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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 Online


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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