Half Dome Photos – A Granite Face To Remember

This imposing beauty is somewhat of a chameleon – depending on where you view her from, she can appear completely different. Here’s a collection of my favorite Half Dome photos, from various angles (and seasons).

Tourist Silhouette With Half Dome in late afternoon light - From Mt. Hoffman trail
Tourist Silhouette With Half Dome

Half Dome Views

View From the Valley Floor

Creek Reflection & fence, From Stoneman Meadow in spring - Half Dome Photos
Half Dome Creek Reflection

This is how the vast majority of visitors will see the rock formation. You might say these pics feature the “classic view” of Half Dome. You’ll see the sheer rock face in the front, and a curved slope going down the other side .

View from flooded Cooks Meadow in spring
View from Cooks Meadow in spring

These images certainly illustrate why people think of it as a dome. As you’ll see later, the round shape is a bit of an optical illusion…

Sentinel Bridge View, with Merced River - Half Dome Photos
Sentinel Bridge View, with Merced River

Half Dome Photos From Olmsted Point Area

Unique view, zoomed in on granite above Olmsted Point - Half Dome Photos
Unique view, zoomed in from above Olmsted Point

From the Olmsted Point area on Tioga Pass, you get a totally new perspective of Half Dome. However, from the other side, it still gives the impression of a smooth, round surface.

Yellow wildflowers and bokeh, from Mt. Hoffman trail
Yellow wildflowers and Half Dome, from Mt. Hoffman trail

I took the picture above while hiking between May Lake and Mt. Hoffman. Highly recommended! Tioga Road has some incredible (& sparsely populated) scenery.

View From North Dome & Indian Rock Hike

Head on view (straight ahead), from Indian Rock Hike
Head on view, from Indian Rock

The front facing vantage point is probably my least favorite. You’ll find this angle while hiking down to North Dome & Indian Rock from Tioga Rd.

Zoomed in view of "the lip", taken from North Dome hike. Also note Mt Clark in the distance.
Zoomed in view of “the lip”, taken from North Dome

As you can see, it looks like a completely different mountain from this perspective. However, this shouldn’t deter you from doing this hike. In general, the valley views are spectacular from up here.

Half Dome Photos From Glacier Point Rd

Side view closeup, from Glacier Point Road - Half Dome Photos
Side view closeup, from Glacier Point Road

While it’s still a striking landmark from this angle, I couldn’t believe how different this icon looks from up here! Turns out Half Dome is less dome than I thought.

Side view landscape, with granite Yosemite valley
Side view landscape, with granite valley

I went back and tried to get a refund at the gate. They weren’t having it. By the way, Glacier Point Road is one of the better spots to photograph Half Dome at sunset as well.

While technically the sunset is behind you, the fading orange and pink sunlight on Yosemite’s granite valley is quite a sight.


Closeup in winter snow, shot from Tunnel View - black and white
Half Dome closeup in winter snow

OK, there we go. It’s a dome once again. A beautiful, snow capped beauty. This pic was snapped from far away at Tunnel View. It always pays to carry a hefty zoom lens in Yosemite. If you enjoy B&W photos, by all means, have a look at my Yosemite monochrome gallery….

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About My Photos

The images on this website are available for licensing and/or sale as framed prints. If you’d like to purchase them for a blog, news article, or gift, feel free to contact me with the specifics. This way you’re supporting photographers such as me directly (as opposed to buying from a faceless stock photo corporation).

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– Nathan Allen

About Me

Photographer Nathan Allen

I’m Nathan Allen, photographer / creator of YosemiteParkPhotos.com (Yosemite Photos) and international travel site I Dreamed Of This. In truth, I lived in San Francisco, New York, & Singapore…but nothing compares to life in the mountains. I share my experiences HERE.