FAQ: How Hard Is The Half Dome Hike?

Half Dome Hike. The trail to Half Dome from Yosemite Valley is an extremely strenuous hike covering over 17 miles. Hikers gain 4,800 feet of elevation along the trail that passes highlights such as Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall, before reaching the cables on Half Dome’s steep granite domes.

Is Half Dome hike scary?

It is completely fine to turn back as this is a genuinely scary section of hiking. It is far worse than anything we’ve ever seen in a decade of hiking around the world (Angels Landing has nothing on Half Dome). So if you’re not sure, just go and see it for yourself!

Can the average person hike Half Dome?

You Can Hike Half Dome in a Day Many people hike Half Dome in one day, but it is not recommended without proper training. The first thing to consider, is getting a permit for a day hike. There are 225 day hiking permits available each day and they are granted by lottery.

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How do I prepare for Half Dome hike?

How to Train For Half Dome

  1. Work your way up to a 15 mile hike by adding 1-2 miles onto your longest hike every week.
  2. Feel comfortable climbing at least 4,000 feet in one day.
  3. Do some pulling exercises like seated rows for a few weeks before the hike.
  4. Try to spend some time at altitude before you hike Half Dome.

Is Half Dome harder than Whitney?

I’d say Whitney is the more difficult of the two. It’s just higher and longer. If you consider Whitney 10/10 and you did half dome all the way I’d put Half Dome at 6/10 with Whitney. The altitude makes a huge difference.

Has anyone died hiking Half Dome?

Since 2005, there have been at least 13 deaths, 291 accidents and 140 search-and-rescue missions on Half Dome (2010 data not included). Before 2010, up to 1,200 people per day attempted the climb.

Which is scarier Angels Landing or Half Dome?

I’ve hiked both trails, and must admit the final stretch to the summit of Half Dome is scarier and, indeed, very likely more dangerous than the trail up Angels Landing. Nowhere on Angels Landing does the trail head up a 600-foot stretch of slick granite that at points reaches a 45-degree angle.

Do I need a harness for Half Dome?

Most people do not use a harness to climb Half Dome. If heights make you nervous, we highly recommend wearing a harness or not attempting this section of the hike. If you decide to use safety equipment, we recommend a Via Ferrata Kit, which includes a harness, a Y-shaped lanyard, and carabiners to clip onto the cables.

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How long does it take to climb Half Dome cables?

The Half Dome Cable Hike will take hikers about 10 – 12 hours to complete, there and back, depending on skill level and weather. Undertakers of this trail will be rewarded with views of Vernal Fall, Nevada Fall, Liberty Cap, and of course, Half Dome.

Is Half Dome the same as El Capitan?

They appear as tiny dots moving along El Capitan’s seemingly sheer surface. By far the most photographed spot in the park is Tunnel View, which frames Yosemite Valley to perfection, El Cap standing tall to the left, Half Dome in the center, and Bridalveil Fall to the right.

What is the best time to hike Half Dome?

Best Time to Visit: You can’t climb Half Dome unless the cables are up, which is generally from late May or early June through Columbus Day weekend in October. The waterfalls will be better the earlier in the year you go. Avoid Half Dome on days when there are thunder clouds in the area – it’s not worth the risk.

Do you need gloves for Half Dome?

Gloves: Proper gloves are a must on the Half Dome Cables. Any hardware store will carry nitrile utility work gloves that would be suitable for this hike. Nitrile coated gloves are lightweight and work best. Latex gloves with extra ‘rubberized’ grip are very good too, but some people are allergic to latex.

How steep are the Half Dome cables?

Half Dome Cables. Once at the top of Sub Dome, there’s only one way to the summit: the legendary Half Dome cables. Half Dome’s final 400-foot ascent heads up bare granite inclined between 45 and 60 degrees. It’s too steep to hike without falling, so the park service employs a unique metal cable system.

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How many stairs are in the climb to Half Dome?

In the 8+ miles from the start of the trail to the summit, you climb nearly 5000 vertical feet. That’s like climbing up 8,571 regular steps, and you’re doing this in a few hours, before turning around and coming straight back down.

What class hike is Half Dome?

The cables on Half Dome turn a class 5 rock climb into a class 3 scramble up the NW shoulder of Half Dome. This is by far the easiest way to get up Half Dome, but also the longest. Expect crowds on the weekends and even during the week. On busy days the cables turn into a continuous traffic jam of people.

How do you get down from Half Dome?

Tips for Climbing the Half Dome Cables

  1. Watch the weather.
  2. Bring gloves.
  3. Wear hiking shoes or boots with excellent traction.
  4. Take your time.
  5. While climbing the cables, we pulled ourselves up with one hand on each cable.
  6. When descending, it’s easier to turn around and walk down backwards.

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