Half Dome Permits for Day Hikers
Permits to hike to the top of Half Dome are required seven days per week when the cables are up (as called for in the Half Dome Plan in order to protect wilderness character, reduce crowding, protect natural and cultural resources, and improve safety).
A maximum of 300 hikers will be allowed (about 225 day hikers and 75 backpackers) each day on the Half Dome Trail beyond the base of the subdome.
Like last year, permits will be distributed by lottery via Recreation.gov. We held a single preseason lottery with an application period in March and will hold daily lotteries during the hiking season. Backpackers should apply for Half Dome permits with their wilderness permit.
On each preseason lottery application, people can apply for up to six permits (six people) and for up to seven dates. Applications will only be successful if the number of permits requested is available on at least one of the requested dates. If enough permits are available for more than one of the requested dates, permits will be automatically awarded to the highest priority date, as entered by the applicant. Applicants may apply as the trip leader only once per lottery. Multiple applications with the same trip leader will be removed from the lottery.
The applicant must specify the name of the trip leader and may specify the name of an alternate. Each person may apply as a trip leader only once per lottery. People applying multiple times as trip leader will have all their lottery applications canceled. Permits will only be valid if the trip leader and/or alternate specified on the permit is part of the group using the permits. The group with trip leader or alternate must be present together at the base of the subdome, where rangers will check for permits. The names of the trip leader and alternate may not be changed once the application is submitted, and their permits are not transferable.
(You can view graphs that show how many Half Dome permit applications were submitted for each day during the 2012 Half Dome season.)
Daily Lottery Success Rate: For mid-June through August, 2012, an average of 86 permits were available each day via the daily lottery. About 21% of lottery applications were successful, on average.Beginning early September, a larger number of permits were available during weekdays (due to fewer initial applications in the spring lottery), providing a much better chance of success. September weekends remained busy with fewer permits available, resulting in a 20-30% success rate.
The second fee is $8 per person and is charged only when you receive a permit. (This fee also applies to wilderness permit holders.) This fee pays for park rangers checking for Half Dome permits and providing Half Dome visitors with hiking and safety information. The $8 fee is fully refundable if you cancel your permit more than two days before the hiking date specified on your permit or if the cables are not up on the date for which your permit is valid.
Did You Know?
Yosemite has a full-time sign language interpreter in the park every summer? The Yosemite Deaf Services Program began in 1979 and provides a variety of services to make sure the park is accessible for all of Yosemite's D/deaf and hard of hearing visitors.