Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
The Rangers are currently analyzing the cable usage data from 2010 and plan to announce what the 2011 permit process will be very soon. They want to get word out so campers can meet the 6 month resv window. I can tell you they do not have many resources or money to administer a large program with many permutations. I recently got this email from an interested blog reader. My best advice is to send it to the park superintendent for his review.
Don Neubacher, Superintendent
Yosemite National Park
Attn: Half Dome Trail Permits
P.O. Box 577
Yosemite, CA 95389
i organize a couple of camping/hiking trips a year for a group of friends. We like to stay in the Pines Campground Friday-Sat-Sunday, and hike Half Dome on Saturday. The problem is, i have to make my campsite reservations months in advance of the trip, and don’t really know how many in my group will actually make that date. It’s a moving target from as few as 6 to as many as 30. So, to be prepared, i try to secure 4 to 5 campsites. TO COMPLICATE THE MATTER, now, a month or so later, i have to secure HALF DOME PERMITS, again, not knowing for sure how many will make the trip and how many will actually be doing the hike. So, what do i do? I grab as many permits as possible. Yes, i turn in/give away any extras that i have, but this is very inefficient and potentially wasteful. But… i have to look out for my group first. I have three suggestions for the NPS: 1) allow an “over-booking” of permits, just like airlines do. Sell 600 if you want to end up with 400 on the cables. 2) Have a priority day to obtain permits for those that already have valid campground reservations. So, for example, if i have 2 campground reservations at Upper Pines, allow me to purchase up to 12 Half Dome permits in the 24-hour period before the general public can buy. 3) have a system in place to cancel permits, just like i can cancel unused campsite reservations. This will help keep permits from being wasted. It can work!
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “All our dreams can come true – if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney
*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com