Half Dome cables open early, in place Saturday
The cables to the summit of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park will open Saturday, three weeks ahead of schedule because of the low snowpack.
Day hikers wishing to ascend the cables between Saturday’s opening day and May 22 must apply for a two-day-in-advance permit through an online lottery at www.recreation.gov.
The lottery will be open for applications from midnight to 1 p.m. with results available the following day at 6 a.m.. Day use permits for Half Dome are not available in the park.
The regular Half Dome season will start May 23. Permits for the regular season were available through a lottery during March. Approximately 50 permits per day will be available on a daily basis through a two-day-in-advance lottery beginning May 21. Visitors wanting to obtain a permit can make reservations at www.recreation.gov or call (877) 444-6777.
Trail around George Bush Tree closed due to die-off
The extreme die-off of pine trees in the southern Sierra Nevada forced forest officials last week to close the trail loop around the President George Bush Tree, east of Springville in the Giant Sequoia National Monument.
Numerous dead and dying trees have been found along the edge of the trail, posing a hazard to visitors.
To protect people from falling trees, the Forest service closed the trail loop, adjacent parking area and Forest Road 20S78. The Freeman Creek Trail will also be closed where it intersects the trail loop, though hikers can still enjoy the Freeman Creek trail above the closure area. ( Map)
The Forest Service issued the closure order on the trail from April 22 through July 1.
Hinds Hospice Angel Babies Walk/Run
When: 6:45 a.m. Saturday
Where: Woodward Park (northeast parking lot)
The 11th annual Hinds Hospice Angel Babies Walk/Run and pancake breakfast is Saturday morning. The event kicks off with a 5K run at 7:30 a.m. The 2-mile walk/run will start at 8 a.m. and kids races of 1/4- and 1/8-miles will follow at 9 a.m.
Registration costs $25 for adults and $15 for kids 10 and under. Tickets for the breakfast are an additional $5.
• Pack some snacks or a lunch and some water for a Sunday picnic on the top of Black Mountain east of Prather. The Sierra Foothill Conservancy is hosting its free,open preserve day at Black Mountain Preserve
. Gates open at 9 a.m. and close at 4 p.m. No dogs allowed. Details:www.sierrafoothill.org
•Save the Date:
The annual Youth Fishing Derby at Shaver Lake is not far upstream. The free event is June 13 and features a grand-prize of a family fishing trip on the lake. Details? Call Greg Marks at (559) 855-8752.