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Start your Lottery application by searching your preferred Permit Type and Entry Date.

 
Important dates for 2015:

Half Dome Cables will be up Saturday, May 2, 2015
Daily Lotteries to begin Thursday, April 30, 2015

Due to the low snow pack, the Half Dome Cables will be put up on Friday, May 1, 2015 allowing permitted public access to begin Saturday, May 2, 2015. Day use permits will be available through a daily lottery which will run 2 days in advance of the hiking date. Daily lotteries will begin on April 30th. Each day the application period will begin at *12:01 A.M. (PST) and end at 1:00 P.M. (PST). Lottery results will be available early the next day (the day before the hiking date). Notification will occur through the email address listed on the application. If no email address is available, then a voice message will be left at the mobile number listed on the application.

You may apply for a hiking permit for up to 6 people, and you may apply only once per daily lottery. The name you specify on your recreation.gov account will be designated as the group leader, and therefore, must be your legal name. You may also specify an alternate group leader by their legal name. A permit is only valid when the group leader or alternate leader is present along with the group at the base of the sub-dome. The group leader or alternate leader must carry a copy of the permit (electronic or paper) and a government issued photo identification. The name on the government issued photo identification must exactly match the group leader or alternate name on your permit.

Persons proceeding beyond the base of the sub-dome or ascending the cables without a permit are subject to citation or arrest (Federal misdemeanor). Refunds or date changes are not available because of inclement weather. Hikers must always use proper judgment when assessing whether or not to proceed to the summit. Permits are required 24 hours a day / 7 days a week to proceed beyond the base of the sub-dome or to ascend the Half Dome Cables. Day use permits are valid for 24 hours starting at 12:00 A.M. (PST) and ending at 11:59 P.M. (PST) for the date issued. Day use permits are not available for application or pickup in Yosemite National Park. Day use permits are available only through recreation.gov.

* An exception will occur on April 30th (one day only) when the application period will begin at 8:00 AM (PST).

For more information about hiking Half Dome please visit: http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/halfdome.htm


Attention: Before visiting Yosemite National Park for safety information click on this link: http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/yoursafety.htm. For safety information specifically regarding hantavirus, go to http://www.nps.gov/public_health/zed/hanta/hanta_camp.htm.

CABLES ON HALF DOME, CA

part ofYosemite National Park, National Park Service
Photo: CABLES ON HALF DOME

Overview

Rising nearly 5,000 feet above Yosemite Valley and 8,800 feet above sea level, Half Dome is a Yosemite icon and a great challenge to many hikers. Despite an 1865 report declaring it was "perfectly inaccessible, being probably the only one of the prominent points about the Yosemite which never has been, and never will be, trodden by human foot," George Anderson reached the summit in 1875, and in the process created the predecessor for today's cable route.

Today, thousands of people reach the summit. For most, it is an exciting, arduous hike; for a few, it becomes more adventure than they bargained for. Every summer park rangers must assist hundreds of people on the Half Dome trail.

The most famous--or infamous--part of the hike is the ascent up the cables. The two metal cables allow hikers to climb the last 400 feet to the summit without rock climbing equipment. Since 1919, relatively few people have fallen and died on the cables. However, injuries are not uncommon for those acting irresponsibly.

The 14 to 16-mile round-trip hike to Half Dome is not for the out of shape or unprepared visitor. Hikers gain an elevation of 4,800 feet on their way to the top of Half Dome, but the reward is worth the effort. Along the way, you'll encounter outstanding views of Vernal and Nevada Falls, Liberty Cap, Half Dome, and - from the subdome and summit - panoramic views of Yosemite Valley and the High Sierra.

It takes most people 10 to 12 hours to hike to Half Dome and back. If you plan on hiking during the day, it's smart to leave before or at sunrise, with a non-negotiable turn-around time. Check sunrise and sunset times before you embark on your hike, and always bring a flashlight or headlamp with good batteries. Although the trail is well marked, you should be prepared with a good topographic map and compass, with the ability to use them.

Much of the hike to Half Dome is an unpredictable adventure into Wilderness, but preparation is paramount. Use the links in the Know Before You Go section and Information from associated websites (on the right-hand-side of the page), for tips to help reduce your risk of injury.

The Half Dome Cables are put up each spring and taken down each fall. Traditionally, the first day the cables are up is the Friday before Memorial Day, and the last day the cables are up is the Tuesday after Columbus Day. Environment conditions dictate the actual date the cables are put up, maintained, and taken down for the season.

A permit is required to ascend the subdome steps and Half Dome Cables. Permits are distributed through two lottery processes. A preseason lottery held during the month of March allows hikers the opportunity to plan their trip well in advance. Results of the preseason lottery are announced mid-April. Approximately 225 permits are available each day through the preseason lottery.

Daily lotteries are held throughout the Half Dome hiking season. These lotteries are run two days prior to any day that the cables are up. The results of the lottery are announced the following day. The application period for each daily lottery is from midnight to 1 pm Pacific time. Approximately 50 permits will be available each day. The actual number of permits available during a daily lottery varies due to the preseason lottery results and cancellations.

A person may apply as a trip leader only once per lottery. People applying multiple times as trip leader will have all their lottery applications cancelled. For the preseason lottery, each application allows for up to seven date choices. The maximum group size for a permit application is 6. The person applying is the designated trip leader, and they may identify a single alternate trip leader. For a group to pass beyond the Subdome Check Point, the trip leader or alternate trip leader must be present with government issued photo identification and a copy of the permit.

Know Before You Go
  • The group leader or alternate listed on the permit must be present (with photo ID) to use the permit. Resale or auction of advance reservations is prohibited. Any resale or auction of permits will make the permit/contract null and void.
  • Read the Safety Information prior to making your reservation.
  • General Rules and Regulations for Cables on Half Dome are located here.
  • FAQs for permits for Cables on Half Dome can be found here.
  • Boots with sufficient ankle support and traction are recommended.
  • Protective gloves for the cables are also recommended.
  • The summit of Half Dome is extremely dangerous in the case of lightning; Check forecast before your hike and summit early in the day to avoid afternoon thunderstorms; If a storm appears nearby, descend immediately with caution and patience on the cables and steps.
  • The summit is typically 15-20*F (8-11*C) cooler than Yosemite Valley and windy conditions are common; Be prepared for cool temperatures and rain showers.
  • No trash service on trails.

Contact Information

Public Information Office
P.O. Box 577
Yosemite, CA 95389
Phone: 209-372-0200
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