Dateline: Skagway

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

To request, trade or give permits, Click HERE.

** Put your contact info on the request. **

     First some Half dome chatter. I am seeing several folks now making extra permits available to readers of the blog. Once again, I approve all comments and do not post any buy/sell offers. The park does not allow the permits to be sold. Also, many are still NOT putting their contact info. I am a heck of a nice guy and I have been doing it for them – but it’s getting old. From now on, if you post a comment without a name and EMAIL address, good luck on anyone contacting you. Your email address IS NOT visible to readers when you post your comment.  Snow is falling at the park – AGAIN – A May cable opening is fading.

     Yesterday I was in Skagway. I was a bit tired from my 2 previous days hiking so I found a library and cleaned up my email basket. But I also went by a few stops to get info on the Chilkoot Trail hike. Folks, it’s Hard Core.  In 1898, 30,000 miners hiked the 33 miles from Dyea (basically Skagway), over the pass and into Canada. They had to have 2,000 pounds of supplies to show the Mounties before they could enter then continue to Dawson. The last 2 miles of the route is an extreme uphill.  Many did it up to 30 times to get their stuff to the border. The hike is only possible with a Canadian permit. 50 per day are given and word is it’s no problem. US Rangers check. Plan on 4 days. The best time to hike it is July. And bring a mosquito net. You have to coordinate airplane times, a hotel in Skagway, a shuttle to Dyea, then you have to predict what days you will be at the campsites. Then predict what day you will be out at Bennett and able to take the train back to Skagway. It only runs 3 days a week southbound. The hike is with everything you need for a 4-season trek. This is mountains – only about 6500 ft at the tops, but that long uphill is over boulders for about 2 miles. Try that with a 45-pound pack. No campfires so you have to cook food. Chances of heavy rain. Oh, and Brown Bears.  Yes, they live here.  The term brown bear is given to the larger Grizzly type bears that live near the rivers/ocean (they eat better and get bigger) – “grizzly” are the inland version. At Yosemite we had Grizzlies.  Bear repellant spray is advised. Hmm, I dunno – a week in Maui sounds like a better idea.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: Thoughts come clearly while one walks.” – Thomas Mann

*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch –


11 Responses to “Dateline: Skagway”

  1. Chris Wright Says:

    Last year I did a family cruise to Alaska and in Skagway we decided to go on a hike. We didn’t really know where we were going but we went right up the mountain to the right (looking into the town from the cruise ship).

    At the top of the mountain to the right we stumbled onto a Mountaintop Lake that was just incredible. Absolutely beautiful.

    • mrhalfdome Says:

      You;re right… I was kinda tired and behind in email….so I skipped the hike …there are a couple lakes up at about 800 feet.
      They said it was nice.

  2. Janet Says:

    But what an experience if you can coordinate it! Saw a great documentary on Alaskan brown bears (the Grizzlies) on PBS last night. For our sake, I’m glad they aren’t in Yosemite any longer.

    • Sönke Says:

      And why would that be?! I assume you mean for “safety reasons”.

      • Janet Says:

        Yes, most definitely, for safety reasons. It’s a little scary coming upon a bear when you’re hiking alone, but knowing that it isn’t a Grizzly makes me feel a little better about it. 🙂

      • mrhalfdome Says:

        So one has ever been killed by a bear at Yosemite…so I guess we’re due. :>)

  3. Roberto Hernandez Says:

    The weather in Yosemite looks bleak in the short-term. Think cables will be up by the weekend of June 12th?

    • Sönke Says:

      The weather didn’t exactly help the last couple of days. I got a few reports from approx. a week ago and if those reports are correct then there are still 4ft of snow on Subdome and between 6-8 ft of snow the mile before Subdome. I’d be surprised if the cables are up by the weekend of June 12th.

      • Roberto Hernandez Says:

        Do all the Wilderness centers issue Wilderness permits for all areas of the park? For instance, does the center in Wawona issue permits for halfdome/little yosemite valley? Does each center have a separate allotment of permits? Mid to Late June hiking should be awesome as long as roads and trails are open. I was hoping to do Glen Aulen and Lembert Dome.

      • Sönke Says:

        I don’t know how the park handles the Wilderness permits. I assume they are using the same network sharing the total amount of permits. Maybe someone more familiar with those procedures can shed some light on it?! Would be interesting to know.

        Yes, mid to late June should be awesome. But as long as Tioga Road remains closed (there are rumours the park is targeting June 24 +/- 1 week) you can’t hike to Glen Aulin or Lembert Dome (unless you are willing to take a VEEERY long backcountry approach).

        Glen Aulin is one of my favourite hikes and Lembert Dome is a very rewarding short hike too (sometimes the trail can be very busy). So let’s pretend Tioga Road is open and you can access the trailheads easily: I think you need to be prepared with very good boots (preferrably Goretex) as the trails will be wet and boggy. Also I’m not sure if the bridge near Little Devil’s Postpile (check it out – afaik it’s one of only two traces of volcanic activities in YNP) could be crossed as the Tuolumne River will be raging. Anyway, it’s all speculation at this time. We need to be a bit more patient. 😉

  4. Maureen Lahiff Says:

    The only day hike in Yosemite for which you need permits is the Half Dome Cables.

    Wilderness Permits for overnight backpacking trips are partly reservable up to 24 weeks in advance and partly wak-up day/before – day/of.

    The park site says for just-before permits says:

    Priority for permits for a particular trailhead is given to the closest permit issuing station, though it is possible to obtain a permit for any trailhead at any permit issuing station.

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