Half Dome Hike on Day 2 of permits

I hiked #36 on Saturday. It was very cold at night (40F) and remained so in the morning. I usually begin at 5:30 am, but hid in my sleeping bag late and headed off at 7:30.  It was still cold, so I wore a fleece jacket and long pants. By the time I got to the top of Vernal Fall, I was sweating and ditched the jacket under a boulder…it was there when I returned at 4.

The trail was mellow but the chill wind continued. I did not have a permit so I practiced what I preach. I asked if anyone had an open slot on their permit. I did this up near Sub Dome so I would not have to go s l o w with a novice group.  After only 10 minutes I snagged one. A group of 5 had one guy get sick the night before, so I was golden.

The cables were mellow. With only 300 total permits – plus the 2-day mini-lottery of 50+, there was no crowd.  The ranger told me that even though there are about 350 possible hikers, only about 200+ showed up on the inaugural day (May 24) and my day, the 25th. There was hardly any mist at all off Vernal – no rain protection needed. I bet the falls will be dry by mid July.

Two big shocks:

1. The Curry Buffett is gone. It’s now an expensive restaurant with ala carte pricing. $12 for 1 entre and 2 sides; everything else is a few bucks more…drink, salad, another side, soup, dessert. My humble plate cost $23.

Yosemite’s Curry’s High end dinner

2. The Curry Village Tent cabins are getting pretty darn expensive. It was $137 per night for a 2-man.

I took a gob of photos and will share with anecdotes later.


Unrelated thought worth quoting: The power of imagination makes us infinite.” – John Muir 

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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3 Responses to Half Dome Hike on Day 2 of permits

  1. Devinder says:

    I am going the last week of Sep to San Fran and plan to hike the half dome after my conference ends. If I don’t get the permit in the day lottery, would you suggest that I just go anyway and hope that somebody or some group will have an open spot?
    I am thinking that I will just wait there at the base with a sign ” Will pay for open spot” or something like that. You think that is a good idea?
    Would really appreciate your feed back.

    • Devinder,

      The end of Sept will be much lighter than the summer. Odds of getting a 2-day advance permit will be good.
      The permits cannot be bought or sold. But you can ask along the way if anyone has a cancellation. Many have people have folks cancel and they don’t bother to get their $8 back.

      I see nothing wrong with a backpack sign that sez: “Need a HD permit”….again you cannot pay them, but you may luck out.

  2. David says:

    Sad to see the buffet go. While it wasn’t the classiest of buffets, it did the trick for the price.

    Wonder if the prices for the tent cabins has anything to do with upcoming changes to the park? Loss from unused mice tents?

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