Yosemite Guided Hiking

Half Dome Yosemite Day Hike


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Matteo Fiori
Matteo Fiori

Our friendly office staff are ready to answer any questions and help you book your next adventure!

(800) 231-4575
Summit Yosemite's iconic monolith, Half Dome (8,845')
Hike on the John Muir Trail and famous Mist Trail
See Yosemite waterfalls: Nevada and Vernal Fall

Looming 4,800 feet above Yosemite Valley is the “Crown Jewel” of the Sierra, Half Dome. This granite monolith has captured the imagination of explorers, climbers and artists alike and is the most sought-after summit in Yosemite National Park. However, at over 17 miles round-trip and with thousands of feet in elevation gain and loss, a day-trip to the summit is certainly not a giveaway. For those that complete the journey, the spectacular views of Yosemite Valley and the Yosemite High Country are worth every hard-earned step. SYMG has been leading Half Dome trips for over 20 years and recruiting one of our experienced guides is perhaps the best way to maximize your chance of standing on the summit of Half Dome. **Please email us at info@symg.com to join our pre-sign up list. We will post trip dates once we receive the lottery results. Expect dates to be up around mid April.**


May 24th- August 27thBook Now


With SYMG’s permit:
$395 per person, up to 5 participants
Minimum of 2 paid participants to run the trip, solo hikers are welcome!

With your own Half Dome permit:
$595 for 1-2 people
$95 for each additional participant

**Please email us at info@symg.com to join our pre-sign up list. We will post trip dates once we receive the lottery results. Expect dates to be up by mid April.**

Need specific dates or your own itinerary?
Explore Custom Trip Options

Trip Itinerary

Your guide will meet you on the porch of the Mountain Shop in Curry Village (formerly Half Dome Village) at 6am. We will hit the trail at that time if everyone is present, but please don’t be late, as we will depart by 6:15 at the lates. Expect a dawn-dusk experience and plan food and clothing accordingly. The overall trip is appx 17 miles and includes 4,795 feet of elevation gain and then loss. Most groups finish the round-trip by 6:00pm, though it could be hours earlier or later depending on the overall pace of the group.

Trail synopsis: The Valley floor sits at 4,050 in elevation and the summit of Half Dome is at 8,845’. The trail begins by following the “Wild and Scenic” Merced River past Vernal and Nevada Falls. There, we’ll encounter 400+ steep granite steps along the Mist Trail section, which can be wet in the early season when the waterfalls are full. Once above the waterfalls, the trail is well-graded and travels upwards through mixed conifer forests. We gain 2,842 feet in just the last 3.1 miles to the summit. The last 900 feet is a very steep climb up many more granite stairs and semi-exposed rock slabs on the east side of Half Dome. Cables assist hikers on the final 400 feet. After a few minutes to enjoy the hard-earned summit, we retrace the entire route, ideally reaching the trailhead by 5:00pm for a celebratory meal and drink.

What's Included

Your SYMG Guide

SYMG guides are professional, highly experienced, enjoyable people that have spent years perfecting their interpretive and mountain skills in and around Yosemite. They look forward to teaching and guiding you in these spectacular locations as well as getting to know you. Tell your guide your goals and s/he will do their best to meet your needs in a safe and enjoyable manner! Gratuities are accepted and appreciated for a job well done.


The following can be provided upon request:

  • Trekking Poles
  • Daypack

See A Few More Notes below for more details about what to bring

A Few More Notes

Travel & Logistics

Your trip begins and ends in Yosemite Valley. If you are driving a personal vehicle, plan for extra time to get to your destination and find parking. Traffic can be heavy in Yosemite Valley during the peak months of summer and it is important that you arrive on time in order to catch the Glacier Point shuttle.

For more information, you can reference Yosemite National Park’s webpage here regarding parking and transportation.


Permits are required to summit Half Dome and are obtained via a competitive lottery system that runs during the month of March. We will post the confirmed dates when we receive our permits in mid-April. To have first choice of our awarded permits, we encourage you to sign up for our Pre Half Dome Permit Sign Up List by emailing info@symg.com.

What to bring

Plan to bring the following items in a small daypack for your guided hike:

  • 3 Liters (at least) of water per person
  • Lunch & plenty of hearty snacks for the day
  • A warm layer and/or rainshell (it can be windy/chilly on top of Half Dome)
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Gloves for the Cable Route (gardening gloves work great)
  • Camera (optional)

You’ll want to wear clothes that are comfortable and preferably moisture wicking (especially for the warm summer months of July-August). Hiking shoes that are comfortable with grippy soles are the best option for footwear. It’s important to check the weather prior to your day to make sure you’re dressing appropriately- check out our favorite weather forecast here: National Weather Service- Yosemite Valley

Training & Preparation

To ensure the most enjoyable and successful experience out on the trail, we recommend a thorough training plan leading up to your day trip, focusing on:

  • Endurance, cardio, and aerobic activities
  • Core and leg strength (don’t forget those abs and quads)!
  • Cycling, running, step-master or stairs are great cross-training
  • Include hilly terrain and steep climbs whenever possible

Trip Reviews

Lisa S, 2015

We enjoyed our guide Ryan. He took us to Half Dome on Thursday. We learned a lot. I'm glad we had Ryan's experience along the way and that he took Blake up the cables and me to the subdome. My goals were to complete the hike safely and to learn along the way and although tired at the end of the day, Blake and I both had more energy than expected that night. We appreciate all of the breaks we took along the way and the wealth of information from our guide.

Sam M, 2014

I did this hike on the weekend with Chris. I had a fantastic time but - unfortunately for me - something went a bit wrong with my breathing (possibly just due to poor fitness!). The reason I wanted to write to you was to just get it on your radar that Chris is an amazing guy (if you don't already know). By the time I realized something was wrong we were already on the way back, but he did a phenomenal job of keeping an eye on me, topping me up with his personal energy bars / drinks, picking out rest stops and just being unbelievably accommodating. I honestly think that if I'd been on my own I would have given up and slept under a tree - no doubt whatsoever in my mind that he's the only way I made it out by nightfall. I can't imagine how stressful it must have been for him towards the end (we wanted to be out by sunset and I had to stop about five times just from Vernal Falls to the trailhead, which took about 40 minutes) but he remained professional, supportive and kind (and we made it!). I tipped him everything I had in my wallet, which was only about $40, but if I'd had triple that he still would have got it all. Incredible job and an incredible guy.

Larry E, 2013

Thanks for your guidance and steady persistence that I could make the final push on the cables of Half Dome. I was amazed that you were able to make the trip the very next day for the rest of our group! They reported a great time but exhausted! We had a good trip back to Iowa on Friday. Many thanks to you and Lindsey for your particular care and safety of my Tinys (grandkids). They are rather special and they will always remember their Yosemite Hike to Half Dome. Tell Lindsey Hi for us and again Thanks for a JOB WELL DONE.

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Southern Yosemite Mountain Guides
Southern Yosemite
Mountain Guides
(800) 231-4575 info@symg.com (800) 231-4575 Local/International
+1 (559) 642-2817
Yosemite National Park, CA

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