Hike Half Dome – Yosemite Hikes

Yosemite National Park HikesHike Half Dome in Yosemite National Park for the challenge of a lifetime. Half Dome, a 14 mile trek, is often listed as one of the top hikes in the world.

The round trip hike typically takes approximately 12 hours. The elevation gain of 4800 feet is arduous and suited only for people who are in good physical condition.

hike half dome
The scenery is truly unforgettable. Hikers are rewarded by breathtaking views of the top of Vernal Falls, Nevada Falls, Liberty Cap, and Half Dome. Once you reach the summit, you’ll have panoramic views of Yosemite Valley and the High Sierra. If you have a fear of heights, this hike is not for you.

Metal cables are installed that allow hikers to climb the last 400 feet to the summit without rock climbing equipment. These cables are usually put up the end of May and are taken down in early October. Permits are required and are limited to a certain number of hikers each day. Permits are distributed by a lottery system. Click here to apply for a permit.

Hiking Tips for Half Dome Hike

  • Arrive at the park the night before the hike. Leave for the trailhead at sunrise or even earlier.
    Most hikers arrive at Yosemite the day before the hike. There are a variety of lodging options to choose from. You could camp under the stars, stay in a tent cabin or housekeeping campsite, or splurge and stay in a hotel. There are also a variety of places to stay just outside the park. Click Here to learn more about lodging at Yosemite National Park.
  • Bring gloves (for the cables), plenty of water, a sunhat, sunglasses, snacks, a whistle, and a windbreaker. Time your return so that you are off the trail before dark, but bring a flashlight or headlamp just in case.
  • Wear hiking boots that you’ve broken in.
  • Check the weather forecast before you begin the hike. Cancel the hike if thunderstorms are predicted. The danger is not worth the risk. National Weather Channel – Yosemite Forecast

    Directions to Hike Half Dome:

    There are a variety of routes to the top of Half Dome. Most hikers begin the Half Dome hike from Happy Isle. After reaching Yosemite Valley, follow the signs toward Curry Village. Watch for signs for trailhead parking. If that lot is full, park at Curry Village.

Yosemite Waterfall

Other Yosemite Hikes

If Half Dome is not for you, there are many less strenuous, but still spectacular hikes. With over 800 miles of trails this is a hikers’ paradise. Hike through peaceful meadows, pass waterfalls, walk through quiet forests all while enjoying the breathtaking beauty of the huge granite mountains. Some Yosemite National Park hikes are just a short distance from the road, while others are remote trails through the wilderness.

  • Lower Yosemite Falls – This hike is located in the Yosemite Valley. It’s an easy hike just half of a mile roundtrip from the trailhead.
  • Bridalveil Fall – This hike is in the Yosemite Valley. Another easy hike that’s 1.2 miles roundtrip from the trailhead.
  • The Mist Trail – This trail leads to two waterfalls. Vernal Falls is a 3 mile roundtrip hike. If you want a longer hike, continue down the trail to Nevada Falls, which is a 7 mile roundtrip hike.
  • Tuolumne Grove Giant Sequoias – 2.5 mile roundtrip hike.
  • Cathedral Lakes – 8 miles roundtrip if you hike to both lakes.
  • Mariposa Grove Trail – Medium difficulty; 7 miles roundtrip. This is the largest Sequoia Grove in Yosemite and is located in Southern Yosemite.
  • The Wawona Swinging Bridge – Easy hike, .75 mile roundtrip.
  • Sentinel Dome – This 2.2 mile hike is at Glacier Point, which is 3,500 feet above Yosemite Valley. Most of the hike is easy, but the final section up to the dome is steep.
  • Taft Point – 2.2 miles roundtrip. Hikers are rewarded with a dramatic view of Yosemite Valley. Those afraid of heights will want to stay away from the edge. Moderate difficulty.
  • Wawona Meadow Loop – Choose either the 3.5 mile or 5 mile loop. This dog friendly hike is moderately difficult.

Other Great California Hikes – CLICK HERE –


Bishops Peak San Luis Obispo

Hike to the top of Bishop’s Peak


If you have hiked to the top of Half Dome, please leave a comment below about your hiking experience. Those who plan to hike Half Dome would love to hear about your hike.


Yosemite Lodging – Where to Stay in Yosemite

Yosemite National ParkExperience the spectacular beauty of Yosemite. Take advantage of Yosemite lodging. Accommodations at Yosemite National Park range from rustic camping under the stars all the way to upscale accommodations at a world class resort.

Whichever accommodations you select for your stay at Yosemite, make reservations as early as possible. You can make reservations online or over the telephone. Reservations made through the park system can be made a year and one day in advance.

Your Guide to Hiking Half Dome

There are many different hikes in Yosemite. A challenging hike to the top of Half Dome is an unforgettable hike. If you are thinking of hiking Half Dome, click on this link to get tips to help make the hike more fun.


Accommodations Within the Park


Yosemite LodgingThe Alwahnee (Now called The Majestic Yosemite Hotel.)
Telephone: (801) 559-5000
Pamper yourself with luxurious accommodations at this elegant lodge. Surrounded by the most beautiful scenery you can imagine, the Alwahnee is a wonderful place to stay for upscale Yosemite lodging. It was built in 1927 and is an Historical Landmark. It is centrally located in the Yosemite Valley.

The hotel is known for its special events that are usually sold out well in advance. Two of these events include the annual Bracebridge Christmas Dinner and the Vintners Holiday. This is the crown jewel of Yosemite accommodations and will be the most expensive choice.

Yosemite FallsYosemite Lodge at the Falls
Telephone: (801) 559-5000
Yosemite Lodge is located near the base of Yosemite Falls. Step out of your room and view the gorgeous scenery. The lodge has a restaurant, lounge, outdoor pool, bicycle rentals, and a free shuttle to locations throughout Yosemite Valley.

Wawona Hotel
Telephone: ((801) 559-5000
Select from rooms with a private bath or rooms with a shared bathroom. The Wawona is a unique Victorian style lodge that is an historical landmark. Located 4 miles from the south entrance to Yosemite, it is a beautiful setting. Enjoy golfing, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. It’s a 45 minute drive from here to Yosemite Valley.

Curry Village
Telephone: (801) 559-5000
Both wooden and tent cabins are available in Curry Village. The free Yosemite Valley Shuttle stops here throughout the day. Curry Village has 5 dining options.

Housekeeping Camp
Telephone: (801) 559-5000
Enjoy the fun of camping outdoors without all of the inconveniences of tent camping. Housekeeping camp is located in the Yosemite Valley along the Merced River. Relax on the beach and enjoy views of Half Dome and Yosemite Falls.

Each unit can accommodate up to 6 people. There are no televisions or telephones, but each unit has 2 single bunk beds, a double bed, table, chairs, mirror, electric lights and an electrical outlet. You can cook your own meals here. Bathrooms are centrally located. Try for a cabin down by the river. It will be quieter. Rates range from $70-78.

Hiking in YosemiteHigh Sierra Camps
Telephone: (801) 559-5000
These are extremely popular. If you are interested, sign up for the lottery beginning September 3 for reservations the following summer. You hike approximately 8 miles from one cabin to the next. Meal purchases are available. A great way to see Yosemite’s High Country without having to carry all of your supplies!

Tent and RV Camping
Telephone: (877) 444-6777
Telephone for Group Camping: (877) 444-6777
There are 13 campgrounds in Yosemite. Most campgrounds will have both tent and RV sites. Shower facilities are only available at Curry Village and Tuolumne Meadows. Group campsites can be found at Wawona throughout the year and during the summer at Hodgdon Meadow,Bridalveil Creek, and Tuolumne Meadows. Horse campsites are offered during the summer at Bridalveil Creek, Tuolumne Meadows, and Wawona.

Four Seasons Vacation Homes
Telephone: (866) 875-8456
Located with the park, these vacation homes allow you to visit Yosemite yet enjoy the comforts of a home. These rentals are fully furnished. Many of the units have hot tubs and other amenities. Rates vary by the unit and the season.

Redwood Vacation Homes
Telephone: (866) 875-8456
Vacation homes for rent within the park. Fully furnished homes with a variety of amenties. These vacation homes can accommodate from 2 to 17 people.

Yosemite Lodging Outside the Park

Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite
Telephone: (800) 514-2167
Tenaya Lodge is an upscale resort rated 4 diamonds by AAA. It is located 2 miles from Yosemite’s south entrance and 33 miles from Yosemite Valley. They offer a wide selection of special packages that are worth taking considering for Yosemite lodging.


Have you stayed overnight at any of these Yosemite Lodging options? If you have, please tell us about your experience at Yosemite.


Where to Find Yosemite Golf

Madera County, Mariposa County, and Tuolumne County Golf Courses

Yosemite GolfYosemite Golf – Discover Madera County, Mariposa County, and Tuolumne County golf courses. This region would include the only golf course located within Yosemite National Park. The other golf courses are not far away.

If you are visiting this area, do not miss Yosemite National Park. It truly is an awesome place. Yosemite’s huge granite mountains, large waterfalls, and wooded scenery are absolutely breathtaking!

Learn about wineries in this area where you can go wine tasting by clicking on these links:

Mariposa & Tuolumne Wineries and
Madera Wineries

Yosemite Golf – Madera County, Mariposa County, and Tuolumne County Golf Courses

Mountain Springs Golf Course
Address: 17566 Limekiln Rd., Sonora, CA
Telephone: (209) 532-1000
Par: 72
Designer: Robert Muir Graves
Enjoy championship golf year round at this lovely Sonora golf course.

Phoenix Lake Golf Course
Address: 21448 Paseo De Los Portales, Sonora, CA
Telephone: (209) 532-0111
Par: 35
Be sure to check out the online specials at this 9 hole course in Sonora.

Pine Mountain Lake
Address: 12765 Mueller Dr., Groveland, CA
Telephone: (209) 962-8620
Par: 70
Designer: William F. Bell
This golf course is open to the public for golf throughout the year. Recommended by Golf Digest as one of the best golf courses to play. A beautiful course and club house!

River Creek Golf Course
Address: 41709 Road 600, Ahwahnee, CA 93601
Telephone: (209) 683-5600
Par: 72
River Creek Golf Course is less than an hour from Fresno and a short distance from Yosemite National Park.

Sierra Meadows Country Club
Address: 46516 Opah Dr., Ahwahnee, CA 93601
Telephone: (559) 642-1343
Par: 72
An 18 hole course not far from Bass Lake and Yosemite National Park.

Wawona Golf Course
Address: Yosemite National Park
Telephone: (209) 375-6572.
Par: 35
Designer: Walter G. Favarque
Wawona Golf Course is located within Yosemite National Park. When it was built in 1918, it was the first golf course in the Sierra Nevada. It’s open daily Spring through Fall; weather permitting and is located across the street from the Wawona Hotel. Great Yosemite Golf!

Yosemite Lakes Park Golf Course
Address: 42515 Artesian Ct., Coarsegold, CA 93614
Telephone: (559) 642-2562
This is a private 18 hole course. Guests must be accompanied by a member in order to play the course.

If you have golfed at any of these golf courses, please scroll down and leave a comment. We would love to hear from you!