Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
I wanted to get this advice out before yall head out for the weekend. If you have any plans whatsoever for doing the Half Dome hike in May or Jun – on a weekend – pay attention. The park says they hope to get the cables up for the 3rd weekend in May – I read that as May 15/16. (Weather permitting.) Permits go on the block this MONDAY March 1 (yes, it’s almost March) at 7:00 am Pacific time. But there is an interesting twist. Yosemite is not managing the process through the familiar park websites and phone force in Fresno. No, we now have to go to the National Recreation Reservation Service aka Recreation.gov. This is a US-wide site for all 300 million citizens (and foreigners) to plan trips and deal with transactions for recreation sites and activities managed by Federal agencies. I highly suggest you go to the site and get familiar with it. For example, if you have not reserved from Recreation.gov before, you will need a membership. So get your login and password all set up BEFORE Monday. You also need to create a profile. If not, the time it takes to do that will guarantee you get zipped out. The site has several links to safety information about Half Dome. I highly recommend you read them and view the Nature Notes Video that is linked.
Now a surprise. There is a NOTE at the bottom that reads: “Tours may be available only from the Tour Park on a first-come-first-served basis. Arrival dates earlier than the online-reservation-window may also be available at the Tour Park. What the heck is a Tour Park???” I tried to book a reservation now. But it came back as not available. Another tip. You will have to use a credit card to pay for the $1.50 fee. Have your number and data in another window so you can copy-paste it rather than waste time typing it in. You can also try phoning in to get a permit at 877/444-6777. I dialed it today to see what’s what. NOT recommended. You get to listen to a long recording and an offer to attend the White House Easter Egg hunt. Tick tick tick. Then push 1, push 2, yada yada. Fergit it! Best of luck. Get back to us and leave a comment on Monday night on how it went.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” – Jean-Jacques Rousseau
*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com