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Re: Half Dome Cables Day Use Permits Available for Reservation Starting March 1

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avatar Half Dome Cables Day Use Permits Available for Reservation Starting March 1
March 01, 2013 12:05PM
News Release: Half Dome Cables Day Use Permits Available for Reservation Starting March 1
Permits Required Seven Days Per Week to Hike Half Dome Cables
Media Contacts:
Scott Gediman 209-372-0248
Kari Cobb 209-372-0529

Half Dome cables day use permits for the 2013 hiking season will be available for reservation starting tomorrow, Friday, March 1, through Sunday, March 31, 2013. Permits to hike to the top of Half Dome are required seven days per week and reservations will be distributed via a lottery system. Successful parties will be notified in early April. A maximum of 300 hikers will be allowed on the Half Dome cables per day.

Reservations for the permits can be made online at http://www.recreation.gov or by calling 1-877-444-6777.

Approximately 50 subsequent daily permits will be available each day by lottery during the hiking season. These permits are made available based on the average number of no-shows and cancellations from the pre-season lottery. The permits must be applied for two days in advance of the desired hiking date. Reservations for the two-day in advance permits can also be made through http://www.recreation.gov.

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 17 mile round-trip journey.

To learn more about the Half Dome hike please visit http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/halfdome.htm
I entered the lottery this morning and was told that the results
would be available on April 9th. Fingers crossed.
Wish they had just processed my wilderness permit correctly, so I didn't have to enter the lottery. It would be very annoying to walk past Half Dome, but not be able to go up it.

Good luck to everybody!

Going to be a very stress filled month while we wait for the results!

Quick question tho, can you only apply for one date, or can you have a second\third choice, like with the wilderness permits?

I applied by phone, and they asked for my first, second and third dates of preference.
Thanks, that makes me feel a little better, as I do have a two day window for it. Would just involve changing my hike slightly.

I will apply later.

Don't wait too long - only 225 permits/day in this pre-season lottery.
I was under the impression that time was not a factor?

I thought that the lottery is open all month, and drawn at the start of April?

In fact, the website itself says you can increase your chances by looking at the statistics near then end of March, and applying on days that have had less applicants.

The lottery is open till the last day of March, but if you have a date
in mind for the hike, make your reservation for that date early. If
225 permits are available for each date, and you enter the lottery
after 225 others have reserved 'your' day, you will be out of luck.
That surely cant be right?

What you are describing is not a lottery at all.


My personal experience with the Half Dome permit lottery is this:

I've applyed for a permit two different years, and done so on the first
day that the lottery was open. Both times, I've gotten the date I
requested. If there is an advantage to waiting till the last minute
to apply for a permit on a specific date, I don't know what that
could be.

But, you suit yourself.
The advantage is that they have said they will be releasing figures through the month, showing how popular certain dates are, so if you do not have a specific date in mind, you can wait until the end of the month to see which dates are less popular, and hence, will give you better odds in the lottery. So anyone in that situation, would be best advised to wait until near the end of the month. Not sure where the figures will be published yet, and as my entry into the lottery is already in, it's not an issue for me, but I will keep my eyes out for them for others.

I appreciate that you have gotten the dates you chose two years in a row, and that is great, but I would think that it is because you won the lottery. What you are suggesting happens is a first come first serve system, which seems to go against all the information that they put out about the permits this year.

It is quite possible that getting in the game early has no advantage and that
I just got lucky the previous times. Still, I'd rather get on the list early.

Good luck getting the date you hope for and have a safe and enjoyable hike.
avatar Re: Half Dome Cables Day Use Permits Available for Reservation Starting March 1
March 02, 2013 06:57PM

You're correct, it's a lottery, not first-come, first-served.

There shouldn't be any increased odds of landing a permit by submitting one's application early.

Re: Half Dome Cables Day Use Permits Available for Reservation Starting March 1
March 06, 2013 09:36AM
Last year, on recreation.gov they allowed you to select up to 7 dates. I waited until one of the last few days to apply and got my first choice. Unless they forgot to update the info, it should be up to 7 dates there again. (Link)

When I applied, I looked at the statistics that they posted to figure what dates to apply for. I put 6 successive Sundays (less applications than Saturday) starting in July (less popular than May & June) and finally a Wednesday that seemed to have very few applications. By luck of the draw, I must have gotten an early number, since that first Sunday I applied was the date I got. I still could have been skunked if I my number had come up later in the lottery.

So if you have more flexibility, waiting until later to apply is a good choice.
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