Yosemite National Park
Picture of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park... for a weekend vacation!

Half Dome
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Bears Cable Info Cable Permits Half Dome Facts Hike Preparation Yosemite Lodging Permits Maps Half Dome Photo Gallery Sun Rise/Set Times Trail Conditions Trail Heads Weather
 
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"The typical or target dates for the cables are to have them up for Memorial Weekend."
"They usually remain in place through Columbus Day weekend."

  Half Dome Cable Information Link   

Important News Release Regarding the Cables to the Top of Half Dome

Yosemite National Park Announces Interim Program for
Half Dome Day Use Permits to Address Visitor Safety
Program to begin May 2010

Continue to News Release

 

 

Half Dome stands at the elevation of 8,842 feet. It is made up from a type of granite, plutonic rock. Yosemite National Park's Half Dome's missing half is presumed to have fallen off when the Ice Age glaciers passed through.

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Yosemite National Park-Half Dome, the hike is approximately 17 miles round trip. The hike to Half Dome can take anywhere from 10-12 hours. Cables are put up in late May and taken down in October. The elevation will increase by 4,800', from Yosemite's Valley Floor, 

(almost one mile).

Yosemite National Park is famous for the anticipated Half Dome hike. Most avid hikers want Half Dome on their list of accomplishments. Since I have the famous Half Dome hike under my belt, let me share with you a few pointers:

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Picture of Half DomeThings to take with you to hike Yosemite's Half Dome:

1. Water- lots of water, (fill water up half-way in container and freeze overnight. If you fill water up too far, you will bust your container). Cool water is like Heaven on the top of Half Dome. Recommended amount is 1/2 -1 gallon.

2. Water purifier pills (available at sporting good stores). Streams may contain parasites.

3. Food (high energy, light weight), check at sporting good stores for examples.

4. Snacks (trail mix, granola bars, dried fruit, raisins, cheese & crackers, Lunchables... pack lightly).

5. Gloves (leather or rawhide, not winter type), to protect your hands on the cables. (Some gloves are laying in rock
crevice before you ascend cables... if you want to take a chance the gloves will be there).

6. Socks (to put on after soaking feet in water on the way down from Half Dome).

7. Mole skin (to put on sore spots on toes, precut or bring pocket knife).

8. Kleenex or toilet paper (only pit stops are at Vernal Fall bridge, Nevada Fall, & Little Yosemite Valley campground).

9. Plastic bag that contain: Band-Aids, Neosporin, pain reliever, Dramamine.

10. Rub-on ointment like Ben gay. (for sore muscles).

11. Nail clipper or pocket knife.

12. Bandanna (nice to wet in streams along the way to wet the face).

13. Sunscreen (apply frequently since you will be perspiring often).

14. Bug repellent. (mosquitoes are out in early day and evening, pesky small flies too).

15. Hat (cover over the back of neck is good, sun will be on your back most of the way).

16. Back pack or waist pack (I use two waist packs, one to the front - other to the back).

17. Large canteen to wear over shoulder (pre-frozen 1/2 way night before).

18. Knee/ankle brace.

19. Hiking boots (light weight with rugged bottom). Tennis shoes are slippery on rocks.

20. Light weight wind breaker

21. Small Flashlight (hike may take you longer than expected).

22. Camera (put around neck or in backpack while going up the cables).

23. Money to get ice cream at Curry Village at end of hike.

24. Walking stick (some prefer to use).

25. Topo map (just in case).

26. Silver warmth emergency blanket.

27. Poncho (small inexpensive disposable one), the trail leading to Vernal Fall is called the mist trail!!!

28. THAT IS ALL!!!


Wilderness Permits

If you are planning on backpacking overnight (longer than a day hike) anywhere in Yosemite, a Wilderness Permit is required.
Wilderness permits are required for all overnight trips into the wilderness in Yosemite National Park. Permits are available at the Yosemite Valley Wilderness Center from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Permits are also available from 2 days to 24 weeks in advance by writing Wilderness Permits, P.O. Box 545, Yosemite CA 95389, or by calling (209) 372-0740 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily.

Half Dome Cable Permit Acquisition Link

Half Dome Day Use Permits to Address Visitor Safety Program

Wilderness Permit Information, National Park Service

Helpful information about being Bear Prepared - Sierra Interagency Black Bear Group

Bears & Food Storage While Backpacking


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Photo of Yosemite Valley from Hwy 41

Picture of Half DomeWhere to start the hike to Yosemite's Half Dome:

1. Happy Isles at the Vernal Fall trail head. The Mist Trail to Vernal Fall then to Nevada Fall (steep and rigorous). Or the John Muir Trail (horse trail) to Nevada Fall (easier, longer and dustier) with horse droppings along the way. This is when you need to decide, if you want to make better time go the Mist Trail. Once you reach Nevada Fall there is only one trail to Half Dome. Long.

2. Glacier Point - The Panorama Trial. This will take you to Nevada Fall to meet the trail head to Half Dome. We always go this way because it is downhill 3/4ths of the way. It is similar to the horse trail to Vernal Fall. This trail starts at Glacier Point passing by Illioutte Fall then to Nevada Fall. It is a nice hike and you will be less tired going this way then up from Vernal Fall. The only down fall is you need to be dropped off at Glacier Point then hike out to Vernal Fall to Happy Isles. You would need a ride back to your car at Glacier Point. You can go back out through Glacier Point, we have never done that because it looks tougher. The Panorama Trail will take about 1/2 hour longer to hike to get to Nevada Fall than going the mist trail.

On the way down, don't forget to stop and soak your feet, lay on some moleskin on the sore spots and please change those stinky socks. You can either go the Mist Trail at Nevada Fall or the John Muir Trail (horse trail). The Mist Trail on the way down is very steep and rocks are slippery with gravel and dirt. It is very hard on the knees. The John Muir (horse trail) is more gentle, yet you have to walk a longer distance which can be almost as severe on the knees. You must make a CHOICE! We have gone both ways, we prefer the Mist Trail. The Mist Trail is much quicker. When you are tired, hot and thirsty, time is of the essence.

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Picture of Half DomeWhen to start your hike to Yosemite's Half Dome:

Early as possible! You will need to give yourselves 10-12 hours to complete this very difficult hike. When we hike from Glacier Point we leave at the break of dawn. This will usually give us enough time to get back down before sunset. If we were starting our hike from Happy Isles, we would start about 6:00 A.M. it would be cooler and less crowded on the trail. The shuttle buses start running at 7 am.

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Picture of Half DomeTime of year to hike Yosemite's Half Dome:

Lightning over Half Dome - Created by Gary Greek

NEVER HIKE HALF DOME IN A THUNDER STORM. Lightning may strike Yosemite's Half Dome at any time. Late May the cables are usually put up at Half Dome. The cables are usually taken down in late September early October. The weather is a factor when going up the cables. The best time to hike the trail is late June. The weather is still cool, daylight is longest and crowds are usually less. Depending on the weather, if a storm is in the forecast, do not attempt to hike the trail.

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Picture of Half DomeRecommended preparation for the hike to Yosemite's Half Dome:

Exercise is highly recommended for this long difficult hike. Taking power walks daily, going farther each day. Stair stepper is helpful since you will be climbing a large number of steep rock steps. Nordic track is good for the endurance of the long haul you will be attempting. Use arm weights to strengthen the muscles that will be used to pull yourself on the cables. The cables at some points are at a 45 angle. You are almost pulling yourself up the side of Half Dome with the cables.

Getting acclimated to the higher altitude if you are from lower than 4,000 feet. The air is thinner and harder to breathe. Starting out with smaller hikes at the 4,000 ' altitude will be helpful.

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Picture of Half DomeTo get the most out of your hike to Yosemite National Park's Half Dome, returning to a comfortable home would be refreshing. To make your lodging accommodations plans or weekend getaway to Yosemite National Park:

Yosemite Lodging Accommodations inside Yosemite National Park

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Picture of Half DomeFor more lodging information (no camping information) :

We are not affiliated with National Park Service!

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Use information on this website at your own risk!!!

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Get ready for the big SKI SEASON SPECIAL we are offering. Badger Pass is a great place to take the family for a great day of skiing. The views are spectacular while enjoying a great day on the slopes !! Check back for more details as they develop.

Badger Pass Ski Information

Yosemite Lodging Accommodations inside Yosemite National Park


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