Half Dome is a granite dome at the eastern end of Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park, California. It is a well-known rock formation in the park, named for its distinct shape. One side is a sheer face while the other three sides are smooth and round, making it appear like a dome cut in half. The granite crest rises more than 4737ft above the valley floor.GeologyThe impression from the valley floor that this is a round dome that has lost its northwest half is an illusion. From Washburn Point, Half Dome can be seen as a thin ridge of rock, an arête, that is oriented northeast-southwest, with its southeast side almost as steep as its northwest side except for the very top. Although the trend of this ridge, as well as that of Tenaya Canyon, is probably controlled by master joints, 80 percent of the northwest "half" of the original dome may well still be there.On March 28, 2009, a large rock slide of 1,500,000ft3 occurred from Ahwiyah Point. The slide happened at 5:25 a.m. and damaged a large area under the dome. No one was injured, but hundreds of trees were knocked down, and a portion of the Mirror Lake trail was buried. The slide registered on seismographs as an earthquake reaching 2.5 on the Richter Scale.AscentsAs late as the 1870s, Half Dome was described as "perfectly inaccessible" by Josiah Whitney of the California Geological Survey. The summit was finally conquered by George G. Anderson in October 1875, via a route constructed by drilling and placing iron eyebolts into the smooth granite.Using our online itinerary creator, Yosemite National Park attractions like Half Dome can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
Half Dome Reviews
Went with a small group on a 3 peaks and 3 sunsets trip. The climb up to the cables is a workout in itself. We had climbed Cloud's Rest, and set up camp before heading off to summit Half Dome so it wa... more »
I hiked this iconic granite rock during a full moon. We started at 2:30 am to enjoy the sunrise over Half Dome. It was definitely a challenging, unique and rewarding experience! more »
The quintessential Yosemite hike. It'll make you hurt if you're not in shape for it and many a chicken have turned around at cables, but to those who persevere... glory awaits.
Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase hold to the rod. But seriously breathtaking views never regret going up. If I ever had the chance to do it again I would.
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