Half Dome

Photo of Half Dome
Photo uploaded by Louis M Lenzenhuber

Half Dome is an enormous granite crescent-shaped mass, famous for its smooth glacially-carved 2,000-foot northwest face. Today the spikes of the original route have been replaced by wooden steps and steel cables, making the ascent possible for the non-technical climber. Despite this, however, there is still plenty of serious technical climbing to be done on this massive wall.

Elevation (feet): 8,842
Elevation (meters): 2,695
Continent: North America
Country: United States
Range/Region: Sierra Nevada
State: California
Latitude: 37.7461
Longitude: -119.532
Difficulty: Scramble
Best months for climbing: Jun, Jul, Aug
Year first climbed: 1875
First successful climber(s): George Anderson
Nearest major airport: Oakland, California, Reno, Nevada
Convenient Center: Yosemite National Park, California

Trip Reports

There are 30 trip reports for Half Dome.

  • Log #21703 - by CougarSteve on July 01, 20093.00 stars
    Proposed to my wife on the top. Good times, good times
  • Log #2738 - by Scott Ghiz on Oct 14, 20043.00 stars
    We did the Regular Northwest Face of Half Dome in three full days, probably too early in the season. If was fun and scary and we were the only folks on the wall in the 2nd and 3rd days during our...
  • Log #2739 - by Hojung on Oct 11, 20043.00 stars
    We started out from the trailhead parking lot at Happy Isle at 10:45am - about 4 hours later than we had hoped. We enjoyed our dinner at the Awhanhee dining room much too much the night before. We...
  • Log #2740 - by Judy Hill on Oct 11, 20043.00 stars
    My husband and I parked the car at Glacier Point and hiked the panamoric trail to and from Half Dome. Any one else ever done this? It took 12 hours, and the last 2 were really tough going up to...
  • Log #2741 - by Noah Kepner on Oct 10, 20043.00 stars
    We didn't leave San Diego until about 8 the night before the hike. We arrived in Yosemite at about 2:30am. After finding the walk-in camp ground full we decided to just put our bags out in the...
  • Log #2742 - by Randy Lloyd on Sep 11, 20043.00 stars
    Fantastic experience! I had attempted this hike once before. I ascended the rock steps to the cables, but I made the mistake of picking a summer Saturday and there was a traffic jam. I couldn't get...
  • Log #2743 - by Robert Charles Altman on Sep 05, 20043.00 stars
    Great hike! I love Yosemite. I took Mist trail on up past Vernal Falls. A camera is a must here. I continued on up past Nevada Falls and enjoyed the spur trail hike to the top of the falls.
  • Log #2744 - by jim on Aug 28, 20043.00 stars
    i had done this hike 10 years ago. couldnt walk for a week. couldnt believe i would be in so much pain. at that time (as is everybody) i was much more active and thought i was ready for this hike.
  • Log #2745 - by Sue Collins Marchionna on Aug 25, 20043.00 stars
    After visiting Yosemite for the first time with my then boyfriend, and now husband several years ago, I have always dreamed of climbing Half Dome. So when I had the opportunity to join a two friends...
  • Log #2746 - by Fritz Ward on Aug 25, 20043.00 stars
    Hiking up to Half Dome was beautiful, but I learned something very important about myself as I gripped the cables: I do not like sheer heights. Fortunately, a ranger was ascending right below me and...
  • Log #2747 - by Sena on Aug 23, 20043.00 stars
    The Ultimate Hike!!! I survived through the hike. It took me full 12 hours from the valley parking lot area to the summit and back. I got a good rest on top and at the lake, so 12 hours was plenty of...
  • Log #2748 - by Anne Duke on Aug 21, 20043.00 stars
    My daughter Fran and I have now climbed Half Dome twice. Second time around the cables still look scary but it is an exhilarating experience and well worth the physical and emotional effort! Rather...
  • Log #2749 - by Richard & Gail Andrews on Aug 20, 20043.00 stars
    Wow what a hike ! Started from the valley (0700) and walked up the Mist Trail to Little Yosemite Valley then up the Half Dome Trail. Returned to the car at 2100 ! Fantastic views from the top,...
  • Log #2750 - by Ed and Jonathan Jones on Aug 07, 20043.00 stars
    Awesome hike! Now that we live in the area we will visit this one more frequently. Be physically prepared because it is a 17 mile round trip from the parking lot with a 4800 foot elevation gain. The...
  • Log #2751 - by John Manasselian on July 31, 20043.00 stars
    This was my fourth trip to the top of Half Dome but my first attempt to do it in one day. We started from Glacier Point on a cool Monday morning. I've written a six page story of that event-filled...
  • Log #2752 - by Mary and Dave Snell on July 22, 20043.00 stars
    My husband Dave and I, both in our early forties, decided to hike Half Dome after hearing of a friend's great experience with this hike. We trained for about 5 months by walking daily, doing weekly...
  • Log #2753 - by Rob Wong on July 15, 20043.00 stars
    I've backpacked through Yosemite several times and kept in shape by running hills: San Francisco (Telegraph Hill, Nob Hill), Berkeley (Marin Street). If you're in decent shape, the Half Dome trek is...
  • Log #2754 - by Toby Pike on July 08, 20043.00 stars
    Train, and bring lots of water. I am 33 years old, and have never been very athletic. I started "training" for this hike in January, 2004, by jogging daily, running stairs, and just eating...
  • Log #2755 - by Stella D'Arceaux on July 03, 20043.00 stars
    My husband Olivier and I are avid hikers and Yosemite is one of our favorite places. The first year we came up we went up to Vernal Falls. The second time we went up to Nevada Falls. This time we...
  • Log #2756 - by S. Michael on July 01, 20043.00 stars
    Wisdom get in shape prior to getting on the trail, or get acclimated before. Actually that's not really necessary. All you need is desire. I'm over forty and 300+ lbs and was able to make the top of...
  • Log #2757 - by Steve Yum on July 01, 20043.00 stars
    I made this hike numerous times as a twenty-something and did it again this week as a forty-something with my 12 year old son, his best friend and his best friend's father. No surprise - it was a lot...
  • Log #2758 - by Eric Yabu on June 27, 20043.00 stars
    Hiking partners: Geraldine Lim (3), Benson Wong (3), Eric Chin (3), Thomas Ling (2), Matthew Schlesinger, Angela Chen, Theresa Villano, Brian Jacobson, Peter Beck.
  • Log #2759 - by Laura Mac Millan on June 21, 20043.00 stars
    June 21, 2004 I hiked Half Dome with my husband and three of our four children. I had wanted to make this trip in two days because I figured it would be less grueling, but I couldn't get the...
  • Log #2760 - by Jim Wong on June 21, 20043.00 stars
    I took a leisurely hike up to the top of Half Dome just a couple of weeks ago. For those of you who want to do this hike for the first time, I've got a minute-by-minute play-by-play running...
  • Log #21033 - by gregory j fox on Sep 19, 20073.00 stars
    the weather was warm and clear. a little winded from the altitude and the strenuous nature of the hike, but it was well worth it. took about 11 hrs total, including the hour or so at the summit. left...
  • Log #21617 - by Christopher Fetty on Mar 09, 20093.00 stars
    This was the most rewarding hike that I completed in the park, or ever. It was strenuous, and kind of long, but I managed to reach the top in a little over 4 hours, well ahead of the average. It was...
  • Log #21744 - by Justin Fritzler on Aug 17, 20093.00 stars
    Did this on labor day weekend and encountered hundreds of people. This hike took 8 hrs 45 min round trip from the parking lot. I did this at a very fast pace, I passed over a hundred people. This...
  • Log #21826 - by Etienne Gosselin on Nov 19, 20093.00 stars
    My best climb so far. I made my way to the summit and then camped at the base (little yosemite camp). There was still a lot of snow on top. Best view ever! I started at the village, then went through...
  • Log #22011 - by Drews_hiked_it on July 20, 20103.00 stars
    I fell in love with Yosemite when I drove through the tunnel and saw the most amazing view of my life. El Capitan, Bridal vale Fall, Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, Vernal Fall, Nevada Fall.I want hike...
  • Log #22080 - by Dennis Mulherin on Sep 15, 20103.00 stars
    John Madden, Sierah Madden and I (aka: Edward Jones Mountain Lions) had a wonderful day of climbing Half Dome! What a beautiful view from the summit! Not a cloud in the sky. Thanks for teaming up...