This trail leads to the iconic symbol of Yosemite, Half Dome. Mist Trail is an 11-kilometre route to this striking granite landmark. The trail is so popular that over 2,500 people hike here per day, during summer weekends. Many people suffer from altitude sickness and dehydration along the route, but still continue the hike to the summit. The height of the Half Dome is 2695 metres at the high crown.
The Mist Trail takes the visitors along the 600 steps of granite stairway to the top of the Vernal Fall. The amazing views open to you with every new step. The final 121 meter is almost vertical, so anyone choosing this trail should have basic climbing skills. Steel cables, bolted into the granite, are very helpful in this part of the route. This is definitely not the place to be caught in the storm. Rock becomes extremely slippery, and lightning can be too dangerous in such place as well. Always check the weather before you go.
Rising to the summit, you'll get a breathtaking view over the Yosemite Valley. This summit was once believed to be inaccessible, until the first reaching in 1875 by George Anderson. Today, it is open to thousands of visitors that hike in this region. It is a route to a complete wilderness, where the safety of the hiker is in his or her own hands. The trails mostly take from 10 to 12 hours to reach the summit and come back, but it's very individual and depends on many physical and weather factors.
The best time of the day to hike is early morning, even before sunrise. Every adventurer should walk with a flashlight or headlamp. The trail is well signed, but a topographic map and compass will be an excellent assistance along the way. The access to the cable section requires a permit, which can be received at a special lottery at the end of March. There are also additional lotteries that take place during summer season. Due to icy conditions, parts of the trail are closed in the winter.