Essential Tips to Hike Half Dome
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Although I hesitate to use the phrase “bucket list” there are definitely some things in life I want to do. One of them is to hike Half Dome in Yosemite National Park!
From Fresno, it is only 45 minutes to the park gates! In fact one of the first dates I went on with Dan was a drive thru Yosemite National Park. I’d lived in California for 10 years, never once visiting Yosemite. Once we drove thru Tunnel View, I was hooked! We set a goal to hike Half Dome!
Permits are required for the hike and the window to apply is only open for one month a year.
One year I completely forgot to apply, the next year we were not selected – but this year we were!
In the picture above see the line that looks likes ants climbing the mountain? Those are not ants, but people using cables that assist in the final ascent to the summit. Dan has hiked Half Dome and to the top of Mount Whitney!
Dan knows his stuff! He is going to make sure we are well trained!
Me…. I will make sure we have the right nutrition, to fuel our bodies. Hey… it’s what I do! 🙂
So we’ve begun hiking in preparation and of course I pack a picnic lunch!
Bagels make a great sandwich for a hike (they are sturdy and don’t get squished). These sandwiches are filled with fresh veggies and thick slices of cheese. I also swung by Vons and grabbed some fresh fruit and Odwalla 100% fruit juice, they carry a ton of different varieties!
Whether you’re looking for a smoothie, protein drink or juice this GMO free product offers great nutrition and is a yummy blend of delicious fruit! A perfect grab-n-go beverage!
As a bonus our training preparations will fill our summer with fun hikes and great picnics with terrific nutrition! We will enjoy the most amazing scenery the Sierras have to offer.
Essential Tips to Hike Half Dome
- Apply for a permit – Permits are required to hike Half Dome! Only 300 hikers are permitted per day. There is a pre-season lottery March 1-31st. You can apply right online, submitting your preference of days. Check back to see if you have been accepted. For more information click here.
- Training – It’s best to begin your training with a minimum of three months. Hiking Half Dome is exhilarating but also grueling. It is a 14-16 mile hike and will take 10-12 hours. Start with short 4-5 mile hikes gradually progressing in length and altitudes. The hike at Half Dome rises 5000 feet from Yosemite Valley floor (8600 feet above sea level).
- Day of the hike dress for the weather in layers – you’ll start the hike early in the morning. By the time you get to the top of Half Dome the weather can increase/decrease several degrees.
- Bring plenty of water – a minimum of one gallon per person is recommend or if you carry less bring a water filter. We are going to do both.
- Good footwear – for this hike you’ll need hiking boots or hiking shoes. Begin breaking them in early. Wear them at every opportunity; around the house, a walk around the neighborhood. Comfortable? Start wearing them on your hikes! Investing in quality socks that wick the water away from your feet will (hopefully) save you from blisters.
- Essential Equipment – Light jacket, a sunhat, sunscreen, extra socks, flashlight with fresh batteries, map, water filter, first aide kit and cell phone (cell phone service may be available in different areas along the trail). Important – keep your pack as light as possible.
- Nutrition – you’ll be expelling a lot of energy during this 12 hour hike. On your practice hikes learn what food best fuels your body!
Many thanks to my Dad for his mad Photoshop skills! 🙂
What are your plans for summer? Are you checking anything off your bucket list?