Explore the most popular rock climbing trails in Yosemite National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Beautiful hike in the valley. We were there mid October, so the leaves were changing. The only problem was that there wasn't really any water due to mix of drought and time of year. It's great being in the valley tho. Mirror Lake was dried up, so we got to stand right in the middle of the valley and have a good view of the cliffs around and spend some time in the literal shadow of the Half Dome.

hiking
3 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. :)

hiking
4 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
4 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
6 days ago

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

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!

9 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
10 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!

My second time up to the top of Dana. Gotta love that view. It's icy towards the summit right now, with more snow on the way. Bring spikes.

on Half Dome Trail

10 days ago

Scary, long but totally amazing!!!!

hiking
12 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.

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

hiking
18 days ago

Awesome peak hike! My group was able to do it in 5 hours. There is no water up there to be sure to bring enough with you. The trial is very easy to follow and well marked.

hiking
19 days ago

Beautiful, obviously, but obscenely busy.

Most of the reviews here are pretty accurate. I didn’t prepare much for the strong wind hence, it was a struggle for me specially during the last stretch. It’s pretty chilly in the summit so even though I wanted to spend more time there, my body just couldn’t handle it. Overall it was a good experience and the view from the summit just blew me away.

hiking
20 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.

I enjoyed the views ... but it is nowhere near 34 miles. It is closer to 20 miles. I went counterclockwise and found it moderate only because I was carrying a pack. It could easily be done as a day hike.

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

This was a fantastic hike. Definitely for experienced hikers.

We did this hike in place of our sister Chanel who was killed in a car accident four months ago to the day. She was very adventurous and loved hiking and climbing mountains. We did not plan on taking this hike and went in last minute. She would have been able to do it in a breeze. We just took lots of breaks.

24 days ago

We did the hike on Tuesday 9/25/18. We started the hike at 5am and summit the half dome at 11 am. Weather was perfect nice and cool with some breezes. We stayed for about 1 1/2 hr at the summit and climbed down at 12:30 pm and finished at 6pm. We take our time going up slow and steady pace. Coming down slow because my friend had sprained ankle and blister busted open on her heel. We came up to the Yosemite valley on Monday and went to bed early like 7 pm at upper pine early after checking out the trail head. We came from sea level from Torrance beach area so I took Diamox a day before and again in the morning before starting the hike. It helped me. My friend had some elevation sickness with short of breath when she got around 3 miles up on the trail. I gave her diamox pill then within half hour she felt better. Stretch your body before start of your hike. I stretched for 20 mins and had packed my food and water before I went to bed. First, the hike started of with steady incline on paved path for 1-2 miles. Then next 1 1/2 miles with lots of stair like steps. Then it levels out and walked sandy path for 1/2 miles or so. Then started steady incline like normal hiking path for next 2-3 miles. When you got to sub dome, it was hard. Steep incline on stair like steps then hiked up on granite slabs straight up. When we reached to cables at the bottom of half dome, my tendon or ligament above the heel started hurting from stretching as I was climbing up on granite slabs. Rested about good 15-20 mins before climbing the cables. I used the latex glove the thick one from Home Depot cost $4.00 a pair. It was thick and had a really good grip when I was holding on the cables. Couldn’t done it without those gloves. Climbing on cables was not easy for me because I don’t have good upper strength. But my mind was all set so I pulled my self up with lots of rests. Don’t rush know your limits and trust your instincts. Please place all the little stuffs that can fall out from your backpack - zipped up and secured it. As We were going up the cable, the small sunscreen fall out of someone backpack and hit the rock and opened and splashed on my pants and also on the rocks that we are climbing on cable area. It was already slippery and imagine as you are coming down and stepping on sunscreen. We warned people coming down to watch out for spilled sunscreen as we are going up. It was long climbing up on cables for us because there were about 10 people above us using harness so it took a long time for them to clipping. I would recommend to use it if you don’t have good upper body strength or unsure of yourself. It’s for your safety and a piece of mind that your are secured. If i have a choice I would definitely use it. Above all it was a great hike beautiful trails and so worth it when you got to the top. So there was no one checking our permits at the cables area. But when we were coming down the volunteer National Park service person was checking permits at 1/3 down the hike. I don’t know how he will give ticket to those who climbed without permits because he didn’t witness himself the climb?? Anyway please have a permit before you climb because it is necessary and it’s worth it. Have a great hike !!! :)

24 days ago

Awesome hike, beautiful views! Things to bring, water (water purification kit), food to fuel the hike, leather gloves, carabiner and strap, headlamp, decent hiking shoes and an adventurous spirit!

hiking
25 days ago

Hardest trail ever, took the shortest way up and down. WOW!! Legs were kill me afterwards.

very fun trail. there are beautiful views coupled with excellent exercise.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked half dome on Saturday after drawing 48 hour permits. We arrived late Friday so hit he trail at 7. The lower portion to Nevada falls was busy but not crowded, good time of year to hike! The hike from Nevada Falls to Sub dome was my favorite. Sub Dome was SO difficult for me, granite switch backs straight up the end of sub dome. Once up sub dome the cables felt easy! I agree with past comments-good grip on shoes and gloves. There were several people sliding down the cables in tennis shoes. Everyone was really nice, encouraging, and communicated really well on the cables! I Loved this hike, although it ended up being 20 miles from the half dome village tents. Hike JMT back down, misty in the dark because we left so late. Headlamps were a good choice! Have an easy dinner ready, you won’t be in the mood to cook!

1 month ago

Great Hike, though very long and difficult! Amazing views of Vernal and Nevada falls, the half dome of course and other landmarks if Yosemite. We started 4:30 AM with the mist trail, which was very challenging. Came back through John Muir Trail, which is longer and has lots of switchbacks. The sub Dome is a very challenging part. The Cables required lots of hand and legs work. be sure to bring gloves with rubber side, for good grip. I had to stop and sit few times going up the cables, I got dizzy and weak. I had to regain my forces every few feet, in the mid section of the cables. Worth the effort! Amazing view from the top. Make sure you take at least 1.5 Gallon of water per person, and good snacks. Enjoy!

It’s the best!! Night hike is amazing.

hiking
1 month ago

Bucket list hike. Plan to hike in the dark early to avoid the crowds. You’ll be so much more relaxed on the cables with less people.

hiking
1 month ago

Came back via JMT to save our knees from going down all the stairs on mist trail. Great views at the top. Definitely bring 4-5L of water and some kind of water purification wouldn't hurt so you can top off on the trail. And don't forget to hydrate and eat. I'd try to get to cables as early as possible. We got there around noon and came down around 1 and there was a lot of traffic both ways which made it... interesting.

worth every step. bring gloves, lots of water, and a water filter because you may still run out of water even if you pack a lot.

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