Half Dome Interim Permit Program Extended

Half Dome permits will once again be required seven days per week to hike the iconic granite monolith that crowns the east end of Yosemite Valley. However, the system for getting these permits has evolved into a double lottery system. The preseason lottery applications are due in March and will be awarded in early April. If you don’t get in on the preseason lottery, there will also be a daily lottery that you can apply for two days prior to the hiking date. More details on the Yosemite NPS website and in the press release below.

Yosemite National Park Announces Extension of
Interim Permit Program for the Half Dome Cables
Program Extended for the 2012 Hiking Season

Yosemite National Park will require Day Use Permits seven days per week for
climbing the Half Dome cables during the summer 2012 season. This is an
extension of the interim permit system that was implemented beginning in
2010. Permits will be required seven days per week to ascend the Half Dome
cables. This is part of an interim program designed to address crowding
and safety issues on the cables.

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 typically in place
from mid-May through mid-October. Most visitors begin and end their hike
at Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley. This is an approximately 14-mile
round-trip journey.

Applications for permits are available from March 1 through March 31. The
park will allocate permits through a preseason lottery, a two-day in
advance lottery, and as part of the Wilderness Permit process. Details
regarding the lotteries and the wilderness process can be found at the
park’s website at http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/hdpermits.htm. The
lottery will be conducted through http://www.recreation.gov.

The park is expecting to release the Half Dome Trail Stewardship Plan
Environmental Assessment (EA) later this winter. This document will
address use on the trail and the cables and provide alternatives on a
permanent management plan for the Half Dome cables. The park strongly
encourages public comment on the plan during the formal comment period.

Yosemite National Park will provide more detailed information regarding the
Day Use Permit lotteries and other pertinent information about the Half
Dome Trail soon.

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