Mt Whitney Lottery 2014 information

Update March 24, 2013:  
Lottery results:
  total applications  12,153
successful 4,591
unsuccessful 7,562

Most results were received March 23.

March 25: There is an update with more info posted here.


Update March 12, 2013:  
Inyo has posted their last update before the lottery closes (likely 9 pm Pacific time March 15)
9,707 applications so far.
They plan to email results on March 23. Winners must confirm (and pay for) their reservations during April.
Most requested entries:
    Overnight entry date (as any choice): Fri, Aug 9.
    Overnight first choice entry date: Fri, July 19: 131 applications, 824 hikers.
    Day hike entry date (as any choice): Sat, Aug 17.
    Day hike first choice entry date: Sat, Aug 3: 128 applications, 668 hikers.

Lottery application links:   Sign in first.
    DAY USE of Mt. Whitney Zone     Mt. Whitney Trail Overnight Permit    



Edit Feb 11, 2013:  
Inyo National Forest has posted a status report showing 3633 lottery applications so far. ( link )   (Today the count is 4,532.)

The status report also shows dates and numbers of applications to start on that date.
Biggest numbers, which include alternate choices:
  Overnight hike:  Fri, Aug 09 - 267 applications, 1499 hikers
  Day Hike:          Sat, Aug 17 - 227 applications, 1479 hikers

Jan 3, 2013:  Information for the 2013 Mt Whitney Lottery is now available on the Inyo National Forest website:
    2013 Mt Whitney Lottery

From that website:
Lottery applications accepted online- February 1st to March 15th.
April 1st any remaining space will open for online reservations.
...If you win a trip, you must accept or decline by April 30, or the reservation will be canceled.


The lottery will be run electronically sometime between March 16 and March 22.  There is no advantage given to entries made earlier or later in the February 1 - March 15 entry period.

The most important differences in this year's lottery over 2012:

1.  If you win a trip, you must log on between April 1 and the April 30 to accept the trip, or it will be canceled.  When you accept a trip you will then be charged the usual $15 per hiker fee.

2.  You can make multiple entries, once you win a single trip, all the others will show "Unsuccessful".  Unlike last year, you will NOT be charged the $15 per hiker fee UNTIL you accept the winning trip.  If you decline the trip, or fail to accept it, you WILL NOT be charged the $15 per hiker fee. Only the trip you DO CONFIRM will be charged $15 per hiker. You will NOT be charged for the "Unsuccessful" trips, except for the initial $6 application fee charged when you enter the lottery.

3.  Like last year, each lottery application will cost $6 (non-refundable), and you can enter up to 15 start dates. (Sorry, no range-of-dates available, but it is in the works.)  Therefore, if you have enough time and enough $6 entry fees, you can blanket the lottery with many applications. But understand, only one can be successful.

4.  The slots from declined trips will be made available on-line, beginning April 1.  Slots declined after April 1 will become available at a random time within 24 hours of the time declined.  Slots from any non-accepted trips will be made available on May 1. Note that the system runs on Eastern Time, so actual times permits come available should be 9 PM the night before in California.

As a result of the changes, there may be a huge increase in applications this year, and a much lower success rate.  Some river rafting lotteries handled by Recreation.gov reportedly have a 5% success rate.

Inyo National Forest links:
-- Brochure: Hiking the Mt. Whitney Trail
-- Permit Pickup Instructions - Mt Whitney   Includes info on both reserved and walk-in permits

Recreation.gov Lottery/Reservation links
-- Recreation.gov:  under Where? enter Mt Whitney (then click the match)
                             under Interested in, select Permits & Wilderness

WhitneyZone Links:
-- Unused Whitney Permits for 2012   2011   2010
-- 2012 Whitney Lottery information
-- Mt Whitney Permit Reservations 2012


...watch this topic for updates and ask questions if something is not clear.


Edited by Steve C (01/22/14 11:09 AM)
Edit Reason: 2014 link