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View this description of the Half Dome hike and how you can be best prepared to complete it. Rising nearly 5, feet above Yosemite Valley and 8, feet above sea level, Half Dome is a Yosemite icon and a great challenge to many hikers. Despite an report declaring that it was "perfectly inaccessible, being probably the only one of the prominent points about the Yosemite which never has been, and never will be, trodden by human foot," George Anderson reached the summit inin the process laying the predecessor to today's cable route. Today, thousands of people reach the summit.

For most, it is an exciting, arduous hike; for a few, it becomes more of an adventure than they wanted. Indeed, park rangers assist hundreds of people on the Half Dome trail every summer. Most of these emergencies could have been prevented Much of the hike to Half Dome is an adventure into Wilderness, and, while there is nothing you can do to guarantee your safety, below you will find some tips to reduce your risk and have a safer, more enjoyable hike.

The to mile round-trip hike to Half Dome is not for you if you're out of I need dome now or unprepared. You will be gaining elevation for a total of 4, feet most of your way to the top of Half Dome.

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Most would say the reward is worth the effort. Most hikers take 10 to 12 hours to hike to Half Dome and back; some take longer. If you plan on hiking during the day, it's smart to leave around sunrise or earlier and then have a non-negotiable turn-around time.

For instance, if you haven't reached the top of Half Dome by pm, you will turn around. Check for sunrise and sunset times before you hike. Regardless, each person should carry a flashlight or headlamp with good batteries hikers commonly struggle down the trail after dark because they don't have a flashlight.

Although the trail is well marked, you should be prepared with a good topographic map and compass and know how to use them. The most famous--or infamous--part of the hike is the ascent up the cables. The two metal cables allow hikers to climb the last feet to the summit without rock climbing equipment. Sincerelatively few people have fallen and died on the cables. However, injuries are not uncommon for those acting irresponsibly.

These dates are subject to change based on conditions. Bring well broken-in boots with good ankle support and good traction. Some of the most common injuries Half Dome hikers suffer are blisters and ankle injuries; good footwear is the best way to prevent these problems. Many people find gloves helpful on the cables. However, if you bring your gloves up, pack them out.

Hundreds of pounds of rotting gloves otherwise accumulate. There is no trash service on trails. While hiking in Yosemite, be sure to pack out all trash. When possible, you can help park rangers by picking up trash that you encounter on the trail. Bearproof trash cans are available at trailhe. One of the easiest ways to ensure a safe, enjoyable hike is to be sure to have plenty of water. Weather conditions and personal preference affect the amount of water you need, but suggested minimum amounts per person are: 1 gallon 4 liters if hiking to the top of Half Dome 2 quarts 2 liters if hiking only to the top of Nevada Fall 1 quart 1 liter if hiking only to the top of Vernal Fall.

The only treated water on the trail is available summer only at a drinking fountain at the Vernal Fall Footbridge less than a mile from the trailhead. Merced River water is available up to Little Yosemite Valley, however you should treat this water by boiling, using iodine, or using a giardia-rated water filter. Drinking untreated river water may cause ificant illness. At any other location, you are required to bury any solid human waste at least six inches 15 cm deep and at least feet 30 m from water or trails.

Pack out toilet paper. The summit of Half Dome is a dangerous place during a lightning storm. Check the weather forecast before your hike and try to reach the summit early in the day to avoid thunderstorms, which are more common in the afternoon but can occur at any time. If a storm appears nearby, do not continue to the summit and, if in the summit area, leave the area while still using caution when descending the cables and steps. Be prepared for cool temperatures and rain showers. A few visitors each summer have problems with altitude sickness. The only way to relieve altitude sickness is to descend immediately.

Other environmental illnesses include heat exhaustion, dehydration, and hyponatremia low electrolyte levels. In addition to drinking plenty of water, be sure to eat, and to take regular rest breaks in the shade. Entering Emerald Pool and the Silver Apron is prohibited, and entering pools above waterfalls is strongly discouraged, because of frequent injuries and fatalities.

Use extreme caution near flowing water; rocks adjacent to streams can be surprisingly slick. Even if you plan properly and bring the correct equipment, you might still encounter I need dome now. Some cell phones have coverage from Half Dome and from some locations on the trail. Little Yosemite Valley Ranger Station is staffed during summer. You can find the ranger station on the north side of the I need dome now, near where the Half Dome Trail begins to climb out of the valley. Park rangers frequently patrol the trail, so the ranger station is not always staffed.

You may need to send some members of your group to Yosemite Valley to get assistance. Black bears frequent Yosemite's Wilderness and are adept at grabbing backpacks from hikers and campers--during both day and night. Always keep your food within arm's reach or on your back ; never leave it unattended. If you see a bearact immediately to scare it away: make as much noise as possible by yelling.

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If there is more than one person, stand together to present a more intimidating figure, but do not surround the bear. Squirrels, Steller's jays, chipmunks, and other animals also live along the trail; never feed them or allow them to get your food. Do not leave your pack unattended e. Keep wildlife wild: respect them from a distance.

Trailhead parking is just beyond Curry Village. Shuttle service doesn't begin until 7 am, so if you're arriving prior to then, you can walk on the road closed to all but authorized vehicles from either parking area to the trailhead. The nearest campgrounds are Upper, Lower, and North Pines Campgrounds, but reservations are very difficult to get in summer.

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Camp 4 walk-in campground is also busy. The nearest campgrounds outside Yosemite Valley that may have some first-come, first-served space are Bridalveil Creek and Tamarack Flat Campgrounds. Still have questions? Yosemite Falls Trail. Snow Creek Trail. Four Mile Trail. Explore This Park. Yosemite National Park California. Info Alerts Maps Calendar Reserve.

Alerts In Effect Dismiss. Dismiss View all alerts. Half Dome Day Hike. Visit our keyboard shortcuts docs for details Duration: 9 minutes, 42 seconds View this description of the Half Dome hike and how you can be best prepared to complete it. Introduction Rising nearly 5, feet above Yosemite Valley and 8, feet above sea level, Half Dome is a Yosemite icon and a great challenge to many hikers. Hiking The to mile round-trip hike to Half Dome is not for you if you're out of shape or unprepared. Half Dome Cables The most famous--or infamous--part of the hike is the ascent up the cables.

Tips while using the cables: Take your time and be patient with slower hikers Allow faster hikers to pass you when possible Remain on the inside of the cables Do not attempt the ascent if: Storm clouds are in the area The ground is wet the cables and rock become very slick when wet; most accidents on the cables occur during wet conditions The cables are down for the winter typically, from the day after Columbus Day until Memorial Day weekend check I need dome now update for status and any available updates.

Preparation Footwear Bring well broken-in boots with good ankle support and good traction. Gloves Many people find gloves helpful on the cables. Trash There is no trash service on trails. Water One of the easiest ways to ensure a safe, enjoyable hike is to be sure to have plenty of water. Weather conditions and personal preference affect the amount of water you need, but suggested minimum amounts per person are: 1 gallon 4 liters if hiking to the top of Half Dome 2 quarts 2 liters if hiking only to the top of Nevada Fall 1 quart 1 liter I need dome now hiking only to the top of Vernal Fall The only treated water on the trail is available summer only at a drinking fountain at the Vernal Fall Footbridge less than a mile from the trailhead.

Safety Weather The summit of Half Dome is a dangerous place during a lightning storm. Altitude Sickness A few visitors each summer have problems with altitude sickness. Emerald Pool Entering Emerald Pool and the Silver Apron is prohibited, and entering pools above waterfalls is strongly discouraged, because of frequent injuries and fatalities. Emergencies Even if you plan properly and bring the correct equipment, you might still encounter problems. Wildlife Black bears frequent Yosemite's Wilderness and are adept at grabbing backpacks from hikers and campers--during both day and night.

Don't forget your camera and have a safe, enjoyable hike! Last updated: September 30, Tips while using the cables: Take your time and be patient with slower hikers Allow faster hikers to pass you when possible Remain on the inside of the cables Do not attempt the ascent if: Storm clouds are in the area The ground is wet the cables and rock become very slick when wet; most accidents on the cables occur during wet conditions The cables are down for the winter typically, from the day after Columbus Day until Memorial Day weekend check conditions update for status and any available updates Preparation Footwear Bring well broken-in boots with good ankle support and good traction.

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