Half Dome Permits for Backpackers

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 quota for Half Dome permits for backpackers is about 75 permits per day. The cost for Half Dome permits is $10 per person, payable at a wilderness center the day of or day before your trip, and is therefore not refundable.

Reservations for Wilderness Permits & Half Dome Permits

If you want to hike to the top of Half Dome as part of your overnight wilderness trip, you can add Half Dome permits for all or some members of your group if you if you get a wilderness permit reservation and begin your trip from the following trailheads (A map showing each Half Dome trailhead is also available [1.5 MB PDF].):

  • Happy Isles to Little Yosemite Valley
  • Glacier Point to Little Yosemite Valley
  • Happy Isles past LYV (Donohue pass eligible)
  • Sunrise Lakes
  • Cathedral Lakes
  • Rafferty Creek to Vogelsang
  • Mono Meadow

You do not need to reserve this in advance; you can simply add it upon request when you pick up your wilderness permit if your permit is for one of these entry trailheads. The cost is $10 per person (paid when you pick up your permits). These Half Dome permits are only available for overnight backpackers and are not valid for day hikers.

Half Dome permits received in this way will be valid for all dates your wilderness permit is valid.

Wilderness Permits & Half Dome Permits

Sixty percent of wilderness permit reservations become available by lottery 24 weeks in advance. Of these, any remaining reservations after each week's lottery become available on a first-come, first-served basis the Friday after the lottery application period closes and are available up to three days in advance. The remaining 40% of reservations become available seven days in advance (up to three days in advance).

Any unreserved permits will be available in person at wilderness centers only on the start date of the trip. Few, if any, unused permits will be available on any given day. You must arrive at a wilderness center during business hours to get a permit. When requesting a wilderness permit for a trip beginning in Yosemite using this method, be sure to request Half Dome permits, and you will receive them if you are entering from one of the above trailheads. Half Dome permits received this way will be valid for all dates your wilderness permit is valid. All wilderness centers operate from 8 am to 5 pm. After-hours permits will not be available.

Hiking Half Dome with a Wilderness Permit Issued Outside Yosemite

Wilderness permits issued outside of Yosemite are not valid for hiking Half Dome. If you're beginning your backpacking trip outside of Yosemite, you'll need a Half Dome permit, which you can apply for using the lotteries. There are no exceptions.

Other Details

Can I get a wilderness permit that includes Half Dome and use it for a day hike?

No. Half Dome permits associated with wilderness permits are not valid for day hiking to Half Dome; they are only valid for backpackers.

I have a wilderness permit for an itinerary that travels near Half Dome. Can I use a Half Dome day hiking permit?

Yes, you may compete in the Half Dome permit lotteries. However, Half Dome permits for day hikers are only valid on the date specified on the Half Dome permit.

I have a Half Dome permit but want to camp in Little Yosemite Valley. Do I need a wilderness permit?

Yes, you need a wilderness permit. If you get a wilderness permit, you can use your existing Half Dome permit with it.

Last updated: March 23, 2023

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