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Aaron Roth

So it may not be super clear, but you want to drive up the dirt road from the Orsen Smith Trailhead all the way to the Jacobs Ladder Trailhead. If you don't you will get to add 2.5 miles to your hike, which is tough because this is truly an advanced hike! Possibly my favorite hike along the Wasatch it is far from a cakewalk, be sure to bring plenty of water. The "trail" is basically right up the mountain with very few switchbacks and a lot of loose dirt. Worth every moment, but be prepared and park at the Jacob's Ladder Trailhead GPS Coordinates (40.494292, -111.816643).

Done this as a in and out and backpacking trip. Backpacking is nice since it makes it all a lot more chill. Sunrise from the summit is amazing!

If you go when the cables are "down" I would recommend bringing a climbing harness so you can clip in and be a little safer. Totally do-able without it, but I would bring a harness next time. Also, if you don't bring gloves there is a pile at the base of Half Dome. The Half Dome cables usually go back up the Friday before Memorial Day (conditions permitting) and come down the day after Columbus Day.