Photos of Happy Isles to Half Dome

13.5 miles
5,059 feet
Out & Back





nature trips

rock climbing


partially paved




2 months 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 !!! :)