Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
Register Rock is a large piece of granite that rests just off the lower Mist Trail. During the early days of tourism at Yosemite, visitors interested in seeing the eastern reaches beyond Happy Isles and near the Vernal Fall footbridge, would pay an admission in order to proceed up. Register Rock is an immense boulder at well over 50 ft high. It is set back from the trail a bit and the sharp wall angles downward away from you. Nestled under the slight cover, a wooden shack type building was constructed to manage the traffic and log in people who passed through. They “registered” here and thus the name.
You can see Register Rock today, although the shack has long ago been removed. After you cross the Vernal Fall bridge, turn left and proceed up the Mist Trail but only for a short time. Just before you arrive at a gate (used to close the Mist Trail during the winter), you will have a chance to take a 300 degree hard right turn and take the longer route upward and proceed to Nevada Fall (bypassing wet Vernal Fall). As you head up this trail to the right, look for Register Rock to your left. It is only about 20 yards from the gate mentioned above.
You can see the sloped wall easily and the large slab rock that the shack was built on. Also note the tree in the middle. It has clearly grown over the decades. I’ve noticed a couple “false” Register Rocks nearby with almost the same slope. This photo comparison proves which is the correct one. Have fun!
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Standing On Top of the World” – Van Halen
*Mr. Half Dome -Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com