Half Dome Cables Lottery Analysis

And so we wait. If you got your permit application in by March 31 you now sit on your hands until maybe April 13 to see if you won. Well, the Super Jumbo Gargantuan Lotto had odds about the same. So we wait and roll the dice.

Here are the day-of-week spreads based on applications thru March 28. Gee, Thursdays seem to be a slam dunk.

In June and July, Saturdays got over roughly 3500 individual permits requested – for the 300 slots. Good luck – if you end up getting one, also buy a lottery ticket. You must be blessed.

<Click to enlarge>  It looks like June 28 is the most popular day with close to 1800 primary requests (recall that you can ask for up to 7 dates). Guess many of you will be doing Clouds Rest instead. It’s the “new” Half Dome!! Click <HERE> to check on the dates you put in.

Other news: The Central Sierra snowpack is about 50% of normal to date. While not good for the water supply, it may be good for folks who get permits for Half Dome right when the cables are projected to go up – May 25.


Unrelated thought worth quoting: With a little luck we can help it out. We can make this whole damn thing work out.” – Paul McCartney & Wings 

*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 Lottery Analysis

  1. kyle says:

    Rick, I have a question about the permits. I printed out the papers from recreation.gov, now do I have to pick up the actual permits in the valley? or do I just show the ranger at the top the papers I printed out? I’ve seen permits that look like an actual ticket, are they still doing that?

    • Mr Half Dome - Rick Deutsch says:


      Nope you have printed out all you are going to get….those are the “permits.” If you are paranoid, make copies for the others in your party in case you get mugged or fall into the Merced. Now that you printed out the real permit, NOT the confirmation, you CANNOT get a refund. I suggested people hold off printing until they were sure… Looks like you are committed. Go for it… and get in shape.


  2. kyle says:

    YEAAAH BUDDY! I was able to secure June 5th, my first pick of the lottery. This will be mine and my girlfriends first crack at Half Dome. Hard part over, now we pray for great weather… See you all at the top!!!

  3. Jeff says:

    Rick, check your credit card that you used to submit your lottery requests. I see a $10 charge from recreation.gov dated 4/10, which tells me my request for 2 permits was successful. I won’t know which day till the official notice goes out on the 13th, but at least I know I have a permit!

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