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Half Dome Hiking Permits: 2013 Applications Accepted March 1 Through March 31

The subject: Half Dome hiking permits for 2013 in Yosemite National Park.

The news: Opening day for the permit application process at is Friday, March 1. The application window runs through March 31. Anyone who succeeds at obtaining a permit will be notified in early April.

Details are explained on a page hosted by We’ll highlight a few key points below.


A snowy view of Half Dome from the park's Sentinel Dome webcam in December.

The process: Online permits can be made during overnight hours tonight starting at 12:01 a.m. PT (3:01 a.m. ET). Phone reservations can be made by calling 1-877-444-6777 starting at 7 a.m. PT (10 a.m. ET). Tip on calling: After the introductory message, press 2 (for permits), then 8 (for Half Dome).

Should you wait up tonight and try to be among the first to submit a permit application? No, phone reps at tell me. This is a lottery, known as the "preseason lottery." Anyone who applies on any date during March will have an equal opportunity for having their application chosen for a permit.

Daily total: 300 hikers—approximately 225 day hikers, 75 backpackers. The goal: Reduce congestion that was clogging Half Dome's climbing cables.

Additional numbers of interest: Your permit application can include up to 6 people, and you can apply for permits on as many as 7 dates. I’m told you will be able to indicate on your application which dates you prefer most.

Cost: A nonrefundable online application fee of $4.50. If applying by phone, the fee is $6.50, also nonrefundable. Permits themselves cost $8 per person. Yeow.

Tough to plan in advance? The park will continue its short-notice permit lottery that began last year. You can apply for unclaimed or still-available permits 2 days in advance of your desired climbing date, as explained in a past REI Blog post or on the park’s website.

Want to avoid the permit hassle? Sign up for the Yosemite Half Dome Backpacking trip via REI Adventures. These 4-day trips run from June through September and include all permits.

Posted on at 5:15 PM

Tagged: Half Dome,, Yosemite National Park, national parks and permits

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thank you for your info of Online permits.

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Hi. Just tried to apply for a 2nd application date and got the following error: "You have exceeded the maximum number of applications allowed for a season. Cannot proceed with your application." So its appears the ability to apply for 7 different dates is untrue. Sorry.

Shigtastic Journey

Each person can only apply ONCE per season, however on that one application you are allowed, you can specify 7 dates in order of preference.

Below the entry date, there should be a link to select alternate dates. clinking this makes more options available.


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