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#44963 - 12/07/15 04:41 PM 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction: Completed
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Due to major road construction planned on Whitney Portal Road this summer, there will be some major parking restrictions.

Click here to read this entire thread, as it spans several pages.

Update Nov 18, 2016:  Official word has arrived: the Portal Pavement Project is COMPLETE!

Update Nov 11:  The work is nearly completed. Only minor delays should be expected.

Update Oct 27:  Inyo County Sheriff reports on Facebook:
Construction crews have discontinued the extended delays for the Whitney Portal Road Construction Project.  Expect a total traffic delay of up to 30 minutes, Mondays – Fridays: 7:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.  Crews are working on the following items: finishing the roads shoulders, completing curb backfill, installing signs and markers, and minor striping. They hope to begin reseeding and mulching in the next week.

Update Sep 17:  Paving is completed. Edge work continues, delays recently have been up to 90 minutes.

Update Aug 23:  Note: contrary to previous information, walk-in permittees will NOT receive a parking pass for Whitney Portal. No reservation, no parking pass.

Update July 26:  NO parking along the road until further notice.
Update July 28:  Signs are posted on the road warning of 3 hour closures. ...Aug 23: There have been no reports of long periods of closure.

Update Oct 23:  Posted on Instagram by andreavphoto   Lines are painted!!


From the construction company's notice, updated Sept 7:
Quote:
Construction Schedule:
Monday-Friday 6:00 am to 7:30 pm
Plan for extended delays 8:00 am - 11:00 am & 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm in the upper section of road starting above the turn off to Lone Pine Campground. Expect 30 minute delays outside of the extended delay times and areas, but within the construction schedule.
Some notices make the 3-hour "extended delay" periods sound as if the road will be impassable for the entire three hours, but that has turned out NOT to be the case.

Day hikers using the trailhead walk in campground the night before their hike, their one day parking pass will be accepted the evening before the hike.

Day use (non-permit) parking at Whitney Portal: 6 AM - 8 PM (So you can go up before the 6:30 AM construction delays.) Parking in the day use area outside of those hours is not allowed.

NOTE:  Even though you get a parking pass from the Visitor Center in Lone Pine when you pick up your trail permit, it may not guarantee you a parking spot. Inyo N.F. cautions that at times, the parking lots may be completely full, with no space available for those holding a parking pass. More info: Throughout the summer, the parking lots have never been full.

Edit:  Note that parking in unauthorized spots near Whitney Portal and on any surrounding roadways will result in cars being towed, and, I am told, a "Notice to Appear" in court -- not a simple parking ticket.

Edit Feb 29:  The Inyo N.F. Road Construction notices web page has a link to weekly updates pdf document.   Inyo NF road reports on Twitter: @MtWhitneyInfo


Edit Jan 14:  From the Inyo N.F. website
Quote:
Whitney Portal Road Reconstruction (Inyo County and FHWA project)

A major reconstruction of the Whitney Portal Road is planned for March 1 through November 7th of the 2016 season. Hikers, backpackers, campers, and other visitors should plan for road closures (up to three hours), limited parking, carpooling, and a lot of patience. Long term parking will not be available at Whitney Portal during the construction project. More information will become available as the project approaches.
(edit end)


From Inyo National Forest staff:

Quote:
FYI there will be some impacts for hikers with Trail Crest Exit in the 2016 season, specifically during the Whitney Portal Road project.

There will be no long term parking allowed at Whitney Portal.

Use of hiker parking or curbside parking at Whitney Portal will require a parking permit during the construction project.

Folks with Trail Crest Exit could use the backpacker walk in at the Portal and then hike down the National Recreation Trail to where long term parking is allowed near Lone Pine Campground. If doing this scenario, the exit date on the wilderness permit would still be the day they reach Whitney Portal.

Arranging for a shuttle to pick up hikers may be a good solution.

Several parking areas near Lone Pine are being identified for ride share and long term parking.

There will be more details soon regarding how this will impact trips starting at the portal.


This notice appears on the Recreation.gov site when looking for a campsite at Whitney Portal:
Quote:
ROAD CONSTRUCTION: The Whitney Portal Road is being reconstructed in 2016. Daily extended closures and limited parking will require careful planning. Whitney Portal Campground guests must park within designated campground site only. There will be no curbside parking on Whitney Portal Road during construction at the Whitney Portal area. A parking permit is required for hiker parking.



Note that Lone Pine Campground is along Lone Pine Creek, below the steeper part of Whitney Portal Road. Here's a Google Maps view. The turnoff is 3.4 miles from the Horseshoe Meadows turn off, and 6.5 miles from Lone Pine.

Hikers coming off the JMT or using the Trail Crest Exit may need to park near Lone Pine and get down from Whitney Portal using their thumbs. wink Whitney Portal seems to be one of the easiest places for hikers to catch a ride this way.

--- Shuttle services ---
(from Jont Turner at
Sierra Elevation in Lone Pine. Jont writes, "You can call us here at the shop for updates and more info 760-876-4560")
Kurt's Sierra Shuttle   661-972-9476   email: LonePineKurt@aol.com

East Side Shuttle 760-878-9115/8047  email: paul@inyopro.com

Mt Whitney Shuttle 760-876-1915   email: info@mountwhitneyshuttle.com


Lone Pine Chamber of Commerce can arrange shuttle services: 760-876-4444

Also see this web page: Sierra Nevada Shuttles

--- Parking Locations ---
Mount Whitney Golf Course: $10/day, $25/week, $75/month. 760-876-5795
  Across 395 from the Interagency Visitor Center (permit pickup office)
Lone Pine Chamber of Commerce (link above).
Lone Pine Film History museum

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#44968 - 12/08/15 06:26 AM Re: 2016 Parking at Whitney Portal [Re: Steve C]
britonwhit(ney) Offline


Registered: 03/06/14
Posts: 62
Loc: UK
Is there any prospect that Inyo (or an enterprising private firm) will implement a regular/timetabled shuttle service for 2016? (I'm aware of Bob Ennis's regular trips, but they still need scheduled in advance). That would make life much easier for all - maybe it could use the vast parking lot at the visitor centre.


Edited by britonwhit(ney) (12/08/15 06:27 AM)

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#44970 - 12/08/15 05:27 PM Re: 2016 Parking at Whitney Portal [Re: Steve C]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1549
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
"A parking permit is required for hiker parking."

How does that work?

On reflection, its beginning to look like parking at Lone Pine, or even Mammoth or Lee Vining, would be preferable to parking at the Portal. Parking at the Portal requires a shuttle, exchange, taxi, Uber or hitch at some point. Easiest hitch I have ever seen is Portal to LP, and from there, trans is available all the way back to Yos, Reno, wherever. So I don't see any value to parking at the Portal, and no disadvantage in losing it for long term hike. For weekend or day hike, looks like it will still be available.

Soo what exactly is the issue?
_________________________
Wherever you go, there you are.
SPOTMe!

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#44973 - 12/08/15 09:28 PM Re: 2016 Parking at Whitney Portal [Re: saltydog]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
"A parking permit is required for hiker parking."   How does that work?
Parking permit issued with the trail permit, I assume.


Soo what exactly is the issue?

I think many long-term hikers would park along the roadway when the parking lots were full. So that won't be available. And I think in the peak hiking months, there are just more cars for multi-night backpackers than there will be spots in the parking lots. It wouldn't be that difficult to hitch a ride down to their car, but for a group starting a hike and no spots available... what to do... drop everyone and gear at the trail head, drive the car back down, and hitch back up to the Portal? That might delay the start time for a bunch of people.

This would be a good summer to try running a regular shuttle: One or two trips in the morning, one or two mid-day, and one in the afternoon. It works at Mammoth/Devils Postpile. I'd bet it would at the Portal.

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#45040 - 12/20/15 11:01 PM Re: 2016 Parking at Whitney Portal [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
More info from Inyo N.F. staff:

Quote:
This is a big project, it includes all of Whitney Portal Road from the city limit at Lone Pine to the Overflow parking lot at the portal.

While the construction is in the lower sections, the delay to pass through the site will be the main issue. 30 minute delays will be standard, with longer delays for some of the specific construction steps. This will affect access to Horseshoe Meadows Road also. The contract calls for no work on weekends, however all the road projects in the last few years have been granted some exceptions to work on weekends.

There are 3 road work segments identified for the construction contract. The contractor may do them in a different order, or combine segments, or change the order of work… we will know more about the contract in February. The project may start as early as March 1.

Segment #3 is from the city limits of Lone Pine, CA. through the Alabama Hills to near the forest boundary/ Lone Pine Campground.

Segment #2 is from Lone Pine Campground to Hogback Road (the dirt parking area below the winter closure point, the bottom of the road switchbacks)

Segment #1 is from Hogback Road to the Portal.

Best guess by our engineering staff is the contractor will work on Segment #3 first, as the upper part of the road is likely to not be reliably snow free until later in the spring. Segment #3 is a big segment and has several bridges, so it may take a while. We cannot predict now with any accuracy what date the project will move into the Hogback to Portal segment.

While work is in segment 2 & 3, below the winter closure point:
  • Portal parking should be fairly normal with curbside parking allowed near the campground and upper portal road.
  • Some long term parking may be allowed, case by case, if we can verify the trip will end well before work begins in Segment #1.
When the work moves into Segment #1:
  • There will be NO curbside parking at all, from Hogback Road (the winter closure point) to the driveway for the Overflow parking lot at the Portal.
  • The only parking in this stage of construction will be in the campsites in Whitney Portal Campground and the actual parking lots at the Portal.
  • Every turn out, dirt road, and spur road has been surveyed and identified for staging of construction materials, heavy equipment, construction crew parking, or other designated use.
  • There will also be no public parking on the roads to the privately held cabins toward Meysan Lakes trail. Parking at these cabins is already assigned, and a safety lane must be maintained to all these structures for emergency. We are identifying a few parking spots in the campground for permitted Meysan Lake parking.
  • If our enforcement officer reports parking is exceeding capacity we may temporarily suspend issuing walk in wilderness permits. This will include Whitney no-shows.

Timeline:

We hope to have some notice for when the work will move into the portal area, but cannot predict it at this time. On the road projects over the last two years, contracts have referred to two week notice, but that doesn't always happen. Hopefully we will be able to give you at least a weeks' notice of when the serious parking crunch will begin.

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#45077 - 01/03/16 09:45 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Here is the map of the road construction project.


  (Click for full size)


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#45083 - 01/05/16 10:29 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1549
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Note that Segment 1 is the Portal area: does this hold out any hope that this section will be done and over with early in the season?
_________________________
Wherever you go, there you are.
SPOTMe!

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#45084 - 01/05/16 05:31 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: saltydog]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
No, not at all. They're talking starting work on segments 2 and 3 in March. The upper area will likely be done during the main hiking season, unfortunately.

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#45097 - 01/08/16 07:49 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 780
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
Am I the only one confused? According to the map, the "Project Start" is the upper 1st segment, starting at Whitney Portal. The "Project End" is the 3rd segment, which ends in Lone Pine.

It would make more sense to start the project at a lower elevation, and leave the upper segment after the snow has melted.


Edited by Bob West (01/08/16 07:50 PM)

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#45098 - 01/08/16 10:48 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Bob West]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: Bob West
Am I the only one confused? According to the map, the "Project Start" is the upper 1st segment, starting at Whitney Portal. The "Project End" is the 3rd segment, which ends in Lone Pine.

It would make more sense to start the project at a lower elevation, and leave the upper segment after the snow has melted.

You're right, and they will indeed start parts 2 & 3 first. I think the map was created by someone completely unfamiliar with the area.

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#45105 - 01/10/16 02:57 PM Re: 2016 Parking at Whitney Portal [Re: Steve C]
wagga Offline


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2212
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
Originally Posted By: Steve C
There are 3 road work segments identified for the construction contract. The contractor may do them in a different order, or combine segments, or change the order of work… we will know more about the contract in February. The project may start as early as March 1.
_________________________
Verum audaces non gerunt indusia alba. - Ipsi dixit MCMLXXII

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#45119 - 01/14/16 04:14 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
News release, Jan 14, 2016

Quote:
Whitney Portal Road Reconstruction Planned for 2016 Significant Impacts to Access, Parking

Release Date: Jan 14, 2016
Contact(s): Deb Schweizer Public Affairs Officer 760-873-2427
Whitney Portal Document
Tips for Accessing Whitney Portal

Whitney Portal Road Reconstruction Planned for 2016
Significant Impacts to Access, Parking


The Whitney Portal Road Reconstruction is planned for the 2016 season under a funding request from Inyo County. The road will be re-paved and needs significant repairs for safety. The project begins just west of Lone Pine and ends just east of Whitney Portal.

Whitney Portal is the most popular trailhead on the forest; with hikers applying, by lottery, to ascend the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States. Mt Whitney is also the southern terminus of the John Muir Trail (JMT).

“There is no way to complete this project without having a significant impact on visitors to the Whitney Portal area,” said Ed Armenta, Forest Supervisor. “The road has only one ingress/egress and the already limited parking will be much reduced. Accessing the area may be, at times, difficult and frustrating. Your planning and patience will help complete this very important project.”

Visitors have long used roadside parking as an overflow. During construction near Whitney Portal, this roadside parking will not be available.

Construction delays will be up to three hours, twice a day. Visitors to Whitney Portal should anticipate that there may not be a parking space available.

Visitors to Whitney Portal should consider carpooling, being dropped off by friends, or shuttle services available from the Lone Pine area.

Visitors who want to hike Mt. Whitney are strongly encouraged to enter the lottery since walk-in permits will not be issued when parking is unavailable. Please apply via www.recreation.gov.

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#45121 - 01/14/16 10:29 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
From Inyo N.F.   Tips for Accessing Whitney Portal (pdf document)
Quote:
Accessing Whitney Portal: How To Make it Work
  • If you do plan to visit Whitney in the summer of 2016, please pack your patience and carefully plan your trip to avoid the construction delays and the parking problems.
  • Check the construction schedule before you head up to Whitney Portal (Twitter (@mtwhitneyinfo), at the Interagency Visitor Center (760-876-6222), on the web (http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/inyo/passes-permits/recreation/?cid=stelprdb5150055). There may be times when delays and parking are little impacted. There may be periods with 30 minute delays, and two 3-hour delays per day in the peak of construction.
  • Please be prepared that there may not be a parking space available for you.
  • Consider carpooling, being dropped off by friends, or explore local shuttle services.
  • To help alleviate the problem of reduced parking, long-term parking will not be permitted. No overnight parking is available for anyone not starting and ending a hike at Whitney Portal. If you are entering or exiting the Whitney Trail via the Pacific Crest Trail, the High Sierra Trail, the JMT or other popular long-distance routes, you may not park or stage a vehicle at the trailhead.
  • Long-term parking may be available in Lone Pine. Check with the Lone Pine Chamber of Commerce (760) 876-4444).
  • An alternative to parking and hiking from Whitney Portal is the National Recreation Trail that connects the Whitney Portal Campground and Lone Pine Campground to the trailhead. This is an additional four miles of hiking with an additional 2,400 ft. in elevation gain. Parking is allowed clear of the roadway.
  • All permitted Whitney hikers will receive a day or overnight parking permit that must be displayed on their vehicle. Whitney overnight hikers with valid parking passes may park at Whitney Portal for a maximum of 3 nights, if space is available. No day-use parking will be allowed after 8:00 p.m.
  • A limited number of well-signed parking spaces will be available for day-users to the Whitney Portal area who are not hiking to Mt. Whitney.
  • Parked vehicles without the required permit, that overstay their limit, interfere with construction activities, or are unsafely parked will be towed.
  • The Inyo National Forest will honor the efforts of people who apply via the lottery for a Whitney hike. People who want to hike Whitney in 2016 are strongly encouraged to use the lottery system for the hike (please apply via www.recreation.gov).
  • Many people who apply via the lottery cannot make the hike for a variety of personal reasons and the forest has re-issued those permits to "walk-ins" at the visitor center the day before or the day of for interested hikers. These walk-ins may not be available in 2016.The forest intends to manage the limited parking, in part, by limiting the walk-in permits. If there is no parking, then the walk-in permits will not be issued, or a reduced number will be issued.
  • People who plan to take advantage of the walk-in process need to understand this option may not be available this year, especially in the peak of the summer which will likely be when construction is underway near Whitney Portal.

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#45126 - 01/15/16 11:14 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Map showing parking restrictions.
Click on the maps for an enlarged view.


Quote:
  1. Whitney Portal Campground: Group and family campground parking is limited to registered campground guests. Vehicles must be parked within the designated parking space for their campsite.
  2. No Parking: This area is for Forest Service administrative use only. No public parking on side roads or dirt lot.
  3. Loading and Unloading Zone: Whitney Portal Trailhead, from rockwork identifying the trailhead pedestrian
    way, west to Whitney Portal Store pedestrian way is roadside loading and unloading zone where terrain allows while maintaining a clear safety lane. Additional loading zone is located near the pedestrian
    way to the fishing dock and pond.
  4. Picnic Area, Pond, and Whitney Portal Store: No parking pass is needed. Parking is permitted 6am to 8pm for spaces shaded yellow. Whitney Portal Store parking spaces are for store customers only. Day Use
    Parking has 12 parking spaces for visitors using the picnic area, fishing pond, or short hikes that do not enter the Mt Whitney Zone, like Lone Pine Lake.
  5. Hiker Parking: Parking pass required to park after 8pm or prior to 6am. Vehicles not to exceed 20’. No long term parking. Vehicles parking overnight must display a parking pass on the dashboard with expiration
    date visible.
  6. Recreation Residences: Recreation residence road parking by permission of residence permittee only.


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#45221 - 01/28/16 07:47 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 780
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA

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#45222 - 01/28/16 08:47 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Bob West]
britonwhit(ney) Offline


Registered: 03/06/14
Posts: 62
Loc: UK
I'm unclear when this is expected to complete. Doug's WPS message implies possibly "late June", but the original press release indicates November.

Does anyone have any additional insight? I'm hiking mid August and wondering whether there is a possibility that parking is open again.

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#45223 - 01/28/16 10:25 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: britonwhit(ney)]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: britonwhit(ney)
I'm unclear when this is expected to complete. Doug's WPS message implies possibly "late June", but the original press release indicates November.

Does anyone have any additional insight? I'm hiking mid August and wondering whether there is a possibility that parking is open again.

I really doubt the project will even be close to complete by late June. Based on my communications with the Inyo N.F. staff person, this project will likely continue through mid-summer.

I'll keep this thread up-to-date, so you should know in the weeks before your trip.

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#45225 - 01/28/16 05:07 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 780
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
The Whitney Portal Road Project is planned for March 1 through November 7th of the 2016 season. A June completion date is probably out of the question.

The Bishop Pass trailhead parking lot repaving took two months last year, from September to October, and was a relatively small project compared with the Whitney project, which involves over 11 miles of road.



Edited by Bob West (01/28/16 05:12 PM)

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#45227 - 01/28/16 11:30 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Bob West]
britonwhit(ney) Offline


Registered: 03/06/14
Posts: 62
Loc: UK
Thanks all. I guess absent any changes I'll plan to leave my car in Lone Pine and shuttle both ways. We're either doing Cottonwood Lakes to Whitney or Onion Valley so whatever we do there's a fair bit of shuttling!

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#45329 - 02/22/16 04:22 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Regarding the notes on walk-in permits, and the possibility that they may not be available due to parking problems:

It is my understanding that if people can arrange transportation to and from the trailhead without the need of a parking permit, then they will be able to pick up walk-in permits if they are available.

Note: This thread continues -- click page 2

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#45333 - 02/22/16 07:58 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
Whitney Fan Offline


Registered: 12/02/09
Posts: 213
Loc: Las Vegas
Steve, what is the basis for your understanding that? Some official notice? If this is a "go", what does the permit applicant need to do to show he/she has transportation arranged? (Seems that a simple verbal affirmation would not be enough?)

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#45335 - 02/22/16 10:19 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Whitney Fan]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
I have Inyo N.F. contacts. (They like to get the info out to the public in as many ways as possible, and this forum helps. So passing on the info helps them.)

They are working on better-defined details regarding walk-in permits and parking. But the no-parking-permit part sounds pretty sure.

Actually, if everyone who parks up there MUST have a permit, and you don't get one, verbal affirmation should be enough.

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#45339 - 02/22/16 11:11 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
RenoFrank Offline


Registered: 08/06/11
Posts: 414
Loc: Reno, NV
If I get a dayhike permit in the lottery, does this mean I'll have a parking permit? How do I get one?

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#45340 - 02/22/16 11:26 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: RenoFrank]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Dayhike permits would be good only for the (extended) day of the hike. The parking permits will have dates written on them.

You get the parking permit at the Visitor Center from the same people that hand you your hiking permit.

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#45369 - 02/29/16 10:51 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
The first of many weekly updates...

From the Inyo N.F. Road Construction notices web page:   weekly update.

Quote:
WHITNEY PORTAL ROAD
CONSTRUCTION INFORMATION

The Whitney Portal Road Construction project begins on Tuesday, March 1st.

Crews will start on the first 7 miles of the 11 mile project, with construction activities starting about ˝ mile west of Hwy. 395 and moving up the road about 1-2 miles each day during the first stages of construction.

Construction Schedule: Mondays-Thursdays, 6:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Expect delays between 15 - 30 minutes. Flaggers and a pilot car will manage traffic, allowing alternating two-way
traffic.

Hat Creek Construction Materials Inc. understands that no one enjoys delays and we assure you that we will make every effort to minimize your delays while providing the necessary safety for you and our workers.

UPDATES FOR ROAD CONSTRUCTION DELAYS:
Call 1-844-372-4555

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#45546 - 03/25/16 09:41 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Inyo N.F. has updated their map and notes of parking at the Portal. The original PDF document is here: Map of Portal Parking

Here is the map. Click for a full-size view.


Notes from the Inyo document:

#1. Whitney Portal Campground: Group and family campground parking is limited to registered
campground guests. Vehicles must be parked within the designated parking space for their campsite.

#2. No Parking: This area is for Forest Service administrative use only. No public parking on side roads or
dirt lot.

#3. Loading and Unloading Zone: Whitney Portal Trailhead, from rockwork identifying the trailhead pedestrian
way, west to Whitney Portal Store pedestrian way is roadside loading and unloading zone where
terrain allows while maintaining a clear safety lane. Additional loading zone is located near the pedestrian
way to the fishing dock and pond.

#4. Picnic Area, Pond, and Whitney Portal Store: No parking pass is needed. Parking is permitted 6am to
8pm for spaces shaded yellow. Whitney Portal Store parking spaces are for store customers only. Day Use
Parking has 12 parking spaces for visitors using the picnic area, fishing pond, or short hikes that do not
enter the Mt Whitney Zone, like Lone Pine Lake.

#5. Hiker Parking: Parking pass required to park after 8pm or prior to 6am. Vehicles not to exceed 20’. No
long term parking. Vehicles parking overnight must display a parking pass on the dashboard with expiration
date visible.

#6. Recreation Residences: Recreation residence road parking by permission of residence permittee only.

Additional notes:
Vehicles are limited to 20ft. in length in the portal parking lots.

Two locations have been identified for loading zones. (blue on the map. North side of road at the trailhead.)

Parking any time after 8pm or before 6am requires a parking pass.

Walk in permits will be issued if quota space is available. However, walk in permits will not be issued a
parking pass so it is essential the party has alternate transportation that does not require parking.


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#45549 - 03/25/16 12:50 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
otis24 Offline


Registered: 04/16/12
Posts: 5
Loc: Mountain View, cA
Hi Steve,

Thanks for all the parking information.

I've been planning a trip to the Whitney area for next weekend and just stumbled upon this.

As I understand it prior to May 1st you can self register to go into the Whitney Zone. Will there be self register parking permits as well?

I'd like to know either way for planning and timing.

Thanks again!

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#45550 - 03/25/16 01:38 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: otis24]
otis24 Offline


Registered: 04/16/12
Posts: 5
Loc: Mountain View, cA
Originally Posted By: otis24
Hi Steve,

Thanks for all the parking information.

I've been planning a trip to the Whitney area for next weekend and just stumbled upon this.

As I understand it prior to May 1st you can self register to go into the Whitney Zone. Will there be self register parking permits as well?

I'd like to know either way for planning and timing.

Thanks again!


I called the wilderness permit office and was told the road is currently closed and work had begun. However, that may change and to call back next week to get a more up to date status.

I'd still love to hear info from this forum as it's been my experience that visitor/information centers don't typically have the best information.

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#45551 - 03/25/16 05:26 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: otis24]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
"Currently closed"???

...oh right... As in winter closure. If you go, you will find the "road closed" sign that many (or most?) people drive around (and travel at their own risk!). See the picture here. Inyo County Road Dept installed a locked gate that only lasted one season, because of all the ruckus raised by local businesses -- locked gate = tourists not stopping in Lone Pine! Before the gate installation, the CHP went up once in a blue moon and wrote a few parking tickets. Who knows what they will do after the gate fiasco.

The most recently posted info is that they have one-lane access, with a flagman and pilot car running one-way traffic. They have warned that the road could have long (i.e. several hours) closures on week days, but I don't think that is the case just yet.

...and you will have to head over the Sierra at either Tahoe or via Bakersfield, since all the passes in between are closed. But you knew that.

By the way, permits are available to all until May 1, and after that, they have never reached the daily quota until Memorial Weekend, so there is no hurry yet to get over there to do any hiking.

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#45559 - 03/26/16 06:00 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1254
Loc: Atlanta
The five days we were in the Portal area last July was the worst parking situation I've run across there yet. It was an adventure finding a spot every time. The roadside parking was packed all the way from the overflow lot PAST the switchback. Doug seemed to think that the excessive traffic was attributable to the interest in hiking in general and the PCT in particular generated by the movie "Wild". Hopefully all the publicity about the Portal road work will have the same but opposite effect this year, but I have my doubts. If the upper stage work coincides with the high-volume summer months, as appears likely, this could be an epic CF.

I've depended on snagging mid-week walk-in permits the past few years, but that may not be the case this year. This will bear watching closely in June, but we have to lock our travel plans down well before then. Usually we stay a week up north around Yosemite then another week south in Lone Pine and on Whitney. We'll likely plan to spend both weeks up north this July. It's hard to imagine a Sierra trip that doesn't put boots on Whitney, but this seems to be the year that could happen.

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#45562 - 03/27/16 08:10 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
RenoFrank Offline


Registered: 08/06/11
Posts: 414
Loc: Reno, NV
Originally Posted By: Steve C

#5. Hiker Parking: Parking pass required to park after 8pm or prior to 6am. Vehicles not to exceed 20’. Nolong term parking. Vehicles parking overnight must display a parking pass on the dashboard with expiration
date visible.
.


I scored a day permit in August. I booked a camping permit for one night at Whitney Portal. I assume they will let me up the road with that camp permit. I'll camp or "sleep" in my car till sometime after midnight. (I know I'll be restless anticipating the next day's adventure).

I plan to start my day hike up the Mountaineers Route around 2AM. I assume I will have a day parking permit for the Portal area and that I can park there at 2AM. Will this plan work? Anyone want to join me?

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#45563 - 03/27/16 11:17 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: RenoFrank]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1254
Loc: Atlanta
Are you solo, Frank? Bea had enough of the MR? Descending the main trail?

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#45564 - 03/27/16 12:16 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Bulldog34]
RenoFrank Offline


Registered: 08/06/11
Posts: 414
Loc: Reno, NV
Originally Posted By: Bulldog34
Are you solo, Frank? Bea had enough of the MR? Descending the main trail?


Yes, Gary, I am solo this time. I plan on starting early and carrying a fairly light day pack. That time I carried an overnight pack I was exhausted just climbing 4,000 ft. I haven't decided which trail to come down yet. I'll be coming down the main trail one week before this trip when some others and I finish a 5 night trip from Onion Valley. Bea will be there for that one.

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#45565 - 03/27/16 02:19 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: RenoFrank]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
According to what I've been told, you will have a pass to park up at the portal, so it should work. ...so what date in August? smile

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#45568 - 03/27/16 04:16 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: RenoFrank]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1254
Loc: Atlanta
In August, if you choose to descend the MR, you may be able to keep the Easy Walk-Off in mind as an alternative to downclimbing the F400. Would love to join you, but we'll be there in July. I'll definitely be looking for it on FB!

2:00 start - that means the E-ledges by headlamp. Fun!

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#45570 - 03/27/16 04:58 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
RenoFrank Offline


Registered: 08/06/11
Posts: 414
Loc: Reno, NV
Gary, I've navigated the E-Ledges three times now. I know every rock and crevice. No worries there.

Steve, I submitted a lottery app for three different dates in August working around my Onion Valley to Whitney Portal trip which finishes on Tuesday 8-16. I'll be camping at the Whitney Portal campground one week later Tuesday 8-23 and going up the MR Wed 8-24. Please join me. However I must warn you that's three weeks after my 65th birthday. I may slow you down (I've seen your video going up the MR). But I WILL be in top shape. I've got a 5 day hiking trip to Bend,OR mid July and that 5 day backpack trip ending one week before this MR climb. I do want to go up the Final 400 not the easy walk-off.

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#45615 - 03/30/16 04:35 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: RenoFrank]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Jont Turner from Sierra Elevation posted this on Facebook today.
Quote:

Whitney Portal Road Closure Notice

Attention all Mt Whitney Portal Users!!!
Road closure update

FS and Inyo County Road Crews will have the Portal Rd Gate locked starting Monday April 4th through April 11th for rock demo & removal.

All traffic will need to be via foot along the portal rec trail not the road.

Vehicles left in the portal Monday morning may be stuck there until the 11th.

Call us or the Lone Pine Interagency Office


So... I called Inyo County road dept, and they had not been notified. Inyo N.F. has not changed their notices yet. Hat Creek Construction has not changed their "weekly" notice dated March 3 yet. I called the Interagency Visitor Center (where people pick up permits), and they are working on getting more info out. The official I spoke to said the "gate would be locked and the construction company flaggers will also be out there."

Here's what Kurt W has reported:
Quote:
Starting the week of 4/4, they will complete the rock scaling. Scaling is where they pull down potentially unstable rocks from a slope in a controlled environment. It is a relatively dangerous operation and therefore they will have a flagger at the road closure to prevent vehicles from entering that section of road. Completing this operation while the road is still closed will reduce the need for the extended 3 hour closures later in the project.


March 31 on twitter, @MtWhitneyInfo:
Quote:
Starting April 4th, a flagger at the Whitney Portal Road winter road closure will prevent vehicles from entering that section of road.


And from Inyo N.F.
Forest Service Engineering Department reports that people should NOT ignore the road closed sign, as they are indeed doing very hazardous work.

Scaling is due to start Monday, April 4th and it is possible they may need to go longer than April 11 to complete the work. Scaling is the removal of boulders and rock fall hazard uphill of the road bed, ie lots of large rocks falling onto the road and being cleared away

if they can complete this phase of work while the road is still under winter closure, we may have fewer long closures later in the season.


I'll post more updates when I see anything.


Edited by Steve C (03/31/16 11:55 AM)

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#45633 - 04/01/16 10:34 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Posted on FB by Inyo N.F.

Quote:
Whitney Portal Road Update:
Hat Creek Construction continues with good progress on the project. Currently, they are working on the aqueduct bridge. Please use caution as the bridge is reduced to a single lane while it is under construction. They plan to take advantage of the winter closure for the upper portion of the road to accomplish some hazardous work. Starting the week of April 4, they will complete the rock scaling. Scaling is where they pull down potentially unstable rocks from a slope in a controlled environment. It is a relatively dangerous operation and therefore they will have a flagger at the road closure to prevent vehicles (bicycles, pedestrians, anyone) from entering that section of road. Completing this operation while the road is still closed will reduce the need for the extended 3 hour closures later in the project.

Working hours are M-Th, 6:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.



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#45723 - 04/11/16 08:28 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
WanderingJim Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 185
Loc: California
So has there been any word on a safe/good parking area for people catching shuttles/taxis/uber/hitching to the portal from Lone Pine?

Either offical or unofficial?

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#45727 - 04/12/16 07:03 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: WanderingJim]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1549
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Yes: Lone Pine Chamber of Commerce and Mt Whitney Golf Course
_________________________
Wherever you go, there you are.
SPOTMe!

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#45752 - 04/12/16 11:14 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: WanderingJim]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: WanderingJim
So has there been any word on a safe/good parking area for people catching shuttles/taxis/uber/hitching to the portal from Lone Pine?

Either offical or unofficial?

See the first post in this thread. Scroll down a little for the parking and shuttle info.

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#46378 - 05/23/16 07:44 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
ScottHikerEsq Offline


Registered: 05/23/16
Posts: 20
Loc: California
I have a hiking permit for the MWT June 28-29.
I have a campground reserved June 26-29 (checking out June 30).
OK to leave my car in my campsite the whole time?

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#46383 - 05/23/16 08:57 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: ScottHikerEsq]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Yes.

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#46733 - 06/18/16 03:44 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
TedB Offline


Registered: 06/18/16
Posts: 5
Loc: SC
I'm coming from out of state to hike Mount Whitney. The road construction/parking situation is making it hard to plan. I have an overnight permit to be on the mountain Friday 8/26 - Sunday 8/28. It's my understanding that IF the road is open I can park my car at the Portal for that length of time. I reserved a campsite at Whitney Portal Campground on Thursday 8/25, the day before I start. I want to do some acclimation hikes nearby in the days preceding my Whitney attempt, but once again the road work/parking situation is making it hard to plan.

Is parking at Lone Pine Campground and tacking an additional 4 miles onto the hike (each way) a viable option? Will my overnight hiking permit be valid to walk the trail from the Lone Pine Campground on Thursday 8/25 up to my reserved spot at Whitney Portal Campground on that same date OR is it only good on the Mount Whitney Trail from 8/26 - 8-29? Will I have to pay per day to park my car there? How likely is vehicle damage from bears (or vandals) at Lone Pine campground?


Edited by TedB (06/18/16 04:52 PM)

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#46734 - 06/18/16 10:57 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: TedB]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
The Whitney hike is so arduous that I don't think it is reasonable to add those 4 miles and 2300' elevation gain. The road will be open, but there may be delays up to 30 minutes.

I think you will find parking in the hiker parking lot if you drive up early in the morning on 8/26. Since you are spending several nights on the trail, you don't need to start hiking early, but you should park the car as early as you can.

Your parking permit will then enable you to do the hike from Whitney Portal. I wouldn't consider parking at the lower campground.

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#46736 - 06/18/16 11:31 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
jmester82 Offline


Registered: 08/11/14
Posts: 22
Loc: CA, USA
I was up there a week ago and didn't find the traffic situation all that bad. I had to wait a few times but the longest was 20 minutes. There's no traffic controls after 6:30PM and the traffic controls are Monday thru Thursday. If you have to wait, sit back and enjoy the scenery for a few minutes. Again, it's really not as bad as it seems!

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#46739 - 06/19/16 09:35 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
Luisito Offline


Registered: 04/15/15
Posts: 21
Loc: San Jose, CA
Our group was at Whitney this Wed, Thurs and Fri. No issues with construction delays. There were 3 areas under construction with directed one way traffic. Minimal delays and little wait time. Parking was fine as long as you have parking permit for the hike. Construction is only Mon - Thurs smile

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#46746 - 06/19/16 06:16 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: TedB]
Robert W Offline


Registered: 06/04/16
Posts: 5
Loc: California
I would not worry about the road work . You may at most have a 30 min delay going up the road or down! You will be issued a parking permit for the nights you are on the trail when you pick up your Mt Whitney permits that the lone pine Ranger station. There is a temporary parking area at the trail head. Get there early on the day of your hike to guarantee a spot!

I will be up there for my hike up Whitney on the 23rd and will post more info around the 25th.

Have a great trip and safe one to!

Robert

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#46747 - 06/19/16 06:28 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Robert W]
Barbara Offline


Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 34
Loc: LA, CA
Is there a place to park still for day visitors who don't have permits because we are only going up to Lone Pine Lake? If so, does it fill up early on a Sunday? Thanks.

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#46750 - 06/19/16 10:50 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Barbara]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Barbara, this post (earlier in this thread) shows the Inyo N.F. map with 8AM-8PM day parking (no permit required) at Whitney Portal.

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#46785 - 06/21/16 08:50 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
Barbara Offline


Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 34
Loc: LA, CA
Thanks Steve

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#46794 - 06/22/16 07:29 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 780
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
Current status on road closures and delays:

http://inyocounty.us/PortalConstruction/

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#46871 - 06/28/16 12:44 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
sonalAlpha Offline


Registered: 06/22/16
Posts: 4
Loc: CA
Hello,

We are a group of 9 people planning to hike Mt. Whitney on July 2nd. We have an overnight pass for the same. I was told that only one permit is issued per group for parking at Mt. Whitney portal parking but we have 2 cars.

I have been trying to call the Eastern Sierra Shuttle Service, LLC (760-876-1915) but no one seems to be picking up.

What are the options we have? Is there hope to park both cars at the parking lot at Mt Whitney or at the campground?

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#46877 - 06/28/16 10:29 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: sonalAlpha]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Check the first post on page 1 of this thread...

"Overflow parking along the road is ok now until Monday, July 11"

All you need to do is drop everyone off at the trail head, then park one cars along the road just past the entrance to the overflow (lower) parking lot, and park the other in the permit-parking lot.

You can find the map showing those areas on page 1, also.

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#46881 - 06/29/16 10:48 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
nlewis Offline


Registered: 06/29/16
Posts: 2
Loc: California
I have an overnight permit starting on the 3rd of July and exiting the 5th.

I realize this is going to be a very busy time at the Whitney Portal and am somewhat worried about parking. If the overnight parking lot is full, is it ok to park along the road overnight with a parking permit? How early is it necessary to get there to guarantee a spot with the permit (or will I have to wait around to snag a spot when someone is leaving)?. Since I'm doing the hike in three days I don't necessarily want to start at 6 am on Sunday. Any advice would be appreciated!


Edited by nlewis (06/29/16 10:48 AM)

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#46883 - 06/29/16 12:12 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: nlewis]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
As written above: "Overflow parking along the road is ok now until Monday, July 11"
...and NO permit is required to park along the road.

All I have seen up to this point is that parking in the lots has been easily available. Please report back how full you find it and the time of day you get there.

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#46885 - 06/29/16 02:11 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
sonalAlpha Offline


Registered: 06/22/16
Posts: 4
Loc: CA
Thanks Steve

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#46899 - 06/30/16 09:54 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
nlewis Offline


Registered: 06/29/16
Posts: 2
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Steve C
As written above: "Overflow parking along the road is ok now until Monday, July 11"
...and NO permit is required to park along the road.

All I have seen up to this point is that parking in the lots has been easily available. Please report back how full you find it and the time of day you get there.


Thanks for the reply Steve. I saw that it was ok until the 11th, was just wondering about overnight but hopefully we will not have to worry about that (and it seems like it is ok anyways)!

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#46900 - 06/30/16 10:03 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: nlewis]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Parking along the road has always been long-term parking.

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#46901 - 06/30/16 11:17 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
divaD Offline


Registered: 06/08/16
Posts: 2
Loc: California
Steve, or anyone with knowledge,

Quick question on parking logistics. I have a group of 5 starting Sun 7/10 and leaving Mon 7/11. It is our plan to get our permit Sun 7/10 in the morning and then head up to the Portal to start our trip. I know we will have 1 parking permit but that does not guarantee a parking spot, correct? The dilemma is to chance finding a spot around 12-1:00ish or schedule a shuttle. Since we are leaving Monday evening 7/11, road parking will not work due to construction.

So, any idea if the overnight hiking lots are filling up right now and chances of securing a spot when we arrive mid-day or is it better to just get a shuttle? Probably a coin toss but thought I'd ask. The information on these forums is extremely helpful.

Thx - David

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#46904 - 06/30/16 01:40 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: divaD]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: divaD
Steve, or anyone with knowledge,

Quick question on parking logistics. I have a group of 5 starting Sun 7/10 and leaving Mon 7/11. It is our plan to get our permit Sun 7/10 in the morning and then head up to the Portal to start our trip. I know we will have 1 parking permit but that does not guarantee a parking spot, correct? The dilemma is to chance finding a spot around 12-1:00ish or schedule a shuttle. Since we are leaving Monday evening 7/11, road parking will not work due to construction.

So, any idea if the overnight hiking lots are filling up right now and chances of securing a spot when we arrive mid-day or is it better to just get a shuttle? Probably a coin toss but thought I'd ask. The information on these forums is extremely helpful.

Thx - David
The parking lot situation on 7/11 is a big unknown, but I think the permits issued right now also are getting the single permit per group restriction, so what is happening this week should be an indication of what will continue. And so far, the few comments I have seen are that parking is not a problem.

What I would do is drive up with your group, and IF there are no spots (be sure to check the map -- there are several areas), have all but the driver start up the trail, and maybe add some of the driver's load to their packs. Driver then hangs around waiting for anyone coming off the trail to vacate a spot. At SOME point during the day, hikers will come down and drive out.

I would hope the wait wouldn't be too long, and you could then get going up the trail.

Please report back what the situation is when you go!

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#46905 - 06/30/16 02:06 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
divaD Offline


Registered: 06/08/16
Posts: 2
Loc: California
Good idea. Will report back how it played out. Thank you!
- David

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#46909 - 07/01/16 08:17 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: divaD]
BFR Offline


Registered: 04/07/16
Posts: 70
Loc: Santa Monica, CA
I called the ranger station at Lone Pine this morning. They said that for the time being there are virtually no restrictions at the portal for roadside parking. They assured me there wouldn't be any issues finding a spot for a day hike.

Edit: That ends Monday July 11.
_________________________
Strava, IG

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#46993 - 07/09/16 04:08 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
This is it! Starting Monday, July 11, there is NO roadside parking, and the road construction is taking place Monday - Friday, 6:30 am to 6:30 pm.

There are two 3-hour periods, 8-11 am and 1-4 pm, when extended delays will take place. Some are saying the delay can be the full 3 hours.

Outside of those 3-hour blocks, there can be up to 30 minute delays.

Let's hope this period passes smoothly, AND quickly!

The Inyo N.F. web page has links to several notices.

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#47000 - 07/10/16 10:12 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
Andy P Offline


Registered: 07/30/15
Posts: 11
Loc: Los Angeles
What about parking on weekends? I have a permit for a day hike for Aug 7, so I will be arriving on Saturday?

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#47001 - 07/10/16 11:05 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Andy P]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
I have asked that question. The no parking signs stay up, and they plan on enforcing them on weekends, too.

Sorry.

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#47025 - 07/14/16 12:42 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
t9panda Offline


Registered: 05/22/12
Posts: 5
Loc: Los Angeles
Any word on how traffic conditions have been on the road? Me and 3 others are going to attach Mt. Whitney from Horsemeadows-Cottonwood-Guitar Lake and then come down to the portal where a shuttle is scheduled to pick us on at 4pm on Thursday July 28th. We've been told to expect potentially 4 hour delays because of the traffic.

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#47029 - 07/14/16 01:49 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: t9panda]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
From what I have seen, parking has never been as good (due to the one parking permit per hiking party), and currently delays are only on the lower section of the road, and are not too long.


For your hike, you can always get UP to/from Horseshoe Meadows via Lubken Canyon Rd (about 3 miles S of Lone Pine), and completely skip the road construction.

Coming down from Whitney Portal, the "extended delays" period is from 1 PM to 4 PM, so your shuttle will get through after 4 PM.

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#47047 - 07/17/16 08:55 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
B Woodward Offline


Registered: 07/17/16
Posts: 1
Loc: Mammoth Lakes, CA
My partner and I hiked the Mt. Whitney Trail as a day hike on Wednesday July 13th. I summited as planned and she went as far as Trail Camp; having planned to only go as far as Mirror Lake (she hadn't been able to get in enough training hikes). The beauty of the area and fantastic weather spurred her on with no pressure from me.

We headed out from Whitney Portal at 4:15 after parking right across from the trailhead. I was a bit worried about parking until I got into the lot because, as of that morning, no one had posted any reports on how the ramp up in road work started on the 11th had effected the parking. Parking was not a problem at all.

We stayed the night, or a portion of it, in Lone Pine and went up the road and later back down missing the construction both ways. Very easy.

Amazing day, my 60th birthday.

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#47084 - 07/23/16 04:33 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
bigruckus Offline


Registered: 07/23/16
Posts: 2
Loc: CA
I'm totally confused about the situation and hope that maybe some kind person can help me out...

I'm traveling with a group of 23+ people. For our group we have obtained a total of 3 hiking permits. Does this mean we will only get 3 parking permits? If so that is going to pose some difficulty for us. Some of us are staying at at hotel in Lone Pine, and some are camping. I am concerned, how can we get all our people to the Whitney trailhead at 3am? We start our hike on a Monday morning, so there may be fewer people since it's not the weekend, but from what I understand the problem is not too many people as there are plenty of empty parking spaces. The problem is that they have really clamped down on the parking permits, only giving out a single parking permit for each hiking permit. Is there some way to obtain additional parking permits for our group? Or, do we just need to plan on using a shuttle service? Do these shuttles run at 3am? If we use a shuttle, how do we get our guys back to the hotel after the hike, since we don't know the time when they will finish the hike?

Thanks to anybody who can provide some answers!


Edited by bigruckus (07/23/16 04:39 AM)

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#47086 - 07/23/16 07:59 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: bigruckus]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
bigruckus, Unfortunately, the three permits is going to get you three parking passes. If you all want and need to start together at 3 AM, then hiring a shuttle would work, but only for the number of people that shuttle can carry.

Since you have some in the party camping, they could be dropped off at Whitney Portal where they can camp by the trail head, and people staying in the motel could then use their car(s), driving them down to Lone Pine, and coming back up next morning.

Just a note about descending in the cars: Be SURE to use lower gears -- even with the automatic transmissions (use First and Second gear!) to keep the speed down without burning out your brakes!

Another option: Each driver reserve their own independent permit. As I write this, there are day hike permits available online for both 7/25 and 7/28. If you watch the online system, people do cancel or return slots occasionally, so for the cost of a single permit, the drivers can get a parking pass. (If they can reserve a permit, be sure their originally reserved slot is returned from the original reservation.)

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#47087 - 07/24/16 04:46 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
bigruckus Offline


Registered: 07/23/16
Posts: 2
Loc: CA
Hi Steve C,
Thank you so much for that useful information! I really appreciate it. I'll keep an eye on the online system to see if something becomes available for our day. I guess another possibility would be to have some of our guys get walk-in hiking permits independently the day beforehand. Hopefully the process to get a walk-in permit in person is not too ugly. Our guys would rather be up by the trail getting acclimatized to the higher elevation, but if instead we need to get in line at the ranger station for walk-in permits in order to get parking then I guess we'll just have to do it!

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#47090 - 07/24/16 11:30 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
Ben920 Offline


Registered: 03/12/16
Posts: 6
Loc: Ca
I am hiking Whitney from the 27 - 29. Has anyone driven up to the portal recently and seen how the road closures and parking situations are. Can you drive up to the portal between 8am and 11am, if so, how long should we expect it taking? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

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#47094 - 07/24/16 01:11 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Ben920]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: Ben920
I am hiking Whitney from the 27 - 29. Has anyone driven up to the portal recently and seen how the road closures and parking situations are. Can you drive up to the portal between 8am and 11am, if so, how long should we expect it taking? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Ben, the dreaded "up to 3 hours" closures have not occurred yet, and I am thinking that warning is a "just in case" situation.

PLEASE report back whatever you find out.
- - - - - -

bigruckus: While walk-in permit people can usually get trail permits, and currently they're being given parking passes, if the parking situation worsens, then only reservation-holders will get the parking pass. So... I'd watch the online system and go for the sure thing, even though it would cost $15. What entry date are you looking for? ... I'll fix this link to hit that date: Day Hike Online


Edited by Steve C (07/24/16 01:15 PM)

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#47124 - 07/25/16 08:09 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
Pistachio Offline


Registered: 07/30/15
Posts: 9
Loc: Arizona
What is the parking situation-recommendations for those who would like to take a day hike from the portal to Lone Pine Lake?
Are there spaces to accommodate these individuals?

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#47127 - 07/25/16 08:35 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Pistachio]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
There is day-use parking, no pass required. See the map on the first page of this thread. or click here

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#47131 - 07/25/16 09:52 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
Pistachio Offline


Registered: 07/30/15
Posts: 9
Loc: Arizona
Thank you very much for your timely reply.

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#47142 - 07/26/16 02:30 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
saregister Offline


Registered: 07/22/16
Posts: 2
Loc: San Diego, CA
Is using Hogback Road a viable option to bypass the construction on Whitney Portal Road? I can't find much information on the subject, and I'm just relying on Google Maps saying that it's a passable road, but they've led me astray before...

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#47143 - 07/26/16 02:39 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: saregister]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Yes, it is, until the grinding and paving reaches the upper section above where Hogback joins Whitney Portal Road.

I understand that paving has begun, but just outside of Lone Pine.

Here's hoping people are aware that it is really hot in summer in the lower elevations near Lone Pine. If you get caught in one of those long delays, you want to make sure you can stay cool.

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#47168 - 07/29/16 12:00 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Doug at Whitney Portal Store has reported that signs on the road are posted warning of 3-hour closures.

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#47170 - 07/29/16 01:01 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
Halfdomer Homer Offline


Registered: 04/07/16
Posts: 20
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Originally Posted By: Steve C
Doug at Whitney Portal Store has reported that signs on the road are posted warning of 3-hour closures.

Doug also posted that the delays don't go into effect until Monday the 1st. Glad I'm going tonight and not next week! Hope to see some of you on the MT tonight and tomorrow.

-Dan

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#47173 - 07/30/16 09:24 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
RenoFrank Offline


Registered: 08/06/11
Posts: 414
Loc: Reno, NV
Originally Posted By: Steve C
Doug at Whitney Portal Store has reported that signs on the road are posted warning of 3-hour closures.


3 hours! I'll be leaving a vehicle in Lone Pine 8-10 and plan on ending my hike mid day 0n 8-16 at Whitney Portal with 3 others in my party. I planned on hitching down, getting my vehicle, and going back up to the Portal to pick up the other 3. Of course it would be ideal to find a kind soul who would take all 4 of us and our gear on the first trip.

Worst case: a 3 hr delay as I go down to get my vehicle, another 3 hr delay on the way back up, and another 3 hour delay going back down with the rest of my party. Any suggestions?

I need a trail angel to pick us up.

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#47174 - 07/31/16 07:27 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: RenoFrank]
RenoFrank Offline


Registered: 08/06/11
Posts: 414
Loc: Reno, NV
I may have a friend come to the Portal just to shuttle us down to Lone Pine. Now, how to make sure he is there when we get there. Can he camp at the walk-in sites the night before even without a hiking permit? If so can he hang around the Portal waiting for us? They do have "Day use" parking he could use without a parking permit, right?

I guess he could get a walk-in Whitney day hike permit but he won't be hiking so if not necessary why bother? However that might provide a parking permit. As I asked before, maybe he can use day use parking.

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#47175 - 07/31/16 02:04 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
TB40 Offline


Registered: 07/31/16
Posts: 9
Loc: CA
Originally Posted By: Steve C
Dayhike permits would be good only for the (extended) day of the hike. The parking permits will have dates written on them.

You get the parking permit at the Visitor Center from the same people that hand you your hiking permit.


Taking our first trip to Whitney next month, really appreciate all the information shared on this forum.

My wife and I have a single day use hiking permit for Friday 8/15. We were planning on driving up to the portal the evening before around 5pm, catching an open parking spot (or waiting for someone coming off the mountain and leaving) in the permit area, then sleeping in our Tahoe until we start hiking around 3am. We are not concerned about sleeping in the car, all indications are that this is generally acceptable.

The information we have read online seems to indicate that the corresponding parking permit that gets issued with the single day hiking permit is valid from midnight to midnight on the day of the hike. Obviously we would be arriving before this window of time.

* Does anyone know if they are allowing day hikers to arrive and park the night before?

* How serious has parking enforcement been this year?

* If our plan won't work, can anyone propose a workaround that would allow us to be at altitude for at least a half day before our hike?

Any information would be greatly appreciated!

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#47176 - 07/31/16 08:22 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: TB40]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
RenoFrank, I'd try to get down before 11 (maybe hustle ahead of the rest) and hitch down in the 11 am - 1 PM window. If you get lucky, you could be back to the portal in that same window. Then head down after the 1-4 PM time.

If your friend comes to pick you up, he should try for a walk-in Day Use permit before the VC closes the day before (get there before 4 PM). The N.F. has said Day Use permits are allowed to park overnight the night before to use the walk-in sites. Then he could guarantee your group all got the ride down in the appropriate time window.
- - - - -

TB40: (from the first post in this long thread...) We have been informed that Day hikers are allowed to park overnight the night before so they can use the trail head walk-in campground the night before their hike. So it should be just fine sleeping in the car, too.

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#47177 - 07/31/16 09:30 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
RenoFrank Offline


Registered: 08/06/11
Posts: 414
Loc: Reno, NV
Here's an email I received from Paul from Eastside Sierra Shuttle:

Hi Frank,

We have availability to schedule this.

Fare for 4 passengers is $125 in all.

You can be pretty sure that the Forest Service and the Contractor will
not be on the same page. This means that nobody has any idea of when or
where the flagmen will be or how long the delays will be or how many
times you will be stopped or where you will be stopped.

Lately I have been stopped about 2 times going up for about 1/2 hour
each time and 2 times going down for about 1/2 hour each time. Those
delays are occurring at what seem like random locations anywhere below
Lone Pine Campground.

Above Lone Pine Campground they have started the 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. 3 hour complete closures.

But don't infer that 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. or after 4:00 p.m. or
before 8:00 a.m. will be clear sailing. Those times are when I have been
getting stopped for 2+ hours in 1/2 hour increments.

Do the math . . .

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#47178 - 08/01/16 05:52 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
TB40 Offline


Registered: 07/31/16
Posts: 9
Loc: CA
Originally Posted By: Steve C

TB40: (from the first post in this long thread...) We have been informed that Day hikers are allowed to park overnight the night before so they can use the trail head walk-in campground the night before their hike. So it should be just fine sleeping in the car, too.


Thanks very much Steve. We might just snag a campsite anyway. Do those walk in camping spots typically fill up on a Thursday? Much Appreciated!


Edited by TB40 (08/01/16 05:53 AM)

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#47180 - 08/01/16 10:14 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: TB40]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
They never fill up.

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#47181 - 08/01/16 11:32 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Found a report on Facebook saying they got held up near Whitney Portal on Friday until 4:30 PM, and then another stop farther down. So it took an hour to get down to Lone Pine.

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#47182 - 08/01/16 12:46 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
dawnamorse Offline


Registered: 08/01/16
Posts: 1
Loc: san diego, ca
My friends and I (total 7) hiked Mt. Whitney July 27-July 29th, staying at Trail Camp the 27th and 28th. We were extremely concerned with the parking situation and ended up renting a passenger van after our shuttle service dropped us due to fear of getting stuck in traffic.
We arrived at the trail head at 4am with more than enough parking spaces available! As a matter of fact, there were only a handful of cars there when we got there; confirming what we heard at the visitor's center the day before when we grabbed our permits and wag bags- parking has not been an issue for those arriving early.
Things to keep in mind:
- Arrive before 5am to beat crowds, heat, and parking issues.
- You are only issued one wag bag a person (holds up to 3 poops), so if you are staying multiple days on the mountain and are a frequent user, you may want to consider buying extra. They sell them at the visitor's center for 3.50 a piece. We bought 2 extra a piece and we each used them all. The altitude does a wonder on your digestive track so don't go into this thinking you will hold it. You won't- and if you do- you'll be uncomfortable and it will make your hike terrible. Just keep in mind- you MUST carry it out. Don't be the guy who leaves your wagbag on the trail-nobody likes that guy.
- Marmots will tear into your wagbag (this happened to us!) so be sure to put a rock on it or hide it well when leaving camp. It's a mess to clean and the last thing you want to arrive to after an amazing summit!
- Expect afternoon rainshowers/hail storms- even when the weather shows clear with no chance of rain! We all checked the weather the morning of and it showed 0 chance of rain and we were hit hard with a storm and about an inch of hail. Luckily we all brought our gear (just in case!)
- We left the trail head at 11:30 to head back to Lone Pine and had a 30 min delay, total. Once at the beginning and once toward the end. Expect delays regardless of the time you leave. The 11-1 window we all have been reading about will still produce a delay, plan accordingly.
- START EARLY, BRING A LOT OF WATER, ELECTROLYTES, and pop aspirin if you don't live in high altitude. I had to give electrolyte tablets and water to some people who were not prepared to drink as much as they did. Always happy to help a fellow hiker but preparedness will get you to the summit, being IL-prepared will get you sick. This is especially true for the day hiker.
- Lastly, when you do get to the top- walk around the entire peak. People get excited and stay on one side-forgetting the entire world around them. Let yourself feel humbled. Enjoy what you just conquered.

Happy Trails!


Edited by dawnamorse (08/01/16 12:52 PM)

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#47191 - 08/02/16 09:00 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
VertC Offline


Registered: 04/08/16
Posts: 1
Loc: Iowa
Hello, Thanks in advance! I am hoping that someone can help me understand the road construction issue. I have read through this entire thread and am throughly confused at this point. Having never been out there makes it hard to understand if I can't visualize what is being talked about. We are flying into Vegas on the morning of 8/12 and driving out that afternoon through Death Valley. We have camping for the 12th & 13th at the Whitney Portal. Have overnight permits for the 14th for MWMT. Not sure what we are doing the nights of the 15th & 16th, but we'll figure that out depending on what kind of shape we are in. Fly out of Vegas on the 17th.
Is there any reason not to drive through the Death Valley? And if not advisable, what route should we take?
I think we are good on parking with camping at the portal and having an overnight permits. Am I correct? Getting there on Friday, we should miss the construction, right?
Will, we need to go back into Lone Pine on the 13th to pick up our wilderness permits?
Can, we rent bear cans, buy trail food and any miscellaneous stuff we forgot at the Whitney Portal Store? If not what's the best place to do so?
What other logistics things should we be aware of?
Side note, my other hobby is Professional BBQ Contests. http://www.pitch.com/food-drink/article/...-grand-champion
If someone reading this, will be out there on Sat 13th, bring a smoker or charcoal grill and I cook up ribs.
Thanks, Don

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#47192 - 08/02/16 09:31 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: VertC]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Go ahead and drive through Death Valley. Enjoy the amazing landscape and views! Just in case of a break down, make sure you have at least a gallon of water in the car. Most rental cars should make the drive just fine. The worst stress on the car is when you climb the grade out of DV -- you could ease off on the speed, and if it shows signs of overheating, turn off the AC.

No problem getting past the construction after hours on Friday, 8/12. You will need to drive back down to pick up the permits... only they MIGHT leave the permits in the overnight kiosk along the road in front of the Visitor Center. You would call the Wilderness Permit office (day before, I think) to arrange that: 760-873-2483.

But you might want to drive back down to pick up stuff in Lone Pine. Check out the Orientation Notes (link on the left) for more info. The Elevation store would have good supplies. I think you can get bear cans both at the Visitor Center and Whitney Portal Store.

The ribs sound good. But I ain't carrying the BBQ. smile

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#48090 - 08/12/16 01:34 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
psykokid Online


Registered: 07/28/15
Posts: 52
Loc: Pasadena, CA
So when is the construction expected to wrap up? Looked around a bit and didn't see anything in regards to an estimated time of completion.

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#48094 - 08/12/16 04:24 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: psykokid]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
They will likely take the full season -- through Sept, I think. They will still need to add finishing touches like center line painting, etc.

The original announcement put the completion at Nov 7.

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#48101 - 08/13/16 08:50 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
TB40 Offline


Registered: 07/31/16
Posts: 9
Loc: CA
My wife and I day hiked and summited (barely) yesterday. We arrived around 6pm on Thursday night and slept in the parking lot. PLENTY of parking in the permit area, maybe 50% full around 6pm, some cars started showing up around 2am (day hikers), but never saw anything close to full. This was in the main area right in front of the trailhead, I would guess that the overflow lot was empty.

As far as the construction, on Thursday we drove up the portal road twice. Once at about 1pm to visit Movie Road about a mile up, and the 2nd time around 430pm to drive all the way to the portal. In both cases, we got stopped very close to the main road for about 15 to wait for a pilot car. There is a 2nd restricted sections further up the mountain, we got lucky and only waited a couple of minutes for a pilot car that time. When we drove off the mountain yesterday/friday around 6pm, it was wide open with no construction or delays.

I took a picture of the noticed posted at the permit office. It says as of Aug 1st, construction runs M-F 6am-730pm, with extended delays 8-11am and 1-4pm.

I am convinced that I would not have summitted if not for the assistance of this board, so if I can answer any questions or share my experience, please feel free to email me thomasbaumann [at] gmail dot com.

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#48155 - 08/18/16 10:23 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: TB40]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
I received a notice that road construction -- and so the delays -- will extend to Saturday this coming weekend. That is Saturday, Aug 20.

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#48158 - 08/20/16 10:48 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
Raj Ammanur Offline


Registered: 08/20/16
Posts: 1
Loc: CA
Hi Steve and others,

This site is very informative thanks to you and others, appreciate it.

I & my wife's cousin have permit for monday night.
Our plan was to drive up to portal tomorrow, camp overnight and start the hike
to trail camp on monday and attempt the summit on tuesday by starting at 4AM.

Checking the weather at http://www.mountain-forecast.com/peaks/Mount-Whitney/forecasts/3500, it says that .5inch rain with thunderstorms for monday
PM at 11500ft elevation and 0.2" overnight. its 2.4" of snow forecast for monday
night and clear sunny skies in the tuesday AM.

Questions:
- the two of us have no experience hiking in snow. I am assuming hiking in
snow is going to be very hard on tuesday?
- we haven't camped when it was raining with thunderstorm. so, I am guessing
trying to sleep at 12000' elevation is also going to be a problem with rain and
storm. is it possible to stay at that elevation with thunderstorm?
- what kind of gear would we need to hike in snow on tuesday? would we need
microspikes/crampons?

We are thinking of pretty much cancelling our permit as we think we have
no experience in this kind of weather. Comments?

thanks
--Raj

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#48159 - 08/20/16 09:05 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Raj Ammanur]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
If it snows, it will be a dusting. It will NOT amount to anything that would slow you down, except the cold and the moisture.

You need to check the NOAA weather site links on the Mt Whitney Weather page (link is above on the left). Mountain-forecast.com always over-estimates and over-predicts snowfall.

But you may very likely see thunderstorms. The usually only last an hour or two, and if you have a tent to stay in you will be fine. If you are out hiking, then rain gear is what you will need.

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#48181 - 08/22/16 05:33 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
Okclimber Offline


Registered: 08/21/16
Posts: 4
Loc: CA
One of the posts above mentioned road construction thru 8/20. Does anyone know if the construction (and more specifically the associated delays) is complete?

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#48182 - 08/22/16 05:52 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Okclimber]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Road construction and delays are continuing. The delays have been about a maximum of 30 minutes -- about the time for the pilot car to make a round trip from one end of the zone to the other.

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#48227 - 08/26/16 10:41 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
britonwhit(ney) Offline


Registered: 03/06/14
Posts: 62
Loc: UK
As of yesterday 30min delays, pilot car, no long closures, expected to last at least another week.

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#48294 - 09/02/16 07:48 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
Okclimber Offline


Registered: 08/21/16
Posts: 4
Loc: CA
FYI - the rangers are only issuing one parking pass per group due to the construction. If you have many folks in your group and/or multiple vehicles, this can be a logistical curve ball. There is a list of places you can park, but some are pricey.

We found a dirt lot with a "Whitney Trail Overnight Parking" sign on the road to the Lone Pine Campground. We left 4 cars here for three days and two nights without incident.

Its a great spot - close to the trailhead and free! :o)

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#48296 - 09/02/16 08:02 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Okclimber]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Thanks Okclimber.

When I was at the Portal last Saturday, two cars showed up; the driver was looking to park his car for an extended JMT hike, returning mid-September. Apparently he read the "No parking without a permit" signs, and was looking for a ranger station to ask what was up.

I was able to tell him about the places in Lone Pine. I certainly should have also given him the Lone Pine Campground info.

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#48299 - 09/02/16 09:28 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
psykokid Online


Registered: 07/28/15
Posts: 52
Loc: Pasadena, CA
I'm wondering if they are going to lift the parking restrictions before the end of the season this year. Going to head up in 3 weeks and do a trip starting at Shepherds Pass, bagging Tyndall, Willi, Trojan, Barnard, Russell, Whitney and Muir. Would like to leave a car at the portal, but if the parking restrictions aren't lifted by then It looks like we'll just park at the Lone Pine Campground and either hitch down or walk the trail back down to the car when we exit via the MR.

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#48301 - 09/02/16 10:29 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: psykokid]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Don't count on the restrictions being lifted. Most projects take longer than planned, and their adding the second layer of asphalt to the pavement seems to be stalled. After that occurs, they still have to add all the line painting and such, so I expect this project will run clear to the end.

Hitching is really easy.

Psyko: Good luck on your ambitious peak bagging trip! I once planned that trip, but we ended up bailing after tagging Tyndall and Willi in the same day, then spending the most miserable, windiest night ever in the Sierra at Lk Helen of Troy. (The wind was only part of the reason for bailing.)

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#48303 - 09/02/16 11:04 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
psykokid Online


Registered: 07/28/15
Posts: 52
Loc: Pasadena, CA
Originally Posted By: Steve C
Don't count on the restrictions being lifted. Most projects take longer than planned, and their adding the second layer of asphalt to the pavement seems to be stalled. After that occurs, they still have to add all the line painting and such, so I expect this project will run clear to the end.

Hitching is really easy.

Psyko: Good luck on your ambitious peak bagging trip! I once planned that trip, but we ended up bailing after tagging Tyndall and Willi in the same day, then spending the most miserable, windiest night ever in the Sierra at Lk Helen of Troy. (The wind was only part of the reason for bailing.)


Steve - should be a good trip. Weather tends to be pretty stable around that time of year so hopefully all will go well there. Going to make it a 5 day trip. Up to Shepherds Pass on Day 1 after an early start, Tyndall & Willi day 2, Trojan and Barnard day 3, Russell via east ridge, up Whitney via MR down to Muir on the main trail, then back down the MR and camp at Iceberg Lake on day 4, and hike out on day 5.

How was the going up the Russell-Carillon Pass from the north side? I know you were up there at the beginning of the month.

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#48371 - 09/09/16 10:25 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: psykokid]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
The construction company has updated their schedule, now their days work from 6 AM to 7:30 PM. Like most projects, they appear to be a bit behind schedule.

Doug from the Portal Store reported yesterday:
Quote:
...the machinery breakdowns and trucks losing brakes, and trucks rolling over? Count now 2 trucks overturned, many paving delays and false starts for paving and roadbed prep work not done in time for paving.

Sounds like a truck driver doesn't know the rule about keeping the speed really low when descending, so they don't overheat their brakes. Trucks are way worse than cars, due to their heavy weight.

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#48388 - 09/13/16 05:44 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
jmester82 Offline


Registered: 08/11/14
Posts: 22
Loc: CA, USA
Heading up to lone pine on saturday and doing some early morning sunrise/moonset on sunday photography over whitney. Are the construction crew working the road on saturdays and sundays now?

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#48389 - 09/13/16 06:05 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: jmester82]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Pretty sure they are NOT working on weekends.

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#48460 - 09/22/16 10:18 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
This picture posted on Facebook:


Andy D wrote:
Quote:
Please be aware that if you use the long term parking area at the Lone Pine Campground (while parking is limited at Whitney Portal) the local rodent population might chew through the hoses and wiring in your vehicle.

I parked in the long term parking area at the Lone Pine Campground from July 24th - August 14th. This is a photo of where they entered the engine of my Toyota 4-Runner through the air filter. They went on to feast on the internal wiring. It cost $750 to fix:(

I have heard of this happening in Mineral King, but never in this location.

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#48491 - 09/29/16 01:54 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
zorobabel Offline


Registered: 09/29/16
Posts: 3
Loc: Orange County
It's safe to say I won't get a parking permit if just exiting via the Whitney Portal, correct?

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#48492 - 09/29/16 02:09 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: zorobabel]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Correct, unfortunately.

But... hitch hiking down from Whitney Portal has always been the easiest place ever to get a ride.

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#48493 - 09/29/16 02:45 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
zorobabel Offline


Registered: 09/29/16
Posts: 3
Loc: Orange County
Thanks Steve C.
We might be getting to the portal in the evening, not the best time for being picked up.

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#48520 - 10/03/16 10:45 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
Ernest Offline


Registered: 05/19/15
Posts: 20
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
so just to clarify, are there road closures during the weekend? I plan on taking my parents this weekend to the portal and hike up to lone pine lake. Probably arrive before noon time. Just wondering what delays I should expect.

Thanks

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#48523 - 10/03/16 02:34 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Ernest]
sfnative Offline


Registered: 11/03/14
Posts: 2
Loc: San Francisco CA
not sure about weekends, but when I was there last Thursday, the grand total of my delay on the Portal road was about a five minute wait.

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#48528 - 10/03/16 09:38 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: sfnative]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Supposed to be fully open on weekends.

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#48555 - 10/12/16 04:32 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
Vavylon Offline


Registered: 10/07/16
Posts: 9
Loc: San Diego
This past weekend I drove on the Portal Road both Sunday in the afternoon and Monday afternoon. Monday was a holiday so it was probably an anomaly, but the road appeared to be functionally completed. There were no workers, pilot cars, or traffic.

Construction equipment is still off the sides of the road in a few places, so I guess they still plan on paving some of the turn-offs and viewpoints as well a paint lines and maybe erect guardrails.

Even on Sunday in the early afternoon, there weren't many people there. I had pick of a few spots in the upper parking area. It seems visitors have more or less died down for the year and I doubt anyone will be stuck in much construction traffic from here on.

The road looks super nice though! I never saw it's previous condition, but as a motorcyclist I appreciated being able to rip a few turns on the brand new asphalt.

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#48796 - 11/18/16 11:16 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
This on Nov 18, 2016:

Official word has arrived: the Portal Pavement Project is COMPLETE!


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#48798 - 11/18/16 12:05 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1549
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Huzzah!
_________________________
Wherever you go, there you are.
SPOTMe!

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#48857 - 11/29/16 09:10 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: saltydog]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Another picture from Instagram, posted by mydentistjason

Click on it for larger.

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#48887 - 12/05/16 09:43 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Another picture. Who knew pictures of a road could be beautiful?

Posted on Instagram by frannnnaquino


Click for larger pic.

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#48940 - 12/09/16 07:33 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
nyker Offline


Registered: 07/26/12
Posts: 189
Loc: New York
Cool photos! The new pavement really makes a difference


Edit: Anyone reading this: the project completed in November, 2016. See the first post in this thread.


Edited by Steve C (12/23/16 12:37 PM)
Edit Reason: project complete

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#49030 - 12/23/16 04:28 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: nyker]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Looks like the new road has some debris already...


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#49111 - 01/20/17 11:47 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Well, the new road is closed, and there are "a few gouges" in that brand new pavement.
I'm trying to find out if the gate is locked down below now, but people might read this thread: Road closed to Portal

These pics were posted today by the Inyo County Sheriff's Office on their Facebook page.

"Sierra Mountain Center photo of Whitney Portal Road rockslide"





Edited by Steve C (01/20/17 02:17 PM)

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#49140 - 01/27/17 01:42 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Doug from the Whitney Portal Store shared some pictures (link) of the slide taken by his crew. They headed up to the Whitney Portal Store several days ago.



Another picture:

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