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Backpacker Magazine – June 2009

Insider's Guide: Yosemite National Park

With these top day, weekend, and week-long hikes, you'll see more than your fair share of Yosemite's wonders.

by: Kelly Bastone

Yosemite's Half Dome (Kelly Bastone)
Yosemite's Half Dome (Kelly Bastone)

MORE YOSEMITE
Read "Alone in a Crowd: Hiking Yosemite's North Rim"

trip icon The Yosemite Archive
More hikes, photos, and articles to get you ready for this iconic park.


photo iconPhoto Gallery: Yosemite
From Half Dome to the North Rim, see author Kelly Bastone's photos right here.


HANDLING HEIGHTS
Park ranger Kari Cobb has helped plenty of hikers conquer their fear of climbing Half Dome. Here she reveals how to handle the park's scariest trail.

Don't spectate "Watching people climb the cables before you start up tends to make you more afraid," says Cobb. "It looks far worse than it feels once you're climbing."
Start early Traffic on the cables can spike hikers' alarm, so get going by 5 a.m. from Happy Isles to beat the crowd–and set your own pace. Try to hike on Sunday or Monday, which see one-quarter of Saturday's hikers.
Step up Wooden planks positioned every four or five feet provide footing that feels more secure than the granite, says Cobb. "Use those boards, even if it means taking longer steps than you normally would."
Don't look down Focus on your hands and feet as you climb, not on the views around you–or worse, the ground far below. You can enjoy the scenery once you're on top, feeling rooted and secure.




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Reader Rating: -

READERS COMMENTS

Tom
Apr 03, 2012

What about doing the week long version above backwards?
dthinshaw@dslextreme.cmo

Tim Sexton
Jul 30, 2009

Concerning the Mist Trail hike. I hiked it in early July. Make sure you are hiking uphill on the steps (told there were 700 steps) and not downhill due to the trail being wet.

Tim Sexton
fogmateweight3@msn.com

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