The NPS has announced the cables on Half Dome will be in place and open for the season on Friday, May 24, 2013, weather permitting. If you’re one of the lucky ones who got your permit early this is great news! If not you can still try for the daily lottery (see below) to get a permit, if there are any left.
NPS: Approximately 50 permits will be available each day by lottery during the hiking season. These permits will be available based on the estimated rate of under-use and cancellation of permits (the exact number may change through the summer). The daily lotteries will have an application period two days prior to the hiking date with a notification late that night. (So, to hike on Saturday, you would apply on Thursday and receive an email notification of results late on Thursday night. Results will also be available online, or by phone the next morning.) The application period will be from midnight to 1 pm Pacific time.