Help keep our trails and parks open during COVID-19 by committing to social distancing. Some trails or park services may be closed this weekend so check with local authorities before heading out.
Learn more

Wowona to Half Dome to Yosemite Valley [CLOSED]

hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(4)
Yosemite National Park

Wowona to Half Dome to Yosemite Valley [CLOSED] is a 32.2 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Yosemite Valley, California that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, nature trips, and backpacking and is best used from May until September.

Length 32.2 mi Elevation gain 8,129 ft Route type Point to Point
Backpacking Camping Hiking Nature trips Forest River Views Waterfall Wildlife Rocky Closed
Description
Waypoints (0)

Note: as of September 2020, trails in this area are closed due to wildfire. See park page for more information.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (4)
Photos (7)
Recordings (3)
Completed (4)
View user's profile page
Richard Martinez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 13, 2020
BackpackingBugsGreat!

As my fellow hiker, Morgan Hamilton said in his review, this is also one of the hardest hikes I've ever done. After multiple attempts for permits from closer trailheads, we were finally awarded one from the Pohono Trailhead at the Wawona tunnel. There is no sleeping in or starting late for this trail, theres a lot of elevation gain and miles to cover every day, so we arrived a day early and stayed at the backpackers camp at the Upper Pines campground. Your map might say it's at Lower Pines, but Covid forced them to move it this year, so park at the dirt lot just passed the Curry Village parking lot and follow the signs to the camp. There are so many great view points along this trail including Crocker and Taft point, so make sure to check them out and take some scary pictures for your friends. Our first camp was at just West of the Bridalveil footbridge, no camping is allowed East of it. Water was plentiful at the bridge, so it was a great place to take a dip and collect some water. Glacier Point is another great stop along the trail with a great view of Half Dome, it's a little crowded, but it actually could be used as a place to pick up lunch if you plan it right. Just down from Glacier Point is Illilouete Gorge, which is another great place to stop before crossing the bridge and climbing back up the Panorama trail, just watch out for the leeches. After that Nevada Falls is the next notable spot for views, restrooms and water which is just after the Panorama trail intersects the John Muir trail. Lots of day hikers there. After that it's to the backpackers camp at the base of Half Dome. There are a lot of downed trees and a fair amount of trash from backpackers and day hikers that I thought cared about the wilderness, but I guess not. There is water here too, just East of the camp. We stayed the night here after finding a spot and hiked out to Half Dome at 5am because we wanted to beat the heat and the crowds. Getting to the Sub Dome is a bear, there are a lot of stair-like steps that switchback all the way up, so make sure to save some energy for the cables and the peak. Bring some gloves and a good amount of water (I brought 3 liters and that was plenty for me). The early start was perfect, when we got to the cables, there were just 2 people coming down the cables and one 4-5 person group in front of us. The cables require some upper body strength so be prepared for an arm work out, but you can stand on the 2x4s along the way to take a break. The peak is what you would expect, epic views and happy hikers all around. After the peak, we hiked back down and picked up our camp. We planned to take the Mist trail back, but due to Covid, it's a one way trail right now. We took the JMT back which added some elevation gain and a little mileage. There are a lot of steep switchbacks that make one mile feel like three and a lot of people crowding the trail all the way down to Yosemite Valley. After starting at 5am, we got back to our shuttle car around 3pm, so even the last day is pretty damn long. PLEASE PACK OUT YOUR TRASH! THERE ARE TOO MANY PEOPLE OUT ON THESE TRAILS THAT DON'T AND ARE RUINING THE EXPERIENCE FOR EVERYONE ELSE. IF YOU DON'T THINK ITS A BIG DEAL TO DROP A SMALL PIECE OF TRASH ON THE TRAIL, THEN YOU DON'T BELONG ON THE TRAIL, STAY HOME AND GOOGLE PICTURES ON YOUR PHONE.

View user's profile page
Morgan Hamilton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 11, 2020

This was the hardest hike I've ever done but it was worth every step. We had plenty of water sources to filter water from. The only negative was around Glacier Point where all the day hikers and tour bus riders were crowding around and leaving garbage. There was also a bit of garbage left by all the disrespectful day hikers from Nevada Falls down to Yosemite Valley. Great hike. Very worth the effort. If you plan on actually climbing Half Dome make sure you get there early morning and bring gloves for the cables.

View user's profile page
Scott Winkelman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 16, 2019
Hiking
First to Review

I stopped at ostrander lake. and hitchicked once I got to glacier point road. the lake is worth a detour.

View user's profile page
Rick Ruff
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 8, 2014
Hiking
View Rick's Recording