To those new to exploring Yosemite, Half Dome (very rightly so) is usually the most anticipated destintation for those attempting a lengthy day hike from the valley. However, the one thing that the views from the top don’t include are a view of the iconic granite rock itself. It has also grown so much in popularity over the years that the National Park Service mandates a pass system to attempt a climb.

Not to discourage anyone, but a good alternative to getting those top of the valley views without the crowds and a view of Half Dome is the hike to North Dome. This is situated almost directly west of Half Dome opposite of the valley. The is a roughly ten mile out-and-back type hike that starts on a trailhead along the Tioga Road at the top of the valley.