The Half Face of a Mountain

At the head of the valley in Yosemite National Park, as if on a pedestal, stands Half Dome, the most colossal and recognizable rock monument in the Sierra Nevada, smoothly rounded on three sides and a sheer vertical face on the fourth. Half Dome, which stands nearly 8,800 feet above sea level, is composed of quartz monzonite, an igneous rock that solidified several thousand feet within the Earth. Half Dome, is the remains of a magma chamber that cooled slowly and crystallized beneath the Earth’s surface. The solidified magma chamber was then exposed and cut in half by erosion, therefore leading to the geographic name Half Dome.

The Half Face of a Mountain

A Closeup of Half Dome

One of the most recognized natural rocks in the world, Half Dome in Yosemite National Park is even more impressive up close when viewed from Glacier Point.

Half Dome may now be ascended in several different ways. Thousands of hikers reach the top each year by following an 8.5 mi (13.7 km) trail from the valley floor. After a rigorous 2 mi (3.2 km) approach, including several hundred feet of granite stairs, the final pitch up the peak’s steep but somewhat rounded east face is ascended with the aid of a pair of post-mounted braided steel cables.

A Closeup of Half Dome

Eye Level View of Half Dome

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 4,737 ft (1,444 m) above the valley floor and stands nearly 8,800 feet above sea level

Half Dome as viewed from Glacier Point (approximately 7,200 feet height).

Eye Level View of Half Dome

Glacier Point Vista

Glacier Point is a viewpoint above Yosemite Valley in California. It is located on the south wall of Yosemite Valley at an elevation of 7,214 feet (2,199 m). The point offers a superb view of several of Yosemite National Park’s well-known landmarks including Yosemite Valley, Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, Vernal Fall, Nevada Fall, and Clouds Rest.

Glacier Point Perspective