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Program Extended for the 2012 Hiking Season
Yosemite National Park will require Day Use Permits seven days per week for climbing the Half Dome cables during the summer 2012 season.This is an extension of the interim permit system that was implemented beginning in 2010.Permits will be required seven days per week to ascend the Half Dome cables.This is part of an interim program designed to address crowding and safety issues on the cables.
Hiking to the top of Half Dome is one of the most popular hikes in Yosemite National Park.The iconic granite monolith, at 8,842feet above sea level, attracts people from all over the world who attempt to climb to the summit.Most visitors ascend Half Dome via the cables, which are typically in place from mid-May through mid-October.Most visitors begin and end their hike at Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley.This is an approximately 14-mile round-trip journey.
Applications for permits are available from March 1 through March 31.The park will allocate permits through a preseason lottery, a two-day in advance lottery, and as part of the Wilderness Permit process.Details regarding the lotteries and the wilderness process can be found at the park's website at www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/hdpermits.htm.The lottery will be conducted through www.recreation.gov.
The park is expecting to release the Half Dome Trail Stewardship Plan Environmental Assessment (EA) later this winter.This document will address use on the trail and the cables and provide alternatives on a permanent management plan for the Half Dome cables.The park strongly encourages public comment on the plan during the formal comment period.
Yosemite National Park will provide more detailed information regarding the Day Use Permit lotteries and other pertinent information about the Half Dome Trail soon.