Scenic USA - California

Half Dome

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Half Dome - View from Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, California

Photos by Alexa Goldman and Ben Prepelka

     Yosemite's Half Dome, one of the most famous rock formations in the world, has inspired photographers, writers and artists for hundreds of years. None of which compares to the very first view a visitor has of a distant view with Yosemite Valley - Tunnel View Half Dome looming over Yosemite Valley. Once Yosemite guests grow accustom to the immensity of the valley, its shear walls and magnificent cliffs, many go on to experience Half Dome from various points in the park. Only then is it revealed that Half Dome isn't really a half dome at all, but nearly 80 percent of the formation remains. But from a head-on view from Ahwahnee Meadow, the shear face of Half Dome is what leads to the name of the famous landmark. When its seen from other overlooks, such as Olmstead Point, Glacier Point, Washburn Point and the Panorama Trail, it's evident that a lot more of the dome remains than when first seen.
     For many, the climb to Half Dome is the ultimate Yosemite National Park experience. This two day trip, covering seventeen miles, offers the ultimate 360 degree view. Peering Half Dome - Ahwahnee Meadow View over the severed edge of the dome and straight down a 2000 foot drop into the valley below can be the thrill that lasts a lifetime. The final 650 foot leg of the hike climbs a steep ascent, aided by using a set of handrail cables.
     Along with El Capitan, Half Dome remains as one of the most recognizable rock monoliths in Yosemite. These granite centerpieces feature some of the steepest rock faces in the world, with Half Dome's face rising at a 93 percent vertical grade. These magnificent sentinel giants and some of the tallest waterfalls on Earth attract millions of tourists, hikers and climbers from all around the world.

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