Thanks for info Steve. I'll book something tonight, maybe there's a date that works with 4 spots available. Can I use my Whitney day permits for a hike up the Mountaineer's Route?
I was able to book those 2 permits for 8-6 on my own account (I have 2 current permits - 4 person day hike 7-17, will scout MR and 2 person overnight JM34 on 8-6) Thanks Steve for setting me straight on which permit I needed. Lucky for me the only spots available were for the exact day I wanted, although I wanted 4 instead of 2. I will continue monitoring availability and consider taking someone hoping to get one of the 4 walk-in permits. Any advice on how to maximize our chances of getting 1 or 2 of those? Am I correct that with my Whitney Day hike permit I can go up the MR?
Frank, welcome to the "ConfusionZone", where nobody knows all the rules. Yes, you can use your "Day Use" Whitney Permits to hike the Mountaineers Route. In fact that is what is required for day-only access. It is only the overnight that is separate from the lottery.
Continuing monitoring available: Besides your two, there are only
4 other permits reserved for that "trail", so seeing any cancellations is a remote possibility. Checking the last 2 weeks before that date would be most likely.
To maximize your chances: First, call the wilderness permit number and ask: "Would you be able to grab two of the walk-in permits at any of the other 3 Inyo permit offices, or MUST you get in line at the Lone Pine Visitor Center?
" If another office is
possible, be there before 11 AM the day before (Aug 5), be first in line, and you will beat out people in Lone Pine queuing up in the 11 AM line for the 4 available walk-in slots. If other-office pickup is not allowed, be at the Lone Pine VC by 10:45 the day before, put your name in for the drawing. In fact, everyone in your party should act independently and enter the drawing (mini-lottery), so you have more chances to be processed sooner.
Third option: On Aug 5 when you are trying for the Aug 6, see if there are any no-shows for Aug 5 (they are declared at 11 AM Aug 5, I think). If there are, and no Aug 6 are available, use those, hike up to Lower Boy Scout Lk, and camp the first night.