Should you hike Yosemite’s Half Dome alone? | It beats not going

I often meet people who cannot find a partner to hike Half Dome with. Here are a couple of options for you.

One idea is to pay for a guided hike. I guide for LastingAdventures.com. They have well trained and qualified guides that can get you up. Yes, there is a fee – about $200, but we will take care of all your water needs, finding the trail and assisting getting you up the cables. Plus, you’ll hear all the history and geology of the park.

Should you do this hike alone? You will need a permit – but once you have that hurdle done, you need to assess the risk and your confidence level.

If you are self-reliant and you 1) have the education about the hike, 2) have trained and 3) are motivated, maybe you can do it. Do a lot of “what-ifs”. What if you fall, what if your knees explode, what if you run out of food, get lost, etc. Can you cope?

There are not a ton of Rangers patrolling the route. You might see 1 or 2 all day. If you get hurt, do you know enough First Aid to self-administer? Do you carry a safety whistle? Do you carry the 10-essentials?

Only you can decide. I’ve done it alone many times. I like the quiet plus I get to go with the person I love the most. :>)

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Time has come today. Young hearts can go their way; can’t put it off another day. I don’t care what others say. They say we don’t listen anyway. Time has come today.” – The Chambers Brothers

MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome

About Mr Half Dome - Rick Deutsch

Mr Half Dome. Has written the only half dome hiking guide, One Best Hike: Yosemite's Half Dome. Has hiked it 31 times to day. Lives in San Jose, CA Available for presentations. Carpe Diem Experience, LLC
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2 Responses to Should you hike Yosemite’s Half Dome alone? | It beats not going

  1. Maureen L says:

    I routinely hike solo in Yosemite, and I like it that way.

    I leave notes on my car with the date saying things like “gone to the Dana Plateau, planned return time is 5 pm.” I saw one other party on that trip, which is probably a record low.

    I carry enough first aid stuff for a party of 4, and I recently re-did the 16 hour Wilderness First Aid Course. I’ve got my whistle and my reflector (a cd rather than a mirror). I’ve got my water purifier and some extra food. I’m prepared to spend a night out if I have to.

    I’ve been on a lot of hikes off the Tioga Road in mid-August where I see less than a dozen other parties. You won’t have that experience on Half Dome hike!

    So, I’d say if you are experienced at Yosemite long day hikes, then there’s no reason not to go for Half Dome solo.

    (I”m over 60 and still at it, by no means an outlier in age!)

  2. Dean says:

    All my trips have been lone hikes though I have joined forces for part of the way…on my first ascent I hiked up from LYV to sub dome with a guy I met on the trail, Tim from Australia. He was actually a day tripper and was in a rush to get his bus back to San Francisco. It was nice to chat, takes your mind off the climb.

    Agree with Mr Half Dome about considering “what if”. The trail is well populated but you can still go a fair while without seeing anyone.

    One of the best things about going up alone is you can set your own pace, you don’t have to worry about being unable to keep up or getting frustrated at having to wait for others.

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