A stop at Zabriskie Point is worth the time/effort. From the parking to the overlook is a short walk. For even better views, just leaving the parking lot, there is a path/trail leading off to the right. Follow it and it will turn left (after 100 yards or so), and take you to a trail that presents magnificent views of the "bad lands". I think this trail hooks up with the Golden Canyon Interpretive Trail. However, I do not recommend hiking that distance. Just go as far as you like (temperature allows), and turn around when you reach your limit.
Sorry to tell you, but Yosemite Park is Waaaayyyyyyy over crowded in August. It can take as long as 6 hours to simply enter and exit the park, and there are few options to exit this road. If you do get your permit for half dome, enter the park very early. Normally there is ample parking at the trail head lot (about one mile short of the start of the trail). I "guess" the traffic will not be too bad at 6:00 AM. Hwy 120, to Tioga Pass will also be busy, but nothing like the valley proper. RichardK's recommendation of the hike to North Dome is a good one.
If you do not have the time for that hike another alternative is hiking to Mt. Watkins. This is about 6 miles round trip, and can be done in 2.5/3 hours. This is a bit farther from Half Dome, but still presents a magnificent view. There is not "trail" to Mt. Watkins, but there is a "path", that is easy to follow, and overlaps the Snow Creek Trail at the start, but after 3/4 of a mile veers left, and takes a more direct path to Mt. Watkins.
The route (including gps download) can be viewed here:
Last edited by John Sims; 03/04/20 03:50 PM.