Trip Planner:   USA  /  California  /  Yosemite National Park  /  Nature  /  Half Dome

Half Dome, Yosemite National Park

(1,100+ reviews on the web)
Geologic Formation
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 5:25 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.
To visit Half Dome and other attractions in Yosemite National Park, use our Yosemite National Park vacation planner.
Source
Create a full Yosemite National Park itinerary
map

Plan your trip to Yosemite National Park

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans in Yosemite National Park by other users

16 days in West Coast BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 22 days in West Coast & Las Vegas BY A USER FROM HUNGARY April, kids, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: April, kids, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 29 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in California BY A USER FROM HONG KONG August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 26 days in United States BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 13 days in United States BY A USER FROM CZECH REPUBLIC September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in United States BY A USER FROM ITALY October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 23 days in California BY A USER FROM SOUTH KOREA September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in United States BY A USER FROM INDIA July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 22 days in Continental USA BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, teens, popular PREFERENCES: June, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 12 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 45 days in United States & Canada BY A USER FROM EGYPT April, teens, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: April, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced
View more plans
Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • If you have the determination and stamina and a permit- GO FOR IT! We lucked out with a gorgeous day and started hiking from the Upper Pines Campground at 6am since we were day trippers. We'd been tol...  more »
  • A beautiful spot to see from afar and up close. I would never tire of this view. A must see and can't miss in Yosemite Valley  more »
  • We were here on a beautiful day. We were able to get parking along the road and just admire the mountain from the meadow. There were no climbers as far as we could tell, but I like that we just got to...  more »