Half Dome Stewardship Plan – Where are you?

Jun 2009 – the line reaches the top of Sub Dome

2013 is the year the “extended” interim solution for the Half Dome cables was to end. The plan is actually a year late as the permits were legally to be for 2010 and 2011. It was extended to 2012 to give the Govt more time to bottom out. Now that the election is over, I hope the powers move out and release it. The guess is that the NPS will select the option for 300 daily permits – to be shared with day hikers and wilderness permit holders. So that means hikers will need to compete for 200 a day. I prefer the 400 alternative.

Personally, I don’t like 100 going to wilderness permit holders – many day hikers just cannot do overnight camping – no desire, no gear, no training. I think by getting a Wilderness Permit, THAT should be your reward. Gee, you get to camp pretty much anywhere in the wilderness. Why should you get another benefit by getting a Half Dome permit? Oh well.

Camping is a 5-month reservation window at Yosemite. The cables are forecast to be up on May 27 next year – weather permitting. That means if you plan to camp, you need to know by January 27 if you are going to get a campsite. So the whole process has to be approved and communicated around the world by then. And so we wait.

Good news:  If you google “Half Dome” – this website comes up #1. Ahead of NPS and even Wikipedia. We’re here to serve. Thanks for your support.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: The difference between a goal and a dream is a deadline.” – Steve Smith

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 Stewardship Plan – Where are you?

  1. David Webster says:

    Anyone know how the half price camping works for people with senior America the Beautiful passes. For instance, if I reserve $300 worth of days in Camp Curry tent cabins on Jan 15, do I just show up at camping time, and the price then becomes $150?

    • Maureen L says:

      the pitch your own tent campgrounds, managed by the Park Service, do give 50% discounts for senior pass holders. so, if you’re staying in one of the Pines Campgrounds in the Valley or any of the other campgrounds on the NPS site, you pay half.

      however, for all the lodging managed by the concessionaire, DNC, it’s equal opportunity lodging fees.

      also, alert, the DNC folks take reservations a year and a day in advance, so much of next summer at Curry Village tent cabins (and Tuolumne Meadows Lodge and White Wolf Lodge with tent cabins) are long gone. cancellations do happen, as there’s no penalty for cancelling up to a week in advance.

      the Jan 15 for May 15 to June 14 reservation date is only for the pitch-your-own-tent (or drive your rv 🙁 is my comment) campgrounds.

  2. Maureen L says:

    clarification on Yosemite Campground reservations:

    it’s in one-month blocks, not day by day.
    they become available in one-month blocks on a 15th of the month.

    for example, if you want a campground reservation

    anytime between May 15 and June 14,
    your reservation time is 7 am Pacific daylight savings time on Jan 15

    between June 15 and July 14,
    your reservation time is 7 am Pacific daylight savings time on Feb 15

    using recreation.gov rather than the phone is a good idea

    best bet for walking to trailhead at Happy Isles are Upper Pines and Lower Pines.

    look here for the scoop:


    you only get Half Dome on a wilderness permit if it’s a “reasonable” part of your itinerary, say entering at Happy Isles or Panorama Point, not anywhere in the park. still, I agree with Rick that saving 100 out of 300 for backpackers seems a bit unbalanced. 100 out of 400, not so bad. (you have to name a trailhead and first night’s camping place on the wilderness permit application.)

    I think the 400 hikers per day limit has worked pretty well, so that’s the one I pushed for in my comments.

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