Half Dome cables installation date

The current park information indicates that the cables will be up and open for hiking on May 24, 2013. I hope this date sticks. This would be the Friday before Memorial Day. If the snow season continues at its current pace there may be delays. So that’s one good reason to hedge your bets when planning your hike. You MAY not be able to get up if snow blocks the trail and the crews are not able to erect the pipes and boards that hold up the cables. A roll of the dice. So it maybe better overall to think about a later summer trip.

Check this pie chart of 2012 applications. Thursdays are the most favorable with the least demand.

Demand for Half Dome permits in 2012

I also poked around at the recreation.gov site. They manage the applications for the Half Dome lottery. They updated the site with a new interface and the look and feel is a bit more pleasant. I tried a test run and it’s clear that all the bits are not in place. The lottery is not until March and there is no reason to enter on the first day. All applications received by the end of March will be in the pool. It is a lot more pleasant with the lottery vs the mad house scramble that we did in 2010 and 2011. For first timers, we had to click BUY at 07:00:00 PST in order to get your attempt in before others. It was first-come, first served. Those with fast internet lines made out best. Ah, the old days.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.” – Muhammed Ali

MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome

About Mr Half Dome - Rick Deutsch

Mr Half Dome. Has written the only half dome hiking guide, One Best Hike: Yosemite's Half Dome. Has hiked it 31 times to day. Lives in San Jose, CA Available for presentations. Carpe Diem Experience, LLC
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4 Responses to Half Dome cables installation date

  1. Scott S says:

    We had permits for June 21, 2011. Unfortunately, the cables opened June 22 that year. But we did the hike up to sub-dome, and it was interesting to see what was going on up there. For example, a mule train carrying poles and boards went by us just before we got to sub-dome.Lots of folks were up there working.

    And on a topic related to another post here, June 21, 2011 also happened to be a free park entry day, which we didn’t know. After the entire day on the half dome trail, it took us nearly two hours to get from the trail head parking to the Arched Rock exit (we were staying in El Portal). Long day indeed.

  2. Nate S says:

    Rick, love the blog – I check it all the time as we’ll be headed to Yosemite this summer. We’re looking at staying in Yosemite and hiking the week of June 10 (likely hiking Half Dome on that Thursday). Do you think the snow will cause us issues by then? Thanks for running such a great resource.

    • Nate,

      Thanks for the comment. The weather is always a roll of the dice. It’s the mountains. Usually the cables go up the Friday before Memorial Day. That is the plan this year….. but…. in the recent past, we got late snow and they got put up weeks late. If the trail crew cannot get to the rock, they don’t go up. Soooo, June 10 is a safe bet – but the darn weather is unpredictable. I usually do not go until Jun 21 – most daylight… but the permit raffle may impact those plans.

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