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Half Dome, Yosemite National Park
(4.9/5 based on 1,000+ reviews on the web)
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 arĂȘte, 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 5:26 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.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Hard to miss when entering the park. But then, on your first visit, it is like you are thrown into the eye of the storm. Everything at once. Did not climb. Only viewed from the low grounds, and very s...  more »
  • I did the Half Dome hike solo in September. It is still very fresh in my mind because it was such an exciting experience! Here are some helpful tips: 1. It is important to have previous hiking and/or ...  more »
  • This review should help everyone dealing with the thoughts, a day hike to half dome to make. We have visited Yosemite National Park mid September 2016 with the aim of complete ascent of half dome. We reached the parking lot near the starting point of the trail in the morning by 08:30 and were on the way. The hike to half dome was so far most anstrengenste, but at the same time spectacular, we have ever made. For the case you play with the idea, which also helped to want to climb Dome, maybe help our assessments and recommendations: the total distance is just over 30 kilometers, the hike is designed not as a round trip, because you have to go back again in the same way. Over 14 kilometres uphill with a difference in altitude of over 1400 meters. The trail starts relatively moderate before the first steep climb (300 metres), over 600 granite steps, up to the Vernal Falls. Once at the top it has managed the first 3.9 kilometres. A further increase (310 meters) following up to the top of the Nevada water falls. Once there it is already 8.5 kilometres on foot. Then follows a "relatively comfortable" section through Little Yosemite Valley, to the foot of the Sub domes. From here, we go through endless hairpin bends, about 6 km and 715 meters up to the tree line and the top of the Sub Cathedral. Arrived here proposed steps in the granite up to to "the cables". The last 120 meters up on the half dome have an extremely steep cliff, secured by two steel cables, which you must climb out. Once at the top it is however compensated for the whole effort, because it offers a fantastic view of the Yosemite Valley and the scenery that is just fantastic. And only up to the top becomes clear, what you actually did. We would share the following recommendations: - best starts at sunrise, because the total man, must plan for all day over 30 kilometers depending on fitness and endurance condition, - minimum is to take a gallon of liquid, especially when it is very hot. But the body loses through the increasing amount simply too much water. The only way to fill up water is on a small bridge, before starting the climb to the vernal fall. -Footwear is a must, especially ankle protection. Headgear is helpful, especially from the tree line - work gloves for "cables" with the permission of the National Park, the top of the half to climb domes. To get this and others using a lottery on the homepage of the Yosemite. -as the granite is extremely slippery even under dry conditions, we would discourage fog urgently, in bad weather, and especially during a thunderstorm on the half dome to rise. Therefore, the current weather forecast is an absolute must. -It is very helpful to be back before nightfall. A flashlight or headlamp belongs in every backpack - in our opinion, this hike is suitable from the age of 14, at the earliest for kiddies because in particular "the cables" requires strength in the arms and back. Conclusion: Half dome is an extremely strenuous, but unforgettable hike in Yosemite National Park, as long as it is reasonably fit. You may simply underestimate the distance and also the altitude never. The landscape is amazing and unique. Never before we had such aching legs on a hike, but the half dome is just too spectacular to make him not. You must first realise what happen and unprepared March under no circumstances. Will have fun at the ascent - of which a lot! Christian Friedel, Moni & RenĂ©
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  • Tough day hike but great climax (don't know if that's the right word but we'll go with it). The cables section is a nice way to reach the summit and the view is very rewarding. 10/10 would do again. Get a permit though, hefty fine if you don't have one and you'll cause more traffic on the cables which makes it more dangerous.
  • It's a lot of work to get to the top, but it's well worth it. Plan to revisit in a couple years with my wife. Be sure to get a permit before you try to climb because they check every person who goes up the trail. The checkpoint is about 3 miles from the dome, so you do t want to go that far and get turned around!
  • Spectacular hike! Quite tough due too its length (it us nine hours and half with return) and to the last part with the cables. It is necessary to book a reservation 2 days in advance and probably it makes sense to bring 1 gallon per water per person as suggested on the website (I was quite skeptical about it at the beginning). Definitely worthed!
  • A stellar experience if you find yourself in Yosemite or a great reason to travel to the park. The experience of the hike to the park is exceptional, giving breathtaking views of the vernal and Nevada falls. Pack plenty of water (4+ liters) and give yourself 6-12 hours for this hike if you're coming from the valley.
  • I made it up here twice, once when I was 45 years old. Both times with my son JIM. First time I forgot my camera.. Know one believed I did it, to tough . He and I made it up the second time when I was 47 years old and took a ton of pictures. The hike up was beautiful and hard... Yosemite is my church.