Still time to Half Dome: A month to go

We are now winding down to the last month that the cables will be up on Half Dome. Sad but true. Yosemite’s Plan is for the cables to be removed from the stations and the boards collected on Oct 9. The number of permits available through the 2-day advance mini-lottery is very encouraging. If you go to you can see literally hundreds that will be on the block in September and October.

Back in March during the main lottery, few wanted late summer dates. So if you missed out, go up now! The weather is still great with daytime temps in the 80’s.

Be brisk on your hike as daylight is shrinking. Sunset is coming about 7:30 pm, so you still can do a comfortable 12-hour hike if you start early. I plan to be going up Saturday with seven blog readers. I’m taking my larger MountainSmith fanny pack so I can fit in my Katadyne Vario filter, headlamp, and Patagonia Houdini jacket. This time of year it may get chilly and breezy up top and there is always the chance of rain moving in. Oh, the Vario can pump at twice the rate of the Hiker Pro. It can fill a quart Nalgene bottle in 30 seconds. It pumps on both strokes. While on filters, I did a goof. My last Half Dome hike was August 22 and we drove to Yellowstone the next day. As a result, I did not clean my filter. After 2 weeks, it grew mold. So now I have to use bleach and remove the critters. Lesson: At least dry out anything that held water lest bacteria grow.

If this is your first hike, I need to tell you that the Little Spring has changed appearance from the photo I put in the book. I alerted readers over a month ago, but to repeat, a big tree fell across the trail this winter and landed right on the spring. Trail crews cut up wedges to free it. The photo below shows what to look for. It’s on the left, 5.9 miles into the hike. The GPS markers are correct.

Little Sping on Half Dome trail

Errata: There are two typos in my second edition: Pg 171 Last line, change 1871 to 1796. Pg 186 Last line, change August to July.


Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Everybody needs beauty … places to play in and pray in where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to the body and soul alike.” – John Muir

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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5 Responses to Still time to Half Dome: A month to go

  1. Mark says:

    Great to hear about September being relatively quiet for permits. We’re planning on going next September towards the end of the month, coming from Ireland! Hopefully the permit system won’t change drastically! Quick question rick, how chilly is chilly up on the dome, and is the majority of the hike still warm? We were in Yosemite in 2010 late September also and the temperatures were in the high 80’s!

    • As we approach fall, temps do tend to drop. We’re in the mid-80’s F still. I’ll be up this weekend and it looks sweet. A high pressure ridge coming in so it’s nice. Be prepared for any mountain changes. No promises. Be a Boy Scout – be prepared. I’ve been in Oct and froze my noggin off. Fleece head to toe. Usually the top is fine in Sept…but it is a huge monolith and winds can come up. Pull your hat down…bring a jacket in your pack.

  2. Kathy says:

    I scored both permit and housing from someone who is bailing. I go up Sept. 27 – since I always seem to take 12 hours I will on the trail at 6am to make sure and get down before sun set. Staying at Yos Lodge this time so a bit farther from trail head so will be out the door by 5:30am. Thanks for the pic of the Little Spring.

    • Excellent. I’m sure you know that whoever bought the permit (or alternate) needs to be on the hike with photo ID. Check the weather – late Sept can be chilly-willy.

      Carpe Diem!!

      • Kathy says:

        Thanks. Yes, I am going up with the alternate – so I am good.
        Hope the weather cooperates, but will bring a bigger pack to carry a jacket and a headlamp (no giant police type flashlight for me lol)

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