Seeing a video on Half Dome brought back great memories of doing this hike in the summer of 1991 and again in 1993. I also went to Cloud’s Rest in 1993. If you don’t mind the bus ride to Tenaya Lake, I highly recommend starting your hike there, up Half Dome, down past Nevada Falls and the Mist Trail below Vernal Falls, and ending in Happy Isles. It’s all downhill! 🙂
This is a really good web site about the hike– Half Dome: Your guide to Yosemite’s most demanding day hike.
The video from the Park Service is REALLY excellent. Safety is stressed, which is why I believe I never had an injury during any of my backpacking trips in Yosemite.
Water management is a real problem due to the dry sections.
ALWAYS carry a fresh flashlight, even if you’re on a short hike. Always!
DON’T go swimming in Emerald Pool above Vernal Falls. I had a friend who worked in the Valley photo booth, and he would develop rolls of film from the Search & Rescue Team. Many swimmers risk being swept over the falls each summer. I remember this older sign: “YOU WILL DIE.”
Nevada Falls is simply the most beautiful one in the park IMHO. The water hits a granite apron about half way down that makes the mist shoot out and swirl into contrails.
I spent a lot of time at the top of Nevada Falls being entranced by the water.
The Sub Domes were even more dangerous, IMO, than the cables. They were steep and covered with sandy, eroding granite. Crossing the saddle from the sub dome to the cables was the biggest vertigo moment. Lots of people stopping, donning gloves, weaving around each other on a small area with no handrails, and long drops on both sides.
The cables are cake. Everyone is going slow, you can concentrate on your feet and you have something to hold onto. The cables give lots of confidence.
A Douglas squirrel living in a crevice on the summit stole my bag of trail mix. It dragged the mix so far into the crevice that I couldn’t retrieve it. OOHH I was mad!!
I did shimmy out onto the diving board overhang, on my belly. Looking straight down the face is incredible. Words fail. Panorama pictures fail. There were some climbers a little ways from summiting that I talked to. So amazing!
I’ll never forget on my last little stretch of hiking below the Mist Trail down to Happy Isles. A mother no longer tolerating her son’s whining shouted “QUIET! You’re destroying my profound sense of nature here!”
I’ll have to find my photo albums and upload some pics of skinny-me for y’all.