Length

12-15 Hours

Mileage | Rating

16 Miles
Very Strenuous

Cost

$250/solo hiker
$200/person for 2+

Meeting Location | Time

Half Dome Village
5:30 AM

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Half Dome Hike in a Day

The Half Dome hike in Yosemite is truly a trip of a lifetime! Hiking Half Dome consists of a 16 mile round-trip that takes all day and brings hikers beside majestic waterfalls and to the top of the unique granite monolith, 8842′ Half Dome. While this is one of the most strenuous day hikes in the park, in addition to guiding you to this Yosemite icon, our guides also take the necessary time to educate you on the natural history, geology, and prominent figures who helped shape Yosemite as we know it today.

Half Dome is the signature landmark of Yosemite National Park in California. It reaches 8,842 feet above sea level. Hiking Half Dome to the top is a taxing ordeal, taking about 12 hours. It is one of the most popular hikes in the country and offers terrific scenery throughout. This hike in total is about 16 miles round trip depending on the trails used. Day hikers will begin their journey in Happy Isles and ascend via the steep Mist Trail next to both Vernal, and Nevada Fall, each via 700 man-carved granite steps. This hike culminates with the cable system, erected in 1919 where you will climb the last 425 vertical feet using a 1/2-inch steel cable handrail. It is a guaranteed adrenaline rush. Once atop this famous landmark (featured on the 2005 Quarter coin) you will have unparalleled views of Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point, El Capitan, Clouds Rest, Tenaya Canyon, and pretty much the entire Yosemite High Country.

The Half Dome hike is a very strenuous hike that has lasting effects on the persona. As stated by Mr. Half Dome himself, “The hike can awaken your adventuresome spirit with a new feeling of ‘I can do anything.’” Some of the comments we’ve overheard from those who have gone to the top include: “Awesome,” “Breathless,” “Wow – glad I trained for hiking Half Dome,” and “This is the true Spirit of Yosemite.” For many people, this is their Mt. Everest and is one of the most ambitious things they will ever undertake. Maybe after conquering Half Dome, you’ll embark on even more challenging adventures.

Lasting Adventures, Inc. has guided well over 3,000 clients to the summit of Half Dome on over 200 separate occasions. We teach both wilderness safety and wilderness ethics/values along the hike. Lightning, rain, and a wet dome are deadly. Fortunately, we have had to turn trips around due to bad weather only a few times. Our guides are proven leaders in the Yosemite backcountry and being the one guide service with the most Half Dome experience, we know what’s around almost every corner.

Check Out the Half Dome Hike in a Day Experience!

Itinerary

The Half Dome hike is a long, challenging and a rewarding day. We will leave Curry Village to the nearby Happy Isles trailhead at 5:30 am and can expect to be back in the Valley around 6 pm if not later. (Plan accordingly) We strongly suggest you be physically prepared for this adventure. This is an “extremely strenuous” hike. Be prepared for sudden changes in weather and for the many aspects of the wilderness such as insects and animals. Feel free to contact us to discuss any recommendations for preparedness. We recommend training by progressing to 6-8 hour day hikes to include long steep hills along with weight training to prepare for the cable pull. (It’s also a good excuse to get outside.)

Testimonials

This was the best hike our family has ever done. It is strenuous so you will need to prepare for the trip. Our guide, Graham, was very friendly, easy-going, and knowledgeable which was great as we spent about 13 hours with him. He brought extra gear and was equipped for emergencies if they arose. He taught us about the history of half dome and gave us great advise on things to do while in Yosemite. By the end of the day, it felt like he was one of our group. I would definitely recommend lasting adventures! – Jen L. 

I hiked Half Dome in Yosemite with my daughter (16) & nephew (26). We used Lasting Adventures for guide services and we are very happy we did. They were very accommodating and extremely knowledgeable. Our guide Alaina was fantastic, she knew the mountain, first aid, hiking tips and she was a pleasure to be around. She took the time to explain all of the points of interest along the way.This is a really long hike, it took us 14 hours to do the 21.5 miles round trip (I tracked it using a FitBit), it was honestly the hardest workout I have ever had in my life, but it was no regrets, worth it. That mountain is way too big with to do without an experienced guide. The scenery was so amazing, it was breathtaking. It was truly the most amazing trip I have ever taken. If I do this trip again (I’m thinking about it), I would use Lasting Adventures again in a heartbeat. – Reed T. 

I can not say enough good about my experience with lasting adventures. Communication leading up to trip excellent. Our guide, Kimball, was excellent. He was so organized, knowledgable, friendly, fun and encouraging to name a few. He really was so good with helping our group meet its goals. A guide is really worth the cost.. He kept us on track. Had extra supplies.. He really helped me find the best way up sub dome and gave great encouragement on cables. Thanks so much Lasting Adventures and Kimball! – Gal D.

What to Bring

  • Two one-quart wide-mouth water bottles full for departure. Hydration pack is okay too if you are comfortable carrying it. We will supply water filters for re-filling your bottles along the trail. Natural water is unsafe to drink.
  • Electrolyte powder of your taste preference (3/4 cup)
  • Food. pounds recommended. Carbohydrates are good! Examples include: 4-7 energy bars, trail mix, jerky, candy, etc. A pre-made bagel sandwich keeps its shape and tastes great on the summit!
  • Quality hiking boots are recommended. Trail shoes are okay. We prefer good soles and ankle support. ABSOLUTELY no tennis shoes – you will not be allowed to join this hike if you arrive wearing them.
  • Hiking socks – NO cotton
  • Lightweight shorts
  • Polypropylene shirt to help wick away sweat and keep you cool – NO cotton
  • Hat. Preferably one you can get wet to cool your head.
  • Facecloth or bandana
  • Sunscreen and Lip Balm
  • Flashlight – 4 AA minimum or a headlamp mandatory
  • Sunglasses
  • Small digital camera with neck strap
  • Trekking Poles are very helpful and advised (knee relief)
  • We provide nitrile rubber coated gloves for the cable ascent. They are super sticky and work. Feel free to bring your own pair if you wish.
  • Lightweight rain gear or shells for the Mist Trail and possible afternoon thunderstorm.
  • Blister prevention supplies
  • Fanny Pack or Daypack (whichever you prefer) to carry all of your necessities
  • Zip lock baggies for trash
  • Pre-hike dinner: Eat a balanced meal with nothing that may upset your stomach during the hike. Pre-hydrate that day and night.
  • Pre-hike breakfast: Bagels, muffins, juice, granola, apple, banana – use the bear boxes!

Our cost for the Half Dome in a Day Hike is $250 for a solo hiker. The cost will drop to $200 per person when total participation exceeds two or more people on any single date. This price also includes a Lasting Adventures Half Dome t-shirt. Gratuities for guides are not required but are appreciated. Typically gratuities range from 10-20% of your trip’s total cost; not per guide.

Lasting Adventures, Inc. will bring first aid gear, water treatment supplies, toilet paper/trowel, extra sunscreen, and extra snacks!

JOIN AN UPCOMING TOUR

All listed dates include cable permits.


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