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The cables allowing access for hikers to the summit of Half Dome will be in place and open for the season on Wednesday, June 16, 2010.
The trail to Half Dome from Yosemite Valley is an extremely strenuous hike covering over 17 miles. Hikers gain 4,800 feet of elevation along the trail that passes highlights such as Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall, before reaching the cables on Half Dome’s steep granite shoulder. Metal cables and wooden planks are placed along the steep shoulder of the dome to assist hikers to the summit.
Visitors are required to have a permit to ascend the Half Dome cables on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. The majority of the permits have been reserved already. For more information on permits and availability, please visit www.recreation.gov. No permits are required for the Half Dome cables Monday through Thursday. Visitors hiking the trail leading up to the base of the Half Dome cables do not need a permit.
Visitors are advised to take appropriate precautions when planning a hike of this length and difficulty, and to be prepared for changing weather and trail conditions. Thunder and lightning are common occurrences in the High Sierra during the summer and fall seasons. Hikers should not attempt to summit Half Dome during thunderstorms and are advised to use extreme caution when the rocks are wet.