Learn and Explore
Yosemite is one of the world's greatest climbing areas. Climbers here can enjoy an endless variety of challenges--from the sustained crack climbs of the Merced River Canyon to pinching crystals on sun-drenched Tuolumne Meadows domes to multi-day aid climbs on the big walls of the Valley. Yosemite is not just a climber's playground, however: its walls and crags are an integral part of a larger ecosystem, protected as Wilderness, which was set aside for people to enjoy in a natural state for generations to come.
As the number of climbers visiting the park has increased through the years, the impacts of climbing have become much more obvious. Some of those impacts include: soil compaction, erosion, and vegetation loss in parking areas, at the base of climbs, and on approach and descent trails, destruction of cliffside vegetation and lichen, disturbance of cliff-dwelling animals, litter, water pollution from improper human waste disposal, and the visual blight of chalk marks, pin scars, bolts, rappel slings, and fixed ropes. Many of these impacts can be eliminated or greatly reduced by following the minimum impact practices outlined in the conservation guidelines offered on this page. The impacts of your actions may seem insignificant, but when multiplied by the thousands of people who climb here every year they can have a significant, long lasting effect.
What You Can Do
Reservations Required to Drive into Yosemite
If you are entering Yosemite by vehicle, you must have a reservation and pay the park entrance fee.
Overnight Vehicle Permits for Big Wall Climbing
Climbers on overnight big wall climbs are not required to have a permit for their climb. However, due to restricted operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, overnight vehicle permits are temporarily required for all vehicles parked overnight in Yosemite.
If you have a day-use reservation and want to park your vehicle overnight during a multi-day big wall climb request an overnight vehicle permit. By appointment, climbing rangers issue permits daily from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm by El Capitan Bridge (on the meadow side) or at the fire circle in front of the Yosemite Museum (next to the Valley Visitor Center) from 4 pm to 5 pm. Please make the request one or two days in advance of your planned big wall climb. Same-day requests are available until 10:00 am.
Like all visitors, climbers can request a wilderness permits. Since a few cross-country climbing access routes are not available for reservation, but still require a permit for overnight wilderness camping, climbing rangers can issue these permits: El Capitan via the East Ledges, Snake Dike Bivouac, and the Base of NW Face of Half Dome. Climbing rangers issue these wilderness permits by appointment at the same times and places listed above.
For more information email climbing rangers.
If you are injured or stranded while on a climb and cannot self-rescue, yell for help to obtain assistance. If you require a helicopter evacuation, do only and exactly what you are told by rescue personnel.
Half Dome: Camping at the base of Half Dome is legal, but a wilderness permit is required. Camping on the summit of Half Dome is prohibited.
Climbing Instruction and Guide Service
Last updated: June 14, 2020