Half Dome, Yosemite National Park

5 out of 5 stars 5 Stars - 46 Reviews

Yosemite National Park

Been here? Rate It!

hide
  • Half Dome
    by Africancrab
  • Half Dome
    by Africancrab
  • Half Dome from Glacier point
    Half Dome from Glacier point
    by Africancrab
  • sunshinejo's Profile Photo

    Half Dome

    by sunshinejo Written Jun 6, 2006
    View of Half Dome from Glacier Point

    This is yet another unmissable sight in Yosemite - of which the best views are to be found at Glacier Point. Like El Capitan, Half Dome also has an impressive set of statistics: the 13 acre summit measures in at 8842 feet high (that's 5000 feet above the valley floor) and at just 7 degrees off the vertical, the 2000 foot high north-west face is the sheerest cliff in North America.

    For all you ambitious hikers out there it is possible to get to the summit by way of the 17 mile "Half Dome Trail". Not for the faint of heart, the final 400 feet apparently involves hanging onto a steel cable that's hooked onto the smooth, curved back of the dome. To do it in a day you'll need to hit the road at the crack of dawn, starting at the Mist Trail. Avoid the summit during storms as it's frequently struck by lightning, and the whole route is discouraged during winter.

    Personally though, I was content to admire this unusually shaped piece of rock from a distance!

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Mountain Climbing

    Was this review helpful?

  • Conspirator's Profile Photo

    Climb the Half-Life-Dome

    by Conspirator Updated Aug 28, 2006

    17 mile round trip. 4500 feet ascent. You may think you can't do it - God knows, that's what I thought.

    You can.

    Despite the Conspirator's seemingly rugged physique and extensive martial arts training, the sad fact is that investment banking has left him badly out of shape.

    The Conspirator's tips for climbing the Half-Life-Dome and only half-dying:

    1. Bring lots of water. 4 liters / quarts should be enough. There only one source of water once you hit the hard bit of the hike - whatever is in your backpack.

    2. Bring enough food - you will be at it all day. Sandwiches worked a treat and would have been even better if Jan hadn't forgotten the knife. Regularly snack on jelly beans, trail mix etc. to keep your sugar level up and replace salt.

    3. Wear a hat and sunscreen. It gets hot on that bare rock in summer.

    4. Start very early. If you twist your ankle at the top, you don't want to be coming down in the dark. And bring a flashlight just in case.

    5. Hiking poles. If you don't have one, get one. They make a huge difference. Mine has a retractable blade built into the base, which came in mighty handy when we were ambushed by a group of Shan-Tsao ninjas near the top. But that's another story.

    6. Walk slowly. Taking the first sections at a leisurely pace will conserve your energy for the real work.

    7. Bring rocket propelled explosives (plus launcher, obviously). The last few hundred yards of ascent involve hauling yourself hand-over-hand up a 45% incline on a steel cable that is affixed to the rock. It's basically a single file experience, unless you are a mountain goat (and I assure you, by the time you have climbed 4400 feet, all traces of mountain-goatness will have left your legs). When we got there a large school group had tried to climb the cable and had stalled for over an hour when someone in the middle freaked out, because they were all tied together. A couple of well placed RPGs would have been just the thing to clear the path ... but we had left the equipment in the van. Planning, people, planning!

    Was this review helpful?

  • Conspirator's Profile Photo

    Half-Life-Dome: Where to start the hike?

    by Conspirator Written Aug 28, 2006

    We seriously considered hiking from Glacier Point rather that the village. The merit of this is that it avoids a fair bit of uphill and gives you some great views (supposedly). However, it is a 30 minute one-way drive to the village, and, as you will end the hike at the village (unless you want to climb an extra couple of thousand feet back up to Glacier Point at the end of a long day), you need to manage some pretty serious two-car logistics to do it this way.

    Was this review helpful?

  • aukahkay's Profile Photo

    Half Dome

    by aukahkay Written Feb 22, 2006
    Half Dome

    Half Dome is one of Yosemite's most famous sights. The mountain is 8,842 feet high and its steep granite ridge is a popular and, challenging 17-mile hike. Also called the Half Moon Rock, the Half Dome resembles its namesake. On a full moon evening, the Half Dome exudes a radiant glow in harmony with the moonlight.

    Related to:
    • Mountain Climbing

    Was this review helpful?

  • mcpangie's Profile Photo

    Climb Half Dome

    by mcpangie Written Mar 26, 2005
    Half Dome from Olmstead Point

    There are different levels of walking/hiking opportunities within Yosemite. Half Dome is suggested for the fit, and more experienced hiker. From the valley floor, the trail is over 16 miles and will take all day.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Mountain Climbing
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • tahoesasha's Profile Photo

    Well, yes, it is a climb...

    by tahoesasha Written Nov 23, 2004

    ...but then you can say you SLEPT on Half Dome! I climbed it when I was 10, so you don't have to be Conrad Anker to pull it off. Just read up on what you need - sleeping bag, pad and food - prepare as much as you can for weather(wind, lightning), and LEAVE NO TRACE. Bring a frisbee!

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • mht_in_la's Profile Photo

    Half Dome

    by mht_in_la Written Nov 1, 2003
    Half Dome at sunset

    The distinct shape of Half Dome makes it an icon and the most photographed subject in Yosemite. Any time of the day you'll see photographers, professional or amateur, trying to find the best angle, sunlight, and cloud/mist to take their best shot. And Half Dome's color changes depending on all the above. One evening when leaving the Valley I noticed the last ray of sunlight happened to shine on its tip, so I quickly snapped this photo.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Photography

    Was this review helpful?

  • Saks_b's Profile Photo

    Half Dome

    by Saks_b Written Jan 8, 2004

    Half Dome is perhaps the most recognized symbol of Yosemite. Rising over 4,000 feet above the Valley floor, it is one of the most sought-after landmarks in Yosemite. Some people even hike or rock climb to the top! Half Dome can be seen throughout eastern Yosemite Valley and Glacier Point.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Africancrab's Profile Photo

    Advanced Hiking

    by Africancrab Written May 15, 2013
    4 more images

    The half dome is one of the most popular hikes in Yosemite. At over 400 feet incline, it is a difficult hike. The trail runs 12 miles; 6 miles each way. It is a seven hour hike in all. Since I was with my family and my son is only 15 months, we decided not to subject him to the torture of such a long hike.

    We enjoyed the views from a distance and planned to return when the children are not with us.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • spgood301's Profile Photo

    Half Dome

    by spgood301 Written Feb 14, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Half Dome-Yosemite

    This is Half Dome, one of Yosemite's signature mountains. It looks like Mother Nature took a little off the top!

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • Robachu1's Profile Photo

    A Well-Deserved Rest

    by Robachu1 Written Aug 14, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    On Top of the World

    After the 8 mile uphill hike from Happy Isles and the final 900 foot climb up the granite side of Half Dome climbers deserve to take a rest in one of the most beautiful places on earth.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Robachu1's Profile Photo

    A Well-Deserved Rest

    by Robachu1 Written Aug 14, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    On Top of the World

    After the 8 mile uphill hike from Happy Isles and the final 900 foot climb up the granite side of Half Dome climbers deserve to take a rest in one of the most beautiful places on earth.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Mountain Climbing
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • pmarshuk's Profile Photo

    Half Dome

    by pmarshuk Updated May 16, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This outcrop of granite in the shape of half a dome has become the logo of Yosemite. The missing half was sheared off by glacial erosion.

    Was this review helpful?

  • mrclay2000's Profile Photo

    Another View of Half Dome

    by mrclay2000 Updated May 5, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Half Dome from Glacier Point

    Half Dome's unique position and shape make it among the most easily identifiable landmarks in the Valley. The view from Glacier Point is as good as they come.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • sunnywong's Profile Photo

    'Half Dome' the huge domed granite mountain

    by sunnywong Written Feb 25, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is a huge domed granite mountain, 8,800 feet high that was cut in two by glacial activity, leaving a 2,200 foot cliff with the steepest vertical grade in the USA

    Related to:
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Yosemite National Park

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

86 travelers online now

Comments

Hotels Near Half Dome
3.5 out of 5 stars
987 Opinions
2.1 miles away
Show Prices
3.5 out of 5 stars
184 Opinions
2.2 miles away
Show Prices
4.0 out of 5 stars
968 Opinions
3.4 miles away
Show Prices

View all Yosemite National Park hotels