Planning to hike up to Yosemite’s Half Dome Diving Board?

For the record the REAL Diving Board is on the west shoulder of Half Dome. It is NOT the Visor up top. While not on any map, the Visor is what the Rangers call that lip at the edge. The Diving Board is on maps. It’s where Ansel Adams took his famous pictures of Half Dome and the moon.

It is a really hard hike. I tried it and gave up at noon. At Little Yosemite Valley take a left cut off  trail behind Liberty Cap and go past Lost Lake. Then follow cairns until they run out. After that, it’s VERY hard with manzanita, cliffs, gulleys and scrambling.

See how Ansel did it with his camera gear. Note:

adams 2

Unrelated thought worth quoting: Think I’ll go and have some fun ‘cus it’s all for free. I’m not searching for a reason to enjoy myself. Seems it’s better done than argued with somebody else.”Over under sideways down – The Yardbirds

MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch –

One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome


About Mr Half Dome - Rick Deutsch

Mr Half Dome. Has written the only half dome hiking guide, One Best Hike: Yosemite's Half Dome. Has hiked it 31 times to day. Lives in San Jose, CA Available for presentations. Carpe Diem Experience, LLC
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4 Responses to Planning to hike up to Yosemite’s Half Dome Diving Board?

  1. Mike S says:

    Hi Rick,

    The picture from the Diving Board that Ansel took is called Monolith. There is no moon in it and I only know of that one shot that Ansel took from the Diving Board. The one with the moon that you are probably thinking about is called Moon over Half Dome. That was taken on the trail up to the top of Yosemite Falls. That’s an easy day hike from the Valley.


    • Ahhh I’ll take your word for it. I have a big print of it… room anymore on the walls at my hose and the wife wants me to cull the heard. I’m going to mount it at the guide house of Lasting in Groveland.

      I was trying to clarify what the true Diving Board is.


  2. Wendy S.M. says:

    Hi Rick,
    I have not been to Yosemite (yet) but it’s been my dream vacation for many years. One of the hikes I wanted to try was this one. What did you find was the most difficult part of the hike? Also I’ve heard rattlesnakes are frequently found on the diving board hike – is this true? Lastly, I’ve always wondered why the cables weren’t installed on this side of Half Dome? Is it because the terrain is too dangerous on the west side? It looks like Half Dome would be much easier (and safer) to ascend from the west.
    Thanks for your website – I enjoy reading it.

    • Wendy,

      Thanks for your interest. Half Dome is a VERY hard hike. For me (40 times) the worst is the last 2 hours…it just drones on and on. You are hungry and wanna be done. The sun is low and it beats your chest and face.

      OK…hard? The Mist Trail. THEN Sub Dome. Then the cables.

      No – there are no rattle snakes up top. What would they eat?? Squirrels and marmot can scoot up the 45 degree incline (I’ve seen them do it), but a snake would have a hard time. Don’t worry – if you ever see one, it could care less about you….don’t stick your hands in a hole or under a rock. No one has ever died after a rattlesnake bite in California!!

      People tried for decades to get up HD. George Anderson did it in 1875 via a rope system. Many mountaineers tried and failed…too steep!! The West side is even steeper. Only climbers can get up – via Snake Dike.

      Get my book for a complete guide to it. See the website. At REI and Amazon, etc.

      Train for this’s the hardest thing you may ever do…but with Education, Preparation and Motivation – I’ll see you at the top.


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