Hiking Half DomeRising almost 5,000 feet above Yosemite Valley, Half Dome is among the park’s most recognizable landmarks – and one of its most popular challenges. And although thousands make it to the summit each year, the hike to Half Dome isn’t something to be taken lightly or attempted by the ill-prepared. This 14- to 16-mile round-trip hike features an elevation gain of 4,800 feet and takes most hikers 10 to 12 hours to complete. In general, it’s an arduous hike through wild and rugged terrain, but the last 400 feet – Half Dome’s legendary cable line that allows hikers to summit without the use of climbing equipment – can be particularly challenging. Fortunately, the sense of accomplishment, breathtaking views of Vernal and Nevada falls, Liberty Cap and Yosemite Valley, plus plans for a hearty evening meal, more than make up for the effort. To ensure that your hike to Half Dome is fun and injury free, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind: Permits are required (see below for details). Bring a flashlight or headlamp. Bring plenty of water and snacks. Wear or pack in gloves. They can make using the cables more comfortable. Do not attempt to summit if the ground is wet or storm clouds are in the area. Wear broken-in hiking boots or trail runners with good traction and ankle support. Be aware of your surroundings. Wildlife, including bears, call Yosemite’s wilderness areas home. Note: The Half Dome cables are only available from summer through early fall, typically starting the Friday before Memorial Day (weather permitting) and ending the day after Columbus Day. For those hiking Half Dome outside of Yosemite’s hiking season, rock climbing equipment is required. Permits Required To hike Half Dome while the cables are up, permits are required. These are available through the National Park Service – and are distributed by lottery via Recreation.gov. The pre-season lottery is typically held in April – and daily lotteries are held throughout the hiking season. Lottery winners are notified via e-mail. Note: A maximum of 400 hikers will granted permits each day. If you would like to hike Half Dome, you can apply for a permit at Recreation.gov or call 1-877-444-6777. Overnight Stays After hiking Half Dome, a shower, a good meal and a comfortable bed are common requests. For a cozy cabin feel, but all the comforts of home, Tenaya Lodge offers spacious guest rooms and luxurious suites, as well as several on-site dining options and in-room dining, a soothing spa, and indoor and outdoor pools. To begin planning your trip, explore our latest specials and packages, or contact our reservations team at 888-514-2167 for more information about Tenaya Lodge and Yosemite National Park.