We like to encourage our runners to get out and enjoy the area where we hold our races, so we designate certain challenging and iconic activities in the park to be a part of our official club hikes and trifecta. We have 3 club hikes plus a less-intense, three-part trifecta!
We have four club hikes for the Yosemite Half Marathon: The Yosemite Falls Club, Nevada Falls Club, Half Dome Club, and Clouds Club!
YOSEMITE FALLS CLUB
The hike to Upper Yosemite Falls will grant you panoramic views of the valley. The chance to walk through spray from upper Yosemite Falls, and see both Yosemite Falls and Half Dome in the same camera frame is a treat. If it’s been a rainy season, the falls will be gushing! This hike is coined the mother of all stairmaster workouts, but with one-of-a-kind payoffs you won’t get in a gym. It’s a long, steep climb from the valley floor to the valley rim. Imagine climbing the stairs all the way to the top of the Empire State Building. In this hike, you’ll essentially be doing it twice! Take your submission photo at the top of the fall.
NEVADA FALLS CLUB
Nevada Fall is at the top of the Mist Trail. This is Yosemite’s signature hike. While many of Yosemite’s trails are popular due to having a single spectacular destination, the Mist Trail has fabulous views scattered all along it, beginning at the bridge overlook, progressing to two unforgettable waterfalls that fall a combined total of more than 900 feet (270 meters), and ending with perhaps the most striking of all: The view of Nevada Fall, Liberty Cap, and the back of Half Dome from the Muir Trail return segment. We recommend you go up the Mist Trail and then take the John Muir trail back down for some different views. The trail will then join back into the Mist Trail towards the bottom.
HALF DOME CLUB
The hike to Half Dome is easily the most iconic hike in the park. But since 2012, hikers are required to have a permit to hike. The permit application period is closed, but if you still want to try your luck there are a few permits set aside for daily lotteries. The daily lotteries will have an application period two days prior to the hiking date with a notification late that night. There are a few different trails that lead to Half Dome, but the shortest and most popular is via the Mist Trail. The route via the John Muir trail is 1.5 miles longer round-trip but is a little easier on the knees. Both trails meet up at the top of Nevada Fall. The closest parking spot is the trail head parking lot past Curry Village. If the trail head lot is full, you can park at Curry Village.
The chains for Half Dome may not be up on race weekend. If that is the case, we will not be accepting entries to the Half Dome Club.
Ready for some switchbacks? This is a strenuous hike and you’ll climb a thousand feet in the form of switchbacks about 1.5 miles into it. Pace yourself and pack plenty of fluids. The destination is so rewarding with 360-degree views. If the clouds aren’t forming you’ll be able to see any number of Yosemite landmarks, including Tenaya Lake, Half Dome, Mt. Hoffman, Sentinel Dome, North Dome, and bits of Cathedral Rocks and El Capitan, plus Merced Lake and dozens of peaks you probably won’t be able to name. Take your submission photo at the top with the valley behind you. For your safety, please avoid this hike when snow can be seen on top of the mountain or when thunderstorms are nearby. Also, springtime historically has higher water flow. Though it’s not far from the start of the trailhead, you may have to ford across the Tenaya Lake outlet.
We will post links to the club album here following the 2018 race.
Depending on snowfall and the weather near race weekend, Clouds Rest may not be accessible after the race. If so, we will not be accepting entries to the Clouds Club.
PRIZE & REQUIREMENTS » Any runners that take the challenge and complete one of the designated hikes within 72 hours of running the race will officially join the club, get their pictures published on our website, plus receive a commemorative medallion! All you have to do is take a picture of yourself at the designated location which includes:
For those looking for something less strenuous, we have the Yosemite Trifecta! The Trifecta is comprised of 3 different activities. You must complete all 3 in order to complete the Trifecta. The Trifecta is meant to be challenging, but less strenuous. These are iconic activities inside the park that should be experienced, but are doable with children. The 3 activities that makeup the Trifecta are:
We want you to see a Giant Sequoia tree! There are a few places where you can accomplish this: Nelder Grove (technically outside of Yosemite National Park in Sierra National Forest), Merced Grove (the smallest of Yosemite’s 3 Giant Sequoia groves), and Tuolumne Grove (the grove contains a couple dozen mature Giant Sequoias, including one you can walk through). *There is a difference between a California Redwood and a Sequoia- Make sure your photo is with a Sequoia.
LOWER YOSEMITE FALLS
Part of North America’s tallest waterfall, Lower Yosemite Falls is the final 320-foot (98-meter) drop. This short, easy walk rewards with spectacular views of both Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls. This paved loop trail offers different vantage points of Yosemite Falls and Yosemite Creek, and you can stop at the many exhibits to learn more about the natural and cultural history of the area
Glacier Point is an overlook with an INCREDIBLE view of Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, and Yosemite’s high country. From the Glacier Point parking and tour unloading area, a short, paved, wheelchair-accessible trail takes you to an exhilarating (some might say unnerving) point 3,214 feet above Curry Village, on the floor of Yosemite Valley.
PRIZE & REQUIREMENTS » You must complete all 3 in order to complete the Trifecta. Same rules apply: take your picture at each of the 3 with your bib and finisher medal and send them to us* 72 hours after finishing the race. Those who complete the Trifecta will get their pictures published on our website, plus receive a commemorative pin!
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