gem icon Half Dome

21 votes


At 8,836', this massive granite monolith rises close to 5,000' from the valley floor. It is a sight to behold from anywhere in the park, but the hike to the top of this rock is one for the ages. Between 14-16 miles long, this is a strenuous, long day, but the rewards are indescribable.

Half Dome is undoubtedly a symbol of Yosemite and a great challenge to many hikers. Despite an 1865 statement announcing that the formation was "perfectly inaccessible, being probably the only one of the prominent points about the Yosemite which never has been, and never will be, trodden by human foot," George Anderson made it to the summit in 1875, while laying the foundation for the current cable route in the process.

Today, thousands of visitors make it to the summit. For many of these visitors, the journey is an exciting, strenuous hike; for an unlucky few, the journey becomes more of an adventure than they originally anticipated. Because of this, park rangers are called to assist hundreds of visitors on the Half Dome Trail each summer. Many of these emergencies could have been prevented with proper preparation.

The majority of the hike to Half Dome is an experience into wilderness, and, while that comes with inherent risk, there are a number of things you can do to stay safe and help ensure a good time along the way.

To read more, please visit the park'swebsite.

All-Day Hike: The Half Dome hike from the Happy Isles parking area is around 15 miles, roundtrip.

Gem Type: Rock Formation

Shared by:
Zander Göpfert


Rate Gem


4.9 from 21 votes

Your Check-Ins


Aug 7, 2017
Toto Vo
Jul 26, 2017
Jul 4, 2017
Nikki Stookey
Jul 1, 2017
brian fox
Jun 20, 2017
Danny S
Bring plenty of water
Jun 16, 2017
Miles Stewart
Jun 15, 2017
Daniel Santos
It was about 16.5 miles from the Trailhead Parking lot. Amazing views of the river waterfalls, and the valley.
Jun 6, 2017
Stuart Reese
Totally worth the strenuous slow hike. Take plenty of water and get there in the morning if you can. Less folks on the trail.

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Shared by Zander Göpfert on May 18, 2016. All Page Views: 1,390. Last Month: 470.