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Yosemite may lower number of daily Half Dome hike permits

January 25, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Yosemite National Park officials are considering lowering the number of daily permits to hike Half Dome.

Officials want to lower the number of permits issued daily from 400 to 300. They think doing so will be the best option for maintaining the wilderness of the popular hiking area.

The restriction is part of the Half Dome Trail Stewardship Plan. Officials released a draft of the plan Tuesday.

A lottery system was put in place last year that allowed 400 hikers on the trail per day. Prior to that, as many at 1,200 visitors a day were known to attempt the hike. That amount of people created congestion and dangerous conditions on the cables that provide handholds on the slick granite.

Public comment on the report will be accepted through March 15. Other options on the table range from requiring no permits at all to removing the safety cables.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.