Half Dome cables day use permits for the 2014 hiking season will be available for reservation starting tomorrow, Saturday, March 1, through Monday, March 31, 2014. Permits to hike to the top of Half Dome are required seven days per week and reservations will be distributed via a lottery system. Successful parties will be notified in mid-April. A maximum of 300 hikers will be allowed on the Half Dome cables per day.
Reservations for the permits can be made online at www.recreation.gov or by calling 1-877-444-6777.
Approximately 50 subsequent daily permits will be available each day by lottery during the hiking season. These permits are made available based on the number of no-shows and cancellations from the pre-season lottery. The permits must be applied for two days in advance of the desired hiking date. Reservations for the two-day in advance permits can also be made through www.recreation.gov.
Hiking to the top of Half Dome is one of the most popular hikes in Yosemite National Park. The iconic granite monolith, at 8,842 feet above sea level, attracts people from all over the world who attempt to climb to the summit. Most visitors ascend Half Dome via the cables, which are typically in place from mid-May through mid-October. Most visitors begin and end their hike at Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley. This is an approximately 17 mile round-trip journey.
National Parks around the country offer wildlife viewing, film festivals, and ranger guided walks and talks year-round. Here is a listing of a few of our favorite events in the National Parks this March.
Photo: Camping in Yosemite National Park in the 1920s | National Park Service Historic Photograph Collection
The Wilderness Act of 1964 will celebrate its 50th birthday on September 3, 2014. More than 300 events will take place across the country to commemorate the historic act of nature preservation and conservation.Learn more about the history of the wilderness act and what a wilderness designation means.
In honor of the 50th birthday of the Wilderness Act, About Camping asked are your favorite wilderness areas; the votes are in and the Top 5 U.S. Wilderness Areas have been decided. For more information on events or how you can participate in wilderness celebrations, see this list of wilderness resources.
Photo: Minaret Lake in the Ansel Adams Wilderness, Sierra Nevada, California. | © Monica Prelle
Spring break is a great time to pack up the car and hit the road with your best buddies or girlfriend. Whether it is your first time camping, or you are just looking forward to some time outdoors, we have some resources to help you plan your spring break camping trip. From campground apps to stargazing calendars and top spring break destinations, we've got you covered on your spring break camping getaway.
Have you been on a spring break camping trip? Tell us your favorite spring break destinations in the comments below.
Cooking at the campground can be simple, and easy, but to make your meals even more delicious, try Dutch oven cooking. There is something about cooking in a Dutch oven with coals from the campfire that is so authentic of the camping experience. It is simple, but you'll need a specific set of Dutch oven tools to get started. Once you have the right tools and accessories, try one of our favorite Dutch oven recipes.
Have a bit of campground cooking advice? Share your kitchen tips with fellow campers in the comments below.
The Napa Valley isn't just for oenophiles. A camping trip to America's most famous wine producing region can produce opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, cycling, or hang gliding; fishing, bird watching and nature loving!
After a day of cold weather and rain, the sun peaked out for a few hours before sunset, inviting me on an outdoors adventure. I headed out for a walk along the Ritchey Canyon Trail in Bothe Napa Valley State Park. The creek was flowing higher with fresh rain water and the scent of wet soil lingered in the forest. Dead leaves dropped from the over hanging trees carpeting the trail and moss hung from branches. The late afternoon proved to be quiet, with no other hikers on the trail. Birds chirped from perches overhead, singing a song in the afternoon sunshine.
Photo: The Ritchey Canyon Trail in Bothe Napa Valley State Park. | © Monica Prelle
Have a favorite wine region for camping? Share the best spots for camping and wine in the comments below.
The latest reader submitted campground reviews are from Tennessee, Florida, and Nevada.
- Two Rivers Campground - Nashville, Tennessee
- Explore Brown Country - Nashville, Tennessee
- Riverside Lodge - Inverness, Florida
- Sams Town Campground - Las Vegas, Nevada
Finding a trail or discovering constellations has never been easier. There are iPhone apps for just about everything and campgrounds and the great outdoors are no exception. We've compiled a list of some of our favorite outdoors apps to compliment the best apps for campers.
Do you have a favorite app for camping and the outdoors? Share your favorites in the comments below.
The National Park Service announced the dates for 2014 when more than 2,000 national parks, national forests, national wildlife refuges, or other federal lands will offer free admittance to everyone. The first fee free day in the National Park is next week on January 20 in commemoration of the Martin Luther King holiday.
The National Park fee free dates for 2014 are listed here.
The Bureau of Land Management, National Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will also participate in some of the fee free days.
Death Valley National Park is open year round, but the winter season is a favorite for campers since the weather is more comfortable. Temperatures begin to moderate, dropping below the 100-degree mark, in mid October and the peak visitor season runs through the cool winter and spring months into the middle of April.
There are nine national park campgrounds with varying facilities and seasons. The low elevation campgrounds, with the exception of the Furnace Creek Campground, close during the long summer months because of the extreme heat. Several higher elevation campgrounds and camping areas in the mountains remain open year-round.
Plan a national park getaway to:
- Death Valley National Park
- Virgin Islands National Park
- Hot Springs National Park
- Redwood National Park
Photo: Dried mud cakes in low portion of Mesquite Dunes at dawn, Death Valley National Park, California. | © Getty Images Don Smith for the Image Bank