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Photo album by eirekay: Hike up Yosemite's Half Dome

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Hike up Yosemite's Half Dome

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Half Dome rises from Yosemite Valley in an almost sheer lift from the valley floor. It can be hiked however by going through a series of granite canyons on a 16.9 mile loop, using the Mist and John Muir Trails. Many hikers do the full 16.9 miles in a single 12 hour day, but the elevation change can be killer. The Valley floor is at 3,946 ft but the top of Half Dome stands at 8,936 ft. The trail is extremely steep and much of it is in the form of uneven granite stairs. An alternative is to don back packs and hike the first 4.7 miles up the Mist Trail to Little Yosemite Valley, make camp there, and then take the 7 miles to the top and back down on day 2 and hike back to the Valley floor on day 3 via the John Muir trail. This leave more time to enjoy the water falls and Merced River, as well as spending more time on top of Half Dome!

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