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Re: camping half dome

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camping half dome
March 13, 2008 10:04PM
what is the closet you can camp to half dome
avatar Re: camping half dome
March 13, 2008 11:59PM
Well - there's definitely no camping allowed on the top of Half Dome. Apparently several of the remaining trees on the top were (illegally) cut for firewood. This is the sign when you approach Half Dome from Little Yosemite Valley:

I looked at my map, and the 7600 ft level is maybe a little over a mile from Half Dome. I think there are some pretty good sites on the Half Dome Trail before the 7600 ft level, but I never saw anyone camping there. Getting a permit would be another matter. I don't think there's any permit that would allow you to camp there on the first night from Happy Isles. Maybe if you approach from Sunrise Lakes.

The regulations I've read are as follows:


Camping is prohibited in the following areas:
• The top of Half Dome

Camping is restricted in the following areas to campgrounds designated by posted signs:
• Little Yosemite Valley campground
• No camping is permitted in the area between Happy Isles and the junction of Sunrise Creek Trail and Half Dome Trail

The hard part is deciphering what the trail names actually are, because I've never really seen anything more than signs pointing to locations. I think there reference to Sunrise Creek Trail is what's on my maps as the John Muir Trail.

Short of camping on the Half Dome Trail I think it's either near the junction of Clouds Rest Trail and John Muir Trail (about 2.5 miles), or Little Yosemite Valley (about 3.5 miles).

You're probably better off calling the wilderness center for final clarification.

Re: camping half dome
March 17, 2008 05:18AM
When we got a permit to backpack to Half Dome, I asked about camping on the shoulder of Half Dome. I asked because it was described in the Lonely Planet Yosemite guide as being an option for camping. The rangers at the wilderness center said we could not camp on the shoulder. I'm sure there are people who do it, but if they say don't do it, I'm sure there are good reasons why. The reasons on the sign are good enough for me, I'm no salamander killer!

It worked out well for us to stay at Little Yosemite Valley, leave our gear there, hike to the top of Half Dome, and stay at Little Yosemite Valley again that night.
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