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Half Dome

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Autobahn T 
Blondike T 
Deuceldike T 
Eye in the Sky T 
Regular Northwest Face of Half Dome T 
Snake Dike T 
Southwest Face, The T 
Two Hoofers T 

Half Dome  


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Elevation: 7,000'
Location: 37.7442, -119.5349 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 801,422
Administrators: M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Josh Janes on Jun 15, 2006
Forecast:
Today

40-61°F
Mon

43-61°F
Tue

43-63°F
Wed

46-65°F
Thu

49-77°F
Fri

56-81°F
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The view from the top of Half Dome is breathtaking

  • Half Dome, South Face Closure MORE INFO >>>
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  • Description 

    The classic profile of Half Dome, recognizable worldwide, sits over the east end of Yosemite Valley like a distant guardian. Glaciers cleaved the dome clear in half, leaving incredible slab climbs on the sunny southern aspect such as Snake Dike (5.7) and Southern Belle (5.12) to amazingly steep lines on the NW face. The namesake route (the "Regular" route) on the NW face is one of many aid climbers' first objectives, but it makes for a great, adventurous free climb as well.

    Even the hiking route up to the summit visor, via the cables, is classic, and it is no wonder why this formation was used for the North Face's logo.

    Getting There 

    Half Dome takes a bit of work to get to. There are generally two approaches used by climbers:

    1) Hike up from Happy Isles up the Mist Trail through Little Yosemite Valley (approx. 8 miles to the shoulder of Half Dome).

    2) Head over from Happy Isles past Mirror Lake and hike up the "Death Slabs".

    Option 1 is smooth hiking and clearly the way to go for the south facing routes. Option 2 is significantly faster (for the NW face), in both directions, but requires skilled route finding, very steep hiking, and use of fixed lines.

    Climbing Season



    Weather station 1.7 miles from here

    8 Total Routes

    ['4 Stars',4],['3 Stars',3],['2 Stars',1],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
    ['<=5.6',0],['5.7',1],['5.8',0],['5.9',1],['5.10',2],['5.11',2],['5.12',2],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

    The Classics

    Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Half Dome:
    Snake Dike   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R     Trad, 8 pitches, 2000'   
    The Southwest Face   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 7 pitches, 800'   
    Blondike   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c R     Trad, 7 pitches, 900'   
    Regular Northwest Face of Half Dome   5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a     Trad, 23 pitches, 2200'   
    Two Hoofers   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b     Trad, 7 pitches, 1000'   
    Browse More Classics in Half Dome

    Featured Route For Half Dome
    Showing that the angle and the texture of the rock...

    Snake Dike 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b CA : Yosemite National Park : ... : Half Dome
    Snake Dike (along with Royal Arches) is one of the classic long moderate routes of Yosemite. For many climbers, this is number one on the Yosemite tick list when they first come to the Valley. For others it is known as "Snake Hike," but the bottom line is it is a great climb up an amazing natural feature to the top of one of the most spectacular formations in Yosemite - second only to El Cap itself.Get to the SW shoulder of Half Dome by following the Muir Trail to the Mist Trail past Nevada Fall...[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

    Photos of Half Dome Slideshow Add Photo
    Evening light on Half Dome
    Evening light on Half Dome
    Surfing the Diving Board on Half Dome.
    Surfing the Diving Board on Half Dome.
     The Snake Dike side of Half Dome, and the glories...
    The Snake Dike side of Half Dome, and the glories...
    Half dome
    Half dome
    spent 3 days on wall in this poor weather
    spent 3 days on wall in this poor weather
    Half Dome in early April. My attempt on being Amse...
    Half Dome in early April. My attempt on being Amse...
    West and NW faces, taken 5.25.05.  Note the still ...
    West and NW faces, taken 5.25.05. Note the still ...
    Early morning light on the South Face of Half Dome
    Early morning light on the South Face of Half Dome
    "It is a crest of granite...perfectly inacces...
    "It is a crest of granite...perfectly inacces...
    A stunning piece of earth.
    A stunning piece of earth.
    Me sitting on the diving board... a life dream ful...
    Me sitting on the diving board... a life dream ful...
    Taken during the flood of Spring '05, when the val...
    Taken during the flood of Spring '05, when the val...
    Half Dome catches some sun during a storm
    Half Dome catches some sun during a storm
    Half Dome.  Photo by Blitzo.
    Half Dome. Photo by Blitzo.
    Halfdome on a nice autumn day...
    Halfdome on a nice autumn day...
    Pastel.
    Pastel.
    Traffic jam on the Cables
    Traffic jam on the Cables
    A party descending down the cables after a long da...
    A party descending down the cables after a long da...
    Half Dome, Mount Broderick, and Liberty Cap
    Half Dome, Mount Broderick, and Liberty Cap
    View from Washington Point.  Sept 09.
    View from Washington Point. Sept 09.
    Evening, Half Dome
    Evening, Half Dome
    Waking up alone in a strange place.
    Waking up alone in a strange place.
    Half dome from atop the columne
    Half dome from atop the columne
    From Mirror Lake
    From Mirror Lake

    Show All 66 Photos

    Only the first 24 are shown above.

    Comments on Half Dome Add Comment
    Show which comments
    By Karsten
    From: Sacramento, CA
    Oct 13, 2006
    The death slabs are not that bad. Find a topo, such as Chris Mac's in Supertopo. It is pretty chill as long as you don't get off route. If it looks scary, you probably aren't on the right path.
    By John McNamee
    Administrator
    From: Littleton, CO
    Dec 13, 2006
    I haven't done the "death slabs" in years but if I remember correctly the key was being familiar with it prior to hiking it with a haul bag. Zip up it with a day bag to get to know the route.

    It's a lot of effort with heavy loads so break it down and do it over a couple of days. It's the only approach I have used.

    I echo with Karsten just mentioned as well. I just brought the latest version of the Supertopo's Big Walls guidebook and it has a great description of it.
    By Sergio P
    From: Idaho Springs, CO
    Jun 24, 2007
    When descending the cables on a crowded day you may find it easier to clip into the cables with a binner attached to a sling then step outside of the cables. Use another sling and binner to clip past the poles so that you are always clipped in.
    By Christian "crisco" Burrell
    From: PG, Utah
    Aug 7, 2008
    I have done both approaches and absolutly recommend the "Slabs." There were only 2 slightly tricky parts:
    1) Finding the right start...the spot where you leave the trail was very inobvious when I did this a few years ago. Maybe it is better now.
    2) There is a spot near the end where the route seems to get blocked by a steep wall on your right. At first we actually climbed this darn thing only to figure out that the correct way to go is around a corner to the right. There is a hidden fixed rope (or two) ver that way and provides quick access to the long slpoe that brings you to the base of the wall.
    Chris Mac's topo is pretty good, and we figured it all out without checking it out first.
    I have also gone down this way and it wasn't bad at all.
    The best part about this approach is that you have STUNNING views of the whole wall that almost seems to hang over your head the whole way. If this is your first wall it will make you think "...um...gee...what am I getting into?"
    Have fun!
    By Eckhard
    From: Denver, CO
    Sep 26, 2008
    Is anybody familiar with which climb was FFA by Jim Erickson and Art Higbee, in 1976. It was captured on the film Free Climb: The Northwest Face of Half Dome?
    By Doug Hemken
    Administrator
    Sep 26, 2008
    Wouldn't that be the Regular Northwest Face?
    By jhump
    May 10, 2009
    I have always heard that Higbee/Erickson did not free the final bolt ladder. Leonard Coyne later freed everything in 1979. Is this correct?
    By EldoFiend
    From: WY
    Apr 28, 2010
    A permit is now required to hike up half dome via the cables route on weekends. This does not apply to climbers hiking down the cables after climbing half dome.

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