Half Dome
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Major rock formation in Yosemite.
Duration: < 1 hour
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles1,491 reviews
Excellent
1,284
Very good
179
Average
23
Poor
2
Terrible
3

73kris
Fairfax, VA2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Friends
This a very challenging but very rewarding hike, and only should be attempted if you are in good shape. It's approximately 16-18 miles round trip. We ended up parking at Curry Village and walking a half mile to Happy Isles where the trailhead is.

My two cents:

I highly recommend leaving early, like 5:00 in the morning. You will want an early start and the cooler morning weather/shade. I brought a headlamp but didn't end up using it; it was light enough at that point.

The best decision I made was to wear shorts and a tank top. I did switch out the tank for a lightweight shirt to protect my shoulders that got burned the day before on the Upper Yosemite Trails hike, because there is no shade or covering once you hit the subdome. Yosemite is HOT; after my hike the day before I knew I had to forget all the recommendations of wearing pants and layers, etc. I wore very sturdy hiking shoes with good grip; this is a must.

I used a light raincoat when climbing the steps next to Vernal falls b/c I didn't want to get soaked at 6am; when we passed by on the way down, I was like, "bring it." The water from the falls felt amazing after trekking in the hot sun.

I brought about 5.5 liters of water and used almost all of it. I had my 3-liter pouch plus several extra water bottles, several of which I had mixed in electrolytes. These are a lifesaver for when you really need to replenish and refuel. I brought a sandwich, about 6-8 protein bars, 5 packages of fruit snacks, and a few energy gels. I ate almost everything. Bringing enough fuel is essential.

I am no stranger to the sun, but I reapplied sunscreen several times throughout the day and wore a hat and sunglasses. I also used my bug spray two or three times.

Once you reach the ranger, there is still some climbing before you even reach the cables. Another hiker on the trail called them "stairmaster on crack" because they are no joke. This part is HARD, and honestly I think harder than the cables. Take your time.

Once you reach the cables you will want to make sure you have gloves. This part is daunting; just take it one rung at a time. This part will take time because everyone goes at their own pace and you've got people coming up and coming down. Everyone is patient with each other, which is a good thing. Coming down the cables is much easier than going up.

When you reach the top you feel a rush of excitement and accomplishment and it is an incredible feeling. The views are fabulous. There's plenty of room to walk around and take great pictures.

Just remember, you still need to hike back, which requires a lot of work and energy. You will need just as much fuel/water.

The email from the park told us to bring a topographical map of half dome. I bought one at the Explorer Center and never used it. The path is pretty clear the whole way and there are quite a few hikers on this trail.

There are three bathrooms on the hike, but they are all towards the beginning. Once you have gone four or so miles, there are no bathrooms. Bring tissues; I ended up having to use mine to take care of business.

It was a fabulous and exhausting experience and I am so glad I did it. This was a bucket list item and I am so glad I accomplished it. I've never experienced anything like it. There are great views and scenery throughout the hike. Just remember to be prepared: physically, mentally, and with all the necessary gear and fuel.
Written June 15, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

RyanIrwin29
Franklin, PA6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Couples
Half dome was one of our favorite hikes we’ve ever done. We started at the valley floor and made it up the cables. It can be done in a day, but it’s a serious hike. Need to start before the sun comes up and be prepared for most of the day. Take plenty of water and snacks. Gloves and harnesses are recommended to go up the cables.
Written February 24, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Waddler
York, UK11,996 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Family
An iconic landmark, very scenic and interesting wherever it is viewed from.

I did not climb it, but it forms the centrepiece of views from Columbia Rock, Glacier Point, Washburn Point, Panorama Trail etc.

One of the most interesting formations I've seen anywhere.
Written September 6, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

E.L.E
Brno, Czech Republic18,607 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Couples
One of the most beautiful rocks in the park. Very picturesque. It can be seen from multiple parts of the Valley and while driving
Written July 1, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DannyWasserman
Virginia Beach, VA4,497 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Family
Half Dome Delivers a Tremendous View!! We were excited to see this massive structure of Rock and the photo opps are just tremendous.
Written June 24, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TravelerCentralFLA
Clermont, FL1,717 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023
Half Dome is a magnificent granite peak in Yosemite National Park. It is very recognizable. It looks like it was domed peak that someone cut in half. Not only is it remarkable, but it is surrounded by other remarkable peaks and waterfalls such as Yosemite Falls and El Capitan. It is a beautiful sight in Yosemite and one of the major landmarks in the park. Our family thoroughly enjoyed seeing this magnificent natural attraction.
It is possible to hike up Half Dome, but you need to secure a permit from the National Park Service to do so. It is also a long and strenuous hike with lots of challenging sections. It is not for the faint of heart or those unprepared.
Written June 10, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Balasubramanian R
Chennai (Madras), India805 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022
Half Dome is one of the icon in the Yosemite valley. It is a rock formation in the valley and it is a granite dome. One side is face and the other three sides round. It looks like a dome cut in to half and it is called as half dome.
Written October 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Susan H
Tacoma, WA3,853 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2022 • Couples
Very cool geological formation that can viewed at various locations throughout the park. It is a amazing to see what nature can do.
Written October 4, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ron c
Finksburg, MD935 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2022
Well, i didn't win the half dome hike lottery and my wife was not likely to hike it anyway, but i got close and was able to see some great views of Half Dome from a variety of perspectives across Yosemite Valley. Loved the sunset views!
Written October 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Prego51
Chicago, IL805 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022 • Friends
I did a 3 day back packing trip into Yosemite with the highlight a trip up the cables to the top of Half Dome! It was a bucket list trip!!
Written August 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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HALF DOME (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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