Vernal Fall – Nevada Fall – Half Dome Hike
The hike begins with Mist Trail, which is closed in winter. The first part of Mist Trail is asphalted pavement and easy to walkuntil the first bridge, but you will sweat due to elevation. Then, the rocky stairs will lead you to Vernal Fall. This part of the trail is also closed during winter season. We strongly recommend you to wear proper shoes for slippery rock ground and pack your backpack with equal balance on both sides. The elevation is harder than the first part of the hike, so you may take short breaks to relax and enjoy the perfect scene. After The Vernal Fall, the hike continues to Nevada Fall. This part of the hike is easier comparing the previous parts, but you will continue to take elevation. Next target is Half Dome. This is the last part of the hike. It takes 4.4 miles from Nevada Fall to Half Dome. In the last part, you will enjoy the beauty and silence of the forest, then you will experience incredible vista on top of the Half Dome. There is a cable that takes you to the top of Half Dome. The cable is down in winter seasons. They put a sign at the beginning of Mist Trail if the cable is down. Even if the cable is down, the hike is still challenging, offers excellent scenes and experience.
This hike is about 18 miles which requires demanding effort. Depending on the time you decide to hike, you need to be careful about what you wear and carry with you. Before beginning, we recommend you to plan your time to be able finish the hike in daylight. If you spend a lot of time by enjoying the beauty of the scene at the top of Half Dome, you may need to walk in dark like us. Therefore, do not forget to take your headlamps with you. On the back route, you can hike on the same route or after Nevada Fall you can walk on John Muir Trail that offers different angles to enjoy the falls and the beauty of the nature. John Muir Trail is closed in winter, so think twice before deciding in winter because of icy trails.
What to take with you: The packing list is for day hikers.
- Water (at least 3 liters)
- Spare T-shirt and socks
- Long sleeves
- Head lamp
- Survival kit
- Food and snacks
- Sun glasses
- Hat and beanie
- Portable Battery Charger
Where to park: You can park near the Half Dome Village. Parking Lot
Restroom: Restrooms are available on trails.
Download Route for gps devices: If you have an application, you can download the file (gpx). Then follow the route.
Gallery of Vernal Fall – Nevada Fall – Half Dome Hike