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Half Dome Permits

PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 7:59 pm
by andykee
Permits to hike to the top of Half Dome are now required on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and federal holidays when the cables are up. This is an interim measure to increase safety along the cables while the park develops a long-term plan to manage use on the Half Dome Trail.

I wonder how many people's weekend plans will be ruined by this in 2010 :lol:

PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:23 pm
by TigerFan
Note that you don't have to apply for the Half Dome permit if you have a valid wilderness permit. They will give you one automatically when you pick up your wilderness permit. (According to the NPS website.)

Press Release: Half Dome Day Use Permits (1/29/2010)

PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 9:08 pm
by dan
Yosemite National Park Announces Interim Program for Half Dome Day Use Permits to Ad dress Visitor Safety

Date: January 29, 2010

Hiking to the top of Half Dome is one of the most popular hikes in Yosemite National Park. The iconic granite monolith, at 8,842 feet above sea level, attracts people from all over the world who attempt to climb to the summit. Most visitors ascend Half Dome via the cables, which are in place from mid-May through mid-October.

Approximately 84,000 people climbed to the top of Half Dome in 2008. Although there are several trailheads leading to the cables on Half Dome, the majority of visitors start their hike at the Happy Isles Trailhead in Yosemite Valley.

The increase in popularity of the hike has resulted in large numbers of visitors using the cables, particularly on weekends and holidays. During last summer, Saturdays and holidays averaged 840 visitors per day. On peak days, visitor numbers were estimated at 1100 to 1200. This increase has resulted in significant safety concerns. Specifically, there was both a visitor fatality and a visitor who sustained serious injuries on the cables during two consecutive crowded weekends last summer. This increase in use has also impacted the resources and has negatively affected the visitor experience. For example, visitors have had to wait up to an hour to ascend the cables on a busy day.

In an effort to address these issues, the park will institute an interim program that will require a Day Use Permit to hike the cables on Half Dome on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays starting in May, 2010. Four hundred permits will be issued per day, 300 of these will be Day Use Permits and 100 will be included in wilderness permits. These permits are required for the use of the trail from the base of the Subdome to the summit of Half Dome and include the Half Dome cable route.

The Half Dome Day Use Permits will be available starting March 1, 2010 through or by calling 1-877-444-6777. Each person climbing the Half Dome cables will be required to have their own permit. Up to four permits may be obtained under one reservation. The permits are free, however, there is a non-refundable $1.50 service charge for each permit obtained.

During this interim program, visitor use and impacts to the park will be monitored. Yosemite National Park Rangers will be studying visitor use and safety, assessing the visitor experience, and compiling data that will be analyzed by park managers. At this point, the interim program will be in effect for the 2010 visitor season, as well as the 2011 visitor season. An Environmental Assessment process for a long-term plan for the Half Dome Cables will begin public scoping in spring 2010.


PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 6:41 pm
by ryan72
We want to do half dome in the middle of our trip which we are starting from white wolf. Do we have to register for a separate half dome permit or will they just give us one since we have a wilderness permit?

They say 300 by reservation and 100 for wilderness permits. How can I ensure were in that group of 100????

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:05 pm
by dan
ryan72 wrote:They say 300 by reservation and 100 for wilderness permits. How can I ensure were in that group of 100????

Don't know--this is new stuff to all of us. My GUESS is you specify Half Dome when you get the wilderness permit. That's a little unusual because you usually specify only your trailhead and exit points when applying. I would call the Wilderness Permit office.

I would try and climb Half Dome on a day other than Sat. or Sunday. If you're backpacking, you're taking days off right? You want to avoid crowds and long lines--I would stay away from HD on the weekends if possible.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 2:20 pm
by ryan72
thanks-I'll call.

We don't plan on taking days off. We like to keep on the move and see all we can. We do have some shorter hikes worked in the schedule.

The way we have it planned out now puts us with either a Thursday late afternoon, early evening hike up Half Dome from the JMT Sunrise lake trail junction or Early Friday morning. I think we'll be beat Thursday evening after coming from Clouds Rest so it looks like an early Friday Morning trip. Maybe we'll try to do a sunrise trip

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:25 pm
by TigerFan
I asked when I called in for my wilderness permit. If you're planning to climb Half Dome during a permited hike and it falls on a weekend/holiday when permits are required, you can just ask for a Half Dome permit when you pick up your wilderness permit and they will give you one.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:01 pm
by ryan72
I also spoke with them today and TigerFan is right on. You pick up a Half Dome permit when you get your Wilderness Permit. They told me that if your're getting your wilderness permit further away from half dome to just explain what day you plan on hiking half dome and they'll give you the permit at any permitting station.