Happy Isles bus stop (also the stop for Vernon and Nevada Falls trail)
Length of Time
10-12 hours (be sure to be back before sunset)
+/- 1 500 metres
You need a certificate to climb Half Dome.
These are granted through a lottery.
Water along the way:
This hike is a memory for life and the jewel of the crown in Yosemite national park! It is streneous and a bit scary to climb up the so called cables but the views of the granite mountains is something of a kind.
The hike to Half Dome
The first part of this famous hike is strenous, but easy to walk since there are 600 granite steps all the way up to Vernon Falls and then a steep rocky path further up to Nevada Falls. After the Nevada Falls the trail is more or less flat for several kilometres as you actually walk around the Half Dome to the other side of it.
After this there is a long ascent up to where the (in)famous cables climb starts. The cables actually allow you to climb up 120 metres steep on the granite without climbing equipment to the very summit of Half Dome. This part of the hike has terrified more than one person. You may not climb the cables if it is raining or is windy. The view from the top is for sure absolutely stunning.
You will need gloves, preferably with rubber palms, on the cables. We we totally missed this, but there were lots of gloves thrown on the ground below the cables. Some cheap gloves from a any store will work.
Going down the cables is probably even more scary for most of us so be sure to be enough fit to go both up and down.
Where to stay in Yosemite?
Ahwahnee is an iconic hotel and well worth a visit even if you choose not stay here. Take a look at the garden, the beautiful saloons and the exterior of this granite building. It is also one of our favourite hotels.
In Yosemite village you find a few other hotels and a camping. Be sure to book well in advance at least a year ahead.
Getting around in Yosemite
You are strongly adviced not to go with your own car around Yosemite Valley. If everyone did that it would be crowded in no time. There are shuttle buses to all the places you want to go from the hotels and the camping.
Where to eat in Yosemite?
Buy a sandwich of your choice in the Yosemite Center for lunch on your hike. For dinner you have two restaurants at the Ahwahnee hotel, the grand room and a simpler but really nice cafe/restaurant. You can also buy a pizza or a salad at the pizzeria close to the Visitors Center.
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