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i loved the view from the top, it’s panoramic 360° and you get an amazing view of half dome
and a river, don’t underestimate the hike, took us, three 19 year olds, 4 hours to the top and 3 hours to go down, lots of ascent and descents, suggest arrive at yosemite area the day before you plan your hike, we ended up hiking down in the dark, still very much worth the view, strenuous, saw barely anyone and those we came across were very friendly, bring LOTS of water, wouldn’t suggest as a family hike, the last 100 meters or so is very narrow and could be dangerous for younger hikers

Easy and well paved path with a view of the waterfall at the end. Rocky area under the waterfall to boulder on.

Estimates on signs and alltrails are a bit off. This trail clocks in at a little over 13 miles RT. The views are amazing, one of the best views of the Yosemite Valley. Can't beat it!

hiking
2 days 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. :)

I found it too tough for my fitness level. i was starting to give up after 2.2 miles itself but with lots of rest, water, refreshments and convincing myself to keep going, I did finish the trail. The view was so rewarding. It's hard to describe the beauty of Clouds Rest summit in words. There was lots of elevation gain. At the point where Clouds Rest main part of the trail to summit begins, it's all walking on huge rocks which is open from both sides and the entire valley is visible (quite scary for me as I am afraid of heights). But the rocks are great and firm, not slippery at all. One can just keep walking on them. If you get scared once you reach close to the summit, I would suggest to just keep walking, don't look down or to the sides, just keep walking straight.
We did the hike on 13th October and started at around 7 (it was sub zero temperature) and it took me 5 hours to reach the summit (I was the slowest among my friends who did it in less than 4.5 hours). Coming down was relatively a bit easier and took around 3 hours for me (again the slowest). It was a proud moment that i finished this hike. The weather was great for most part of the hike (except the chilly first hour).

hiking
2 days 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!

hiking
2 days 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.

hiking
4 days ago

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

Did this hike on October 13th. It took us 7.5 hours to complete the hike with an hour on top for lunch. We started the hike at 8:30AM and reached the top by 12PM. The weather was chilly when we started but as the day progressed, it was perfect hiking weather. Sunny but not hot.Also there's a good balance of ascent and flat ground to recover on this hike. There's one big ascent that happens a couple of miles into the hike. After this there's a descent and then flat ground for a while. Then comes 2.5 miles of elevation gain to reach the top. Thought the final climb would be scary but it is not as treacherous as it seems from pictures. Not a cloud visible and stunning views from the top. Didn't find a lot of bugs on the hike. Descending was harder than the ascent as we hadn't carried hiking poles. Maybe that would have reduced the strain on our knees. Overall an amazing experience.

Solid hike. Can be done in 1 night. I left the site at 9am from the campsite and went counterclockwise (see Sweeney review below, very helpful) and went until 5pm, made it most of the way to Lake Vernon but was just too spent from the elevation gain so just found a spot for myself. The next day I took the detours to Lake Vernon and Laurel Lake, finding the latter MUCH more worth it, started at 9am and was back in my car by 6pm. It's doable but I was moving. Set aside some time to get around Laurel Lake, you won't regret it. You get some views of the Lake that are really spectacular and much better than some you get of Lake Vernon. I passed an gentleman on the trail who said he had also camped lakeside at Laurel, and I would recommend that much over camping near Lake Vernon based on what I saw. Per the review below, I agree that the trajectory of the trip gets a little odd if you go clockwise, but there's a way to make it work. Overall, good trail, lots of varied and interesting terrain. lovely views. Will likely do again with friends or family.

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!

8 days 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
8 days 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!

walking
8 days ago

Easy walk on a paved walkway that ends with an amazing view

backpacking
8 days ago

Totally blown away by the views from the meadow to the top of the pass. This was fairly difficult for my second backpacking trip but it was well worth it.

on Half Dome Trail

9 days ago

Scary, long but totally amazing!!!!

hiking
10 days 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.

you will experience different environment every 2 miles on the way to ten lakes. enjoy!

Great hike with 360 views at the top. I have done Clouds Rest from Happy Isles and this trail is a bit easier. It’s hard but not as strenuous as Half Dome. 7-8 hours for almost 15 miles.

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

is there a stream for filtering water on the trail currently?

Got there in time to see sunrise and was worth getting up early - not many others around!

hiking
16 days ago

outstanding

We actually eloped at the bottom of the falls! Of course there was a crowd but I didn’t mind. The short paved trail was perfect for the few guests we had with us! We went in the middle of November and lucked out because it had rained pretty hard and the falls went from a trickle the previous day to a full on gushing waterfall the next day (our wedding day).

hiking
17 days ago

Great Views!

hiking
18 days ago

GREAT hike! I did this hike on 9/25, and started at about 2:00PM. Although EVERYONE will tell you to start super dooper early, this was a GREAT time to start. The cables were VERY uncrowded by the time I got up there. And I got to see the sunset from the summit. If you aren’t a morning person, I would DEFINITELY recommend a later start. There are a few other tips you might consider:

- Carry a water filter. Many people will tell you to bring a gallon (or more) of water. But why tire yourself out with all this weight? Small water filters are cheap and work well. And reliable water is available up to Little Yosemite Valley.

- Don’t fear the cables. With everything everyone says, it is easy get carried away. Seriously, they aren’t bad at all.

- Don’t forget your phone. Yes, there actually IS phone service on much of the hike. I got 4G LTE with Verizon at Little Yosemite Valley. Just make sure you have a way to keep it charged, such as a power bank.

- Carry a flashlight or headlamp. Whether you start early or late, you will likely be doing at least SOME hiking in the dark. A headlamp is better in case you end up ascending or descending the cables in the dark.

- Unless you want to make an extended backpacking trip, it is not worth backpacking just to make the hike ‘easier’. Backpacking may split the hike into two days. But it also means having to carry your gear up to (and down from) Little Yosemite Valley.

Husband and I did this hike earlier this week. We completed this hike in about 6 hours 30 minutes with a 40ish minute break at the top. Definitely a hard hike as stated. Gorgeous views at the top. 100% worth it.

I’ll be hiking tomorrow morning by myself, looking for some fellow hikers doing half dome Sunday! 909 843 5500 text me!

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