This compelling dome was sketched in July of 1864 from "Camp 181" by Charles Hoffman, topographer and member of Josiah D. Whitney's California State Geological Survey.
The formation was described as "a high, naked rock, rising fully 3,000 feet above the trail at its base, and one of the grandest objects seen among these mountains." A quick look at the sketch leaves little doubt that the rock described was Charlotte Dome.
Considering its appearance, it is surprising that the first recorded ascent of Charlotte Dome was not accomplished until 1966, by Ed Lane.
In 1970 Galen Rowell, Chris Jones and Fred Becky climbed the impressive South Face route. Considered to be a "must do" route by many climbers, Steve Roper included it in his 1979 book, Fifty Classic Climbs of North America.