Hiking Half Dome — Tips From The Park Ranger

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Half Dome is a popular granite dome located in the Yosemite National Park. It’s a favorite among new and experienced hikers. It’s both exhilarating and challenging. Anyone who attempts to hike the trail must be fully prepared not only physically but in terms of gears and equipment. Being out of shape may pose increased risk and danger to the hiker.

Here are some important reminders from the Park Ranger:

number-one- It often takes a total of 12 hours to hike the 14-16 mile trip to the top of Half Dome and back before dark which makes it important to start at dawn or just before. Especially for inexperienced hikers, it’s best to avoid walking the trail at night.

number2c Wear shoes with good traction but still comfortable even in wet and muddy ground. Tennis shoes are not advisable. A great boot has excellent foot support and toe protection even after walking for miles and over rough terrains. Secure lacing and snug fit should also be considered.

number3-300x300 Be careful near the water, it’s extremely cold and swift (not to mention slippery!).

img-thing The average person needs to drink at least 1 gallon of water = 4 1L bottles during the entire hike. A few signs to look at for in mild to moderate dehydration include dry mouth, thirst, headache, dizziness and lightheadedness. For severe dehydration, there will be sunken eyes coupled with rapid heartbeat and breathing.

number-5 Use sunhat and sunscreen to stay comfortable. For a long hike, you often need to reapply sunscreen several times a day.

6NumberSixInCircle If you’re refilling water bottles with a water filter, the Merced River in the Yosemite Valley is the last reliable water source.

number-seven Most deaths and injuries happen when the rock is wet, check the weather before you hike. In the summer, even when it’s sunny in the morning, cold rain can quickly move in by afternoon. Especially when going up the cables, always be on the lookout for any possible change in weather.

img-thing (1) Bring extra layers of clothing to keep you warm and dry.

number9 Bring ample food, first aid kit and whistle. Make sure these are packed securely and easily accessible.

1322426021_0 Plan your time accordingly. As mentioned above, the average person takes 12 hours to complete the round trip.

11NumberElevenInCircle_xlarge Everyone in the group should carry flashlights or a headlamp with fresh batteries. There’s nothing worse than being stuck in the trail because of darkness. It can also increase risks if you continue hiking without adequate supply of light.

 

Keep all these tips in mind before going on a hiking trip at the Half Dome. Stay safe!

 

 

 

 

 

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