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planning on a night hike to half dome.

PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 9:46 pm
by sulfate4
Hello. i had several questions. I have never done half dome before and we are planning on doing a night hike as it will work best for our schedule. We do not have one of those weekend half dome permits so we decided to go on thursday. We are still deciding our options depending on the answers to these questions.

1. A half dome permit is required if you start your trip on a friday, saturday, sunday and major holiday. My question is, if we did a night hike starting thursday and end up getting to the cable part on 3AM friday, will it still be considered friday or would we still be covered under the "leaving thursday" excuse?

2. the Little Yosemite campground is booked on the day we plan on going, so If we are going and get a little tired, can we pull over on any flat area and take a rest in a sleeping bag for a bit until we get fresh again?

3. do you guys think it would be safe/OK if we did the entire trip after sunset? or do you think we should at least try to pass vernal or nevada falls before the sun comes down? We plan on having plenty of super bright flashlights.

PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 9:54 pm
by Wickett
The trail is pretty well defined and lots of people start in the dark, I have been on that trail in the dark and it is not a problem.

Sleeping next to the trail would not be advisable. Check on getting Morraine Dome area for your permit. It is 2 miles past LYV but it is all flat to the camping area and it is right in front of a cascade.

I think that we are all trying to figure out the Half-dome permit thing.

PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 11:12 pm
by sulfate4
Thanks for the reply. I tried finding information about the campsite near Moraine Dome (never heard of it before) but wasn't able to find any info. Can you point me in the right direction as to what exactly I need to reserve. Thanks.

Is it 2 miles in another direction, or is it on the way up to half dome from nevada falls.

PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 6:10 am
by AlmostThere
You don't reserve backcountry campsites - there are a few spots where they will want you within a designated area but they don't tell you where to camp even then.

Moraine is at the east end of Little Yosemite Valley, in the other direction. But if you can't camp in Little Yosemite Valley you have to go either that way or further up the trail toward Clouds Rest. You can't camp in Little Yosemite campground without a wilderness permit for backpacking that specifies you camp there. Those are hard to get, so ask for one that lets you camp beyond LYV if you have to.

PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 5:02 pm
by sulfate4
Change of plans. I called to see If I can make a reservation and they women informed me that the cables for half dome are still not up and probably won't be for a while as there is still a lot of snow there.

I wasn't sure about what exactly to ask, but I said something to the effect of "Can I make a reservation for the Moraine Dome area or Clouds Rest area because Little Yosemite valley is booked?" and she said that these locaitons are very popular as well and they are also booked for a long time, So I asked if I can camp at any backcontry campground and she said I would still need to make a reservation for them and they are all booked.

Because I didn't know exactly what I was referring to, I didn't know what to say so I just changed the subject.

Any suggestions?

Also, Is there any place in Yosemite Park where I can just pitch a tent and sleep if there is room. The women said there are some places outside the park where you can just camp out if there is room (can also be reserved). Are you guys familiar with any of these locations.


PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 5:29 pm
by hotrod4x5
Camp 4 in the valley is FCFS.

PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 6:07 pm
by Wickett
I am going up early Thursday morning to stand in line at the wilderness center for a permit. I call it trailhead roulette. I will get a permit for Friday through Sunday and stay Thursday night either at the backpackers camping area or ninja camp at Hidden Falls.

I am shooting for Happy Isles trail head and go up towards Morraine dome on the first day. If I don't get that then I will find something to my liking.

Maybe I will see you at the wilderness center, my name is James by the way.