Hike Half Dome via the Mist Trail

Mist Trail - Search Nearby - Added by Bijan Rafie-tari

This iconic Yosemite National Park hike departs from the Mist Trailhead in Yosemite Valley. You'll Pass Vernal Falls and Little Yosemite Valley Campground en route to summit Half Dome. Make sure you remember your permits for the cables (and your gloves).

Be sure to arrive early early in the morning to beat the crowds or if you want to break up the hike, first-come, first served campsites are available at Little Yosemite Valley Campground - make sure to check out the details in that adventure and obtain a wilderness permit. Even if you are just day hiking, you'll still need a day hike permit.

About 5 minutes in you will start your ascent. Soon you will be high enough on the trail to see stunning views of Yosemite Valley, waterfalls, and Half Dome.

As you hike along the Mist Trail you will come across two amazing water falls. At 1,000 feet (300 meters) you will reach the top of Vernal Falls and at about 1,900 feet (580 meters) you will be a the top of Nevada Falls. After Nevada Falls you will start to make your climb towards Half Dome. After Vernal Falls you soon will come to a cross trail with bathrooms if you need to rest.

As you make your way closer to Half Dome, more people will start to show and you will know you are not lost. You can bring your own gloves for gripping the cables for the final ascent, but there is also a large pile of gloves you can pick from at the base of the cables. Once you reach Half Dome and finish your climb, take a moment to take it all in. You can even check your cell phone or make a phone call on top of Half Dome, there is decent service. When going downwards, I found it easier to go face down holding onto both right and left cables then letting myself slide down to each wooden step by releasing my grip just slightly and leaning backwards.

Checking wind conditions and starting early in the morning are essential so you can beat any crowds on the trail and get as high as possible before the heat settles in.

Distance

14.2 Miles RT

Elevation Gain

4800 ft Gain

Type

Out-and-Back

Activities

Photography, Hiking

Bathrooms
Forest
River
Scenic
Waterfall

Nearby Lodging

From $90/night

Half Dome Village

Yosemite Valley, California

From $108/night

Housekeeping Camp

Yosemite Valley, California

From $386/night

The Majestic Yosemite Hotel

Yosemite Valley, California

From $219/night

Yosemite Valley Lodge

9006 Yosemite Lodge Drive

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

This is a great hike with excellent scenery along the way and its a location that's known all over the world. I strongly recommend bringing snacks to eat on the way up, its a long hike and you'll be burning a lot of calories, and obviously you'll want to bring plenty of water or some kind of purification device so you can refill on water as you go. And get on the trail early! Getting up there before the crowd really makes this an even better experience.

Gloves are a must. Clipped in on my way up and it was a pain in the ass but worth the sense of security.

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