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#52901 - 04/16/18 10:46 AM First timer for first come, first served sites
Proxy Offline


Registered: 03/26/18
Posts: 1
Loc: TX
First, the good news. I have secured an overnight permit for a group in August. Yay!

Our itinerary is something like this:

  • Day 1 - Camp, acclimate with day hikes
  • Day 2 - Camp, acclimate with day hikes
  • Day 3+ - Mt. Whitney trail


My intent after getting the lotto results was to reserve campsites for a days 1 and 2 to acclimate.

Now the not as good news... I was able to secure 2 sites (11 people) at Onion Valley, but 1 of those sites is not available the Monday before our hike (day 2).

I don't anticipate anyone here is clairvoyant, but is there any reason to believe it would be difficult to find a first-come/served spot on a Monday in early August? Any strategies we should employ?


Edited by Proxy (04/16/18 10:46 AM)
_________________________
Guadalupe Peak, TX - 2008, 2009, 2010
Wheeler Peak, NM - 2013, 2017

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#52903 - 04/16/18 08:05 PM Re: First timer for first come, first served sites [Re: Proxy]
RenoFrank Offline


Registered: 08/06/11
Posts: 421
Loc: Reno, NV
I'm pretty sure half the sites at Onion Valley are saved for walk-in campers. I do know for a fact all the many sites at Whitney Portal (at the Portal/trailhead not the campground)are non-reserve walk-in sites - very convenient. Check into Horseshoe Meadow. It's a popular spot to acclimate for Whitney hikers. I think you can "walk-in" there too.

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#52922 - 04/18/18 12:46 PM Re: First timer for first come, first served sites [Re: Proxy]
Willythedog Offline


Registered: 04/16/18
Posts: 7
Loc: Bay Area, Ca
Semi related question but how’s the first come first serve campgrounds at Whitney portal? (Ravine CG I believe?).

Website only makes a brief mention of it and says 1 night limit. How strict is the 1 night limit?

I totally procrastinated and missed reserving a CG And will be driving a god awful amount so would like to stay off of Whitney portal road for sake of convenience.

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#52926 - 04/18/18 09:27 PM Re: First timer for first come, first served sites [Re: Willythedog]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7444
Loc: Fresno, CA
I drive over and head up the first night to Horseshoe Meadows. Getting there after 10 pm is my goal. Just walk in (campground area on the south side area) and find any flat spot away from others and sleep. Next morning you can break your simple camp, drive down, pick up hiking permit in Lone Pine, then head up to Whitney Portal and set up for a second night there.

There are the Ravine area walk-ins, and there are the walk-ins just below the trail head parking area. You can pretty much always find spots, especially if you get there by noon.

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#52930 - 04/19/18 08:13 AM Re: First timer for first come, first served sites [Re: Proxy]
pcieluch Offline


Registered: 08/29/16
Posts: 28
Loc: duluth,mn
You could walk up the trail to Kearsarge Pass for maybe a mile. There's an open tarn next to a river which is left of the trail.

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#52934 - 04/19/18 06:26 PM Re: First timer for first come, first served sites [Re: pcieluch]
Willythedog Offline


Registered: 04/16/18
Posts: 7
Loc: Bay Area, Ca
If at all possible would rather stay on Whitney portal road just for the convenience of not having to drive much.

I think lll book at lone pine CG as a back up plan and see if I can find something higher up.

Thanks for the input fellas

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#52939 - 04/19/18 10:21 PM Re: First timer for first come, first served sites [Re: Willythedog]
RenoFrank Offline


Registered: 08/06/11
Posts: 421
Loc: Reno, NV
You definitely will find a walk-in site at the Portal very close to the trailhead. And the Ravine sites are 1/4 mile away (more walk-in sites.) The ones near the trailhead are conveniently very close to restroom, Portal Store (with shower), garbage/recycle cans, and storage lockers. If you leave something in a locker more than overnight put a note on it with your departure date.

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#52940 - 04/19/18 11:03 PM Re: First timer for first come, first served sites [Re: Willythedog]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7444
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: Willythedog
If at all possible would rather stay on Whitney portal road just for the convenience of not having to drive much.

I think lll book at lone pine CG as a back up plan and see if I can find something higher up.

Thanks for the input fellas

Willy, here's a thread showing the Raving campground location. Since you're getting there late, just throw out a cot and sleep in the walk-in sites. Next night about the same--you have to break camp before your hike in the walk-in sites. OR, on your second day, try to find a site that is available where you can actually stay two nights.

Here's the map from that thread:

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#52960 - 04/24/18 12:29 PM Re: First timer for first come, first served sites [Re: Proxy]
Delkan1066 Offline


Registered: 08/17/17
Posts: 2
Loc: Minnesota
I'd say stay at Horseshoe Meadows both nights. Hike up to Trail Peak at 11,600+ feet, and have lunch up there on the second day.

The acclimatization gains will more than offset the small amount of time on the road you spend to get up there. The drive between the two areas really isn't too bad.

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