Yosemite National Park: Half Dome
Wild Wild West by Melinda
The summit of Half Dome is a dangerous place during a lightning storm. Check the weather forecast before your hike and try to reach the summit early in the day to avoid thunderstorms, which are more common in the afternoon (but can occur at any time). If a storm appears nearby, do not continue to the summit and, if in the summit area, leave the area (while still using caution when descending the cables and steps).
The summit is typically 15°F (8°C) to 20°F (11°C) cooler than Yosemite Valley and windy conditions are common. Be prepared for cool temperatures and rain showers.
Black bears frequent Yosemite’s Wilderness and are adept at grabbing backpacks from hikers and campers–during both day and night. Always keep your food within arm’s reach (or on your back); never leave it unattended. If you see a bear, act immediately to scare it away: make as much noise as possible by yelling. If there is more than one person, stand together to present a more intimidating figure, but do not surround the bear.
Squirrels, Steller’s jays, chipmunks, and other animals also live along the trail; never feed them or allow them to get your food. Do not leave your pack unattended (e.g., at the base of the cables or while you take a swim or nap). Keep wildlife wild: respect them from a distance.
Improper food storage and feeding of wildlife may result in a fine (up to $5,000).