Training for Half Dome: The Quick & Dirty

Posted by The Grizzly Crew on

We like to do things fast, so here's a quick read on how to train for Half Dome. No filler or lifelong story that inspired us to write this post.

Just Grizzly Crew Pro Tips.

The National Park Service, or NPS as the Wilderness Badass Institute of Research likes to call it, describes Half Dome as the most strenuous day hike in Yosemite and the toughest SOB in any national park across the land.

Sure, you can just show up and think you'll make it to the top without a problem, but not all of us are Olympic athletes. You'll need to be in A-Okay hiking shape to tackle this bad boy (or girl, or whatever you want to call it). 

We've done the research. Here's how to train for Half Dome: 

  • Get that mileage in. Train your way up to 16 mile day hikes by increasing your mileage each week by 1-2 miles.
  • Similarly, increase your elevation gain each week as you get closer to your Half Dome hiking date. You better get comfy climbing at least 4,000 feet in one day. 
  • Work your arms. Do pull-ups, seated rows, or pulling exercises for a few weeks before you're planning to the Dome of Half.
  • Acclimate to the altitude before hitting the Mist Trail, if you can. You'll likely get to Yosemite the day before your day hike so take advantage of the land and plan a shorter hike off Tioga Road or Glacier Point Road which sit at higher elevation than Yosemite Valley. 
  • Learn about altitude sickness. Know the symptoms and listen to your body. Your body doesn't lie – ever. If you have to turn around and not summit because your body isn't cooperating, Half Dome isn't going anywhere. Stay safe, stay 6 feet above ground, and come back another time. 

If you have more questions, feel free to reach out for the CliffNotes of the CliffNotes of topics you want to learn about. 

And that's it. Like we said, Quick & Dirty. 

Stay safe.
Start training.
Be Legendary.