Half Dome

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Half Dome
No other landmark in Yosemite is as well-recognized and beloved as Half Dome, the steely granite monolith towering 4,347 feet above Yosemite Valley whose vertical wall seems to have been cleaved clean away. Declared “inaccessible” by geologist Josiah Whitney in 1870, he was proven wrong only five years later when a climber succeeded in scaling the back of the dome to the summit; since then the route has became so popular (and crowded) that a permit lottery was established in 2011 to keep numbers to a manageable 50,000 or so per year. Even so, the steep16-mile round-trip hike – including the last 400 feet via cables – is neither for the faint of heart nor weak of limb. But there are several spectacular views of Half Dome that require short hikes or no hiking at all – drive or take a bus to Glacier Point and its views across to Half Dome, drive to Olmstead Lookout or the Tunnel View overlook on Hwy 41, or take a short walk to Cook’s Meadow in the valley.
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