Half Dome Yosemite Day Hikes with SYMG

Looming 4,800 feet above Yosemite Valley is the "Crown Jewel" of the Sierra, Half Dome. This granite monolith has captured the imagination of explorers, climbers and artists alike and is the most sought-after summit in Yosemite National Park. However, at over 17 miles round-trip and with thousands of feet in elevation gain and loss, a day-trip to the summit is certainly not a giveaway. For those that complete the journey, the spectacular views of Yosemite Valley and the Yosemite High Country are worth every hard-earned step. SYMG has been leading Half Dome trips for over 20 years and recruiting one of our experienced guides is perhaps the best way to maximize your chance of standing on the summit of Half Dome.

  • Activity Level - Challenging
  • Trip Length - 6am to 6pm
  • Group Size - up to 6 Guests
  • Cost - $495
  • Summit Yosemite's iconic monolith, Half Dome (8,845')
  • Hike on the John Muir Trail (JMT) & Mist Trail
  • See Yosemite Waterfalls like Nevada and Vernal Falls

Trip Itinerary:  

Your guide will meet you on the porch of the Mountain Shop in Curry Village (formerly Half Dome Village) at 6am. Expect a dawn-dusk experience and plan food and clothing accordingly. The overall trip is appx 17 miles and includes 4,745 feet of elevation gain and then loss. Most groups finish the round-trip by 5:00pm, though it could be hours earlier or later depending on the overall pace of the group.

Trail synopsis: The Valley floor sits at 4,100 in elevation and the summit of Half Dome is at 8,845’. The trail begins by following the “Wild and Scenic” Merced River past Vernal and Nevada Falls. There, we’ll encounter 400+ steep granite steps along the Mist Trail section, which can be wet in the early season when the waterfalls are full. Once above the waterfalls, the trail is well-graded and travels upwards through mixed conifer forests. We gain 2,842 feet in just the last 3.1 miles to the summit. The last 900 feet is a very steep climb up many more granite stairs and semi-exposed rock slabs on the east side of Half Dome. Cables assist hikers on the final 400 feet. After a few minutes to enjoy the hard-earned summit, we retrace the entire route, ideally reaching the trailhead by 5:00pm for a celebratory meal and drink.

Your SYMG Guide:  SYMG guides are professional, highly experienced, enjoyable people that have spent years perfecting their interpretive and mountain skills in and around Yosemite. They look forward to teaching and guiding you in these spectacular locations as well as getting to know you. Tell your guide your goals and s/he will do their best to meet your needs in a safe and enjoyable manner! Gratuities are accepted and appreciated for a job well done.

Gear:  The following can be provided upon request.

  • Trekking Poles
  • Daypack

What to Bring:  Plan to bring the following items in a small daypack for your guided hike.

  • 3 Liters (at least) of water per person
  • Lunch & plenty of hearty snacks for the day
  • A warm layer and/or rainshell (it can be windy/chilly on top of Half Dome)
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Gloves for the Cable Route (gardening gloves work great)
  • Camera (optional)

ou'll want to wear clothes that are comfortable and preferably moisture wicking (especially for the warm summer months of July-August). Hiking shoes that are comfortable with grippy soles are the best option for footwear. It's important to check the weather prior to your day to make sure you're dressing appropriately- check out our favorite weather forecast here: National Weather Service - Yosemite Valley.

Travel & Logistics:

Starts: May 31, 2021

Occurs: Every week on Sunday Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, until October 01, 2021
Time: Advanced Reservations Required

Location: Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park, CA 95389

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Phone: (800) 231-4575 or (559) 642-2817



Oakhurst Visitor Center
40343 Highway 41,
Oakhurst, CA 93644
(559) 683-4636
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