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Half dome Yosemite question
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John Davis
(billybooster) - F

Locale: So Cal
Half dome Yosemite question on 03/20/2010 08:41:39 MDT Print View

I'm a little unclear - still - having read and re-read the sections relating to permits to climb half dome and wilderness permits.

Having done so now half a dozen times, I need some help!

1. By getting a wilderness permit for the desired start point (Happy Isles) I am entitled to a half dome permit automatically. True or False

2. There are seemingly a number of trails that start at Happy Isles - one to Merced Lake and one up to Half Dome. If I were to secure a Merced lake, can I NOT go up Half dome on way back? Would a Merced Lake permit NOT allow me up or does my first question's answer answer this!

Any help, appreciated to clarify my muddled mind..

Jeff K
(jeff.k) - F

Locale: New York
Re: Half dome Yosemite question on 03/20/2010 08:53:56 MDT Print View

John-

I think if you get a wilderness permit you don't get a Half Dome permit automatically, but you are automatically eligible to receive a half dome permit. So when you pick up your wilderness permit you just tell them that you want to climb half dome and I think they put a stamp on your permit and you are good to go.

I have a Happy Isles to Merced Pass thru permit this year in August. It only states where I must camp the first night. Where I hike before and after I camp that first night I think doesn't matter.

This might add to your confusion, but it is the conclusion I came to after reading the information many times.

John Davis
(billybooster) - F

Locale: So Cal
I thought i thought that! on 03/20/2010 08:58:14 MDT Print View

yes i can ask... so if i stay at little yosemite valley for example i can wander all over the place! Is the permit for a period of days or just the start day?

John Davis
(billybooster) - F

Locale: So Cal
so if i.... on 03/20/2010 09:14:28 MDT Print View

get a happy isles to merced, i can stay at yosemite valley first night then go up half dome, before deciding where to go thereafter right?

First Last
(snusmumriken) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
First Night on 03/21/2010 10:37:36 MDT Print View

The wilderness permit tells you where you can camp on your first night.

If it says Happy Isles / Little Yosemite Valley you should stay in the campground at LYV your first night.

On the other hand if your permit says Happy Isles / Merced Lake Passthru that means you cannot stay at LYV your first night - you have to pass through and go at least one mile beyond LYV.

They will ask you on the permit application when / where you are exiting, but nobody will hold you to it. After the first nights camp you can wing it and stay out and camp wherever you choose, for as long as you like.

Previous posters are right about the Half Dome permit, just ask for it when you pick up your wilderness permit.

John Davis
(billybooster) - F

Locale: So Cal
Thankyou for your insights on 03/21/2010 10:44:21 MDT Print View

I think I figured it out!

Is it reasonable to hike to Merced Day 1, back to Little YV day 2, up half dome day 2, stay LV night 2 and depart day 3? Or should I do Half dome day 3?

First Last
(snusmumriken) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Lots of other options on 03/21/2010 12:16:15 MDT Print View

Sounds like you have a passthru permit, but your main focus is hiking Half Dome. No problem!

First day you hike PAST Little Yosemite Valley to set up camp at Sunrise Creek close to where the Clouds Rest trail meets the trail. This is 7 miles up from the Valley floor, an easy first days hike, or if you feel inspired after you've set up camp, do the Half Dome hike in the early evening that first day.

On your second day you could stay at this same camp site and day hike either or both of Half Dome and Clouds Rest.

Alternatively if you did Half Dome the previous evening you could break camp and set out on an easy, relatively flat hike towards Merced Lake and camp at Echo Valley, Lake Merced or wherever strikes your fancy.
On the third day you head down the pretty trail past Bunell and past LYV and down the mist trail for a total of about 14 miles going down hill.

John Davis
(billybooster) - F

Locale: So Cal
so a silly question on 03/21/2010 13:41:15 MDT Print View

could i get an illioueete pass, go there, come back and do half dome on 2nd day? or 3rd or whatever? It seems there is an abundance of availability to get that wilderness pass - or is that not practical?

First Last
(snusmumriken) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Bingo on 03/21/2010 14:11:01 MDT Print View

Exactly. You've figured it out and now getting permits in Yosemite will never be a problem again!

John Davis
(billybooster) - F

Locale: So Cal
thanks all :) on 03/22/2010 09:30:36 MDT Print View

appreciate the scoop!