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Half Dome Hike Path Information (2022): A Step-By-Step Information to Yosemite’s Epic Half Dome Path

The Half Dome hike is fingers down some of the distinctive & awe-inspiring hikes in all of Yosemite Nationwide Park! Many individuals aspire to hike Half Dome, for good purpose!

Past the hype although, the Half Dome path has its personal distinctive significance to me and my life as a result of it was my very first backpacking journey. On this put up, I’ll speak concerning the completely different choices of day-hiking versus backpacking Half Dom, however let me first begin off by telling you a fast story, as a result of the Half Dome hike fairly actually modified my life.

Once I was contemporary out of faculty, I moved from Texas to California and was feeling fairly misplaced on the time. I used to be just lately divorced, had moved distant from family and friends, and customarily simply felt like life was bland, and I used to be looking for self-worth and acceptance in just about all of the improper locations.  

View of Half Dome in the Distance at Sunset.

After which at some point, in a espresso break room at work, I overheard one in all my coworkers speaking to another coworkers about this upcoming hike, the Half Dome Hike in Yosemite Nationwide Park. 

All of them appeared fairly stoked on it, and I actually had by no means heard about it earlier than (significantly, I needed to Google, “what’s half dome” once I received house, come to seek out out its some of the iconic options in California… go determine!)

So I leaned in on the dialog, and subsequent factor I do know my good friend says to me, “Hey, now we have one additional allow spot if you wish to go…”

I kind of did a double take, like, “Wait what? Who, me? You understand I’m from Texas proper??”

I had actually by no means been backpacking earlier than.

However they satisfied me. They believed in me. They needed me to return.

So I mentioned YES.

Friends posing for a photo in front of Half Dome.

I didn’t comprehend it on the time, however that one “sure” marked an enormous turning level in my life. One which has led me to the place I’m immediately, an outside empowerment coach and backpacking educator.

Due to that, I’ve a LOT of affection in my coronary heart for this iconic Yosemite function, and I go to Half Dome as typically as I can. I’m extraordinarily excited to assist different folks uncover Half Dome with this path information and to share how this one path modified the whole lot for me. 

So… let’s get began, we could?


Another epic photo of Half Dome.

This Half Dome path information is stuffed to the brim with the whole lot you could know to move out in your very personal profitable summit of Half Dome PLUS enjoyable tales, suggestions, and recommendation on how one can make that have among the best in your life.

In case you select to day hike Half Dome, it makes for a fairly epic day of over 14 miles and 5,000 ft elevation acquire spherical journey. If you wish to take your time and savor the surroundings, you may also backpack Half Dome as a substitute (that’s what I did my first time).

If backpacking remains to be very new to you (however you’re all in favour of studying extra), I positively suggest leaping on the waitlist for my signature teaching program, Grow to be an Outside Backpacking Badass, the place we train you the whole lot you could know to change into assured and self-sufficient on the paths, so you may lead your friends with confidence, be a coveted backpacking accomplice, and even go solo. Hop on my waitlist for that program right here.

Hiking up the stair-stepping Mist Trail.

The defining function of the Half Dome hike is the cables as much as the summit. These are put in place to supply a secure strategy to attain the highest of Half Dome with out requiring technical mountaineering, however they’re nonetheless scary! In case you are afraid of heights, this may not be the hike for you. 

On this put up, we’ll cowl the next matters that will help you plan and put together in your very personal profitable Half Dome mountaineering journey:

  1. Half Dome Hike Path Stats – All of the nitty gritty particulars in a single spot.

  2. Get a Half Dome Allow – Wanted for mountaineering to the summit!

  3. Day Climbing Half Dome vs Backpacking Half Dome – Discover which possibility is greatest for you!

  4. When to Hike Half Dome – The most effective time to plan your hike.

  5. Half Dome Hike Map & GPX Information – I’ve created a map detailing the entire path which you could discover, together with a take a look at the elevation acquire/profile of the hike. You can even obtain this file as a GPX file to add into your personal private GPS system.

  6. Get to the Half Dome Path – Driving and parking suggestions.

  7. Half Dome Tenting The place to camp on and off the path when mountaineering Half Dome.

  8. Essential Half Dome Security Suggestions – Suggestions concerning the high hazards to anticipate alongside the Half Dome Path.

  9. Suggestions for Climbing the Half Dome Cables – From what sneakers to put on and what gloves to carry to strategies for going up and down the cables.

  10. Half Dome Hike Coaching – correctly practice for an enormous hike like Half Dome.

  11. What to Convey on Your Half Dome Hike – The important packing listing in your Half Dome day hike – don’t hit the path with out this stuff!

In case you’re in search of one thing particular, go forward and skip forward to the part you’re in search of!


I created the Final Outside Backpacker Starter Package for you (and it is FREE)! This starter package is crammed with 14 pages of my greatest mountaineering and backpacking suggestions that will help you be taught what it takes to change into a secure, assured, and self-sufficient out of doors backpacker!


In case you’re something like me, the very first thing you need to learn about a path is the high-level stats and knowledge so you may shortly determine what this hike is all about.


Hiking up the half dome cables.

  • Path to Half Dome: The path to the highest of Half Dome is definitely a mixture of trails, which I talk about extra within the “Map” part. In case you begin up the Mist Path, then ultimately you connect with the John Muir Path, and then you definitely veer off from the John Muir Path when you hit the Half Dome Path. Alternatively, you can begin on the John Muir Path and hit the Half Dome Path. There are professionals and cons to every possibility, which I’ll talk about contained in the Half Dome Path Map part.

  • Sort of Path: Out and Again

  • Half Dome Hike Trailhead: You begin the Half Dome hike at The Mist Path Trailhead / John Muir Path Trailhead (You’ll discover it close to the Completely happy Isle Bridge on Google Maps.)

  • How Lengthy is the Half Dome Hike? The Half Dome hike size varies relying on which path you are taking, however assuming you are taking the Mist Path (like most select to do), then the path is about 6.85 miles a technique. Spherical journey you’re round ~14 miles in your full day.

  • Half Dome Hike Elevation Acquire: ~5,300 ft of elevation acquire

  • How A lot Time Does It Take to Hike Half Dome? Plan to spend wherever from 9 to 16 hours (or extra) mountaineering Half Dome in case you are day mountaineering it. It is a very steep hike, and the time it takes will rely in your health degree going into it. In case you’re new to mountaineering, plan for the excessive finish of that Half Dome hike time vary.

  • Half Dome Hike Problem: Very strenuous, so for those who’re new to mountaineering, you’d be sensible to coach for this hike. It’s no joke for a day hike.  

  • Half Dome Path Crowds: That is an especially iconic (and subsequently well-liked) path, so it’s uncommon to have a solo second on this hike.

  •  Do You Want a Allow to Hike Half Dome? Sure, 100%. Whether or not you might be day mountaineering or backpacking, you can’t summit Half Dome with no allow.


Another Half Dome photo at sunset.

  • The place is the Half Dome Hike? Half Dome is situated inside Yosemite Nationwide Park in California, USA.

  • How Tall is Half Dome? The best level on this hike is the summit of Half Dome which is about 8,754 ft tall.

  • What are the Half Dome Hike Water Sources? I’ll discuss this extra in each the “Map” part and the “What to Pack” part”, however for those who’re day mountaineering, you need to carry loads of water with you. There are some choices for filtering water alongside the Merced River that runs close to the path (your greatest wager is close to Little Yosemite Valley Campground), however when you cross Little Yosemite Valley, there aren’t many good refill spots. So plan accordingly. Additionally, please all the time filter your water. Don’t drink straight from the Merced River. Take a look at my Half Dome hike packing listing beneath for my really helpful water-filters.

  • Is Half Dome Canine-Pleasant? I really feel like this goes with out saying, however I figured I’d cowl my bases. Canine are NOT allowed on this path (or any path throughout the Yosemite Nationwide Park).


A allow is required to hike to the highest of Half Dome throughout the season the cables are up. In case you shouldn’t have a allow, you’ll solely be allowed to hike so far as the sub dome, and rangers are sometimes stationed there to verify for permits.

You might be tempted to hike Half Dome with no allow, however for those who’re caught, you might obtain a effective.

You must have a permit to hike the Half Dome Cables to the summit.

Permits for day mountaineering Half Dome are made accessible by a lottery system, and there’s each a pre-season lottery and a each day lottery throughout the season.

  • Pre-season lottery functions start on March 1 and run till March 31. You’ll be notified concerning the standing of your software and for those who have been awarded a allow by mid-April.

  • In the course of the mountaineering season, about 50 permits (relying on identified cancellations) per day might be accessible by a each day lottery system. You will need to apply for these 2 days (from midnight to 1PM) earlier than the day you need to hike, and you may be notified later that night time whether or not or not you bought permits.

 We’ve got a full weblog put up devoted to the ins-and-outs of grabbing Half Dome Permits, together with suggestions and methods for grabbing one. Be taught extra about that right here >> Half Dome Hike Allow course of in full element.

In case you’re unable to seize Half Dome permits, try our full listing of Yosemite’s Finest Hikes. There are a ton of nice mountaineering choices exterior of Half Dome! 

>> CAN’T GET HALF DOME PERMITS? Hike the Clouds Relaxation Path as a substitute!


You could be questioning whether or not you need to attempt to hike Half dome in a day or for those who ought to go for backpacking the path. Each choices are nice, however include their very own professionals and cons: 


Many hikers choose to day-hike the Half Dome trail.

Whereas many individuals select to day hike Half Dome, it’s an intense hike for at some point, and for those who’re new to mountaineering you need to anticipate an extended and arduous day on the path.  Whereas 14 miles and 5,000 ft of acquire could be comparatively simple for some folks, most will think about this a really strenuous day hike and battle to make it to the summit.

Attending to the highest of Half Dome is simply half the battle. You’ll must make it again all the way down to the trailhead once you’re extraordinarily drained. In case you don’t plan and practice correctly, you might end up in a sticky state of affairs.

In case you’re nonetheless sure you need to day-hike Half Dome, then please be sure you do the next:

  1. Prepare for it – head to the “Coaching” part of this put up for tricks to get in form for Half Dome.

  2. Plan to start out early – A day hike of Half Dome would require an excellent early begin, so you may have loads of time to make it to the summit and again in daylight. In case you’re new to mountaineering and unsure how conditioned you might be, intention to start out round 4-5am. You might be beginning your hike at midnight, nevertheless it’s a lot better than ending your hike at midnight. The primary time I hiked Half Dome it took me practically 7 hours simply to make it to Little Yosemite Valley. I used to be backpacking, so probably a bit slower with a heavier pack, however one thing to remember. As you change into extra conditioned, you’ll be a lot quicker (extra just lately I went once more and it solely took me about 3-4 hours), however plan accordingly primarily based in your health degree.

  3. Pack the precise gear – Go to my Half Dome Packing Checklist part for an inventory of all of your day mountaineering necessities, like a headlamp and water filter.

  4. However significantly, pack the precise gear – Half Dome requires some particular gear like gloves and good sneakers. Do your self an enormous favor and be ready.

  5. Be WILLING to show round – Set a time for your self. If I don’t make it to the summit by X, I’ll flip round. This is a crucial talent to observe, particularly for those who’re new. Additionally, if there’s rain, mountaineering up the cables is a no-go. Don’t threat it.


Backpacking is a really amazing way to experience the Half Dome trail.

For my part, backpacking Half Dome is a extremely superb strategy to expertise this path, and if in case you have the gear, it’s an possibility I extremely suggest. 

Backpacking Half Dome might be much less bodily demanding, in addition to provide you with extra time to get pleasure from the great thing about Yosemite Valley. I like to recommend taking 3 days and a pair of nights to backpack Half Dome.

Right here’s a pattern backpacking itinerary for the Half Dome Path:

Day 1: Begin at Trailhead and Hike to Little Yosemite Valley

  • You’ll begin Day 1 by mountaineering up the Mist Path. Whereas it’s an unforgiving uphill exercise, it is faster and extra environment friendly than your different choices. Make sure that to carry loads of water and keep hydrated, particularly in case you are mountaineering in the summertime.

  • Spend your first night time tenting at Little Yosemite Valley Campground, which is a welcome respite after your lengthy trudge up the Mist Path. The campground is very nice and well-maintained, and it even has pit bogs (which isn’t widespread on most backpacking trails). You’ll additionally discover bear lockers on the campground, so that you don’t must carry your personal bear canister. Get pleasure from your night right here whilst you relaxation and prepare for day two, when you’ll deal with the well-known Half Dome cables.

Hiking down from the Half dome summit at sunset.

Day 2: Summit Half Dome

  • Earlier than heading out on Day 2, ensure you have loads of water in your manner as much as conquer Half Dome. Convey a small day pack if in case you have one (or empty all of your stuff out of your massive backpack and carry that as your daypack), and go away your massive backpacking pack and most of your gear at your campsite so you may deal with Half Dome with out it weighing you down. **Simply do not forget that all smelly stuff and meals ought to be left in bear lockers.**

  • As soon as once more, you’ll end up on an uphill battle as you make your manner up the sub dome. If you attain Half Dome itself, you would possibly hesitate upon seeing the cables operating practically straight up the imposing vertical rock face. However for those who take your time and preserve a agency grip on the cables, you can also make it to the highest for superb Half Dome views and the gratifying feeling of feat. See my recommendations on climbing the cables within the “Suggestions for Climbing the Half Dome Cables” Part.

  • Take your time to understand the summit, then you may take it simple, since the remainder of your backpacking journey might be downhill. Make it again all the way down to Little Yosemite Valley Campground in your second night time and get a great night time’s sleep earlier than your hike out the subsequent day.

Getting to the top of Half Dome is an exciting experience!

Day 3: Hike Out!

  • On Day 3, embrace your closing morning in Little Yosemite Valley after which pack up all of your gear and begin the trek again to your automobile.

  • As a substitute of retracing your steps down the Mist Path, think about taking the John Muir Path (they intersect). Though the John Muir Path provides on about an additional mile in distance, it’s a extra mild downhill slope that might be a lot simpler in your knees than the stair-stepping Mist Path.

 You may simply condense this itinerary to 2 days if wanted as effectively!


The Half Dome cables are solely open from the Friday earlier than Memorial Day (Late Might, situations allowing) by Columbus Day (early October), so if you wish to summit Half Dome, it must be throughout that point interval (until you’re an skilled rock climber, which is out of scope for this path information).

You shouldn’t try and hike Half Dome when the cables are down, as this can be very harmful. Nevertheless, Yosemite is open year-round, so you may all the time get a view of Half Dome, and often will be capable of a minimum of hike a portion of the Mist Path, relying on the situations.

September is a perfect time to attempt to hike Half Dome (it’s personally my favourite time of the 12 months in Yosemite), and it could be barely simpler to get a allow than throughout the center of summer time. There’s a small probability that you might expertise snow in September (during which case you shouldn’t do the Half Dome hike), however often the climate situations might be fairly good in early fall.

Wildfires have change into a priority in September (and actually all summer time) in the previous few years although, so simply preserve that in thoughts. Wildfires can result in closures of sure areas of Yosemite and trigger poor air high quality which results in dangerous mountaineering situations.

Take a look at the Yosemite space climate common temperature chart beneath for reference:

Average Temperature Chart of Yosemite weather.

Be ready earlier than you go. Identical to I train my college students in my backpacking program, it’s essential that you just all the time analysis your climate situations earlier than you go, weeks AND days earlier than your journey.

You by no means know when climate can change, and it will probably’t typically occur unexpectedly.

You may verify the climate situations at one of many following sources:

  • Climate for you

  • Mountain Forecast – Considered one of my favourite sources for mountain climate forecasts when checking a number of days earlier than a visit

Essential Notes: Don’t try and hike the Half Dome Cables if there was latest rain, or might be rain within the forecast. You may safely hike to the sub dome, however mountaineering up the cables could be very harmful when the rock is moist. This sentiment goes for snow as effectively. Do NOT threat it! That is how folks get harm.


There are literally some ways you might “technically” get to Half Dome, however I’m simply going to cowl the principle, hottest choices right here.

Most individuals begin on the Mist Path Trailhead / John Muir Path Trailhead. In case you kind in “Completely happy Isle Bridge” in your Google Maps, you’ll discover it tremendous simply.

If you type in “Happy Isle Bridge” on your Google Maps, you’ll find the Half Dome trailhead super easily.

The path to the highest of Half Dome is definitely a mixture of trails which you’ll be able to see in my Half Dome Hike map beneath:

  • Most individuals begin on the John Muir Path (blue) at Completely happy Isle Bridge

  • Then connect with the Mist Path (pink line on map)

  • The Mist Path then reconnects to the John Muir Path (blue)

  • Finally you’ll get off the John Muir Path and flip up onto the Half Dome Path.

  • Reverse your steps on the best way down. Nevertheless, if you need a better “downhill” expertise, choose to hike the JMT the remainder of the best way down as a substitute of venturing again onto the Mist Path. It’s a bit simpler on the knees.

This half dome trail map shows you the different sections connecting to half dome.

The path is comparatively simple to comply with, however for those who’re not paying consideration you might additionally simply end up on a wholly completely different path (as there are various out close to this space).

I all the time suggest downloading a GPX file onto a GPS system, that manner you may verify in on occasion to make sure you’re on the precise path.

You may obtain the GPX information from Half Dome Path map above. It particulars all the important thing milestones of the hike together with the trailhead begin, the sub dome, the Little Yosemite Valley Campground, and extra.


Data is energy my good friend, and I am a woman who loves knowledge. Get entry to this trails GPX file PLUS my library of GPX information with tracks and waypoints for all the paths loaded onto the She Desires of Alpine weblog.

Load this pet into your trusted GPS and relaxation simple realizing you’ve tracks to comply with in your subsequent hike or backpacking journey.


Look, I consider each hiker and backpacker ought to be self-sufficient, and that features realizing how one can observe good navigational expertise within the outside.

That is one thing I train in my backpacking program, however I need to provide you with a pair GPS choices to get began. Don’t ever threat getting misplaced, and don’t depend on different folks in your security outside.

Be empowered and take 100% possession for your self my good friend.

(Please word the beneath hyperlinks might comprise affiliate hyperlinks)

Right here’s what I like to recommend:

1) GAIA GPS Telephone App: At a naked minimal, think about getting a premium subscription to GAIA GPS App. This App permits you to obtain maps prematurely and take them offline into the backcountry. You may document your tracks, add tracks from on-line to comply with (just like the one I’ve above), and a lot extra with this telephone app, and GAIA is providing a particular low cost to those that subscribe on-line by my hyperlink above, 20% off their regular costs. However even for those who don’t use my hyperlink… please, at a minimal get a GPS telephone app that will help you navigate outside!

2) Handheld GPS: In case you hike typically or go backpacking, then I extremely suggest you investing in a handheld GPS. I personal a Garmin 64st and LOVE this system.

3) Handheld GPS with Satellite tv for pc Communicator: Nevertheless, if in case you have slightly bit more cash to spend, if I have been beginning over, I’d get the Garmin inReach Explorer+ which supplies not solely GPS monitoring capabilities, but in addition an SOS satellite tv for pc search and rescue communicator. I personal the Garmin inReach mini now and I pair it with my Garmin 64st, however it can save you weight by getting this all-in-one resolution.


Right here’s a take a look at the Half Dome hike elevation acquire profile in case you are going up the Mist Path and taking place the John Muir Path.

The total elevation gain on the Half Dome Trail is a little over 5,000 feet, which you can see in this elevation gain profile.

You may see that the overall elevation acquire is slightly over 5,000 ft, and for those who choose to go down the John Muir Path after you summit, it’s barely longer, however much less steep (and simpler on the knees).


I’m not going to overcomplicate this part. To entry the Half Dome hike in California, you’re going to want to journey to Yosemite Nationwide Park for starters.

There are every kind of locations to remain inside Yosemite Nationwide Park, from cabins to campgrounds to resorts. For extra concepts on the place to remain once you go to, click on right here.

Because you’ll need to begin mountaineering Half Dome very early, you’re going to need to come a minimum of a day forward of your hike (and certain spend the night time someplace within the park afterwards).


The closest Half Dome parking area to this trailhead is actually called “The Trailhead” and is near Curry Village.

The closest Half Dome parking space to this trailhead is definitely known as “The Trailhead” and is close to Curry Village. This parking zone fills up in a short time since virtually all of the Half Dome hikers attempt to park right here and plenty of of them begin VERY early within the morning.

Nevertheless, you may also park nearly wherever within the japanese a part of the valley and take one in all Yosemite’s free shuttles to the trailhead. You can even discover parking in Curry Village.


Little Yosemite Valley Campground might be your major campground and home-base for summiting Half Dome for those who plan to backpack this path.

Little Yosemite Valley Campground is the most popular place to camp if you’re backpacking Half Dome.

It’s a cute little campground space with many open spots, however you could have Yosemite Wilderness Reservations as a way to keep right here. See the allow part above for extra particulars about permits.

Not like most campgrounds within the backcountry, this one really has an outhouse (which is a good pit-stop for day hikers on the best way to the summit as effectively), and has quick access to the Merced River for filling up your water.


 The Half Dome hike is crammed with its justifiable share of risks. Listed below are a number of of the highest issues to contemplate and be ready for earlier than and through your hike.


The Mist Trail is steep and full of stair-like steps.

The Mist Path is steep, and is sort of like an enormous, lengthy stair case in some sections. Most individuals will get pleasure from going up this path, however might have problem taking place it. 

In case you’re feeling drained or have knee issues, choose to hike down the John Muir Path as a substitute of the Mist Path. It’s simpler going in your weary physique as you hike down from the summit of Half Dome.


Sadly there have been deaths in a number of the waterfalls alongside the Mist Path. I’m fairly certain these areas have indicators saying “no swimming” nowadays, however simply in case, don’t go swimming close to the waterfalls. And make sure keep watch over kiddos for those who’re mountaineering with them. 


At first glance, the Half Dome Cables can feel overwhelming and daunting.

The primary security consideration when mountaineering Half Dome is clearly the part of cables that show you how to attain the summit. If you first get to the cables, you’ll in all probability be slightly overwhelmed. As you search for, you’ll see that the hike up the cables is sort of vertical, and your solely safety is holding onto the cables as you step your ft up the rock and the planked wooden “stairway” to the highest. 

  • DO NOT try the cables with out correct gloves and sneakers with good grip. (Extra on that within the subsequent part.)

  • DO NOT try the cables in case you are very frightened of heights.

  • DO NOT try the cables in wet or moist or snowy situations.


One other security consideration is staying hydrated on the path, and that is much more of a priority for those who’re mountaineering Half Dome in the summertime.

I might extremely suggest bringing loads of water once you begin the hike, in addition to a water filter so you may replenish your provide at water sources alongside the path. Many unprepared Half Dome Hikers don’t carry practically sufficient water (largely as a result of they underestimate the problem of this hike). It’s additionally a good suggestion to carry electrolytes to maintain your salt ranges balanced once you’re sweating.

Hiker almost at the summit of Half Dome.

Begin off with a minimum of 3-4 liters readily available, and I like to recommend a replenish at Little Yosemite Valley (a minimum of have 2 liters) earlier than heading to the summit. Little Yosemite Valley campground is a good place to refill your water alongside the Merced River. Higher to have extra water than much less, for my part. Please be sure you use a water filter for those who refill right here.


Afternoon thunderstorms usually are not an unusual incidence on Half Dome, and it’s all the time a great observe to attempt to intention to summit and start your descent (and be achieved with the cables part) earlier than midday.

If a thunderstorm rolls in, lightning is a really actual concern on the summit, since it’s above treeline. And also you positively don’t need to attempt to descend the cables whether it is raining and the rock is slick. Which means for those who’re day mountaineering Half Dome, you need to get a really early begin.


Black bears are common in Yosemite National Park, and you may encounter them while hiking the Half Dome trail.

Your greatest wildlife concern in Yosemite is black bears. Black bears are sometimes fairly skittish round people, however the Yosemite bears are positively extra accustomed to seeing folks round. Like with all bears, observe secure bear rules together with (however not restricted to the next): 

  • Make noise whilst you hike so wildlife is rarely startled by your presence.

  • All the time preserve your distance for those who see a bear.

  • By no means run from a bear.

  • All the time retailer your meals (and any smelly gadgets) at night time in both a bear field or bear canister.

There’s no want to hold bear spray in Yosemite, in actual fact, I’m fairly certain it’s not allowed. Simply be good, make noise whilst you hike, and also you’ll probably not encounter one.

Additionally, don’t go away meals in your parked automobiles. Bears in Yosemite have come to be taught what coolers seem like and are identified to interrupt into automobiles within the Valley. There are bear lockers at most parking tons. Maintain the meals you aren’t taking with you on the hike in a kind of.


I really feel like this is without doubt one of the most essential sections of this path information, so positively learn by every of those “ Hike Half Dome Cables” suggestions to enhance your probabilities of a profitable Half Dome summit!


You will be thankful to have good grippy shoes on the Half Dome Cables.

The granite on the Half Dome cables is slick, particularly after years and years of hikers going up and down the cables, so the “stickier” the rubber in your sneakers the higher. You need sneakers which have good traction.

My really helpful pair of sneakers for this hike could be the 5.10 Information Tennies (or another shoe with a climbing rubber sole). You may get by with a contemporary pair of shoes, simply don’t be carrying any worn down slick pair of tennis sneakers.


There are lots of gloves you may put on on the Half Dome hike, however the ones that I prefer to suggest are Nitrile Utility Work Gloves like those I’m carrying within the picture beneath.

Nitrile Utility Work Gloves work great on the Half Dome Cables.

You could find these gloves at just about any ironmongery store, they usually aren’t that costly.

Suede and leather-based gloves tend to slide, so it’s higher to have one thing with additional traction.

Make sure that to carry gloves on this hike, you DO NOT need to try the cables with out gloves.

Additionally please be certain that to pack out your gloves as effectively. Don’t go away them behind on the cables, as that is NOT training good Go away No Hint rules. Used gloves are trash – please don’t go away your trash on the cables.


Some folks consider that utilizing a harness system to ascend the cables will present an additional measure of security, however I really advise in opposition to this.

For my part, harnesses merely act as a false sense of safety, and, on this situation, may result in you being much less attentive as you hike up the cables. To correctly and safely use a harness system on the cables, you would wish a really particular by way of ferrata arrange which most individuals usually are not more likely to have.

Having to fuss with carabiners and your harness system goes to do you extra hurt than good in getting up the cables. Simply take your time, give attention to going plank to plank, and hold on with a powerful grip.


Being alone on the Half Dome cables is rare, but more common near sunset and later in the season.

There almost definitely WILL be lots of people on this hike, and actually the one attainable strategy to keep away from crowds could be to get there round sundown, however then you could be ready to do the hike down at midnight (which I don’t suggest for those who’re a beginner). 

In case you aren’t snug with that, be ready to share this path with crowds.


Take your time when hiking up the Half Dome Cables.

If you begin making your manner up the cables, you’re going to really feel a little bit of concern. It appears to be like practically vertical.

  • Take your time going up the cables, and don’t let others strain you into going quicker than you are feeling snug. In case you discover you may’t preserve going, flip round. Half Dome might be right here sooner or later. There’s no disgrace in turning round.  

  • All the time preserve BOTH fingers on the cables. Since there might be site visitors going up and down the cables on the similar time, you will have to let go at moments, however don’t accomplish that until you are feeling completely steady.

  • I prefer to give attention to “one plank at a time” as I’m going up the cables. There are “planks” of wooden on the best way up that make for good relaxation factors.

The cables are harmful. In case you select to go up them, you accomplish that at your personal threat. I’m solely sharing recommendation right here that has helped me really feel extra calm and accountable for my state of affairs. The worst factor you are able to do is to panic on the cables. Take your time!


I really discover taking place to be a bit “simpler” than going up. To really feel safer on my manner down, I sometimes get fairly near the cable with my arm, as seen within the picture beneath.

Going down the cables is slightly easier than going up.

Once more, take your time, and go plank to plank.


Climbing Half Dome might be far more enjoyable for those who’re bodily ready for the robust hike. It’s a good suggestion to comply with a coaching plan within the weeks main as much as your massive hike. The easy strategy to design a coaching plan is to base it on the Half Dome hike and use the mileage and elevation acquire of the particular Half Dome path – roughly 14-16 miles and 5,000 ft of acquire.

Which means you’ll need to construct as much as a complete weekly mileage objective of 14 miles over a number of weeks, and incorporate rising elevation as effectively.

Those who train for Half Dome will enjoy the hike much more!

For extra concepts on coaching for the Half Dome hike, I like to recommend testing my suggestions for mountaineering 14ers put up, which covers making a coaching plan in a bit extra element.

It’s an excellent concept to do your coaching with the pack you propose to hike with so that you get used to carrying it. Fill it with weight of some variety (a water bladder is nice for this, since it’s heavy, and you’ll drink the water as you hike) and enhance the load over time till you attain the load you propose to carry with you on the path.

In case you’re planning to tackle Half Dome as a day hike, it’s additionally a extremely good concept to get in a minimum of one massive hike of a minimum of 14 miles below your belt so you’ll know the way it feels to truly hike for that lengthy. This provides you with additional confidence when it’s time in your Half Dome hike, because you’ll know you might be able to mountaineering 14 miles.


Since most of you might be probably day mountaineering the Half Dome Path, I would like you to pop over to my day mountaineering gear guidelines and ensure you have the whole lot you want for a day hike.

There are a number of completely important gadgets I need to name to consideration although for this particular Half Dome hike preparation.

Observe: The listing beneath incorporates affiliate hyperlinks.

1) Day Pack: You need to be fingers free on the Half Dome Cables, be sure you carry a backpack in your day hike. My private favourite is the Deuter Velocity Lite 22 SL . 2) Water Bladder:It’s additionally useful to have a water bladder like a CamelBak to simply hydrate with out worrying about dropping a water bottle. I like to recommend getting one which has a minimum of a 3 liter reservoir, so you may carry as a lot water as attainable.3) Gloves: I discussed this earlier than, however you MUST carry gloves for the cables. There are a number of gloves you may put on on the Half Dome hike, however I like to recommend sturdy nitrile work gloves , since they don’t slip.4) Footwear with Good Traction: I additionally talked about this above, however I like to recommend the 5.10 Information Tennies or another climbing method shoe with sticky rubber. At naked minimal, be certain that to put on newer sneakers with good traction. 5) Headlamp: I as soon as caught a few beginner hikers on the Half Dome Path on their manner down from the cables utilizing their iPhones as a flashlight! It was virtually darkish (I used to be tenting at little Yosemite Valley), they seemed very scared, and really apprehensive as a result of they didn’t know the place they have been AND they have been utilizing their telephone as a flashlight. DON’T DO THIS.

I like to recommend bringing a headlamp + additional batteries on each hike. I all the time carry the Petzl Actik Core on my hikes.

6) GPS: Do your self a favor and a minimum of use an app like Gaia GPS for peace of thoughts on this hike, even for those who don’t have a devoted handheld GPS system. 7) Down Jacket: Let’s say you underestimate the time it takes to hike the Half Dome path, and it begins to get darkish on you… and with the darkness it additionally begins to get chilly. Be ready, and convey a minimum of a pleasant light-weight down jacket with you just like the Patagonia Down Sweater or the Patagonia Nano Puff. 8) Water Filter: I like to recommend bringing a water filter on the Half Dome day hike. You’ll probably need to replenish on water on the Merced River close to Little Yosemite Valley Campground, and also you’ll must filter that water earlier than consuming it. I’ve change into an enormous fan of the Katadyn BeFree , however the Sawyer Squeeze
is a good inexpensive possibility as effectively. 9) Snacks & Electrolytes: Convey loads of meals and snacks to gas your massive day hike journey! I prefer to pack Clif Bars, Full Cookies, and Larabars for fast snacks. Electrolytes, like Nuun, are additionally nice to carry alongside.

These are the essential issues to carry in your Half Dome day hike, however for my full gear suggestions, try my day mountaineering guidelines.

In case you plan to backpack the Half Dome hike path then try my backpacking packing guidelines as a substitute.


So that you could hit the paths with peace of thoughts realizing that you just didn’t go away something important behind!

And now that you just’re completely ready for the hike, I’m going to go away the expertise as much as you! 

The primary time I hiked up Half Dome, I used to be model new to the world of mountaineering and backpacking. I made so many errors, but in addition it lit a spark inside me.

Half Dome confirmed me that I’m robust, courageous, and able to a lot greater than I ever thought was attainable.

Views at the top of Half Dome are incredible!

Quick ahead to immediately, and residing a life outside, teaching ladies how one can change into assured and self-sufficient backpackers themselves… that is my actuality. I’m not the shy, overly worrisome Texan that I as soon as was.  

It’s in giant due to this massive, lovely dome.

It was the primary spark in my bigger private transformation, and I hope it has an analogous affect on you as effectively.


In case you are in search of extra California mountaineering adventures, try our sources beneath:


Additionally be sure you try these important mountaineering sources!


Allison – She Desires of Alpine





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