Here’s how to and how not to hike Half Dome at Yosemite safely
Half Dome cables are back up for the 2019 summer hiking season.
Permits are required to climb Half Dome. Most permits are available via a preseason lottery. More information is available online at nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/hdpermits.htm.
Up to 300 people (about 225 day hikers and 75 backpackers) are allowed on the Half Dome Trail beyond the base of the subdome daily.
How the daily lottery works
Yosemite officials said approximately 50 permits are available each day by lottery during the Half Dome hiking season.
The daily lotteries have an application period two days prior to the hiking date, with a notification late that night.
“So, to hike on Saturday, you would apply on Thursday and receive an email notification of results late on Thursday night,” Yosemite officials said. “Results are also available online, or by phone the next morning.”
The application period is from midnight to 1 p.m. Pacific time.
Yosemite officials said 47% of people who applied for a permit in 2018 during a weekday received one, but only 24% had success on the busier weekends.
A non-refundable $10 fee is charged by Recreation.gov for each Half Dome permit application. There is a second fee of $10 per person that’s only charged once you receive a permit.
Be safe and prepared
Yosemite officials shared the following warning for Half Dome hikers:
“If you will be hiking to Half Dome, be prepared with several liters of water, good hiking boots, and a headlamp (with extra batteries). Be prepared to turn around if a thunderstorm appears possible. Stay back from the Merced River, which is running very high right now. If you see a bear on the trail or approaching you, scare it away by yelling loudly, angrily, and persistently. Always keep your food within arm’s reach. Oh, and have fun!”