A new year – a new start. Will this be YOUR year to hike Yosemite’s Half Dome? Yes! But some advanced planning is needed. It’s not the old decade when you could just head to the park and chug up the Mist Trail and on to the dome. Nope, we will be entering our 4th year of permits. The park will release its Half Dome Stewardship Plan soon – well, we’ve been waiting for it and waiting for it. The NPS has slipped all guesses as to when it will be out. Before the end of the year was a recent target. When it’s released it will define the process we’ll need to follow from now on. You’ll know when I know.
The park liked their alternative for 300 daily permits. 25% less than in the past. Usually in projects, the choice is the recommended alternative unless they get an overwhelming push by public comments or “higher up” to change their mind.
2012 was a very good year on Half Dome – accidents wise. Yes, there were a couple stumbles, but no fatalities. That was with 400 daily permits – I hope they keep that number.
We’ll discuss the Stewardship plan when the Environmental Assessment is released; the final step before implementation. For now, my Tip #1 is to secure your lodging. Throw a dart and pick date and book now. If you wait, you may not be able to find a place in the park later. You can always cancel with 7 days notice of your reservation. Tip #2 is to resign yourselve to a mid-week hike. Demand for weekend permits is always the highest. Improve your odds by taking 2 vacation days and shooting for mid-week. More on that when the lottery process is announced.
Bottom line: Book that bed now!
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “True courage is being afraid, and going ahead and doing your job anyhow, that’s what courage is.” – R.I.P. Norman Schwarzkopf
MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com