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#54567 - 01/08/19 10:57 PM 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7870
Loc: Fresno, CA
Note: this is a long thread. Click here to see all in one page.

Update May 1, 2019
Lottery period is over. Any available slots can be found online at this Recreation.gov page. There are no walk-in permits available at the Visitor Center this year. All permits must be reserved through the website. Check it often, as cancellations will show up at a random time within 24 hours after it was cancelled. Related reading: insights on next-day permits

Here's how to find what is available:
1. go to this link: Recreation.gov
2. On the right, under Available Permits, click "Select Entry Point".
3. Click "Overnight" or "Day use".
4. Enter the number of permits you will want.
5. Any days available show up in blue under each month.
6. Hover your mouse pointer over the day, and the number available should pop-up.
7. Use the left and right arrows on the calendar to choose a month.
8. If a day is available for your requested number of hikers, click the day, then Book Now. Good luck!



Update March 29, 2019
Inyo N.F. has posted a Lottery Results pdf page here

16,842 applications were submitted
    34% of Group Leaders were Awarded a Date of their Choice
 3,104 won with first choice date.
 2,547 won an alternate choice.
    66% of Applications were Unsuccessful
10,268 unsuccessful because the dates requested were full when the application was processed.
    625 Applications were disqualified.
    282 Applications withdrawn by the group leader.
      16 Applications were revoked after the lottery (disqualified)

       
Update March 24, 2019
Lottery applicants have received their success or fail emails. Winners have until April 30 to log in and pay the $15 per hiker to hold their reservation.

on April 1 at 7 AM (Pacific time) Any slots still open (will likely be May and October dates) can be purchased on-line.

on May 1 at 7 AM PDT: All unclaimed and cancelled reservations go on sale. (Only the fastest fingers and luckiest will be able to reserve. Slots will disappear in seconds!)

Update Feb 22, 2019
The lottery is open for entries from Feb 22, and closes Friday, March 15 at 9 PM Pacific time.

An important note: When you create your lottery entry, at that time, you MUST enter any designated Alternate Leaders -- they cannot be added later. You and the Alternate Leaders are the only people who can pick up your permit (Id is required). In addition, the alternates must create a Recreation.gov login, and they MUST accept the alternate leader designation by replying to the email they are sent within 3 days, or they are dropped as alternate leader.

Update Feb 12, 2019: Inyo National Forest has posted another announcement:
Mt. Whitney Lottery Rescheduled
Quote:
News Release
February 12, 2019
Media Contact: Deb Schweizer (760) 873-2427
debraaschweizer@fs.fed.us
www.facebook.com/inyonf
Twitter: @inyoinfo

Mt. Whitney Lottery Rescheduled


The Mt. Whitney Lottery, the process which awards both day and overnight hiking permits of the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States, has been rescheduled to start on February 22, 2019.

Typically, the lottery begins February 1 through www.recreation.gov, but was delayed this year. The lottery will open February 22 at 7:00 am and close on March 15th at 9:00 pm Pacific Time.

Applicants are reminded that:

• Being first to apply does not improve your chances of success; applications will be processed in random order after March 15th.
• You can list up to 15 different trip dates on the lottery application.
• Submit only one application. Groups that submit multiple applications will be rejected from the lottery.

Lottery results will be posted on March 24th. If you are unsuccessful in winning your date from the lottery you can try again on May 1st when the unclaimed dates will be made available for web reservations.

The Whitney lottery addresses the overwhelming demand to complete a hike to this popular destination that draws mountaineers and hikers from throughout the world. Mt. Whitney is the southern terminus of the John Muir Trail and a part of several popular loop hikes in the Sierra Nevada.

For more information about the Mt. Whitney Lottery, please visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/inyo/passes-permits/recreation/?cid=stelprdb5150055



Update Jan 30, 2019: Inyo National Forest posted on their Facebook page:

Quote:
U.S. Forest Service - Inyo National Forest

Mt. Whitney Lottery Postponed

The Mt. Whitney Lottery, the process which awards both day and overnight hiking permits of the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States, has been postponed.

Typically, the lottery begins February 1 through www.recreation.gov. However, the recently awarded contractor for this site was working with the Inyo National Forest to develop the online protocol for the lottery. This work was delayed during the shutdown.

The forest and the recreation.gov are working to get the lottery functional and anticipate that it will start sometime in mid to late February. The new date will be announced when the details are finalized.

The Whitney lottery addresses the overwhelming demand to complete a hike to this popular destination that draws mountaineers and hikers from throughout the world. Mt. Whitney is the southern terminus of the John Muir Trail and a part of several popular loop hikes in the Sierra Nevada.

Thank you for your patience while this work is completed.


This is the Notification on the recreation.gov page:
Quote:
Registration is Closed
The lottery has been delayed until further notice. Please check back for status updates after the Federal government lapse in funding period has ended.


Jan 8, 2019: With the current federal government shutdown, it appears that the Recreation.gov website is allowing people to reserve Mt Whitney Main Trail permits, both day hike and overnight permits to be reserved -- before the lottery occurs.

People are reporting they are buying the permits. Who knows what will become of those permits, since they are purchased before the lottery takes place.

I don't know if they will be rejected or erased, or what. Rec.gov has always NOT given refunds, so no telling what will occur with permits this year.


Edited by Steve C (06/18/19 12:16 PM)

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#54568 - 01/09/19 10:06 AM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Steve C]
futbol Offline


Registered: 06/27/17
Posts: 74
Loc: San Diego, CA
With their new reservation system, I don't think they have full control over what it does or how it does it.

For example, I received this after releasing 3 of the 4 permits I had last year (I don't think I actually got the refund, but I'll check later):

Quote:
Hi Peter,

You're all set! Your refund for Reservation #6-xxxxxxxx at Mt. Whitney has been processed and is on its way.

This email serves as confirmation that you’ll be receiving a refund for this reservation. Your refund details can be found below:

Reservation ID:
6-xxxxxxxx Original Paid:
$55.00 Total Refund:
$34.00

Payment Type Amount Refunded

Legacy payment $34.00


Credit / debit card payments will be refunded to the card associated with your reservation, or you will receive a refund check in the mail with the address provided if you paid by cash or check (please allow up to 8 weeks).

Be on the lookout for your refund, and thank you for choosing Recreation.gov.

Thank you,
Recreation.gov


Either way, I think it's going to be a mess to sort out.

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#54573 - 01/10/19 12:28 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Steve C]
MtMikeR Offline


Registered: 04/02/18
Posts: 18
Loc: Chicago, IL
So does this mean that the lottery for 2019 will be a different process then in years past? I did look on the recreation.gov website the other day and saw that most months are blocked out from obtaining permits within the lottery window. Haven't checked today to see if it's been updated but I know I couldn't obtain a permit for September or October yet.
_________________________
Mike

“Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.”
- Ed Viesturs

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#54575 - 01/10/19 03:07 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: MtMikeR]
Dave F Offline


Registered: 06/24/14
Posts: 17
Loc: Northern California
It looks like the system will let you reserve permits up to six months out from the current date. When I looked yesterday - January 9 - you could reserve permits up through July 9, but not beyond.

It's odd that the system isn't defaulted to just block out the lottery permit period. The lottery period starts May 1, right? I would be very surprised if the system was accepting May permits six months earlier (during November 2018) before the shutdown, or June permits in December. Both periods are definitely available to reserve on the system now. I wonder what happened on shutdown day or afterwards to reopen those periods?

Once (if? shocked ) the shutdown ends, it will be interesting to see whether the "taken" permits are invalidated, or simply honored leaving fewer permits to assign by lottery? One of my employees "reserved" some permits for the July 4th window, so I'll certainly hear the answer. Either way, there will be unhappy people.

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#54576 - 01/10/19 03:24 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Steve C]
Dave F Offline


Registered: 06/24/14
Posts: 17
Loc: Northern California
Originally Posted By: Steve C
Jan 8, 2019: Rec.gov has always NOT given refunds, so no telling what will occur with permits this year.


This seems like it would be a bit different: they accepted your money, then denied you the privilege you just paid for. If I didn't know I was trying to game the system in bad faith - not true for everyone - that would seem like theft on their part not to refund the money.

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#54577 - 01/10/19 11:01 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Dave F]
bobpickering Offline


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 431
Loc: Reno, Nevada
This is a very different situation, but a while back, I reserved and paid for a USFS campsite on the west side. They ended up closing the campground due to flooding, and I got a refund with no hassle.

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#54632 - 01/30/19 12:04 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Steve C]
Dave F Offline


Registered: 06/24/14
Posts: 17
Loc: Northern California
*UPDATE*

My employee who made a lottery-period reservation during the shutdown tells me that they just got a full refund showing up on their credit card. Looks like the system won't be honoring those reservations after all.

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#54633 - 01/30/19 06:34 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Dave F]
mrcooperou812 Offline


Registered: 01/29/19
Posts: 4
Loc: Tempe, Arizona
Thanks for the update. So, does anyone know if the system will accept lottery applications on Friday?

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#54634 - 01/30/19 08:56 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: mrcooperou812]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7870
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: mrcooperou812
Thanks for the update. So, does anyone know if the system will accept lottery applications on Friday?

I would count on it.

Dave F: Thanks for the "*UPDATE*"!!

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#54635 - 01/31/19 03:56 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7870
Loc: Fresno, CA
No lottery entries tomorrow:
Update Jan 30, 2019: Inyo National Forest posted on their Facebook page:
Quote:
U.S. Forest Service - Inyo National Forest

Mt. Whitney Lottery Postponed

The Mt. Whitney Lottery, the process which awards both day and overnight hiking permits of the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States, has been postponed.

Typically, the lottery begins February 1 through www.recreation.gov. However, the recently awarded contractor for this site was working with the Inyo National Forest to develop the online protocol for the lottery. This work was delayed during the shutdown.

The forest and the recreation.gov are working to get the lottery functional and anticipate that it will start sometime in mid to late February. The new date will be announced when the details are finalized.

The Whitney lottery addresses the overwhelming demand to complete a hike to this popular destination that draws mountaineers and hikers from throughout the world. Mt. Whitney is the southern terminus of the John Muir Trail and a part of several popular loop hikes in the Sierra Nevada.

Thank you for your patience while this work is completed.

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#54642 - 02/01/19 10:25 AM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Steve C]
timisimaginary Offline


Registered: 12/13/18
Posts: 8
Loc: MD
Quote:
The forest and the recreation.gov are working to get the lottery functional and anticipate that it will start sometime in mid to late February.


just in time for the next shutdown tired

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#54644 - 02/01/19 09:05 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: timisimaginary]
Joe Gaffney Offline


Registered: 01/31/19
Posts: 7
Loc: CA
This is my first time attempting a summit hike. I plan on submitting for several different start dates, hoping that I'll get at least one. Do I have to pay $10 for each date I submit for?

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#54647 - 02/02/19 08:20 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Joe Gaffney]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7870
Loc: Fresno, CA
One $10 entry into the lottery allows you to pick up to 15 different start dates. The process checks your first choice first, then steps through the choices, in order, until the first success, or you run out of luck. Good luck!!!

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#54651 - 02/03/19 02:03 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Steve C]
Joe Gaffney Offline


Registered: 01/31/19
Posts: 7
Loc: CA
Thx, Steve. I'm a solo hiker, so I figure I stand a good chance of getting one of my picks.

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#54656 - 02/05/19 06:20 AM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Steve C]
Admir Offline


Registered: 01/24/19
Posts: 12
Loc: IA
One of our group members called and we were told it might open mid this week? I am reading comments and it says mid-February to late February? What's the latest on this?


Edited by Admir (02/05/19 06:21 AM)

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#54663 - 02/06/19 06:12 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Admir]
Joe Gaffney Offline


Registered: 01/31/19
Posts: 7
Loc: CA
Still down.

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#54672 - 02/11/19 07:25 AM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Joe Gaffney]
MtMikeR Offline


Registered: 04/02/18
Posts: 18
Loc: Chicago, IL
Just checked - still down.
_________________________
Mike

“Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.”
- Ed Viesturs

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#54688 - 02/13/19 02:46 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: MtMikeR]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7870
Loc: Fresno, CA
LA Times article posted today:

By MARY FORGIONE
FEB 13, 2019 | 6:30 AM
Delayed lottery for Mt. Whitney trail permits will finally start
Reporter Mary Forgione got all the info right!!

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#54700 - 02/15/19 10:25 AM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Steve C]
Admir Offline


Registered: 01/24/19
Posts: 12
Loc: IA
thx Steve! this is great news.

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#54701 - 02/15/19 10:26 AM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Steve C]
Louie Offline


Registered: 02/15/19
Posts: 1
Loc: California
Does anyone know what exactly constitutes a duplicate application? If I put in an application and list my friend as alternate leader, and he puts in an application and lists me, is that a duplicate? How would they know? The only identifying info I can see is email address, but if we each use 2 different addresses, all they have is name, but many people have the same name.

For that matter is 1 person allowed to apply for 2 different trips in the lottery? That is they plan on making the hike twice in the summer.

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