The Half Dome Experience in Yosemite National Park

Half Dome by Scott1956.

Half Dome by Scott1956 via flickr.

People the world over travel to Yosemite National Park to stand before Half Dome. And a lucky few manage to climb to the top of this iconic loaf of rock.

While you can drive to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and even to Old Faithful in Yellowstone, reaching the granitic summit of Half Dome is no easy task. It's something that must be planned, that's probably a good idea to train for, and something that you'll never forget.

Take a few minutes to watch this short National Park Service videocast and you'll not only learn a bit about Half Dome, but you'll see it in a variety of seasons and discover something about the "magic" that pulls folks up to its summit.


I've seen this short video as an NPS podcast. It can be viewed relatively instantly at It's a first-rate NPS "Yosemite Nature Note" video which, in my opinion, successfully captures much of the Half Dome experience, from roaming the meadows of Yosemite Valley, to driving the Tioga Pass Road, to hiking above Vernal and Nevada Falls and climbing the cables to the top.

I first saw this video when attending the 2008 Yosemite Ranger Reunion. It was played on the big screen without sound, while we ate dinner in the East Auditorium of the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center. But, even without sound, it was quite impressive as a compilation of changing images.

Upon my return to Oak Ridge, TN I subsequently visited to search for and re-view this NPS podcast, this time with sound included. This excellent communication tool has the potential to reach a large audience, once the word spreads that the video is definitely worth the effort. I recommend this video to all who may not yet have visited this great park, to any who have already visited, but could only imagine what it might be like to climb the cables to the top, and to the few who once made this arduous journey and are now eager to re-live their experience of a lifetime.

I hope others will take the time to watch and comment.

Owen Hoffman
Oak Ridge, TN 37830