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Half Dome

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Half Dome

Postby frediver » Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:27 pm

I need some help to make this trip happen.
I know zip about the in's n out's you the Yosemite permit system.
I have 4 days in Aug for this trip, our other trip fizzled.
We are hoping to hike in one day and camp, day 2 half dome
day 3 out. We could hike out on day 2 if necessary.
We would like a multi day due to the fact we are all
flat landers. I see that the overnight must be 2 mi. from
half dome, not a big deal as long as there is not
a major elevation change as there would be from the valley
floor for a one day in n' out.


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Re: Half Dome

Postby tim » Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:07 pm

Look at http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/wildpermits.htm for details on the permit system. This has a link which gives details of availability (you would usually camp in Little Yosemite Valley unless coming from the Tuolumne Meadows direction). The advance permits for Little Yosemite Valley by all the obvious routes (Happy Isles, Glacier Pt, Cathedral Lakes, Sunrise Lakes) have virtually all gone for the whole of August. You could try to get a first come first served permit, which would involve lining up (early) the day before you started your walk (or possible getting a reserved permit which hasn't been picked up by 10am on the day of entry).

Otherwise you could try reserving a permit for an obscure trailhead to get to Little Yosemite Valley (Mono Meadow is the obvious one, not sure if you need to spend the first night somewhere other than LYV though). The only problem is getting up there, assuming you'd want to walk back to your car in the valley. There is a very expensive Glacier Pt bus tour, though I'm not sure if they'd let you off early.
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Re: Half Dome

Postby markskor » Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:17 pm

Half Dome is quite do-able as a two day trip...heck, many hearty souls do it in one day but an overnighter, (or two) is much better trip IMHO.
The permit issue (getting one) is the deal breaker, (Do you already have one reserved?) but there is always the possible "next day" permit option too. Here 40% of all available overnight permits are not reserved – wide open – but you do have to take your chances…roll the dice as it were. You do not say how many are in your party…a solo or a party of two still stand a great chance…more though, might be tempting fate.

Yosemite operates on a trailhead quota system, where a set number of permits are allocated for each starting trailhead. Assume you want Happy Isles to start and overnight in LYV. First thing after you arrive in the Valley, immediately go to the Permit Office, (in the Valley Village next to the Post Office)…There, that night, ask for a next day permit (BTW - free!). You might just get lucky. If that fails, they start releasing the “no show reserved” spots the next morning at ~8:30. If you get in line at permit office early…6:30 (maybe 7:00 latest), you still have a good shot still of getting on the trail by 10:00 that morning.

Now, about the elevation change thing, once you get to your camp at LYV. Next morning, if you get up early (leave tent set up – food in bear boxes) and hit the trail by 6:30, you can easily be up on the Dome, spend an hour or so, and be back in LYV by noon..1:00 at the latest. You can then stay over if you have a 2-day permit, or, take an hour nap, pack up. And be down in the Valley by 5:00 having Pizza and beer at Curry.

There are other options too...camping at Morraine Dome waterslide (a better camp but a level mile further past LYV could work if LYV full)... also the Glacier Point Trailhead option too.
Good Luck
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Re: Half Dome

Postby fedak » Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:28 pm

I believe that LYV is the single most popular backcountry campsite, you odds of getting a reservation for it now are probably slim.

(And the elevation change itself shouldn't dissuade you from dayhiking it if you can otherwise handle the distance. Half Dome isn't that high and folks drive up from the Bay Area and dayhike it all the time)
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Re: Half Dome

Postby maverick » Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:45 pm

If you have four days than drive up early and get your permit then hike
to the Sunrise-Clouds Rest junction area and set up a base camp.
From here you can do Half Dome one day, and Clouds Rest the next, and
hike out the fourth day.
Make sure you are comfortable with heights before doing the Half Dome
hike I have seen people freak out especially coming back down.
The Clouds Rest hike to me is one of the best trailed hikes in the park
because of the unobstructed views of the whole park from the summit.
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Re: Half Dome

Postby rayfound » Thu Jun 11, 2009 6:11 pm

maverick wrote: Make sure you are comfortable with heights before doing the Half Dome
hike I have seen people freak out especially coming back down.

I dayhiked half dome... well, I dayhiked to half dome. on the last set of switchbacks before the cable section, I got gnarly vertigo and height anxiety... had to turn around right there. I knew it was a possibility for me going in...

In fact, I would say that Half-dome is fairly easily day-hiked.
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Re: Half Dome

Postby Rosabella » Fri Jun 12, 2009 8:52 am

fedak wrote:I believe that LYV is the single most popular backcountry campsite, you odds of getting a reservation for it now are probably slim.

Actually, it might not be as hard as you think. I've got my JMT permit for 7-29-09, but if I get down to Yosemite ealier I'm going to try to get a permit for the day after I arrive. I drive straight thru, so I'll be tired the next day, but I'd just as soon get out of the Valley; hiking to LYV would be OK for that 1st day. I talked to a Ranger at the permitting office and she said that they have 8 permits per day from Happy Isles to LYV that are held for walk-ins. I think she said that there were 2 per day from Glacier Point to LYV.

As Mark said, they are "first come first served" so she recommended gettingthere by 7:00. The office opens at 8:00.

BTW - I've done Half Dome 5 times, and all but once were done as a day hike. It's a great hike, you'll love it. The cables are really frightening to me, but I just focus on going up. The funny thing is that I'm not scared at all going down... I actually go outside the cables, to give right-of-way to uphill climbers. I think I'm still on a "high" at that point! :) It's really amazing when you get to the top.

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