Everything You Need to Know about Hiking Half Dome

The famous Yosemite National Park contains a wide spectrum of incredible hiking trails that are unlike any other in the world.  Featuring panoramic views, beautiful waterfalls, and rushing rivers, these numerous trails will leave you with unforgettable experiences.  Half Dome is an iconic landmark that stands out from the magnificent California scenery as it towers 5,000 feet above the surrounding Yosemite Valley.  While this is an amazing journey with highly rewarding sights at the end, Half Dome hiking is also difficult and should only be attempted by advanced hikers.  If you want to explore this Yosemite treasure, learn everything there is to know before you go so you can safely enjoy this fantastic experience.  

How to Prepare for Hiking Half Dome

Hiking Half Dome Training

The path to Half Dome is approximately 16 miles round trip, so you need to be sure you’re in the right physical condition to handle a course of that length.  Most professional outdoorsmen recommend that you start preparing for this arduous course by doing some practice hikes beforehand.  Start with short, easy paths, then slowly work your way up by increasing the length and difficulty of your course.  

What to Wear for Hiking Half Dome

The best apparel for hiking Half Dome includes shoes with excellent traction; you’ll be ascending part of this trail by cables so you’ll need sure footing.  Gloves are a good choice as well to keep your hands from getting blistered as you grab the cables.  (If you’re nervous about climbing up the cables, you can buy gear to secure yourself to them.)  Layering your clothes is also advised, since days in this area tend to start out chilly, then get much warmer as the day progresses.

Hiking Half Dome Tips

The most important of the Half Dome hiking tips is to stay hydrated.  You’ll be hiking at high elevation levels which can make you feel sick if you haven’t been drinking enough water.  Make sure to only hike when there’s no rain or thunderstorm in the forecast; the rocks can become slippery when wet, and the whole area is basically a lightning rod during a storm.  Also, hiking poles will help more than you know!  This is a long journey, so you’ll want all the support you can get.  Bring along plenty of snacks to give you energy throughout the day; the journey back is just as strenuous as the journey up, so make sure to pace yourself!  Be aware that the last restroom is about halfway through the hike.  You will need a permit to hike here which you can obtain online.

Come Stay with Us at Hotel Charlotte!

After a fun day of hiking in Yosemite, treat yourself to a stay in the most luxurious lodging possible!  Hotel Charlotte is a historic bed and breakfast in Groveland, California, located conveniently at the gateway of Yosemite, that offers comfortable furnishings and excellent amenities within a charming, rustic environment.  Choose from staying in one of our twelve lovely rooms or renting one of our cozy vacation cottages.  You can explore the many attractions of our surrounding area, or simply spend time unwinding in our relaxing environment; we have an elegant living room, friendly and helpful staff, and even our very own restaurant to accommodate all of your needs!  Don’t wait another minute to start planning your dream vacation; check our availability and book your stay today!

To learn more about the many things to do in Yosemite, download our free Vacation Guide!

Photo by tjwvandongen / Thinkstock

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