steps to the sign and there will be a few switchbacks along the rock wall that get you down to the path that leads to North Dome. The views are mesmerizing from North Dome—bring lunch and plan for at least 30 minutes there.

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.

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