Yosemite’s Half Dome Cables and Trail added to National Register of Historic Places

Half Dome trail to the summit via cables

Today the famous cables on Half Dome and the trail up Sub Dome to the cables were placed on the National Register of Historic Places. This is the official list of the Nation’s historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places is part of a program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America’s historic and archeological resources.

There are more than 80,000 properties listed in the National Register that  represent 1.4 million individual resources – buildings, sites, districts, structures, and objects.  Listing in the National Register is the first step towards eligibility for National Park Service-administered federal preservation tax credits that have leveraged more than $45 billion in private investment and National Park Service grant programs like Save America’s Treasures and Preserve America.

George Anderson’s first ascent on October 12, 1875 was significant and the hike to the top is now enjoyed by thousands each year. The popular hike is a must-do “bucket list” item for many outdoor enthusiasts. It is a hard goal and a pleasant journey.

Anderson was a Scottish immigrant who was a trail builder, blacksmith, carpenter and adventurer. He hoped to someday charge tolls for trips to the top and envisioned a staircase and even a lift to bring visitors to the top.  He later built the current trail from Happy Isles to the Vernal Fall foot bridge. He died in 1884 of pneumonia and is buried in the park cemetery.

I have requested that Anderson be honored via George Anderson Day on Oct 12. I hope this new honor will contribute to the decision for a Press Release.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: In Yosemite, Grandeur of these mountains is perhaps unmatched on the Globe; for here they strip themselves like athletes for exhibition, & stand perpendicular granite walls, showing their entire height, & wearing a liberty cap of snow on their head.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

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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2 Responses to Yosemite’s Half Dome Cables and Trail added to National Register of Historic Places

  1. Maureen L says:

    I wonder what’s “behind the scenes” in putting the cables on the history register now.

    Does this mean that the option of taking them out is off the table?

    How actively do “national register of historic places” need to be conserved? How actively can they be used rather than admired? How can they be improved with newer materials?

    Lots of implications to think about!

  2. Dean says:

    Still have a mind to see if there is more info on Anderson here in Scotland, where he is unknown.

    A basic search tells us he was naturalised Mariposa County in 1866 – I assume this means he was granted US citizenship?

    He appears on the voters role in 1867, living in Hite’s Cove aged 28yrs – his birthplace is Montrose Scotland and his occupation is sailor. This puts his birth at 1839.

    He is listed in the Mariposa Great Register (Census?) in 1872 but at 34years putting his birth 1838.

    In 1875 he found his way to the top of Half Dome.

    An obit in the Stockton Independent, May 1884 is interesting – it says he came from Melrose – is this a mistake I wonder, Melrose is nowhere near Montrose? His age at time of death is said to be 47yrs indicating he was born in 1837 now!

    Most interestingly is another report in the Mariposa Gazette which indicates George had a brother called Charles who came over to see about any estate left.

    The Melrose/Montrose thing is most strange – I wonder which is correct? I suspect Montrose.

    Hopefully I can find the time to check some local archives here and see if I can trace his roots.

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