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Free Traveling Guides » States » California » High Sierras

Half Dome

half dome

Situated at an elevation of 8,836 ft above sea level, Half Dome is one of the most prominent locations inside the Yosemite National Park in California. It is a granite-rock formation located at the eastern end of the Yosemite Valley in the Sierra Nevada Mountain range. Historians consider Half Dome to be a cretaceous rock formation believed to have formed some 93 million years ago.

Half Dome is one of the most popular rock climbing spots in the United States. This rock was declared as a perfectly inaccessible cliff during the 1870s. However, George Anderson was the first successful rock climber to have ascended Half Dome in 1875. Since then, thousands of hikers from around the world have come to conquer it. There are various rock climbing routes originating from Half Dome’s North-west, South and West faces.

The original name of Half Dome was “Tis-sa-ack”, which meant Cleft Rock in the Native American language. The rock is at an elevation of 4,800 ft (1,463 m) from the Yosemite Valley floor. The journey to Half Dome is a 17 mile (27.4 km) circuitous route from the valley floor that can be generally completed within 10 to 12 hours. Trekkers can follow the Mist Trail or the John Muir Trail and reach Nevada Falls. The distance through the Mist Trail is 1.2 miles less than John Muir Trail. Another important trail is the Half Dome Cables Route Hike, whose length is approximately 5 miles (8 km) from the floor of the valley.

The summit of the rock is a remarkable place to reach, offering an exquisite glimpse of the surroundings including the gorgeous Little Yosemite Valley and the valley floor.

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