Category Archives: Permits

New restrictions set for Horsetail Fall viewing at Yosemite

Yosemite's Horsetail Fall

Yosemite’s Horsetail Fall glows only in February

Horsetail Fall is near El Capitan. Every Feb, when the sun is right, water is running and the skies are clear at sunset, it glows red like the photo.  It only happens in Feb.

Some  people erroneously cal lit “The Firefall” – wrong. THAT was in Curry Village from 1872 until 1968.  See more story on this.

I got skunked a few years ago. It has gotten really crowded as everyone wants their own picture. Now it’s jammed.  Soooo, the park is starting a permit system to park down there. You now have to have one of 250 available permits to park on Northside drive. This is only between Feb 12-26. No one knows when it may occur, if at all. With this year’s lack of precipitation, the water may not be running out of the fall. It only happens for about 5 minutes as the sun sets. Push and shove for the ultimate “best view.”

The long and the short of it is you need to get a free permit to park there. Then haul your tripod and gear down about a mile to get set up. 250 permits will be given …

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Half Dome cable system is DOWN – Next lottery is in March 2018

The summer hiking season for Yosemite’s Half Dome is officially over. The permit registration site “” is inactive until the 2018 season.   The 2018 lottery will be held in March for all summer (225 permits per day). The winners are notified in early April.

Yea, another year with NO fatalities. The permit system really makes this a better hike than before.  About 40,000 people do this massively hard hike each summer.  16 miles round trip – a mile vertical gain – 12 hours. Whew.

two women at yosemite

Half Dome cables done for 2017

Although the support pipes and the 2 x 4 boards are removed and hidden, the 600+ foot steel cables remain. Some mentally challenged (IMHO) people go up anyway, just rappelling, holding the heavy steel cable. 2 women died doing this in the winter shoulder months in 2016 and 17.  Unless you have climbing experience or just have a death wish, keep off it.

That said, Half Dome is in the wilderness….so you can do what you want. But remember YOU assess the risk of what you are doing and deal with it. A 3,000 foot fall is the express way to get to the bottom.

Info on the accident situation

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B U L L E T I N ……… Half Dome Cables will be up June 2

B U L L E T I N    

Half Dome Cables will be up June 2

2 day mini-lottery open May 31. Use this if you missed earlier due to snow.


Carpe Diem!
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Just Do it!!!!” – Nike
Read “One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome

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