The Mist Trail

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

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    Feedback from early hikers up the Half Dome cables is that the Mist Trail is a raining deluge. The snowpack is now melting and all that water is coming down. Vernal Fall faces a narrow canyon and winds blow the spray onto the trail as a you hike the 700 steps up. About halfway you will need to put some protection on or get drenched. I have worn a water resistant jacket and got soaked.    I recommend putting on a cheap vinyl poncho. The kind you get them for a buck at a surplus store. Bring 3 binder clips to hold the hood to your cap bill and the sides of your pants – otherwise the wind will blow it al lover the place.


     Next you need gaiters to stop water from getting into your boots. GORTEX boots are recommended. The easiest thing is to get free produce bags from your market and wrap them around the tops of your boots and secure with a rubber band.

      You can also wear real gaiters for the duration of the hike. Use hiking poles to help you navigate the mess. There will be water running down the steps with some deep holes that you need to avoid. Bring dry socks to put on once your boots dry out. Have fun!


Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Let’s go surfing now, everybody’s learning how –  Come on a safari with me.” –  Surfin Safari”, The Beach Boys 

*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch –

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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6 Responses to The Mist Trail

  1. Cori says:

    Thank you!! I’ll probably leave the rain jacket at home, then, and just grab a cheap poncho and some binder clips. 🙂

  2. Cori says:

    Hiking Half Dome on Sunday (July 10)…do you know if it’s still really wet up there? I have a light-weight rain jacket and long hiking pants. Think it’ll be enough? Thanks for your advice (and blog…it’s been super helpful!).

    • mrhalfdome says:


      It;s normal HOT summer time up there. The MIST trail is the ony place you are going to get soaked. Shots are fine. I prefer a cheap poncho than carrying a reain jacket. You WILL get soaked. Get my book – I describe it. there. Also talk about it on the FREE Half Dome app. Clip the $1.00 poncho to your hat bill and sides with binder clips. The wind there will billow the poncho around without. You are only in this mess for 20 minutes at the lower Mist trail.

      Rick Deutsch (“Mr. Half Dome” tm)
      Speaker, Adventurer, Author
      “One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome” – Hiking – Speaking – Daily Blog – Facebook FREE Half Dome app
      . . . . getting you to the top of YOUR mountain.

      go for it!


  3. Hike to top of Half Dome on Monday. Mist trail was very, very wet. Ponchos are a must. Snow is covering all the mountain tops in the Sierras so high water volume will continue for a while. Surprising we did not see any rangers collecting permits. We arrived around at the subdome around 10:30am and left subdome around noon. We did see a ranger at the top, but she was just talking with people about their experience. Left without showing anyone permits. Not a big crowd getting to Half Dome (40-50 people at top when we were there). The treat of permits seem to be thining out the crowd. It took awhile to get down as traffic picked up, the main problem was a woman who felt faint and stayed at one of the poles with her husband for 20 minutes or so.

    Merced River if quite high. No boats or rafting on Merced River in the valley. Water level is only 3 feet below swinging bridge. Water on Merced within 3 feet of trail in one spot in Little Yosemite Valley.

  4. andy says:

    Hiking the Dome tomorrow! Can’t wait to get wet!

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