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No Permit Half Dome

Discussion about hiking to the top of Half Dome, planning the trip, and when the Half Dome cables are installed in Spring or removed in Fall.

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No Permit Half Dome

Postby GregTNJ » Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:55 am

Applied for a June Permit, but got shut out of lottery. Will try again day of. Question - if i dont get a permit, is it worth the extra effort/time/miles to get to checkpoint and turn around, or should i just turn around at the top of Nevada Fall? Are there good views/scenery along the way and at base of sub dome, or should i not log the extra miles?
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Re: No Permit Half Dome

Postby Dave_Ayers » Fri May 01, 2015 10:41 am

Think of it in two segments: approx. 2 mi one-way of mostly easy flat hiking from the top of Nevada Fall to the HD trail junction. Then another ~1.8 mi. one-way with about 1100 feet of elevation gain up onto the shoulder where the ranger checks HD permits.

Both are scenic enough to warrant hiking. The first segment has views of Liberty Cap, the Merced River, etc., and is pleasant though there will be plenty of other hikers. The 2nd segment starts as a forest walk. Views of Tenaya Canyon, Cloud's Rest, etc., mostly get good when you reach the ridge about 1.3 mi or so after the junction.

I'd say for the first easy segment, just do some and turn around at any point you don't feel it's worth going further. The 2nd segment takes more energy due to the climbing and most of the reward is near the end, so I'd say don't bother unless you have energy to go nearly all the way to the the permit check area. If you do both segments, your total day will be ~12.5 mi with ~3200 of elevation gain and loss.
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