Yosemite National Park: Half Dome Permits

Half Dome, an iconic granite monolith in Yosemite National Park, stands as a symbol of nature’s grandeur and human ambition. Rising nearly 5,000 feet above the valley floor, its sheer face commands attention, inspiring awe in all who behold it.

For adventurers and climbers, conquering Half Dome is a revered challenge. The most popular route, the cables route, requires physical endurance, mental fortitude, and a healthy respect for the mountain’s unforgiving nature. It also requires a permit.

The Half Dome cables are put up each spring and taken down each fall, typically from the Friday before Memorial Day through the Tuesday after Columbus Day. These dates are conditions dependent and may vary from year to year. You must have a permit to ascend the subdome steps or Half Dome cables.

Beginning May 22, a small number of day hike permits are available every day the cables are up, via a two day in advance daily lottery at Recreation.gov.

Multi-day hiking permits (overnight backpacking with an overnight stay at Little Yosemite Valley or other Wilderness location) are not available through the lottery process. More information on multi-day hiking in Yosemite is available at NPS.gov.

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Rocky Mountain: Timed entry vehicle permits

Rocky Mountain National Park is a breathtaking expanse of wilderness nestled in the heart of the Colorado Rockies. Spanning over 415 square miles, it boasts towering peaks, alpine meadows, and pristine lakes.

Visitors can explore over 350 miles of trails, winding through diverse ecosystems teeming with wildlife like elk, mule deer, and bighorn sheep.

With iconic landmarks such as Trail Ridge Road and Longs Peak, this park offers unparalleled opportunities for hiking, camping, and awe-inspiring scenic drives.

Planning for summer and fall trips to Rocky?

Beginning May 24 to mid-October, timed entry vehicle permits will be required to enter Rocky Mountain National Park during certain hours of the day. There will be two different options to choose from: Timed Entry or Timed Entry + which includes the Bear Lake Road Corridor.

Timed entry permits for May 24 – June 30 will be available to reserve at Recreation.gov beginning at 8 a.m. MDT on May 1.

For more detailed information and a list of frequently asked questions and answers, visit NPS.gov.

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Mesa Verde: Cliff Dwelling Tours

Mesa Verde National Park is home to remarkable cliff dwellings that offer a glimpse into the ancient lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people. These architectural marvels, perched on canyon walls, are a testament to their engineering and artistic achievements.

Cliff Palace: As the largest cliff dwelling in North America, Cliff Palace was once home to over 100 people. On a ranger-led tour, you’ll descend uneven stone steps, climb four ladders, and explore this impressive site. The tour lasts 45 minutes and covers a quarter-mile distance.

Balcony House: This adventurous tour involves scaling cliff faces via tall ladders, crawling through narrow tunnels, and retracing the steps of Ancestral Pueblo residents. The one-hour tour includes a 32-foot ladder, an 18-inch wide tunnel, and a 60-foot open cliff face.

Backcountry Tours: These special tours take you into the park’s lesser-seen cliff dwellings. Rangers guide you through the history and culture of the Ancestral Pueblo people, offering a unique perspective on Mesa Verde’s hidden treasures.

To explore these fascinating cliff dwellings, make reservations at Recreation.gov or call 1-877-444-6777. Remember, demand is high, so secure your spot early!

Learn how the science of using tree rings to understand the past began in Mesa Verde.

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