Half Dome was originally called “Tis-sa-ack,” meaning “Cleft Rock” in the language of the Ahwahnechee People, one of the seven tribes that lived in Yosemite. John Muir referred to the iconic monolith by its native name and Half Dome interchangeably. The mountain is prominently visible from Highway 120, a road leading up to the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir.

John Muir, Racial Politics and the Restoration of Indigenous Lands in Yosemite

John Muir has been honored extensively, with his name on many sites and institutions, including 28 schools, a college, a number of mountains, several trails, a glacier, a forest, a beach, a medical center, a highway and Muir Woods National Monument, one of the most visited destinations in the Bay Area. But in the time since the Sierra Club issued a nuanced statement in 2020 acknowledging some racist language in his early writings, some have come to believe that Muir’s legacy should be diminished, despite his contributions to the preservation of wilderness and later writings praising native tribes.