Permits to hike to the top of Half Dome are required seven days per week when the cables are up, even for backpackers with wilderness permits. The process for backpackers obtaining Half Dome permits has changed for 2013 as a result of the implementation of the Half Dome Plan. The quota for Half Dome permits for backpackers is now 75 permits per day (50 available by reservation and 25 available one day in advance on a first-come, first-served basis at wilderness centers). The cost for Half Dome permits is $8 per person, payable at a wilderness center the day of or day before your trip, and is therefore not refundable.
Reservations for Wilderness Permit & Half Dome Permits
The application process for wilderness permit reservations is unchanged. However, be sure to specify when making a reservation that you want Half Dome permits. If Half Dome permits are available and Half Dome is reasonably part of your itinerary, you will receive a reservation that includes them. Half Dome permits received in this way will be valid for all dates your wilderness permit is valid.
First-come, First-Served Wilderness Permits & Half Dome Permits
The process for receiving a first-come, first-served wilderness permit, beginning at 11 am one day prior to your backpacking trip's start date, is unchanged. When requesting a wilderness permit using this method, be sure to request Half Dome permits, and you will receive them if they are available and Half Dome is reasonably part of your itinerary. Half Dome permits received this way will be valid for all dates your wilderness permit is valid.
Half Dome permits associated with wilderness permits are not valid for day hiking to Half Dome. If you have a wilderness permit and were unable to get Half Dome permits for your trip, you may compete in the Half Dome permit lotteries. However, Half Dome permits received by lottery are only valid on the date specified on the Half Dome permit. If you have a wilderness permit but were unable to get Half Dome permits, you may also try for a first-come, first-served Half Dome permit, as described above. If you have a Half Dome permit, you may attempt to get a wilderness permit to coincide with your Half Dome permit (but you won't receive any preference in obtaining a wilderness permit).