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Road closed to Portal
#48969 12/14/16 05:35 AM
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How many miles is it from the road close sign or gate closed either one to get farthest up the road to the portal. wondering how long it would take the avg person to walk to the portal then I'm thinking with a pack and snow 5 hrs to trail camp.

mark

Re: Road closed to Portal
So.BayMark #48971 12/14/16 07:36 AM
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Mark -

A few years back I walked up the road with Doug and a few others including Richard P. from where the gate is now installed. There was some snow, but up higher there was a beaten track so it didn't slow you down much. IIRC, it took us about 2 hours. Carried a daypack. So, how long it will take is probably related to how heavy your pack is. So, 5 hours should more than do it. You're a faster hiker than I.

Kevin

Re: Road closed to Portal
KevinR #48981 12/15/16 04:04 AM
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Thanks Kevin

Re: Road closed to Portal
So.BayMark #48999 12/16/16 04:31 PM
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In April 2014, it took our group about 1.5 to 2 hours to hike from the closed gate at 6700 feet to the trailhead at 8400 feet. Later on, we found out that Inyo County opened the gate a few hours after we started up. Our packs weighed between 50 and 75 pounds.

Re: Road closed to Portal
So.BayMark #49009 12/19/16 09:46 PM
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Oh crap! What's all this about a gate? When was that installed? My last trip up Whitney was March 2010....

Does anyone recommend the Whitney Portal National Recreation Trail instead of the road?

Re: Road closed to Portal
Nathanael #49010 12/19/16 10:35 PM
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Inyo County only closed the gate one year. I believe businesses complained that it was keeping tourists away, so last year it was never closed, except when the road crew went up to clear the rocks for official opening.

I have seen it posted that they have put up the "Road Closed" sign this year now. What that means is that they don't keep it cleared of rocks and debris, and if you drive around it, you do so at your own risk. If a storm catches you (or a falling rock), it will cost more to get your car out. (Sometimes cars have been stuck for weeks.)

That being said, I think most people choose to proceed past the sign and go as far as they are comfortable.

Sometimes there are rocks on the road -- they can be small to really big.

Re: Road closed to Portal
Steve C #49014 12/20/16 12:17 PM
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Ok. Thank you for the info, Steve!

Re: Road closed to Portal
Steve C #49020 12/22/16 09:16 AM
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Hmmm ... I remember that you used to be able to drive around the sign, but ... I moved away from Inyokern in 2012, but I'm pretty sure there's a real gate there now, and it's impossible to drive around. I seem to recall steel posts in front of two large boulders, with a swinging gate in between installed maybe in 2011? Don't think I'm dreaming that ...

Re: Road closed to Portal
KevinR #49021 12/22/16 02:19 PM
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It has to be the most ignored sign ever. I have made it as high as Whitney Portal and as low as the first switchback but most of the time we make to the Meysan Lake Trailhead Parking area.

The rocks can be huge and there are no guarantees you will not be ticketed or that you can get down the road once you are up there. Check the forecast, then rock the dice and take your chances.

Re: Road closed to Portal
wbtravis #49024 12/22/16 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted By: wbtravis
It has to be the most ignored sign ever. I have made it as high as Whitney Portal and as low as the first switchback but most of the time we make to the Meysan Lake Trailhead Parking area.

The rocks can be huge and there are no guarantees you will not be ticketed or that you can get down the road once you are up there. Check the forecast, then rock the dice and take your chances.


You misread my post. Now there's a steel gate ACROSS the road. Bolted shut. No way around it. Gone is the old sawhorse with a sign.

Re: Road closed to Portal
KevinR #49025 12/22/16 10:17 PM
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Kevin, they locked it ONE year only. It isn't locked across the road this year; only the sign is there.

See my post above from 12/19.

Re: Road closed to Portal
Steve C #49036 12/29/16 12:38 AM
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I drove up to the campground on my way back from Mammoth on the 27th to check out conditions for a possible attempt on the mountaineers route soon (if i can get the time off) and to see what the most recent storm did.

The road only has one large rock that is easily bypassed and the snow is no deeper than 6-8" near the top of the drive. A capable 4wd with snow tires will easily get you there with no worries of getting stranded.

The gate is wide open with a prominent road closed sign adjacent to it. There were 3 other vehicles up the road. All were stopped before the road became snow and ice covered. One group of 3 completely unprepared for any serious weather was going on a quick hike down the main trail for a mile or two. One other individual appeared to be beginning his trip and he was properly equipped for an attempt.

Here is a picture of the campground
Dec 27 Campground

Last edited by Karaya1; 12/29/16 12:46 AM.
Re: Road closed to Portal
Karaya1 #49038 12/29/16 06:53 PM
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I found this picture on Instagram, posted by Adam B, aka pedalinpain




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