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Last minute, no-reservation options (Wilderness permit preferred)?

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Last minute, no-reservation options (Wilderness permit preferred)?
July 23, 2013 02:06PM
I'd like to hit the high country this coming weekend from the Bay Area, but don't have any sort of reservation. Ideally, I'd like to stay at Little Yosemite and hit Half Dome, but am open to other options and will car camp if I need to.

I'll be most likely driving up Saturday morning and leaving Sunday evening, but could drive up Friday evening and leave Monday morning if that makes things easier logistically.

I'm thinking my best bet might be to leave the Bay Area early, get to campground 4 early, then try to pick up an abandoned Wilderness permit at Curry Village at 10 am. That way I have at least a base of operations to car camp if the wilderness permit doesn't work out.

Does anyone know what the likelihood of getting an abandoned wilderness permit is? What are my back-up options in case I oversleep and campground 4 is not an option? I would like to stay in the Valley or as close to it as I can manage.
avatar Re: Last minute, no-reservation options (Wilderness permit preferred)?
July 23, 2013 03:12PM
Search through the forum here and the NPS website. You could even give them a call for some advice. Here's what I wrote to another inquiry similar to yours.


From a few days ago. (Edited to relate to your trip)
I hope you're familiar with the permit process. If not, get yourself to the permit office first thing as you enter the park. FCFS permits are available 1 day prior to your departure date at 11am at any permit office within the park. That being said, I don't like your chances of getting the Happy Isles trailhead to LYV permit as it is the most popular in the park (by a big margin) and will not be available for a same day departure. Take a look at some other trailhead options that can include Half Dome like Glacier Point via the Panorama Trail or maybe from Tenaya Lake over Clouds Rest.

Be prepared to have alternatives ready or be ready to accept suggestions from the rangers to make the best of it. If Half Dome is your ultimate goal and you can't live without it, you may have to change your plans and do it as a day hike. Be ready for that!

If you don't get up there and end up doing another backcountry trip, don't worry it's not going anywhere.

The days and timing may be different, but the details are the same. Be self reliant and do some research before you head to the mountains and you'll be fine. All the info is out there...Good luck and be safe!



"It is all very beautiful and magical here - a quality which cannot be described. You have to live it and breath it., let the sun bake it into you" - Ansel Adams
Thanks. I did perform a search and but found the search function on this site to be pretty lacking. I heard this quote recently: "The internet is a great place for for information. The internet is a terrible place to acquire knowledge and put that information in context." I knew most everything you listed in terms of alternate trailheads etc., but I didn't know the likelihood of getting a same day permit at the Happy Isles, the likelihood of finding something at an alternate trailhead, whether I should hit the main permit office or a smaller satellite office, etc.

Speaking of day-before walk-up permits, can I show up at the office at 11 am, or do I need to get there first thing when they open up at 8:00 am and queue up?
avatar Re: Last minute, no-reservation options (Wilderness permit preferred)?
July 24, 2013 02:06PM
LYV is unquestionably the highest draw in the summer months. Likely to get a permit on Saturday for > 1.
Personally I wouldn't even try. There's probably people camping out on the porch and whatnot.
Likely to get alternate trailhead? No doubt. Do it all the time.



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Last minute, no-reservation options (Wilderness permit preferred)?
July 23, 2013 03:59PM
Here's some more references and tips for you.

1) You can get a permit for any trailhead from any Yosemite permit office. Go to the one right near the entrance of the park you come in. Ask at the entry Kiosk where the closest one is.

2) The line for 11am permits begins forming at sunrise or before on busy days, but you never know.

3) Check out this site for trail info, I've found it useful. http://www.yosemitehikes.com/

4) There will be something available that will be awesome. Try not to be too focused on HD. I love the hike to Clouds Rest starting at Tenaya Lake. Set up camp halfway and bolt to the summit. Or try Glen Aulin to Waterwheel Falls, or Cathedral Lakes, or North Dome. Any of the above would be awesome. The rangers at the permit station have always been awesome and will help you find a cool trip that's available.

Go for it!

Be sure to come back and let us know where you ended up!



"It is all very beautiful and magical here - a quality which cannot be described. You have to live it and breath it., let the sun bake it into you" - Ansel Adams
Re: Last minute, no-reservation options (Wilderness permit preferred)?
July 24, 2013 03:09PM
Look here for spots that aren't full. That's how I got started on my most recent trip...

http://www.nps.gov/featurecontent/yose/upload/rptFullTrailheadDates.htm

At the permit station in Tuolumne, there was a line up for the available non-reservable permits on both days I was there, however it wasn't a huge line. So you might have better luck starting out from TM.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/24/2013 03:10PM by vitaminC.
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