We arrived at Glacier Point moments after sunset—the end of a long day driving and hiking through Yosemite southward from Tioga Pass. Alpenglow resonated off Half Dome in a way that hushed the crowds looking for seats on the granite boulders.
We spread our picnic on the precipice. About half an hour later, the moon rose to the east, just off full. Even though I was watching for it, I gasped at loud when it appeared. We watched it rise to spill into the valley 3200ft below.
Despite its brightness, many stars came out. We were especially surprised to see stars twinkling across the faces of Half Dome and El Capitan: headlamps from climbing parties bivouacked on their way up.
Moonrise photo after the break.