- Incredible vistas, fantastic waterfalls and world-class hiking.
- Towering granite cliffs, ancient forests and crystal-clear mountain streams.
- Summit Yosemite’s most famous feature: Half Dome!
- Primitive camping in some of North America’s most spectacular wilderness
Hiking Half Dome!!! On this unforgettable loop hike you will experience some of the most talked about scenery in all of Yosemite National Park: Little Yosemite Valley, Vernal and Nevada Falls and of course Half Dome. And you’ll see it all in a long weekend. Our journey starts at the Happy Isles Trailhead, located in Yosemite Valley. We will walk the legendary Mist Trail, as well as a small section of the famous John Muir Trail, passing the spectacular Vernal and Nevada Falls before stopping for the night in Little Yosemite Valley. The following day, we arise early for our hike up Half Dome. The hike to the top this granite giant is not for the faint of heart but the views from the summit are awe-inspiring. Relax in the late afternoon along the banks of the Merced River. Day 3 is a return hike to Yosemite Valley. This is a truly spectacular adventure featuring some of North America’s most outstanding backcountry. And hiking Half Dome is an experience you won’t soon forget!
We will meet at a select location in Yosemite National Park at 8am. After an orientation and fitting of equipment, you will follow the guide over the long term backpacker’s parking lot where you can leave your car while on the hike. After catching a 10 minute shuttle bus ride to the trailhead, you will begin your journey. The first day will be spent hiking the Mist Trail and exploring the waterfalls (320ft Vernal Falls and 594ft Nevada Falls) that have given this trail its name. We will pass through forests of black oak and ponderosa pine as our trail heads relentlessly upward. There is good reason to stop and catch your breath often, as the views that unfold will leave you speechless. Atop Nevada Falls, the trail flattens as we tread the final mile to camp in Little Yosemite Valley. Drop your backpack, pat yourself on the back and relax as your guide sets up camp and prepares a delicious dinner.
With a very early start we will work our way towards the Half Dome hike, carrying just the essentials for the day. (That’s the great thing about hiking trips that use the same camp 2 nights in a row…leaving the big packs behind for the day). As we work our way up the steep switch backs, we will begin to take in views of Basket Dome, North Dome and Clouds Rest. Once we are at the saddle and the base of the cables, it here where you will gain the final 400 feet, and reach the top of Half Dome. From the pinnacle of the Half Dome hike we can enjoy the 360 panorama, from El Capitan to the colorful Clark Range and everything in between. After resting and drinking in the views we will retrace our steps back to camp. Once back in camp we can relax or cool off in the Merced River.
After a night under the star filled sky, we will enjoy one last breakfast in the wilderness before packing up camp. The hike out will follow the historic John Muir Trail back to the valley.
*The final itinerary may change due to weather or any unforeseen circumstances.*