Half Dome

Half Dome is 8,800 feet of towering granite and a world-renowned destination for hikers. It is a 14-16-mile roundtrip hike and takes about 10-12 hours. There are cables along the last 400 feet of the climb to the summit and the cables and unsafe in inclement weather and if not used with care. Permits are required to climb Half Dome.

El Capitan from the Merced River

California Has 2 out of 7 Natural Wonders of North America

Yosemite, with its stunning features and incredible wildlife, earned a spot on the list. Judges say the park earned its top seven ranking because of its distinctive monoliths El Capitan and Half Dome. Yosemite also features North America’s tallest waterfall at 2,425 feet. Read More...

yosemite-half-dome-sunset-glaciers

When Glaciers Ruled

Yosemite’s cliffs, domes, and sculpted river valleys are products of powerful forces that have been at work for eons and continue today. The more you know about Yosemite’s geologic history, the more fascinating the landscape will be as you experience it underfoot. Read More...

Permits Make Half Dome Trek Safer

New regulations aim to make Yosemite National Park’s famous hike up to Half Dome safer by using permits to limit the number of people allowed on the hike per day. Read More...

yosemite-half-dome

Half Dome to be Less Accessible, Maybe

Park officials want to curb the traffic by permanently limiting access to Half Dome through the Half Dome Trail Stewardship Plan. Read More...

iStock_000007961079Small_607x350

Half Dome Survival Guide and FAQ

Permits for climbing Half Dome can only be obtained via lottery from March 1-3, so early planning is essential. Read More...

yosemite-half-dome-meets

Hiking Half Dome

This hike is 15.7 miles roundtrip. TO TRAILHEAD: From Civic Center Station, take BART Fremont Rte. to Coliseum/Oakland Airport. Transfer to Amtrak to Martinez, then take San Joaquin Rte. to Merced. In Merced, take YARTS to Curry Village, then free shuttle to Happy Isles. bart.gov; amtrakcapitols.com; yarts.com. Read More...

Top Ten Things to do in Yosemite Park

1. Yosemite Valley Waterfalls

When snow melt from mountain peaks brings icy waters rushing downstream into Yosemite Valley, great waterfalls spring to life. During the peak seasonal flow, which usually happens in May, the thundering of waterfalls can be heard clear across the valley. Read More...

2. Famous Viewpoints

Yosemite’s Tunnel View with Half Dome, Valley View with Merced River, Glacier Point, and Olmsted Point are the most famous views in the National Park. Read More...

3. Walk Among Giant Sequoias

Start by taking the whole family on a joyful nature walk through the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias. Read More...

4. Black Bears & Wildlife

With more than 400 kinds of animals and multiple life zones for plant life, Yosemite is a top spot for wildlife watching. Read More...

5. Explore Trails

Whether you want to get out of the car and do a little exploring, or you’re planning a backcountry adventure on foot or horseback, we’ve got just the thing for you and your family. Read More...

6. Go Camping on Your Yosemite Vacation

Nothing beats sleeping under the stars in Yosemite National Park, especially if you’re looking for a little family togetherness Read More...

7. Go Rock Climbing in Yosemite

Stalwarts like the giant wall of El Capitan, the polished promontory of Half Dome, and skyscraping Glacier Point all call to expert climbers, who sometimes bivouac overnight while suspended in mid-air. Read More...

8. Yosemite’s Curry Village Ice Skating Rink

Yosemite is covered in powdery blankets of snow, and the valley becomes a winter wonderland. Read More...

9. Explore History & Culture

Yosemite is the wild, wild West. From its earliest Native American inhabitants, to the mid-19th-century California Gold Rush, and the later arrival of ranchers, loggers, and hoteliers, the land surrounding Yosemite National Park is amazingly rich in historical sites. Read More...

10. Festivals & Ranger-Led Activities

Come to watch waterfalls in spring, go hiking in the Sierra Nevada high country in summer, roast marshmallows over your campfire in fall, and go skiing and snowshoeing in winter. Timing your visit to coincide with one of the region’s many festivals will only enhance your Yosemite vacation. Read More...

Close X