Right of way

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
Get or Give Half Dome permits<HERE>
    Your opinion – Who has the right of way the uphill or downhill hiker??  The Mist Trail steps and sub dome are prime tests. They can be pretty narrow and only one person can pass.


What think ye? There are rational positions for either. I vote for the downhill hiker having the right of way since they can see down easier and have momentum going with them. The uphill hiker is more tired and would appreciate the rest. The Calif vehicle code ways that when driving on a narrow hill or grade with insufficient space to pass, the driver of the vehicle ascending the hill has the right-of-way.  If necessary, the driver descending the hill must back up to permit the vehicle going up to pass safely. Does this apply to hiking? Some feel that walking  uphill is tougher and having to periodically stop (when you don’t want to) throws off your rhythm, so they should have the right of way. On the other hand sometimes uphill hikers will prefer to stop and let you pass coming down so they can get a short break. The uphill hiker should get to make the call. Your 2 cents??

    The entire staff of Carpe Diem Experience, LLC, is heading up to hike Half Dome Saturday. I’ll push out a blog Friday night to update you any happenings at the park, but we’ll take Saturday night off since after the hike, the process will be: shower,  slam down dinner and crash.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “The best remedy for a short temper is a long walk.” – Jacqueline Schiff

*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com


6 Responses to “Right of way”

  1. john Says:

    Just curious… the cds are of what # ?

  2. Dean Says:

    I seem to remember that even on the narrow trail up sub dome, there are a few “passing places”…I tended to move into these if I got there before folk coming the other way. I think that as long as you’re comfortable with where your standing, and courteous, you can’t go wrong.

  3. Dean Says:

    BTW that photo brings back lots of memories from my first hike in 07. I call that spot “Dean’s Pause”. It’s where the trail you’ve followed for 8 miles abruptly ends and I found this spot a challenge.

    I waited here a good 10mins unsure if I could go further. The exposure isn’t too bad but I became very aware of the curvature of the rock away towards the valley, and the drop on the other side towards LYV.

    Last year I couldn’t recall what all the fuss was about…still, one of my favourite spots on the trail, with the 2 trees like sentinels.

  4. BellaBike Says:

    In mountain biking, the uphill always has the right-of-way because it’s so difficult to get started again on an incline. On foot, I still think the uphill hiker should be given the right-of-way because the descender has the advantage of momentum and can easily begin again.

    And I was stuck on that tree for a LOT longer than 10 minutes. I had pretty much resigned myself to never going farther, but a couple of angels from Sacramento came by and talked me off the tree, and up to the saddle. I am forever grateful to them.

  5. Randy Says:

    I’ve never had a rule. but generally practice the same sort of thing as Dean. I just try to be courteous. From my experience, most other hikers do this also, and things work out. But I suppose if you need a rule, I think uphill should have the RoW. Odd that Rick cites the same reason for the holding the opposite opinion. I think the downhill hiker having the advantage of sight lines has more responsibility. Being higer up lets you see oncoming traffic often well before the uphillers, with their heads down, even know you are there. Uphillers may want to rest, but they can tell you that.

  6. john Says:

    Some states have traffic laws where cars traveling down a hill need to back up the hill to allow cars to keep moving up… be courteous and ask… communicate! Nearly everyone I have met in California is gracious. I have yet to meet evil gangbangers. Of course, I stay away from watts.

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