Half Dome in Yosemite National Park
Now’s your chance to snag a permit to hike one of Yosemite’s most iconic routes: Half Dome! The pre-season lottery for Yosemite's Half Dome hiking permits runs through the end of this month (March).
Those who submit applications will be entered into a random drawing, with winners notified by email in mid-April. Recreation.gov administers the permits.
The “Half Dome Plan” requires permits to hike to the top of Half Dome. The route is generally open seven days a week but can be closed under various circumstances (think weather). A maximum of 300 hikers are allowed (225 day hikers and 75 backpackers) each day on the Half Dome Trail beyond the base of the subdome. Backpackers should take care to apply for Half Dome permits with their wilderness permit, per NPS guidelines.
The National Park Service currently plans to allow hiking on Half Dome from May 27, 2016 through October 11, 2016, but these dates could change based on conditions.
What you need to know:
How many can you apply for?
You can apply for up to 6 permits (6 people) and for up to seven dates.
What if I hit two days?
Your permit is automatically awarded for the highest priority date you designated.
Can I give my permit away if I can’t make it?
No, your permit is only good for you, the trip leader and/or alternate trip leader listed.
What if none of my dates are chosen?
About 50 permits are available each day by lottery during the hiking season. You must apply for the daily lotteries two days prior to your hike date between midnight and 1PM PST.
How much are the fees?
The first non-refundable fee is $4.50 if filed online and and $6.50 via phone per application (not per person) and is charged Recreation.gov for the costs of processing your permit application.
The second fee is $8 PER PERSON and is charged if you get a permit. This money pays for rangers checking for permits and providing visitors with hiking and safety information.
What are your odds of getting a permit?
Last year the overall success rate was 33%. And yes, there are better days than others. For the best chance at getting a permit apply for a weekday hike. See links above for more info.