New Rules for Half Dome Permits

posted Mar 31, 2019, 6:34 PM by Paul Wagner
This from Tom Stienstra of the SF Chronicle:

This year, park rangers are trying to level the playing field for permits and improve the experience on the old rock. The deadline to apply for a permit through Recreation.gov to climb Half Dome is 9 p.m. to
The view from Glacier Point©backpackthesierra.com
day. Because of this year’s high snow levels, the cables likely will go up in early June, after Memorial Day weekend.

Once the cables are up, rangers said they will make available an additional 50 permits each day, the exact number based on cancellations and rates of no-shows, in a second lottery. For these, you put in for the permit two days prior to your date, and then find out the same day you applied (usually that evening) if you won.

The quotas now allow 300 people per day to scale Half Dome. That is roughly 225 day-hikers and 75 backpackers with multiday wilderness permits. Over 10 hours, that figures to about 30 people on the cables per hour. The hope is that the days when hundreds of people clambered on the cables at once are forever gone.

Attention, backpackers: The new rules require that you need a Half Dome permit even if you have the coveted John Muir Trail permit or wilderness permit. It used to be that you could use your wilderness permit to sneak over to Half Dome — but no longer.

Here's a link to Tom's whole story: https://www.sfchronicle.com/travel/article/Yosemite-is-changing-Half-Dome-hiking-permits-13722202.php

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