If you are in Yosemite National Park then you must hike Half Dome Trail because it’s challenging as well as exciting. It’s a 14.8 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 5,164 feet. It is located near Yosemite Valley, California and is of the top attractions for the hikers. The trail is quite long and a bit difficult as well so you need to be prepared very well, or it might not be a very great experience. You should not hike this trail if you don’t have much experience of hiking or if you are physically unfit.
Over the years, several deaths have occurred and many have gotten injured as well, especially those who act irresponsibly. Dehydration issues are also reported so you need to take enough water with you. To begin hiking you need to turn left from Happy Isles Shuttle Stop in Yosemite Valley and reach the start of the Mist Trail. There is an another option for hiking Half Dome and that is John Muir Trail but it is comparatively longer, so the Mist trail is better option.
You will see a large sign indicating the Mist Trail, so you won’t have any difficulty finding it. You will begin hiking on a paved path that consistently gains elevation. It would also get steep at times. At 1.5 miles you would reach your first destination, Vernal Falls.
After walking for about half an hour you will reach the water fountain. If you want to drink water or use the toilet this is the last spot to do it. Then, you will have to climb steep and slippery steps that are narrow as well.
When you reach the top of the falls, it’s a beautiful sight and a great place for taking photos as well. You will continue climbing through shady forests and staircases and then after 2 miles, you will reach Nevada Falls.
When you are on top of Nevada Fall you have to go left to reach your destination. The trail gets fairly level for about a mile and then you have to climb again. You have to climb up the subdome that’s not easy. You would be at more than 8,000 feet so you should hike slowly to catch a breath.
You will reach the top of the subdome from where you will climb up using the cables. You can’t go slow as there would be other people behind you, also you need to be patient if there is a slow hiker in front of you. At, last you will reach your destination, the top of Half Dome. You can see the spectacular views from there and then you can head back using the cables. You need a permit to climb the Half Dome cables that are awarded via lottery.