Home A - Z FAQ Bookstore Art Prints Online Library Discussion Forum Muir Weather Maps Lodging About Search
CalHotels.US--online reservations now CalHotels.US Lowest Hotel Rates Guaranteed. Click Here For Yours!
Hotel photos, maps, reviews, & discount rates.

U.S. Hotels in California (Yosemite, L. A., San Francisco ), AL, AK, AR, AS, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, FM, GA, GU, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OK, NV, MH, MP, NM, NC, ND, OH, OR, PA, PR, PW, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, VI WA, WV, WI, WY

[Yosemite]

Half Dome

Hiking, backpacking, running, biking, climbing, rafting, and other human-powered activities in Yosemite National Park

Moderators: Wickett, dan

Half Dome

Postby melissagarcia1 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:05 am

Hello all,

I am hoping to gain so knowledgeable information about traveling to Yosemite, permits and hiking half dome. I am planning to visit with a friend sometime hopefully in June. Since we are not close to California, we will be flying in from the east coast and renting a car. Although, we are looking to cut costs where ever we can. It's been brought to my attention that there are some busses that take you from a few towns in California to Yosemite Valley. That being said, if we fly into one of those towns and take the bus in, it could save us a couple days worth of having to rent a vehicle while were hiking/camping. Does anyone have any experience flying in and visiting Yosemite? Looking for any advice with gear, travel, stay and fun!
melissagarcia1
First-timer
First-timer
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:59 am

Re: Half Dome

Postby dgilman » Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:44 am

Wow, that's a really open-ended question.

If the goal of the trip is to do Half Dome, I'd start by getting a permit, which begs the question - are you going to day hike, or try to camp in the wilderness?

If you're day hiking, permit info can be found here - https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/hdpermits.htm
If you're backpacking and want to include HD - https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/ ... ermits.htm

Others have more experience than me, but I think day hiking HD is a really long day. I believe it's like 14 miles roundtrip, with about 7 of that uphill.
https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/halfdome.htm

The "easiest" backpack would be to stay in Little Yosemite Valley (LYV) overnight.

I think the closest airport would be Sacramento - I can't imagine taking public transit from there to Yosemite.

The NPS website is really really good. If you spend some time there it might give you enough info to start forming a plan, and then the folks here can give you tips on your proposed plan. The people here really know Yosemite.

David
dgilman
Frequent poster
Frequent poster
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2016 8:05 pm

Re: Half Dome

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:00 pm

If you aren't already a hiker, get yourself started now. Stadium stairs if nothing else. You're really going to hurt yourself if you don't. About a hundred people have died hiking Half Dome, the vast majority of them due to health issues on the trail -- cardiac arrest is a big one, dehydration and heat stroke, and then there are thousands who simply suffer a wide range of issues such as blisters -- I witnessed one hiker with so many blood blisters his shoes oozed.

This is a low elevation hike, relatively speaking, and hiking in June means you will find yourself on highly reflective surfaces (granite) in the open sun when temperatures are 80F and higher. Unless you start hiking very very very very early in the day. Which is recommended. Hiking when it's in the 70s can feel hot to people, it's hard work climbing all those stone steps and continually climbing a trail for 8 miles.

You should take a quart of water for every couple of miles, or bring something to treat the water in the river to replenish your supply. The river in Yosemite is one of the few regularly tested waterways and it has been positive for e. Coli quite a number of times over the years. A filter or tablets will do the job nicely.

There is a book about hiking Half Dome - it does a nice job of covering the basics. It is not a trivial hike. For equal or better views, there are easier and higher peaks around that do not require permits, FYI.
AlmostThere
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 1699
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 6:57 pm
Location: Central Valley California

Re: Half Dome

Postby Dave_Ayers » Thu Jan 19, 2017 10:53 am

You'll want to check out the YARTS bus routes at http://yarts.com/ . You could fly into Fresno and catch the YARTS at that airport into Yosemite Valley. However, it may be that the extra expense of getting an air flight connection to Fresno (from LAX, etc.) could cost more than just flying into Oakland, San Jose, or Sacramento and renting a car.
Dave_Ayers
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 109
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:14 am

Re: Half Dome

Postby Justin-T » Thu Jan 19, 2017 1:20 pm

When looking at car rentals costs make sure you check the cost for locations outside the airport. I always fly into San Francisco but don't use the rental locations in the airport, I get a cab for the 5 minute drive to San Bruno to use the Enterprise location there. The cab costs about $10-$15 and you should be able to get the same car for literally $150-$250 a week less. Last time they even dropped me off back at the airport after I returned the car.
Justin-T
Very frequent poster
Very frequent poster
 
Posts: 81
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2015 3:40 pm

Re: Half Dome

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Jan 19, 2017 1:24 pm

If you're about to drop 200-300 on a rental, double check costs for flights directly to Fresno. I was going to fly out of SF or LA or Sacramento but the round trip ticket from/to Fresno vs. all the expense of fuel and rental made it cheaper and infinitely less complicated just to fly.
AlmostThere
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 1699
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 6:57 pm
Location: Central Valley California

Re: Half Dome

Postby CarolE » Fri Mar 24, 2017 6:52 am

As mentioned, check out the Yarts.com schedule. If you're really luck you can fly into Fresno and then catch the bus right into Yosemite the same day, thus saving car rental and also being eligible for the Backpackers campground if you've also managed to get a permit (links in previous post) . If your flight/bus is early enough to get you into Yosemite to pick up your permit and you're only going to Little Yosemite Valley to camp then you can hike in that day. It's really not that far so it''s mostly about travel fatigue and heat but you'll also run into more day people if you're mid-day. Early in the day I had the trail almost to myself in June.

It's a heck of a big day hike to do Half Dome and back into the Valley. Camping at LYV lets you stage well for day hiking both Half Dome and Clouds Rest. Either way, If you're young and half decently fit I don't see why you can't do it, it really comes down to how prepared you want to be to enhance your enjoyment. I'd suggest that you've put the effort/money into getting there so you might as well put the effort into enjoying it? Yes, start to practice and carrying weight on your back is the best way.

At this point I'm thinking getting fit is the easy part, getting a permit ahead of time is the challenge :)

Other options:
I did the Fresno/Car rental thing 2 years ago and I got in a ton of day hiking in. I did stay at the Yosemite Lodge but I actually prefer Curry Village. You could Camp too, if you can get a reservation - that seems like the tricky part to me.

The Yosemite Conservancy does group Half Dome trips. It'll cost you more but if this is something that works for your experience/personality and gets you there then the cost may be worth it. I don't think they have this year's trips online yet but here's an example of last year: https://www.yosemiteconservancy.org/out ... -half-dome I had originally thought I'd go that route myself but ended up just going on my own and it worked perfectly well but I am an over-preparer so was fit and had good gear. It's really not much of a backcountry trip to Little Yosemite Valley - more of a Slack Country Camp- with lots of people around. Yes, you can get into trouble still but with commonsense and some preparation this is about as safe of a backcountry trip as I've ever been on and I was Solo. Always remember though, that bad weather can change things so be prepared for it and accept that you might not get to go up Half Dome if the weather goes bad and your time is short.

Go, enjoy
CarolE
Regular
Regular
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2015 8:36 pm

Re: Half Dome

Postby MadDiver » Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:49 am

At a quick glance flying to Fresno is about $150 more than flying to SFO or San Jose (of course airline prices fluctuate greatly day to day; airport to airport) +$30 for the bus for each person. You should be able to rent a car for a week for under $300. Longer drive from the Bay area, but you're going to have to connect somewhere to fly into Fresno. Also there aren't that many flights into Fresno early that allow you to catch the last bus (12:40PM) same day, though I did see a couple. I've flown in and done the car rental from SFO, not too bad. You'll have to check from your airport and see if that holds, I based this on NYC area airports (JFK,LGA,EWR). If you do fly to the Bay area, really look at what time you'll be driving in/out, you don't want to be in rush hour :shock: Whichever way, have a great trip!
MadDiver
Very frequent poster
Very frequent poster
 
Posts: 98
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2015 5:26 pm

Re: Half Dome

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:53 am

MadDiver wrote:At a quick glance flying to Fresno is about $150 more than flying to SFO or San Jose (of course airline prices fluctuate greatly day to day; airport to airport) +$30 for the bus for each person. You should be able to rent a car for a week for under $300. Longer drive from the Bay area, but you're going to have to connect somewhere to fly into Fresno. Also there aren't that many flights into Fresno early that allow you to catch the last bus (12:40PM) same day, though I did see a couple. I've flown in and done the car rental from SFO, not too bad. You'll have to check from your airport and see if that holds, I based this on NYC area airports (JFK,LGA,EWR). If you do fly to the Bay area, really look at what time you'll be driving in/out, you don't want to be in rush hour :shock:


Have you ever driven through SF at all?

If you have not, just fly to Fresno. Take it from someone who spent hours lost on freeways and ended up crossing three bridges and scraping up quarters for tolls because she didn't know when to get turned around in time. And sat there for five hours inching along when there was an accident....

What will happen is you fly into SF or LA, and then jump on a smaller plane to Fresno. You get off the plane and figure out where the YARTS picks you up. It's a much smaller airport and it's much easier, exponentially.

I drive to Point Reyes every year to backpack, or go over to SF for other reasons from time to time -- I have learned the hard way that if I truly want to be on time for something, as usually I am meeting someone at the park, I just drive the day before and spend the night somewhere close to where we're going to meet. Sometimes the traffic flows nicely. Sometimes I sit somewhere for three hours and the person doesn't have phone reception so they are left sitting there scratching their heads.
AlmostThere
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 1699
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 6:57 pm
Location: Central Valley California

Re: Half Dome

Postby balzaccom » Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:09 am

If you're going to Yosemite, Sacramento is also an option . There are 8,000,000 people in the Bay Area...And most of them are on the freeways afternoons and mornings.
Check out our website and blog at: http://sites.google.com/site/backpackthesierra/home
balzaccom
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 1179
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2008 7:51 am
Location: Napa CA

Re: Half Dome

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:15 am

Sacramento is a shorter drive by far, and no interchanges, other than the transition from 5 to the 99 south, which is straightforward.... but I have been sitting in Sacramento freeway parking lots as well, from time to time....
AlmostThere
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 1699
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 6:57 pm
Location: Central Valley California

Re: Half Dome

Postby MadDiver » Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:55 am

AlmostThere wrote:
MadDiver wrote:At a quick glance flying to Fresno is about $150 more than flying to SFO or San Jose (of course airline prices fluctuate greatly day to day; airport to airport) +$30 for the bus for each person. You should be able to rent a car for a week for under $300. Longer drive from the Bay area, but you're going to have to connect somewhere to fly into Fresno. Also there aren't that many flights into Fresno early that allow you to catch the last bus (12:40PM) same day, though I did see a couple. I've flown in and done the car rental from SFO, not too bad. You'll have to check from your airport and see if that holds, I based this on NYC area airports (JFK,LGA,EWR). If you do fly to the Bay area, really look at what time you'll be driving in/out, you don't want to be in rush hour :shock:


Have you ever driven through SF at all?



Yes, I have. I explicitly said so in my post.
MadDiver
Very frequent poster
Very frequent poster
 
Posts: 98
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2015 5:26 pm

Re: Half Dome

Postby markskor » Fri Mar 24, 2017 1:20 pm

Lived in Sac Town for a decade...drove to Yosemite often... (BTW, took me a little over 4 1/2 hours to drive - Natomas to Curry Orchard lot)... using highways 5 -> 4 -> 99 -> 120. Amtrak was easier.
First - Are you spending just a few days Yosemite, or do you want to really see it? Maybe backpack for a few days, maybe 3...longer? As long as there, make it a good long week in the park? If longer (and highly suggested), here are some local tips. BTW, A week-long, airport car rental Sacramento (Reno, or Fresno), including gas, $30 entrance fee, and aggravation ... gonna cost you ~$400+ for a week.

Fly into Sac, IMHO, your best option...usually the cheapest flights comparatively too. Coordinate airline landing ETA and Amtrak departure before trip...allow 1 hour to get airport to Old Town Amtrak station. Easy airport shuttle ($10 pp) to Old Town, Amtrak (or get a cheap hotel here...see Old Sacramento.). Then, ~$45 pp Amtrak/YARTS, Sacramento - Yosemite Valley. This includes train to Merced with YARTS bus connection (and park entrance fees too)... was easy/ no stress...Total time, Old Town Amtrak to Curry, was ~5 1/2 hours...plush too.

Once in Yosemite, a "I just got off the YARTS bus" ticket in hand entitles you to camp/ stay over Valley BP camp one night legally. BTW, All gear there must be picked up completely in the morning each day...Rangers check...cannot leave stuff... not even in a bear box either....still $6 a pp per night but no reservation is needed.

Option 1: First thing in the morning, pick up your reserved wilderness permit in the Valley. (You did reserve your HD Permit too?). Now with a wilderness permit in hand (to show the campground Ranger, plus the right gear and a good attitude), you could see the Valley and then re-camp Valley BP again...still legal, as now covered under the "one night before a hike w/ permit" rule. Next morning, then do the standard HD hike front-side route... usual HI - LYV one night - HD - and return via the Mist route. After the hike and Curry pizza/beer, your permit also allows you to spend the night again in the Valley BP ("one night after w/ permit" rule)... and out...take the YARTS next morning to? That's 4 days in the park.

Option 2...Spend the day seeing the Valley as above, and take ($8 pp) 5:00 PM bus to Tuolumne Meadows. With a Bus ticket in hand again, can stay over at the TM BP...same rules. Once in TM, go TM Wilderness Permit office (~1/2 mile from campground)...just ask the Ranger what is available...next day permits go out at 11:00. Might have to go back again early next morning too, but...You want/ will get a (one of the 40% allotted) "next day" permits. Sunrise TH (2 - 3 nights) or a Cathedral Lakes TH (3 - 4 nights) wilderness permit... hike down to HD and the Valley. FYI, These open, last minute, and available wilderness permits (first come/first served) already come with a free HD permit too...(just ask), and are much easier to get if you have not reserved anything yet.
Sunrise TH to lowest Sunrise Lake first night ...do Clouds Rest, HD, stay LYV...down the Mist and stay Valley BP again. morning YARTS to ...7 + days in the park.

Airport shuttles ($40) + Amtrak/YARTS ($180...figuring 2 persons and both ways) + Hiker bus Valley - TM ($16) + Bear-can rental ($5)...~$240 total.
markskor
Newbie
Newbie
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2017 5:35 pm

Re: Half Dome

Postby Phil » Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:07 pm

Fly into Oakland, bite the bullet, rent a car for the week, come and go as you please, go later than June so you can get in the full tour of the park, including Tuolumne Meadows and Glacier Point. As much as they've always tried to get people not to drive so much, they haven't exactly structured the shuttle services now available to make that feasible, so you really need to be able to drive in order to do that. Half Dome is just a thing, but since you're making a big trip of it, there's much more and better to see, and you need to have the means to do it, which, if you're not backpacking, is a car at your immediate disposal.
Phil
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 899
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:02 am
Location: Healdsburg, Ca

Re: Half Dome

Postby CarolE » Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:19 pm

MadDiver wrote: Also there aren't that many flights into Fresno early that allow you to catch the last bus (12:40PM) same day, though I did see a couple.

Unfortunately, this year, Alaska changed their flight times in and Yarts changed their schedule too so connections aren't as good.
CarolE
Regular
Regular
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2015 8:36 pm

Next

Return to Yosemite Hiking & Backpacking

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests

cron