Post Half Dome Lottery Advice

Congrats to all those who won permits!!

Resale of a permit is a violation of Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, section 1.6.

I’ve gotten many emails from people who did not win inquiring how to get them now. It’s not like in 2010 and 2011. Because the sum-bag scalpers were reselling permits for $60-$100 each, the Park has the process where whoever bought the tickets as TRIP LEADER (or the named alternate) MUST be on the trip with an ID to show the ranger at Sub Dome. Also, everyone in the group must arrive at the Sub Dome together and pass “Checkpoint Charlie” together. Sorry, but there is no way to get a permit other than the 2-day lottery. This is how it works:

50 permits will be available each day by lottery during the hiking season. Cancelled permits will also be added to this inventory. These permits will be available based on the estimated rate of under-use and cancellation of permits (the exact number may change through the summer). The daily lotteries will have an application period two days prior to the hiking date with a notification late that night. (So, to hike on a Saturday, you would apply on Thursday and receive an email notification of results late on Thursday night. Results will also be available online, or by phone the next morning.) The application period will be from midnight to 1 pm Pacific time. Enter at 2 days before your desired hike. If you win, you will be emailed a “permit number” since you will not always have access to a printer. Or you can call. Give this permit number to the ranger at Sub Dome with your party. You will have to show the ID of the Trip Leader that was on the application and all must arrive together.

So if someown trys to sell you a permit, ask them if they are going to hike up with you – and I was told by the Park that if you reimburse them for the $5 permit it’s considered “selling.” This blog supports Park Policy and no offers to buy or sell will be posted.

I feel your pain, but welcome to 7 billion people on earth and most want to hike Half Dome.


Unrelated thought worth quoting: You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” -Wayne Gretzky, Hockey star


*MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch –

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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7 Responses to Post Half Dome Lottery Advice

  1. Cameron says:

    Hi Rick,
    I see you’re the guy to talk to about Half Dome permits, and I had a question regarding permits in between the pre-season lottery and the daily lottery.
    On the site it has the number of available spaces listed for each day not picked up in the pre-season lottery. Is this availability due to people not applying for the full amount available during the lottery, or is it also due to people winning and canceling their pre-season spaces, or reducing the head count of their group? Curious because I didn’t know if these spaces would fluctuate throughout april as people confirm their availability, or if all cancelled/reduced groups from the pre-season lottery only get added to the daily lottery availability.

    Hope this isn’t too confusing, haha. Let me know when you can, thanks!

    • Cameron,

      Lots of questions. Yesterday was the first day that awards were given. It’s highly improbable that there were few entries for EVERY day…but depends on the date. Odd – if that’s what you saw. Yes, they put the unclaimed/unbought permits (way to early for people to cancel just after the award) in the 2-day mini-lottery. Folks have until Apr 27 to cancel.

      9 suggest you get my YouTube on How to improve your odds of getting a permit – tips apply to 2-day attempts. Reply if interested. 2-dayers are not available until 2-days before the cables open. This is the end of May–I bet WAY later due to high snow.

  2. James says:

    Hi Rick,

    My group got tickets for Monday July 30th and I was unable to claim mine. If I do the lottery they have set up (btw I would be only requesting 1 ticket), how are my chances? Do people who enter the lottery during the week normally receive a permit? Thanks.

    • James,

      What do you mean “I was unable to claim mine??”

      Lotteries are gamble. You enter and hope. To be honest, the odds are low…only 25% who apply get them in the 2-day
      lottery. But you will have a 100% chance of not getting them if you don’t apply.

  3. Anna says:

    Hi Rick –

    do you know if there is any way to exchange tickets for a different date with another winner? I won tickets for my 3rd choice, but just found out one of the members of my group has a conflict. I know last year was a different system, so I don’t know if it’s possible to trade them this year.

    • Mr Half Dome - Rick Deutsch says:


      No there is no “exchange” process. Remember, the TRIP LEADER must be on the hike. The park nor has any sort of exchange mechanism in place. Sorry, but the NPS did the best they could with NO extra budget for the permit process. Blame those who bought permits from scalpers and of course the bone-head scalpers themselves.

      What could be more important than hiking Half Dome??? They need to cancel their confict and do the hike.


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