Half Dome Lottery Cheat Codes

Half Dome Lottery Cheat Codes

Half Dome is one of the most popular hikes in the US. In 2022, only 21% of applicants were successful in getting a permit. Here is how you can maximize the odds of getting one.

Which lottery to enter?

To day hike Half Dome, you must get a permit through one of the 2 lotteries. Either the once a year preseason lottery or the daily lotteries.

Preseason Lottery
Daily Lottery
Application period
March 1 to March 31, 11:59 PM PT
2 days ahead between midnight and 4 PM PT
Example: to hike on Saturday, apply by Thursday 4 PM
Results
April 11
On the day you apply in the evening
Cost
$10 to enter + $10/pers.
$10 to enter + $10/pers.
Max. number of tries
Once per season
Once per day
Success rate (in 2022)
16%
27%
Preseason Lottery
Application period
March 1 to March 31, 11:59 PM PT
Results
April 11
Cost
$10 to enter + $10/pers.
Max. number of tries
Once per season
Success rate (in 2022)
16%
Daily Lottery
Application period
2 days ahead between midnight and 4 PM PT
Example: to hike on Saturday, apply by Thursday 4 PM
Results
On the day you apply in the evening
Cost
$10 to enter + $10/pers.
Max. number of tries
Once per day
Success rate (in 2022)
27%

Does the size of my group matter?

We don’t have data on that, but it looks like larger groups have just as good of a chance as small groups. Applications are drawn at random, one at a time, with no preference for smaller groups.

tip The application only requires you to specify the group leader. To increase your odds of success, have everybody in your group enter the lottery with a separate application. However, each additional application will cost you an extra $10.

When to go?

Best month

If you enter the preseason lottery, you have the best chances of getting a permit and avoiding wildfires in late September and early October. For the daily lottery, odds don’t vary as much — except on dry winter years when the trail opens before Memorial Day weekend (these dates are not available in the advance lottery).

Preseason lottery success rate per month: 3% in May, 10% in June, 20% in July, 27% in August, 30% in September, 48% in October
Daily lottery success rate per month: 38% in May, 22% in June, 32% in July, 30% in August, 24% in September, 21% in October

What about wildfires?

Wildfires are becoming more prevalent in Yosemite.

July, August, and September are the riskiest months, so be prepared to cancel your trip.

Number of days per month with AQI above 100 (2018-2022): 0 days in May, 0 days in June, 5 days in July, 7 days in August, 6 days in September, 2 days in October

Best day

When entering the preseason lottery, avoid Fridays and Saturdays. However, the odds of getting a permit on Fridays are better in the daily lottery. So, have a reminder to enter the daily lottery by Wednesday 4 PM if Friday’s weather forecast looks good!

Preseason lottery success rate per day: 24% on Sundays, 18% on Mondays, 26% on Tuesdays, 25% on Wednesdays, 24% on Thursdays, 9% on Fridays, 9% on Saturdays
Daily lottery success rate per day: 23% on Sundays, 30% on Mondays, 35% on Tuesdays, 34% on Wednesdays, 34% on Thursdays, 29% on Fridays, 15% on Saturdays

How to apply?

Enter the preseason lottery between March 1 and March 31, 11:59 PM PT. Apply to the daily lottery on the same page.

What if I don’t win the lottery?

It’s far from over; there are other ways to summit Half Dome:

Enter the daily lottery

You can enter the daily lottery as many times as you want during the season, but it will cost you $10 per application.

Tag along a group with a permit

Hiking Half Dome in a day is strenuous (15 miles, 5,000ft elevation gain), so it’s common for some people in a large group to turn around before the end. Because you only need a permit to climb up the cables to the summit, you can hike up to the start of the cables and find a group that has extra spots left on their permit. If you can’t find a group, the views are still amazing from Sub Dome.

Backpack Half Dome

Some backpacking permits allow you to summit Half Dome as part of your trip. Most people plan a 1-night backpacking trip at Little Yosemite Valley which is on the way to Half Dome. We can even notify you when we find permits.

Next issue on the 25th

Never miss a permit deadline ever again!

Once a month, receive the list of top permits that are opening up

Resources

Bonus

Here are the success rates for each day in 2022 (October success rates are from the 2021 season — October 2022 data is not yet available at the time of this writing).

20%40%60%80%
20%40%60%80%

The success rate charts were created using historical reservation data provided by Recreation.gov. Reservation data for October 2022 isn’t yet available, therefore, lottery success rates for October use 2021 reservation data.

Air quality was provided by AirNow.gov. Data comes from the Yosemite Village visitor center sensor.

Photo by Dylan Taylor.