Michelle M. Chun-Hoon | Backpacking Yosemite

Backpacking Yosemite

September 12, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

I went off adventuring again- destination Half Dome in Yosemite (the favorite tourist spot in the area and every semi-athletic twenty something’s favorite bucket list goal). In fact, there was a time when the popular hike up was hitting 1,000 visitors a day. Now, with strict and enforced permits, it is limited to 400 visits per day.

The backpackers route from Yosemite Valley goes up the Mist Trail, where one passes Vernal Falls and Nevada Falls.

Don’t let the 500+ steep stairs on the trail discourage you, the views are gorgeous and the resting areas are plentiful.

I woke up at 2am the following day to hike the 3.2 miles up to Half Dome from the Lower Yosemite Valley campground. Watching the sunrise from 4,737 ft above the valley was well worth it.

I am personally mind-boggled by the safety hazards of Half Dome. While the hike itself is not challenging (if you’re any sorts of active), the danger is clearly present. There is a point where scrambling is needed and my hands are sweaty as I type and think about the cable cords going up to the top. 

Many people make it to the sub-dome and simply do not go up the cables. I don’t blame them, the view is spectacular enough already and life is too valuable- it only takes one slip or mistake and- well, you can imagine.

The descent down the John Muir trail included an endless amount of switchbacks, but who minds with vistas like these?


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