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Mist Trail - Yosemite NP, CA

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Guide 29 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List CA > Sierra Nevada
4.5 of 5 by 10
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Distance Round Trip 7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,025 feet
Elevation Gain 2,800 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 21
Interest Historic, Seasonal Waterfall, Perennial Waterfall, Seasonal Creek, Perennial Creek & Peak
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
22  2019-05-22
Yosemite Mist Trail- Clouds Rest- Merced River
18  2017-09-11
Half Dome Hike
25  2017-09-11
Half Dome Hike
6  2015-09-17 Crzy4AZ
19  2014-07-21 ddgrunning
22  2014-06-12
Half Dome Hike
25  2014-06-11
Yosemite - Tenaya Lake to Happy Isles
36  2014-06-11
Yosemite - Tenaya Lake to Happy Isle
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Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
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Preferred   May, Oct, Apr, Jun
Sun  5:42am - 6:02pm
6 Alternative
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Overview: The Mist Trail is one of the most popular short hikes in Yosemite National Park, California, USA. The hike follows the Merced River, starting at Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley, past Vernal Fall, Emerald Pool, to Nevada Fall.

Along the trail, the Merced River is a tumultuous mountain stream, lying in a U-shaped valley. Enormous boulders, the size of a house, are dwarfed by the sheer faces of exfoliating granite, which rise 3000 feet (914 m) from the river. Through it all, the Merced river rushes down from its source in the High Sierra, and broadens on the floor of Yosemite valley.

A trail which links to the John Muir Trail starts after crossing from the Happy Isles. Depending on your conditioning, a bridge which re-crosses the river, the halfway point of a hike to the foot of Vernal Fall, can be reached in 15 to 30 minutes.

Hikers stop briefly just below the lower margin of the mist from Vernal FallTo the side of Vernal Fall, the mist from the river blankets the trail, which was improved during the WPA projects of the 1930s. Here is where raingear becomes handy: in the spring, hikers often become completely drenched from water sprayed off Vernal Fall. This is one of the few places where a complete circular rainbow can be viewed. The trail now crosses a sheer face which is made somewhat easier by a single guard rail. At the top of Vernal Fall, the Merced river traverses a shelf of granite, and the hikers frequently sun themselves to dry off.

The Emerald Pool is named for the color of the river here.

Up the trail, Nevada Falls, a waterfall that is over twice the height of Vernal Fall awaits the hiker, although there is no cascade of mist over the trail at that waterfall. Behind Nevada Falls is Liberty Cap, an impressive lump of granite. The Mist trail then rejoins the John Muir Trail: the hiker can travel in Little Yosemite Valley, or take a side trip to the top of Half Dome, using cables to climb the rock. Entry fee per car required. Source: Wikipedia

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WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

Most recent of 13 deeper Triplog Reviews
Mist Trail - Yosemite NP
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the main event
denny secretly put in for permits, and once he got them the trip was on
after some navigational difficulty by me, we set out from happy isles trailhead at 0600
starting early is key on these bigger hikes
just getting light enough to see mist trail
the steps to vernal fall were butt kickers
nice hiking along the merced river and seeing the falls
still gaining up to nevada fall, then an easier grade through little yosemite valley
the trail goes right next to the river, and it would be easy to filter here
another push up to subdome through the forest
subdome was steep, with steps cut into the rock, then continuing on granite bedrock
finally we were at the cables :o
we took a few photos, then headed on up
once i got into a rhythm, it was much less scary than it looked initially, but a lot more work
with our early start there were very few people ahead of us and we didn't have to wait for anyone
finally topped out and went up to the high point
again, great views of clouds rest, north dome, yosemite valley and more
very smoky today
we spent about 30 minutes wandering around the summit taking photos
decided to descend before the other 348 permit holders came up
crossed paths with a few people, but i can only imagine how crowded and backed up the cables get
a lot more people on subdome
the hard part over, we strolled through little yosemite valley
explored nevada fall for a few minutes
took the john muir trail back down - longer but more gradual
along the way, some russian guys ahead of us had spotted a black bear :)
that was a nice surprise
joined back up with the mist trail and dodged people the final mile or so
just as we finished, we got a little thundershower, so we were happy with our timing
a great experience, and i appreciate denny inviting me to hike it with him
thanks, partner!

random thoughts:
neither of us used gloves
no one checked our permits
aeg on my track seems high
i read the discussion on it, and dropped it down to the 5500 route scout shows on the screen
can't emphasize enough getting an early start
Mist Trail - Yosemite NP
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Thank you to @azchumley for basically planning our entire Yosemite trip. I asked for his help and gave him TMI about what makes me happy on a hiking vacation - and he gave me fabulous options (I offered to pay him for said help) - and our whole trip was perfection b/c of his advice. :thanx:

First hike of our Yosemite vacation - 13 year anniversary trip - grandparents in Scottsdale with the kids.

Concrete steep part with tons o'humans not so great - but what do you expect on a classic Yosemite hike. Weather great. Sat with legs dangling near waterfall spray Nevada Falls for lunch. All 6 foot 4 of Brad reclined for mini nap with waterfall noise-maker drowning out the noise of crowds.

Perfect descent through forest John Muir la-tee-da trail. Yucky drive back to our two-room hotel in Mariposa but worth the cost savings.
Mist Trail - Yosemite NP
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My second time up Half Dome and same as the year before, it didn't disappoint.

For 2014, this was day three of our 5 day Yosemite trip; with Cloud's Rest behind and Ten Lakes ahead we were all in the groove and fully enjoying our trip!! To add a bit more challenge this time, Chumley's plan was to hike the dome under a full moon.

At 3am, at our Sunrise Campsites, Chumley was able to wake us all up (except 9L) - [John had decided sleep was more important than the greatest Yosemite landmark; fortunately Liz brought him to his senses and changed his mind.] We grouped together and sped down the trail with day-packs, leaving our gear back so we could nap later that morning.

John was going for the speed ascent record and may have achieved it. Kyle and I followed behind at mortal speed and Chumley held back with Liz (sore ankle) and Ben (who ended up with a bit of acrophobia and turned around). Chumley's a good bro.

As it was, the bright, full moon was setting on the west side of the dome and provided little to no visibility while climbing the cables on the east. Of course this did not deter us so Kyle and I gloved up at the bottom of the cables and took some deep breaths. I've always known Kyle as a fearless hiker, however he freely released some real "pumpkins" as we climbed up together!! Nice job Kyle!!

Once at the top, it was noticeably cold and we all bundled up, took numerous photos, and waited for the sunrise and some warmth. Chums enjoyed a super-sized, luke-warm brewski (see photo) which he had hauled around for 3 days straight...LOL.

9L, Liz and Kyle all descended together; Chumley and I waited a bit longer on top. I explored the less visited west side of the dome and got a bit spooked by the ever-steepening and rounded drop offs.

Once back at camp, the rest of the crew crashed!!! My adrenaline was fired up, so I casually broke my camp (talking to neighbors for a bit) and left solo for Nevada Falls around the time everyone was just getting up.

I enjoyed my nice steady pace and arrived about 45-60 minutes ahead of the sleepyheads; I took a nice rest under a shady tree with a relaxing cool breeze!!!

Once the rest of the gang joined, we went 1/4 mile or so up the John Muir, to a spectacular viewpoint of Nevada Falls. We snapped a few pics then hiked back down to Nevada where we all started our ascent back to the Village together. The group quickly dispersed again while battling the crowded trail. Eventually John, Kyle and I met each other back at Happy Valley bus stop and to our surprise, we immediately found ClairBear at the Village bus stop!! We decompressed at the Pizza Bar, waiting for Chum/Liz/Ben who weren't too far behind...

I loaded up on Ice Cream and water until I found a sucker willing to split a large pizza with me (Thanks again Chumley). Despite the cardboardyness of said pizza, it tasted pretty great after 3 days on the trail...

After a delightful (and free) shower, it was off to the backpackers' camp where I was fortunate enough to setup tent next to some real yahoos at the next site...the black bear that free grazed through our site, inches from my tent/head should explain enough about them...

As always, a great and memorable trip with Chumley and the gang....and we still have more to come!!! (Ten Lakes)
Mist Trail - Yosemite NP
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Yosemite - Tenaya Lake to Happy Isle
After a very long commute the six of us started hiking the Clouds Rest Trail around mid-afternoon. The going was very easy with the solid hill climb roughly a mile in. After that the trail levels off and we made our way to our preplanned campsite roughly a mile below Clouds Rest. We arrived at camp and found the mosquitos to be extremely annoying. We got settled as we set up camp and then started a fire. The mosquitoes tapered off soon after. The temps got chilly that night but were tolerable.

We woke on day two and took our time in camp. We eventually headed out and made our way to the summit of Clouds Rest. I agree with Chumley it’s one of the best views in Yosemite! We spent a solid hour up there admiring the sights and eating some lunch. From there we followed the trail down the west side of Clouds Rest. Along the way we detoured over to Quarter Domes which had more amazing views! After that we hiked down to Sunrise Creek and set up our second night’s camp. The plan was to wake early and head for Half Dome under the full moon.

I got to sleep around 10pm and had a hard time falling asleep. I eventually fell asleep and then heard the group starting to stir around 3am. I’ll be honest I did not want to get out of bed. I was warm and comfy and wanted sleep. Chumley unsuccessfully tried to get me out of bed. After a few minutes Liz came over and talked about regretting this opportunity. I knew she was right and I got up soon after. The group then headed out and I was a few minutes behind. The time was roughly 3:15am. I’ve never hiked this early in the morning. The going was slow at first as I slowly woke up. As I hiked I felt the adrenaline start to kick in and my pace sped up. I reached the group and continued on up toward Half Dome. It was very cold out but I was soaking wet with sweat. I had to stop at one point to remove my Smartwool base layer. I continued up and had to use my headlamp because the trail winds through the trees. The moonlight wasn’t much help. I eventually hit Subdome and took my time hiking up. This was my third time on Half Dome and I knew exactly what to expect.

I found myself at the base of the cables around 4:25am. I thought I should be in bed! Anyways I originally planned on waiting for the others. I looked back and no one was to be found. I started to get cold standing still and more adrenaline kicked in so I started climbing the cables. I had to use my headlamp because the moon was out of sight on the west side of Half Dome. I took my time as I climbed from plank to plank and took numerous short breaks. I would look back during these breaks to see a truly magnificent sight behind me. Clouds Rest and eastern Yosemite was lit up with moonlight. And then there were roughly a dozen headlamps making their way towards Half Dome. It was a magnificent sight that I will never forget!

After about 15 minutes of climbing I reached the summit and found I was the only one up there. It was a little tough to enjoy because it’s 4:40 in the morning and its windy & freezing cold. I had a short walk around and waited for the others to join me. I took a few pics but they didn’t come out too well. After that Larry and Kyle summited and then Liz & Chumley followed soon after. The sky slowly lit up as the sun started to rise. After roughly an hour Kyle, Liz and I started the climb down the cables. By this time it was light out and people were making their way up. We took our time as we went down and all of us were glad to be back on Subdome. From there the three of us hiked back down to Sunrise Creek and went back to sleep. This was a hell of an experience and I’m grateful to Liz for motivating me to get out of bed! Thanks Liz!

After a very slow morning our group started the hike to the valley floor via the Mist Trail. We took a break near the top of Nevada Falls and then fought our way down to the Happy Isles Trailhead. There were lots of people out as it was mid-afternoon. Once back in the valley we went over to Curry Village where we met Claire near the bus stop. We all regrouped for pizza and a much needed shower. Our first trip was over. The plan was to spend the night in the Backpackers Campground and then head to the Ten Lakes Basin the next day.
Mist Trail - Yosemite NP
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Yosemite - Tenaya Lake to Happy Isles
This was the first of two fantastic backpacks that Chumley put together for us:

We got to Yosemite early Wednesday afternoon and headed out of Tenaya Lake. It was a short and easy first day to our campsite below Cloud's Rest. We had a creek flowing near by so water was easy. Mosquitoes on the other hand were out of control-- 100% DEET was necessary.

We woke up the second day and headed to Cloud's Rest. Its not long before the views start opening up and its worth every step of the climb. We all headed up at our own pace and 9L was nice enough to let me summit first since I'd never been up there before. Amazing views-- absolutely amazing. We all snapped tons of photos and spent a good amount of time up there. We then headed down the other side which is even better than going up the other way. Chumley wanted to head off trail and check out Quarter Domes so we hit those on the way down. We found the loosest and steepest way to get there but their views were worth every shaky step. We then headed to Sunrise Creek where we would camp the second night.

At Sunrise Creek the deer were plentiful and didn't seem to be scared of people at all. We went to bed early to prepare for the most anticipated part of our trip-- a full moon summit of Half Dome. I woke up at about 2:30 am and waited to hear others stirring. Chumley forced everyone up. 9L decided he didn't want to wake up and Liz had to coax him out of his tent. We headed off as 9L finally dragged himself out of his tent but of course he soon overtook us all. We reached the intersection with the Half Dome trail and met another headlamped group who had the same idea as us. Chumley and Liz brought up the rear as Liz is nursing an injury, 9L of course was in front and out of sight, and Larry and I stuck together in the middle. Making it up Sub-Dome is steep but I think the dark made it easier. I hadn't really done any research and had no idea how the approach to Half Dome would be so I just chugged along until the climbing ended. On top of Sub-Dome, we could see 9L's headlamp ascend the cables.

We made it to the cables and it's as crazy steep as it looks. There are a pile of gloves that people leave but I put mine on and headed up behind Larry. I should have grabbed a pair of work gloves from the bottom because as the cables got steeper, my gloves started slipping. I had a little moment of panic about a third of the way up. In the dark, all I could see was Larry's headlamp which appeared to be directly above me. There was no end in sight. I calmed myself down and decided to power through. I finally made it to the cold and windy top. We had the summit all to ourselves for a little while which I think is a rare thing on Half Dome. Chumley and Liz then made the summit and other night hikers started trickling up the cables. The sun began to rise and it was time to brave the cables again and head down. Nervous at first, I quickly found a comfortable method to maneuver down. As people were heading up, it became mildly amusing to see the look of fear on their faces as we passed. Needless to say, I was really happy to be done with the cables. We headed back to camp and tried to get a couple hours of sleep before heading out.

On day three, the plan was to head into Yosemite Valley and finish via the Mist Trail. It was a nice easy hike and quite pleasant until you start hitting the crowds at the top of Nevada Falls. From there down it gets more and more crowded. After making it through a bottleneck of people at Vernal Falls, I was done. I shot down the rest of the trail as fast as possible. Its a beautiful hike but the people kind of ruined for me.

We all met up in Curry Village where our friend Claire was waiting for us with the rental van and we could all enjoy pizza, beer, and showers. We camped that night at the backpackers' campground. Soon after going to sleep, the camp was under siege by bears for about an hour. Every time I was about to fall asleep, I would be woken by a camper yelling. The final time was Liz-- I sat up and could see the shadow of a bear cast by the moon against my tent. Things then quickly settled down.
Mist Trail - Yosemite NP
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Sunrise Creek Loop
I may have hiked this but I don't remember I was too busy :tt: :bdh: :pk: :yuck: ](*,) :pk: :zzz:

I do recall a million stairs, steps, giant granite cobblestone looking slabs of doom...

At one point Chumley and I discussed a pool of blood we found in the water well below the trail...he's so morbid ;)

The views were lovely, the waterfalls were neat, we didn't get drenched, more stairs... :tt:

Somewhere along the first 7 miles up I realized I was getting sick...and running low on water...and was sick n tired up going up up up!!!

Seriously steeper than any of the usual trails at the GC...I'd compare the steps :tt: to Hermit but the entire trail is more like that first steep chunk of Grandview... except for seven...whole...miles... :sk:
Maybe I'm biased simply due to the strep throat draining my body of any energy which in turn sapped the life out of my enthusiastic mind...

Ya really wasn't that bad. The company was great, couldn't ask for better hiking buddies, the weather was PERFECT, the scenery was downright lovely, it was a perfect vacation and I think I fell in love.
Granted I'd never want to LIVE at Yosemite... but I definitely love the area.

The hike down wasn't bad, I was waaaay sicker but going down is the easy part, I breezed along with my shame poles too.

Yea, I'd do it all again next year if I had to...minus the strep! : rambo :
Mist Trail - Yosemite NP
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Sunrise Creek Loop
We originally were going to hike the first day with 9L and then spend a couple of nights in LYV including day hikes to half dome and clouds rest, but all good plans change.

In the end we opted for a single overnight, hiking up to Sunrise Junction, bagging half dome the next morning, and heading back out later in the afternoon. It turned out to be a great plan. The area as Sunrise Junction has at least 10 different camp spots, and while we were undisturbed, several of our nearby neighbors reported bears in camp overnight, including a mom and two cubs who batted around some cannisters for a while.

There's perennial water here in a very cold stream. My feet went numb in pain after not more than 30 seconds submerged. It's a grind to get up there with a full pack, even though it's only 7 miles or so, the elevation gain really gets to you.

The hike up we went via the Mist Trail, and on the way down we endured the 227 switchbacks on the JMT. I prefer the steep stairs on Mist vs the switchbacks, but I know that others disagree with my preference.

If you can get the permits, this hike is a great way to access half dome, and if you have the time and feel up to it, it's an "easy" day hike to clouds rest from here too!
Mist Trail - Yosemite NP
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I had an open morning and was considering my options. I wanted a hike that I could start very early and not have to rely on the bus service in Yosemite. I decided on a loop hike up the Mist Trail. I would walk from Curry Village to the Happy Isles trailhead and then head up the Mist Trail to the top of Nevada Falls. From there I would connect to the Panorama Trail and head up to Glacier Point. I would then return to Yosemite Valley on the Four Mile Trail. This was going to be fun!

I was out the door in Curry Village at 6:10am and made fast time to Happy Isles. This would be my fourth hike on the Mist Trail and the first time I've walked to the trailhead. It was closer then I thought. I hit the Mist Trail and made quick time to Vernal Falls. I could tell most of the people on the trail were heading for Half Dome. I continued on and cruised all the way to Nevada Falls. Once up top I took a short break and then headed for the Panorama Trail. I was surprised the turnoff did not have a sign. Regardless I continued and the trail started ascending up a series of switchbacks. I made good time on the uphill. Eventually things leveled off and I found myself at the top of the Panorama Cliffs. The views into Yosemite Valley were spectacular!

I followed the Panorama Trail and after a couple of miles the trail descends towards Illilouette Falls. I made my way down and crossed the bridge. From there you start making switchbacks up as you proceed towards Glacier Point. There is a fantastic view of Illilouette Falls from the trail on the Glacier Point side. I continued on and made my way up. Everything was going great and I never felt better! After some effort I reached Glacier Point. This was my third time up here but the first time I've hiked up from the valley floor. Naturally the views are spectacular! I ate some lunch and spent a few minutes in the store and spent time walking around Glacier Point.

Eventually I was ready to tackle the Four Mile Trail back to Yosemite Valley. I picked up the trail and was off. I made quick time on the first mile or so. After a bit you start hitting switchbacks and they seem to never end. On the way down, I was asked at least a half dozen times how much farther they had for Glacier Point. I felt bad for some of them because it was going to be a struggle. I was glad I made this loop in a clockwise direction because ascending the Four Mile Trail will take massive effort! I eventually reached the valley floor and then turned east and started walking back. After a mile I decided to pick up the valley shuttle for the quick return to Curry Village. Another wonderful day on the trails in Yosemite! The hiking is starting to feel like a job!

These three trails are epic! The Mist Trail is the most popular trail in the park for good reason. Over the course of three miles, you ascend to the top of Vernal and Nevada Falls. From there the Panorama Trail takes you even higher and deeper into Yosemite. Luckily there were only a handful of people on this section. Glacier Point is an absolute must on any Yosemite visit. There were plenty of people there but I didn't mind. The Four Mile Trail has epic views of Yosemite Falls and El Capitan. This is an amazing combo of hikes and will leave you with a great feel for Yosemite Valley!

One last note, I could not get a good signal on my GPS until I was at the top of Vernal Falls. I estimated the total hiking distance and AEG.
Mist Trail - Yosemite NP
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After busting my knee on Humphrey's 2 weeks earlier, I had nearly decided to skip Yosemite altogether. Luckily, there was no structural damage, and the stretching and bruising had been healing well enough that I figured I would be able to at least enjoy some of the shorter and more basic hikes, while conceding that Half Dome would have to be put off until another trip.

And then SoCal took it's toll on me. A few days of fresh valley air had spawned a slight cold, and despite my efforts, it seemed to worsen each day. So as I settled into my tent on Tuesday night, I was not prepared for the misery I was about to endure. Without too many details, I was miserably sick, somehow congested, while still totally unable to keep my sinuses from producing their very own Yosemite fall. A basically didn't sleep all night long. Sore throat, nose, headache, misery. When the sun finally came up, I got up and decided just to explore a little bit before everybody else woke up.

This turned into a perfect storm of unpreparedness. I didn't eat. I didn't bring food. I threw on my camelback so I had a couple of liters of water. I didn't bring my new knee-supporting hiking poles since I figured I was just going for a stroll.

So I meandered over to the river and began to follow it upstream a little bit, trying to ignore the pounding congestion in my head and chest. The air was cool and the sun was well hidden in the depths of the valley. I had read about a short trail to a waterfall view so I decided to head in that general direction until I encountered an official trailhead. The mileage looked reasonable for somebody in my condition (0.8 to the bridge), so I just kept going.

I began to realize that the mileage here wasn't the issue. The trail was paved and footing was easy. But it was basically straight uphill. Relentlessly. It's probably not that bad, but to me it felt like pure misery. But then this place is magical. Even along the way, I encountered views that were incredible. Stunning. Look! There's another waterfall (Illilouette? Never heard of that one!) Oh I feel like pumpkin. I should turn around. No, the view bridge is right around the corner now, can't turn around now.

And that's how my day kept going. First the bridge, then Vernal Falls, then the next bridge, then Nevada, etc. I kept pressing on, with something else to see around every corner preventing me from turning around. I was finally so "done" I could do no more. And I knew I had all that mileage to go back! My breathing was rhaspy. My throat hurt so bad it was hard to drink my water. I was starving and hadn't eaten. And now I began to descend slowly, carefully on my tender knee.

I made sure to take my time. Twice I slipped a little and jammed my knee to the point of pain. Good thing I have those awesome new hiking poles back at camp! After getting cold and wet on the mist trail, I decided for my health to stay dry and take the Muir bypass back down. What a miserable, dusty, switchback hell. I'm not sure why anybody would choose this route.

On a positive sidenote, I encountered a NPS trail worker who explained a lot about trail maintenance to me. It is a wilderness, and while they have exemptions for power tools such as chainsaws to clear the trails, he said that 80-90% of the work is done by hand. This was explained as he sat with hammer and chisel, splitting solid granite stones into the exact shape they need to be to stand the test of time against the abuse that the horses and especially the mules inflict on the trail. Hammering granite on the trail all year long is tough work, he said, but beats any office job he's ever had. Tough to disagree with that perspective!

So I finally made it back to the Vernal view bridge and the paved trail back down, and this is when I realized that despite all my ailments, I was so happy to have experienced this magical place virtually to myself. Because now, there were throngs of tourists, groups, kids, families, etc. heading up the trail. The kind of people who have never thought that stopping to chat with 14 people in the middle of the trail when people are trying to walk by is inconsiderate. I'm so happy I didn't have to experience that until my very last stretch getting back.

Who knows though, maybe it would've kept me from pushing myself so far when I was so ill-equipped to do so?

In the end, I got back to camp and grabbed a little bit of jerky, went to the village store and spent $35 on a plethora of medicines I didn't have, took a few of each and crawled into my tent and went to sleep.
Mist Trail - Yosemite NP
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My morning started at 6:45am. I woke at Curry Village and quickly packed up my gear and then checked out. I just barely missed the bus at 7:10 and was disappointed to see the next bus was due in 20 minutes. I paced and paced until the next bus arrived at 7:30. I boarded and we were at Happy Isles in no time. I quickly left the bus and was on my way. I made quick time to the Vernal Falls foot bridge and decided I did not want to get wet on the way in so I took the John Muir trail up. It's a bit longer but you'll keep dry. Before long I was at Nevada Falls and I took a brief moment to enjoy the views.

I continued and kept a strong pace through Little Yosemite Valley and eventually started heading up the switchbacks. I was surprised at how many people I was passing. I guess all the Camelback hiking has paid off! Within no time I was at the Clouds Rest turn off and then a few minutes later the backside of Half Dome came into view. This is what it's all about. I continued on and felt great.

I approached Sub Dome and was curious where the Ranger was that was suppose to check my permit (Yes I had one). To my surprise no Ranger was present. I started up Sub Dome and found my pace dramatically slowed. I think the elevation was starting to take its toll. I slowly worked my way up the stairs and found myself stopping to rest every few minutes. There were only a handful of people in the area. I took my time and eventually the slope leveled off and there were the cables. This is by far my favorite portion of the hike! I came here last Sept and remember what a rush this was. This time I had complete confidence and knew what it would take to summit. A couple of ladies were looking in horror at the cables thinking there is no way. I reassured them this is no big deal. "Take one board at a time and don't look down". I put my gloves on and hit the cables. There was a handful of people present so it was slow going. I sat back and took my time. The thing I really love about the cables is sharing the experience with total strangers. For a brief moment in time it feels like everyone is a team. You have to communicate with each other and especially those coming the opposite direction. About half way up I was able to pass a couple of people in front of me and found my route free and clear. I took my time and worked my way up until the grade leveled off and I found myself on the summit!

Once on the summit I walked to the middle and marveled at the views! There is no place on earth like the summit of Half Dome! I walked around and stopped in the cave from the 1985 Lightning Strike (Shattered Air by Bob Madgic). I took plenty of pics and then decided to head down. I spent roughly 10 minutes on the summit. The climb down the cables was a breeze. I stopped a couple of times to take some pics. Luckily I am not afraid of heights. Before long I found myself at the bottom of the cables. From there I blew down Sub Dome and then down to Little Yosemite Valley.

Right as I reached Little Yosemite Valley, a trail maintenance worker asked me to hold tight because a helicopter was on its way to rescue a sick hiker. It turns the Ranger that was supposed to be checking permits was working the rescue. It took a good 15 minutes for the chopper to arrive but I'm glad I was stopped. It was very cool watching the chopper fly in and then circle and then land. The rescue team took control of the situation and was able to walk the sick hiker to the chopper for the return flight to Yosemite Valley. After it took off, myself and the large crowd that gathered were able to continue.

I hit the top of Nevada Falls and then worked my way down. Before long I was at Vernal Falls and then down the stairs into the mist. The water felt great after the long hike. I passed a ton of people and was back to the trailhead in no time. I luckily just barely made the departing bus and was back at Curry Village in a few minutes. I took a quick shower and then jumped in my car and started driving. It was only 2:30pm at this point. The Half Dome hike took me 6.5 hours. I started the drive back to Phoenix and was able to cruise all the way back! The drive took me 10.5 hours! I briefly stopped once to gas up. This was one hell of a trip and I highly recommend Half Dome and Yosemite to any outdoor enthusiast. Trust me it will be the trip of a lifetime!

Permit $$
information is in description

Yosemite National Park
Entrance Fees
Wilderness Permit
Half Dome Permit - Currently required 7 days a week. Check the link for the most up to date information.

2014 - 300 permits issued daily, 225 for dayhikers.
2013 - 400 permits issued daily, 300 for dayhikers.

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
page created by Chriskup on May 09 2009 4:29 pm
3 pack - loud whistle
go prepared
help comment issue

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