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12 hours ago

It's a hard hike but enjoyed every moment of it! Did this hike back in September, we were able to get the permit just a couple days before. There's even a couple bathrooms along the way which really helped because it is an all day hike. We started around 7 AM and really took our time and got back around five. It's tough, but you can't beat the views on this hike! The best hike in Yosemite!

We did this trail two days ago, went up to Nevada Falls and then came back around on the John Muir trail. One of my favorite hikes! It's really crowded in the beginning, but after Vernal fall's it's way less people. We started around two and we're done by seven. This is my fourth time doing this hike. The two waterfalls are spectacular!

1 day ago

Beautiful trail with so many great pay offs! We took Vernal Falls to Half Dome and returned via John Muir (.5 miles longer, but no stairs so you can go a little faster). We clocked over 18 miles per the app/Apple Watch. We brought 3.5 liters of water each, two gatorades and the sawyer mini water filter as a back up. There are lots of areas to stop for fresh water should you run out and the filter definitely came in handy! One thing to consider is that the sub dome is almost as intense, if not more so, than the cables. There are about 20 minutes of incredibly steep stairs/switchback on the side of an exposed cliff, then another 10 of free climbing the dome face with absolutely no stairs or railing. As someone who is afraid of heights, I wanted to push myself and get out of my comfort zone with a little exposure therapy. I’m glad I attempted to submit half dome, but despite lots of research I was not prepared for the exposed free climb on the sub dome, which really did me in. Hopefully I’ll make it all the way to the cables sometime! For now, I hope this review will inspire others fearful of heights to do a bit more research about the sub dome itself beforehand!

1 day ago

Long, exhausting, amazing, and so worth it!

Simply amazing!

This hike blows just about all others out of the water. Its all day so get up early. it's fairly difficult so be prepared for some exercise AND do NOT be afraid of heights! The climb up the cables to the top of Half Dome is not for the timid. Have gloves!

It's beautiful on the top. Spectacular views of the valley and great scenery on the way of course. It's freaking Yosemite!

Hiked this in 2015. It was beautiful and my favorite hike we did in Yosemite...away from the crowds!

Definitely a strenuous hike but was worth while. The entire trip took 10 hours, but that’s because we stayed at the top for a good 1.5 hours eating and hanging out. We started at 6am from the Mist Trail and got up in 4.5 hours. The first 2 miles to the falls is pretty uphill / steep but the next 4.5 miles to Half Dome isn’t as brutal. It took 4 hours to come back from the top, but that’s because we took a lot of long breaks. Definitely should have a light jacket for the top (didn’t use it the entire time otherwise cause you’re warm from the hike itself).

5 days ago

Hard work, and I am so glad I camped at LYV. An early start meant that I watched the sunrise from the cables.
I would not have wanted to do it as a day hike, the crowds would have made it not worth the strenuous effort.
I returned via the Mist Trail, which was probably a mistake due to horrible crowds and the hellish steps.
The system of using carabiners seems ridiculous. The posts are much too close together, so people are constantly clipping and unclipping. It is insanely time consuming. I am good with heights, but even if I wasn't, I think they are would just be a distraction. Rubber palmed gloves for good traction are a big help.

7 days ago

I started this trek via the Mist trail, hiking past Vernal and Nevada falls. Very tough natural stair climbing a steep grades throughout. Beautiful scenery! Beyond Nevada falls we renamed the trail "the grind". After a largely flat portion you head into the woods for hours of boulderstrewn tedium with seemingly endless uphill and switchbacks, and no vistas. The payoff at the top was special for sure but 9+ hours out and back was brutal. I found the panarama trail, Yosemite falls trail, and the hike out to Taft point to be far more rewarding for the effort.

I did this as part of a backpacking trip in mid May before Tioga Road opened. Took the Mist Trail up and JMT down, mileage was around 26 per my friends GPS. I highly recommend overnighting here because the sunsets are absolutely stunning and it saves your legs for the crazy downhill back. That being said, the elevation gain is intense (especially on the Mist Trail) so pace yourself and take as many breaks as you need. Overall one of my favorite hikes, you can’t beat the views.

Beast of a hike, but worth it! My daughter and I did it in a day from the valley floor. It took us 9 hrs 15 minutes including about an hour at the top. You MUST have a permit. There was a ranger checking for permits at the base of the sub-dome. We highly recommend that you start about 5:30 am!

Hardest hike of my life. We wanted to start at Tenaya Lake (14miles round trip versus 21 miles round trip) but after talking to the rangers there was still 3 miles of snow. So, we started at the Valley floor. Going thru Mist Falls, Vernal Falls and seeing Nevada Falls was amazing. Having an actual restroom near Nevada Falls was very nice. And, then the tough parts started. There is a flat section with sand that splits to the little Yosemite backpackers camping area (I didn’t care for it, as the sand was more work.) after passing the turn off for the camping areas we then started the continual ascend in more wooded areas. This was the area where our newfound friends saw 2 cubs and a momma bear. Once we worked thru the switchbacks where you can get incredible views of Half Dome it felt as we would never get to Clouds Rest (final 1.5 miles or so). That mile after the switchbacks feels never ending. When the trail splits at the base of the summit we took the shorter trail to the summit and then we lost it. Partly because we were already tired, party because it is not obvious. Thankfully, we found it again. Hindsight, I wish we would have taken the walk around (longer) way to the summit. From talking to others it’s about 1/2 a mile versus a 1/4 mile, but actually easier to ascend those last 500feet of elevation. And it seems it is also better marked (or more obvious at least).

My husband is a Stage 4 Cancer over comer as of May 2018 and I tore both knee MCLs in March. We are 37 & 38. We have both been doing lots of rehab and are used to the elevation changes. However, we prepped for 14 miles not 21 miles so we knew we were overly pushing ourselves. We made it to the rock steps and because of the time and already tired feet we didn’t have enough time to climb the last part of the summit. It was amazing to look down onto Half Dome from our incredible view. Peering over the cliff was overwhelming, scary and thrilling all in one. I cried because I wanted to summit, but knew my hubs didn’t have it in him and we were fighting time. We had trained the month of May including hiking over 20miles in 5 days, but this 21+ miles round trip was too much. We met two other groups who said the same. Tough hike, beautiful views. We made it back to the bus stop at 8:50pm when the sun was fully setting.

We don’t regret it at all but whew! It took us from 6:45am to 8:45am. Hindsight, we could have easily started an hour earlier.

A few notes: TAKE AT LEAST 4 liters of water per person. I over packed at almost 6 liters and gave away two 1 liter bottles. One lady ran out of water with 7 miles to go. Another just hadn’t planned on going that far, but I also know of another couple with not enough water on the return. Dehydration is a BIG deal on those long treks! Be smart and be prepared!

From the Valley floor it is highly recommended to go UP Mist Trail and DOWN John Muir. We talked to others and it is not recommended to go down Mist. Plus, this way you get a different view of the falls as well.

My tracker said we walked over 21 miles from the closest parking lot to near summit and back. We climbed over 300 flights of stairs while ascending about 5700 feet (full climb is right at 6,000).

Our goal is to do it again in 2 years when we return. But, we will do it from Lake Tenaya. I would recommend doing this hike at the end of a trip not at the beginning as we were sore and tired.

10 days ago

Very difficult and rewarding at the same time! Took this hike over the course of 2 days and camped in LYV before tackling the dome the next morning.

10 days ago

This was the longest hike I’ve done so far. Difficult, but every single moment was worth it. Highly recommend to bring a harness if you’re even a little unsure. We were stuck for half and hour going down because someone froze in the middle of heading down. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Moving forward, there’s lots of great photos to take. I recommend bringing a battery charger for your phone. I highly recommend this hike. If you’re heart and passion is in the right place anyone can complete this marvelous journey.

What a wonderful way to spend the day! My sister, dad, and I hiked the trail in about 14 hours, including the hour and a half we spent on the top of Half Dome. The trip was very challenging but definitely not impossible, especially if you take breaks when needed like we did. There’s no rush if you start early enough!

Now we knew that the views from the top of Half Dome would be spectacular, but what we didn’t expect was the outstanding quality of the pit toilets! Definitely take advantage of this resource if you need to go—they were the nicest facilities on a trail I’ve ever seen!

13 days ago

Hard, but so beautiful and worth every mile - I love you Yosemite

I'm surprised this one is not more popular! It's a great hike, great view from halfdome, cloudrest, and the valley! I included indian rock/arch - but don't. Not worth the detour despite being so close

14 days ago

To be fair, once I reached it, it was in the clouds. It's special to not see down, but a bit dissappointing. I have done it along with north dome. I'm sure the view would be great. If you climbed all the way up already, the extra miles once on top are nothing, so why not do the detour?

That's a great hike. Did it along with halfdome, which doesn't add all that much really. It's a big hike, but very well marked and the trail is very clean. If you have the leg for it, you can absolutely do 3 miles/hour on this, except maybe at the very end (but I think it's more than 18 miles, more like 20-21 from the parking).Anyhow, started at 6 AM, finished at 4:30 (including halfdome), so definitely doable in a day hike. Walking a bit further on the ridge is a good experience and I would suggest that. You get a great all around view, including of course halfdome (making doing both on the same day even more rewarding).

I ended up doing this fragmented, starting from bottom, and eventually being from glacier point. I think it can be worth doing the whole thing from the valley, giving you a great view of halfdome, and feeling like you deserve it (instead of driving there). Plus, it takes a while to drive there, so you won't lose so much time, especially if the parking is full and you have to wait an extra 2 hours like I had....

14 days ago

This is an amazing hike. You need a permit, which is hard to get, but wow! Do it, absolutely do it.

I'd suggest starting early to avoid crowd. Or do it late. I started at around 6AM, and was up at the cable around 9AM, and it was starting to get crowded while going down. Doing the cable when it is crowded is both annoying and dangerous, so try to plan accordingly. The trail leading up before that is very well marked, so night walk is an option.

This is a tough but worthwhile hike. To say you’ve hiked to the edge of El Capitan from the Valley Floor is very cool! I’d recommend taking at least 4-5 liters of water. I only took my 3-liter Camelbak, and I felt like I had to conserve my water the entire time.
The Yosemite Falls Trail is great for the first 2 miles or so. Columbia Rock has a beautiful view. The initial view of the Falls is breathtaking. The cryptic junction off to the right has a frightening, vertiginous drop, but it’s cool because it’s the only place in the park where you can see Yosemite Falls in its entirety. And even the first few hundred feet of switchbacks is nice because the view of the Falls and Half Dome in the background is amazing (especially in late spring when the Falls are at full force).
Then you have the dreaded switchbacks. They’re exposed to the sun in the morning, they have no view, and they’re steep. You just have to put your head down and power through it. It’s not fun, but you’ve got to do it if you want to get to El Capitan.
When you get to the top of the Yosemite Falls Trail, you can either turn right to check out the overlook of the Falls (I feel like this isn’t a very good view... the best view near the Falls is at Yosemite Point) or you can continue straight into the forest on the trail to Eagle Peak and El Capitan. This 5-mile portion of the trail is relatively flat (and buggy—bring insect repellent), but there is definitely some elevation gain. You have to keep going up if you want to get to the heights of Eagle Peak and El Cap!
I saved Eagle Peak for my return and hiked straight to El Capitan. The top of El Capitan is very barren and dome-like. But to get to the edge, you have to hike down about 400 feet in elevation down a slope. There’s no definitive trail, but you’ll know you’re close to the edge when you see the valley floor below you (duh). I got as close to the edge as I was comfortable and stopped for lunch to enjoy the awesome views. Didn’t see any climbers. Had the whole rock to myself!
When snooping around near the edge of the cliff, I saw some climbing gear and some leftover water from when Alex Honnold and his climbing partner broke the El Capitan speed record just a few days prior. That was cool.
From the edge of the cliff, you have to scramble back up the slope to the top of El Cap. Then you continue for another couple of miles until you reach the Eagle Peak junction. You may think to yourself, “Ugh, do I really want to do this?” But trust me, you do. According to the sign, it’s .3 miles to Eagle Peak, and it’s all uphill, but it’s totally worth it. When you get to Eagle Peak and scramble up to the top of the rocks, you’ll see what might be the best view of the Valley. It’s like the North Valley version of Glacier Point, but without the crowds. I had it all to myself! Amazing!
Enjoy Eagle Peak and the walk back to the Yosemite Falls Trail. Then, (knee) brace yourself for the descent. It’s a necessary evil when hiking that high in the valley, but with the sun in a different position later in the day, the views will still be lovely, and you’ll be happy you’ve endured the hike to El Capitan!

16 days ago

Wow! What a trip! Clear, perfect day on June 2nd. I can't believe how many steps we climbed! My most challenging hike to date. Wish we would have taken the Muir Trail on the way down because my left knee started to get really sore from all the steps. It was a helluva challenge but worth it!

Hiked from glacier point to Nevada Falls and then hiked all the way back. Let me tell you, YOU NEED ALOT OF WATER. Your legs will hurt so take those hiking sticks with you. I had to take a couple of breaks because of the incline. Overall great trail, but you must start hiking early. I started around 11, and finished about 6pm.


Super long and scary but gives you the best feeling when you complete it. I would totally do the hike again. Bring extra water as I only had a little to last me about 4 miles left of my hike!! Not for inexperienced hikers. Must be prepared for constant switchbacks and incline.

Great hike!! The way back was A LOT harder! Fantastic view of half dome and clouds rest.

Beautiful scenery! Recommend rubber gloves, water filter, and sunscreen in addition to other hiking goods. Spare socks were a great addition to soak feet in Merced on the hike down.

Clocked 15.8 miles from Camp 4 to the summit of El Cap and back with no detours and little dilly dallying (was trying to beat a thunderstorm). What a sensational thing to say that I hiked to the top of El Capitan. I hope my knees will forgive me someday. Would’ve liked more guidance at the top. We all just sort of parked where we felt safe after it leveled out, but there wasn’t really a clear “you made it” spot, or if there was I missed it.

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