Domes, Yosemite National Park
Since there wasn't enough time to hike to the top of Half Dome, this would have to suffice for mountain (or dome) climbing on this trip. Unlike the granite rocks which often shift as you're walking and feel pretty unstable, the surface of a dome is firm and easy to walk on.
There are many dome hikes to choose from, which are shorter and easier than tacking Half Dome. Near Tuolumne Meadows, Lembert, Fairview and Pothole Domes are all good options and relatively easy walks of no more than a few miles.
Favorite thing: The famous domes that rise along Yosemite's landscape are actually plutonic rock that was formed millons of years ago. Half Dome, the most famous of these Domes, is actually the youngest. It is a "mere" 87 million years old. Or so the park literature says.
Favorite thing: Heading along Glacier Point Road, about 3 miles from the end is the parking lot for a one mile hike to Sentinel Dome. You can see the dome from the start of the trail. For the most part, its not a bad hike. But there's a scramble towards the top which is supposed to be tricky. I didn't make it that far, but did manage to get some photos of the dome from the early part of the hike.
The sun sets magnificantly on Half Dome. There are many places to get a good view, this one was from Sentinel Bridge.
Click on the picture to see all of the sequence.
Fondest memory: Enjoying the astmophere when the day tourist have set back home and the evening glow begins!
Favorite thing: Yosemite National Park stretched it's beautiful nature over the Sierra Nevada-mountains. The rocks show still the effects of glaciers scrubbing over them in ice-ages. The word is that the force of the ice even created halfdome by splitting the mountaintop in two. The park is famous for it's waterfalls and meadows in between forestlands where also Sequoia's rise up.
Fondest memory: Where is the other half? That´s a very popular question among visitors! Actually, scientists say that Half Dome probably never HAD a proper half. The valley itself was carved by glaciers which also modelled the mountains on the sides as well as the high back country.