(Yosemite’s most Difficult Hike)
When it comes to hikes—not just in Yosemite, but in the entire world—there are some you simply cannot go through life without trying out. These are the most gorgeous of the bunch, the most difficult, or simply the most fun, and Half Dome most definitely belongs in this group.
If you haven’t heard of Half Dome, this is a hike where, after a long 14 mile+ hike, you travel up a semi-curved cliff face by way of cable. Surrounding you the entire way is the true majesty of Yosemite, in all its natural glory, while hordes of people make their way to the culmination of what could be the best hike in the Western United States; Half Dome itself. Here, you get to climb to one of the highest accessible points in Yosemite, and look down upon the entirety of the valley with a view unlike any other. Truly, if you were going to choose one hike to attempt during your stay in Yosemite, this would be the one!
Hiking Distance and Time
As already mentioned, this hike is an absolute doozy. Depending on where you begin, this hike could end up running for as long as 23 miles, and as short as 7, meaning you will be taking at least 10-14 hours to complete it. Trail distances are as follows: 14.2 Miles round trip via Mist Trail, 16.5 miles round trip via John Muir Trail, 7 miles round trip from Little Yosemite Valley Campground, 23 miles round trip via Tenaya Lake, 20 miles round trip via Glacier Point.
Doubtlessly, this is the hardest hiking trail in all of Yosemite. It’s long, steep from beginning to end, and is actually quite dangerous. If you do not have some experience hiking, we would recommend not attempting this hike.
Because crowd demand is so high, Yosemite has been forced to implement a permit system that caps the amount of hikers at a certain point. Unfortunately, the 2013 permit lottery has ended; but, if you are feeling lucky, 50 permits per day will be released by the park service two days in advance.