We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

2 adults and one child, half dome this summer?

Oslo, Norway
Level Contributor
107 posts
38 reviews
Save Topic
2 adults and one child, half dome this summer?

Hi!

We're planning a trip to California this summer . We'll probably spend roughly 8-11 days on a raodtrip to see Vegas, Grand Canyon and (possibly) a day in Yosemite. I wonder about hiking the half dome. We live in Norway, so we're used to tall mountains, and we're all in pretty good shape, so no problems there. But, how "scary" is it? I've done a lot of rock climbing, bu my wife and son (aged 12) aren't exactly great with heights. Have any of you walked up with kids? If a child can make it, I'm guessing it can't be a l l that physically demanding?

How does one get hold of permits? Do they cost much?

Where should we spend the night?

I've heard that it takes about 12 hours to walk from the beginning of the trail, to the top of the dome and back. (But is that for slow walkers who take a lot of brakes, or is it 12 hours of hard, fast walking? I think 12 hours of hard walking might be a bit much for my son.)

Thank you for any helpful replies!

Kind regards from Christopher.

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
59,307 posts
114 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: 2 adults and one child, half dome this summer?

Hi Christopher

Here is some detailed info about Half Dome: tripadvisor.com/Travel-g61000-d139183 Be sure to read the link at the bottom for MrHalfDome's website.

It's about 18 miles with over 4,000' of elevation gain, beginning at 4,000'. Your speed determines how long it takes.

The lottery for Half Dome permits is described in the links, but basically you put your application in during the month of March and you hear back on April 15 if you won a permit.

As far as visiting Yosemite, please read the Top Questions in the upper right. You MUST have lodging reservations. Curry Village is closest to the trailhead.

Oslo, Norway
Level Contributor
107 posts
38 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: 2 adults and one child, half dome this summer?

Hi! Thank you very much for your reply!

I'll apply for a half dome permit as soon as our dates are set! Do you know anything about the winning chances in the lottery?

Chris.

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
59,307 posts
114 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: 2 adults and one child, half dome this summer?

I think Mr. Half Dome's website has info about the likelihood of winning on each date. Summer Saturdays have the most applicants, September weekdays have the fewest, and everything else is somewhere in between. Here is a page with info about the number of permits requested in 2012: nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/hdpermitsapps.htm

If you win a permit, you really need to devote more time to being inside the Park. You'll need more time to experience some of the beauty and you'll need time to acclimate yourselves to the higher elevation.

Dublin, California
Level Contributor
19,926 posts
43 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: 2 adults and one child, half dome this summer?

my wife and son (aged 12) aren't exactly great with heights.

----------

Maybe they should take a look at some photos before committing to this hike.

santa rosa, ca
Level Contributor
668 posts
1 review
Save Reply
5. Re: 2 adults and one child, half dome this summer?

Go to youtube and type in: half dome hike: know before you go. Good advice and scary pictures of the actual cable climb (even scarier pix of the downward descent!)

Edited: 20 February 2013, 19:16
Oceanside...
Level Contributor
693 posts
54 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: 2 adults and one child, half dome this summer?

The hike is about 17 miles round trip with an elevation gain of almost 5000 feet (starting at just over 4000 feet). I can't completely agree with your statement, "If a child can make it, I'm guessing it can't be a l l that physically demanding?". Yes, a child could possibly make it, but that really depends on how well conditioned the child is. Many fit adults have trouble with this hike! As others have suggested do a search for info on the hike. The last section of it is up the back side of the dome at a 45-50 degree angle using cables to help you up and this cables are about chest high on an average adult.

Melbourne
Level Contributor
2,272 posts
1 review
Save Reply
7. Re: 2 adults and one child, half dome this summer?

I would agree with BeJerky, my husband and I did most of this hike last year. We're both very fit so it wasn't the physical aspects, although the altitude and the heat were a challenge. But the point on the sub dome where the steps run out and there's just a scramble up the granite with a sheer drop off was the end for me. I've never considered myself particularly challenged by heights, but I was undone at that point.

It may be a walk (hike) in the (National) park, but it's no "walk in the park", it's pretty intense. If you start at Happy Isles, by the time you get to the sub dome you've hiked about 7 miles and about 6 of them are uphill.

As they others suggest, watch some videos with your wife and son before you commit them to the hike.

Oakland, California
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
6,323 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: 2 adults and one child, half dome this summer?

The hike up to Little Yosemite Valley along the Mist Trail is spectacular in and of itself. Perhaps your wife and son can join you for that part of the hike, and then leave you to head up to the subdome and Half Dome itself.

Atlanta area
Level Contributor
664 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: 2 adults and one child, half dome this summer?

Also check out this page from the official Yosemite site of the National Park Service: www.nps.gov/yose/photosmultimedia/ytp.htm

On it is a link to a video about hiking Half Dome.

You are getting many cautions about the nearly 5,000 ft in elevation gain, but don't forget you also will need to descend the same amount. The Mist Trail alone can kill your knees. HD with a child, afraid of heights, whole thing in a dayhike...I suggest you think long and hard about attempting this. There are lots of other great hikes and places to take in views that are far less strenuous.

California
Level Contributor
1,334 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: 2 adults and one child, half dome this summer?

I really advise you to re-think this. With just one day in Yosemite, you will only see the Half Dome hike but miss so much of the park. And this is just not a hike for people with fear of heights. It's not a normal hike. Please consider a lovely day in the gorgeous Yosemite Valley, which you won't get to explore if you take this all day hike.