In the last decade, Half Dome in Yosemite National Park had become insanely crowded as visitors waited their turn to shimmy up the cables . The only thing missing, it seemed, was a Starbucks on the top. As you can see with the line above, the crowding was extremely dangerous. There’s no protection up there and a slip could mean several people been torn off for a free eTicket to the Valley floor. So, to curb the numbers, hikers now need a permit to climb. We mentioned last year those permits were selling like hot cakes.
Of all the national parks, the Half Dome trail is by far the busiest. Prior to requiring permits, over 1,000 hikers would attempt to scale it daily back in 2009. Last year the permits allowed for 400 hikers a day. Now the NPS is trying to reduce that number down to 300 for 2013. Less crowds not only enhance the safety factor, but can reduce the overall impact of visitors on the wilderness.
Yosemite is a majestic and beautiful place and its environment needs to be protected. These are smart and considerate measures so future visitors can enjoy the Half Dome experience.
However, we’d like to remind you that we’ve put together a list of many other places to check out in Yosemite besides Half Dome. These places are just as amazing and you can avoid the crowds.