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[Yosemite]

Alternatives to Half Dome

Discussion about hiking to the top of Half Dome, planning the trip, and when the Half Dome cables are installed in Spring or removed in Fall.

Moderators: Wickett, dan

Alternatives to Half Dome

Postby blu » Sat Jun 19, 2010 4:26 am

Hi. I'm visiting the USA in August and am planning on a few days in Yosemite as we drive from San Francisco to Las Vegas... We planned to hike half dome but unfortuantely it lands on a Friday and i now realise we need a permit!

yeh all gone for that day already....

Is it still worth going up as far as we can without a permit?
Also can anyone make me a recommendation of a cheap book/trailmap that will get me there?

Thanks.
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Postby dan » Sat Jun 19, 2010 9:32 am

Here's a trail map--it's all you need. It also shows other hiking trails in and around Yosemite Valley:
http://www.yosemite.ca.us/maps/yosemite ... p_2006.pdf
There's many people on the trail and you won't get lost if you stay on the trail. You take the shuttle bus to "Happy Isles" and start hiking from there.

The book I recommend about hiking Half Dome is One Best Hike: Yosemite's Half Dome by Rick Deutsch (Wilderness Press, 2007).

As an alternative, consider hiking up the Yosemite Falls Trail to Yosemite Point or Eagle Peak. John Muir said Eagle Peak has the best view of Yosemite, and is rarely seen since there is no road nearby.

Just hiking to the subdome is worth it. You get a up-close, in-your-face view of the backside of Half Dome that few people see.
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Postby baseline bum » Sat Jun 19, 2010 1:34 pm

dan wrote:John Muir said Eagle Peak has the best view of Yosemite, and is rarely seen since there is no road nearby.


Wow. No better source than that when it comes to Yosemite.
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Postby blu » Sat Jun 19, 2010 1:35 pm

Thanks....

Think we'll still go up as far as we can then... Was also thinking of heading up the North Dome... recommended?
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Postby dan » Sat Jun 19, 2010 3:23 pm

blu wrote:Think we'll still go up as far as we can then... Was also thinking of heading up the North Dome... recommended?


Yes. North Dome has an unusual view of Half Dome. It's straight across and up close. Half Dome looks very big from North Dome. You can also see the rest of the valley from North Dome. It's best in the morning, otherwise, you're staring in the sun when looking west at Yosemite Valley.

You can get there from the Tioga Road at Porcupine Flat. Another way (harder) is to hike up from the Valley. Start at Mirror Lake and take the Snow Creek Trail up to the North Rim of Yosemite Valley. Head north, then south along a ridge running north from North Dome. On the ridge heading north from North Dome is a natural arch or bridge--very visible along the trail.
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Postby Wickett » Sun Jun 20, 2010 12:14 pm

Don't forget about Clouds Rest! If you start in Tuolumne meadows and hike to the valley it is quicker. I love the view from clouds rest!

Image
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Postby baseline bum » Fri Jun 25, 2010 4:45 pm

Wickett wrote:Don't forget about Clouds Rest! If you start in Tuolumne meadows and hike to the valley it is quicker. I love the view from clouds rest!


Yep, Clouds Rest is awesome. Here's a few more pics looking in other directions from there:

Image

Image

Image

As you can see by my sweatshirt, it can get cold up there with the wind! Even in late August when those pics were taken.
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Postby blu » Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:33 pm

cheers for the advice people! def wanna do half dome as far as we can get....

then maybe look into north dome or clouds rest for another day... not long now and i can't wait!
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Permits....

Postby blu » Mon Aug 09, 2010 4:16 pm

We made it to the top of half dome and just thought i'd let people know about the permit situation. We had no permits but decided to go as far as we could anyway.... When we reached the bottom of the subdome we asked the Ranger and he gave us 2 permits in exchange for bringing down some of the gloves at the bottom of the cables.

On the way up we spoke to a number of people who said they had booked more permits than they needed and then left the remaining ones with the ranger... which worked well for us! One group had 12 permits but only 5 in their group...

In light of this i would suggest anyone without a permit has a good chance of getting one from the Ranger. At least worth a shot! Even if you don't get one the views are still amazing from the shoulder.....
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