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Overnight permit as day pass
#52791 03/28/18 12:24 PM
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Hi there,

Thank you so much for this fantastic resource. Am finding great info on here about training and acclimating.

Wanted to see what everyone's opinion was on using an overnight permit to day hike Whitney. I scored an overnight permit for mid-July, but am having second thoughts about camping at 12,000 feet--seems like a lot of folks have trouble sleeping due to wind and nausea/altitude adjustment.

Spoke with a ranger and they said you needed a separate day pass to day hike Whitney, but am wondering if they will escort you off the mountain if you summit and return on the day you'd be camping?

Thanks in advance for the advice...

Re: Overnight permit as day pass
mountainhiker15 #52792 03/28/18 01:01 PM
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you do need a day pass to if you are going to do one day. If you have an overnight pass, when they check your pass you will need a sleeping bag, tent, bear box, etc, or, you will be told to return to the Portal. I went through this a few years back as I had an overnight, but was doing the Mountaineer's Route and wanted to get it done in one day. My solution was to go to the Visitors Center and get my day pass in the daily lottery.


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Re: Overnight permit as day pass
quillansculpture #52794 03/28/18 01:16 PM
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Got it; thanks so much.

Re: Overnight permit as day pass
mountainhiker15 #52798 03/28/18 09:02 PM
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Mountainhiker15: People get AMS on day hikes, too, so be aware of that possibility. I myself need to camp two nights at Whitney Portal or higher before doing a day hike.

If you try on a mid-week day, there are very likely day hike permits available due to no-shows.

Re: Overnight permit as day pass
quillansculpture #52802 03/29/18 06:28 AM
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Well what if you left the bulk of your gear at the first camp, Outpost. So if your we're overnighting and got checked at Trail Camp you might only have a daypack at that time. Then what?

Re: Overnight permit as day pass
pcieluch #52805 03/29/18 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted By: pcieluch
Well what if you left the bulk of your gear at the first camp, Outpost. So if your we're overnighting and got checked at Trail Camp you might only have a daypack at that time. Then what?

That would probably work ...unless you met a ranger checking permits before Outpost. Or you could say you camped at Lone Pine Lake. But walk-in permits are likely available when you pick up your reserved permit, so one should ask and see if any are available. It would be easy to switch, and then someone else could get your unused overnight as a walk-in.

Re: Overnight permit as day pass
Steve C #52806 03/29/18 09:16 AM
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Steve is spot on. Most of us don't even bother with the lottery, and just come up for the daily lotteries. I got an overnight in one daily lottery, but wanted a day pass, so waited for the second lottery and got that also. So far, I have never missed on the daily lottery, even once with 4 of us. But, midweek is best for this.


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Re: Overnight permit as day pass
Steve C #52807 03/29/18 09:57 AM
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Thanks, Steve; that's helpful to know about your experience acclimating at Whitney Portal. I reserved two nights at the portal before my climb for the same reason, am just getting a bit nervous reading stories about folks not being able to sleep either because folks are getting up in the middle of the night for their day hike or the bear activity. Has that been your experience? I'm considering Onion Valley or Horseshoe Meadows too, but am nervous to rely on them without being able to reserve a campsite. My entry date is mid-week, so maybe my chances are better.


Last edited by mountainhiker15; 03/29/18 10:00 AM.
Re: Overnight permit as day pass
quillansculpture #52808 03/29/18 09:59 AM
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That's good to know. Where do you camp/stay when you attempt the daily lottery and how early do you arrive to acclimate?

Re: Overnight permit as day pass
mountainhiker15 #52811 03/29/18 02:50 PM
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Why not keep your overnight permit and camp at Outpost Camp instead of Trail Camp? Outpost camp is really nice with trees, waterfalls, etc., (although I did get woken up pretty early by day hikers that went off trail and through the camp).

Re: Overnight permit as day pass
eje67 #52818 03/30/18 03:28 PM
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Hey thanks so much-great idea! I didn't know that that was option--I thought I could only camp at Trail Camp on the entry date on my permit. Definitely will run that by my hiking buddies--appreciate it.

Re: Overnight permit as day pass
mountainhiker15 #52819 03/30/18 04:45 PM
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Horseshoe meadows is a one-night-only camping area, and I've never heard of it being full. I often drive over and arrive up there at 10 pm. If specific sites are full, it is wide-open bare ground, so you can just find a spot 50 yards away and lay your camp down.

First night at Horseshoe, then second at Outpost would be an excellent acclimatization plan, if you aren't too susceptible to AMS.

"Daily Lottery" occurs several times a day, and is just people taking numbers out of a hat, and lowest number gets first shot at the permit counter. At 8 AM you get the leftover no-shows from prior day--same as what was available at 4:30 pm previous day. At 11 AM, no-shows for overnight hikers entering current day become available. At 2 PM, no-shows for day hikers entering the next day become available.

Also throughout the day, no lottery, but whoever is at the permit counter: Any people picking up their reserved permits, if some hikers dropped out of their hike, so that releases a permit here and there: those permits become available immediately.

Re: Overnight permit as day pass
eje67 #52820 03/30/18 06:13 PM
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Outpost Camp is an excellent idea as it's only appx 3 miles up. Lots of mice there, but don't remember any Marmots. You will be woken up by day hikers fairly early, but with the stream and waterfall, it's pretty negligable.


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Re: Overnight permit as day pass
Steve C #52822 03/31/18 05:48 AM
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Thanks so much, Steve; this is very helpful.

Re: Overnight permit as day pass
quillansculpture #52823 03/31/18 05:49 AM
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Thanks so much and good to know about the mice--Appreciate it.


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