Yosemite Permits | How to get one to hike Half Dome

The lottery for required permits is coming up in March. Do you know the procedures for getting one?  I do – I’m at 40 times up the rock. 5 times a summer and I have no special lane for a permit. Tips and insider info.

HalfDome permtis allow people to hike to the top

“Get yer Half Dome Permits here! Red hot. Git ’em in March. Get yer Half Dome Permits here!”

This is a SAVE THE DATE alert. I’ll be having TWO showings of the live webinar – at noon and 7 pm (no reason to miss it). The date = Feb 4.

Keep tabs on this blog for more details. But SAVE THE DATE.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: – “Knowledge is good.” Emil Faber, AD 1904 Faber College ” – Animal House

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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12 Responses to Yosemite Permits | How to get one to hike Half Dome

  1. Perla says:

    Hi Mr Half Dome!
    I must say hiking Half Dome is on my bucket list (I’m sure many have admitted to saying that, how could one not? 😉 Whether I can make it this year or next year (my big 50 moment) we’ll just have to see if I will be granted a permit. I have done Avon (39 miles in 2 days), SGKomen (60 miles in 3 days 2x) both at SFO) but hiking Half Dome is a great deal for me, some trails here & there., but nothing like Half Dome. It is is a huge accomplishment for me. What’s an individual’s chances in getting a permit over a group? I maybe on my own on but I am determine to go.

    Looking forward to your webnar’s details.

    • Perla,

      Yes, an individual has a WAY better shot at getting a permit. I’ve done the hike alone many times…the trail is easy to follow. You’ll have your cell phone if needed and there are many people you can chum with. I don’t know the hikes you refer to, but Half Dome is VERY hard. You go up a mile while walking 7 miles to get to the rock.

      Register for the webinar – I’ll cover everything and you can ask questions until you are comfortable.

  2. Reese says:

    I’m planning a night hike up to Half Dome to watch the sunrise. We did this back when they first started requiring the permits. We never made it up to see the sunrise as part of our group was unprepared for the hike, but this year, I am determined to make it. We had permits, but made it down before the rangers came up…I wanna say some time between 9-10am…do you know if it’s different now? Are they more strict? It’s a large group, and I’m afraid of not being able to secure everyone a ticket. Thanks for your info. Can’t wait for your webinar!

    • Reese,

      Since 2010, when permits were first required, Rangers have been posted at the base of Sub Dome…the 400 ft bump before the cables. They have an iPad with the names of everyone who has a permit for that day. The permits are good for 24 hours ON THAT DAY. So if you have permit for, say, July 22, You can go up the cables at a minute after midnight. (Not July 21…the date you start the hike). I like to arrive about 4 am for the sunrise….at about 5:30 am. (Start up about 10 pm….and it gets REAL cold about 2 am.)

      Any ranger can ask for your permit when you are on the Half Dome trail..the 2 mile spur off the JMT. The logic is that is the only place you are going—to HD.

      The rangers stay in Little Yosemite Valley and walk up every day. Usually they are there from about 10 am to 2 pm…but this CAN vary.

      You can for sure get up at 4 am (illegally) and head back down at 7, 8, 9 am…..but if you see a ranger, you will be asked for your permit. Yes, even though you are coming down. Yes, they are strict. They are Federal law Enforcement officers and can give you a fine. [[ and they have guns]]

      They are not there to make your day miserable….but for safety….from the perspective of keeping the crowd down. They will NOT tell you the weather is bad and you cannot go up….you are in the Wilderness – deal with it.

      See you at the Webbie. Stand by for registration info soon.


  3. Dale says:

    Mr. Half Dome,

    I like your site! I hike a couple of times of month. Mostly around the Santa Cruz Mountains, Sierra Azul, and the Diablo Range.

    What kind of prep should I be doing to get in shape for such a long, steep climb at altitude?


    Dale G.

    • Dale,

      Thanks for the comment. You have some great spots to train over there….the Forest of Nicene Marks is good. In Siera Azul – go up the Lime Kilm Trail. park near the Boathouse on Lexington. Try to make it to Shannon Rd. That is very steep – but that’s what you want. HILLS. Mt Diablo is also a killer – start on the NE side. Do the “3 peaks.” Up/down then again and again.

      The top Half Dome altitude is only 9,000 feet – not really hi9gh enough for Altitude sickness or issues. If you are in SHAPE you are fine. Drink!!!!! Hydrate is the best protection and add electrolytes.

      Come to my webinar on Feb 4 – noon and 7 pm…same words. Permits & Questions. Details soon.


  4. Maureen L says:

    how do you get so many permits when the lottery limits us to one application?

    do you have a lot of friends who put themselves in a trip leaders for different weeks?

    or can someone who has an advance permit get more in the 2 days before lottery?

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