This 'gif' and text were lifted from http://www.nps.gov/yose/learn/management/hdp.htm
How many people are too many for a wilderness trail? Half Dome, one of the most popular attractions in Yosemite National Park, lies in designated wilderness. In 2008, up to 1,200 people a day tackled the famous trek up the cables; the high level of use has led to both safety and environmental concerns. The National Park Service (NPS) is developing a plan to provide long-term stewardship of the Half Dome route in a manner that is consistent with the Wilderness Act and the NPS Organic Act.
On the day that I climbed the cables, It appears that the total number of people on the granite rock face of Half Dome is less than 10 people and that number would include people going UP and DOWN.
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this information came from recreation.gov
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THIS IS THE CURRENTLY USELESS INFORMATION REGARDING THE UPCOMING 2016 SEASON... MY ADVICE WOULD BE TO CHECK THIS WEBSITE AS MARCH 1st, 2016 approaches.... That was the MONTH AND DAY in 2015 that the lottery applications opened to the public during the current season that ends within a few days.
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.
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TOTAL CALORIES CONSUMED 3576 CALORIES
65 minutes, MayMyWalk 5 mile walk, brisk pace 988 calories
Thursday NET CALORIES 2588 calories