Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California
Half Dome is a granite dome in Yosemite National Park, located in northeastern Mariposa County, California, at the eastern end of Yosemite Valley — possibly Yosemite's most familiar rock formation. The granite crest rises more than 4,737 ft (1,444 m) above the valley floor.
The impression from the valley floor that this is a round dome which has lost its northwest half is an illusion. From Washburn Point, Half Dome which can be seen as a thin ridge of rock oriented northeast-southwest, with its southeast side almost as steep as its northwest side except for the very top. Although the trend of this ridge, as well as that of Tenaya Canyon, is probably controlled by master joints, 80 percent of the northwest "half" of the original dome may well still be there.
Half Dome is also an element or inspiration of various company and organization logos, including that of The North Face, Sierra Designs, & Mountain Khakis outdoor product companies, the Sierra Club environmental group and the Sierra Entertainment game studio.
The Half Dome Cable Route hike runs from the valley floor to the top of the dome in 8.2 mi (13 km) (via the Mist Trail), with 4,800 ft (1,460 m) of elevation gain. The length and difficulty of the trail used to keep it less crowded than other park trails, but in recent years the trail traffic has grown to as many as 800 people a day. The hike can be done from the valley floor in a single long day, but many people break it up by camping overnight in Little Yosemite Valley. The trail climbs past Vernal and Nevada Falls, then continues into Little Yosemite Valley, then north to the base of the northeast ridge of Half Dome itself.