Half Dome 2014 Lottery Information:
Permits to hike to the top of Half Dome are required seven days per week when the cables are up (as called for in the Half Dome Trail Stewardship Plan in order to protect wilderness character, reduce crowding, protect natural and cultural resources, and improve safety.) If you're planning to hike the route in one day you should obtain a day use permit which will be distributed by lottery via Recreation.gov. Overnight wilderness users (backpackers) should apply for Half Dome permits through the wilderness permit system.
A maximum of 300 hikers are allowed (about 225 day hikers and 75 backpackers) each day on the Half Dome Trail beyond the base of the sub-dome.
Two different lotteries will be conducted by Recreation.gov. The first is a single preseason lottery with an application period in March. The second is a daily lottery held throughout the hiking season.
On each preseason lottery application, people can apply for up to six permits (six people) and for up to seven dates. Applications will only be successful if the number of permits requested is available on at least one of the requested dates. If enough permits are available for more than one of the requested dates, permits will be automatically awarded to the highest priority date, as entered by the applicant.
The applicant must specify the name of the trip leader and may specify the name of an alternate. Each person may apply as a trip leader only once per lottery. People applying multiple times as a trip leader will have all their lottery applications canceled. Permits will only be valid if the trip leader and/or alternate specified on the permit is part of the group using the permits. The group with trip leader or alternate must be present together at the base of the sub-dome, where rangers will check for permits. The names of the trip leader and alternate may not be changed once the application is submitted, and their permits are not transferable.
The Pre-season lottery is a 2-step process:
1. Apply anytime between March 1 and March 31, 2014 for all dates that cables are expected to be up. (May 23 - October 14, 2014).
2. Check your Recreation.gov account between April 15 and May 20, 2014 to determine if your application was successful in the lottery. If so, confirm your reservation details and pay for your permit. All unconfirmed reservations will be automatically cancelled on May 21, 2014 and will be added to the secondary daily lottery.
Once you pay for your permit you may print it. If you might cancel your permit then do not print it until you are certain that you will be using it. Once a permit is printed it cannot be canceled. You may return to the Recreation.gov website at any time up to two days before your hike to cancel your permit and receive a full refund of the permit fee (not application fee).
Approximately 50 permits will be available each day by lottery during the hiking season. 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 have an application period two days prior to the hiking date with a notification late that night. (So, to hike on 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 is from midnight to 1 p.m. Pacific Time.
Two separate fees are collected. The first fee, which is charged at the time you submit an application, is $4.50 or $6.50 (by phone). This non-refundable fee, which is per application (not per person), is charged by Recreation.gov for the costs of processing your permit application.
The second fee is $8 per person and is charged only when you receive a permit. (This fee also applies to wilderness permit holders.)This fee pays for park rangers checking for Half Dome permits and providing Half Dome visitors with hiking and safety information. The $8 fee is fully refundable if you cancel your permit more than two days before the hiking date specified on your permit or if the cables are not up on the date for which permit is valid.
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.