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#56609 - 01/08/20 11:57 AM Multi-Day Backpack Trips Starting at Whitney Portal
Jammer Offline

Registered: 04/09/13
Posts: 34
Loc: North Carolina
Quick question regarding longer trips that one might want to originate from Whitney Portal. Think HST Westbound, JMT Northbound, or simply a multi-day backpack in the wilderness exiting at another location like Onion Valley or Horseshoe Meadows.

My assumption (which seems to be supported by information I've found elsewhere online) has always been that you need to either score a Whitney Permit in the lottery or pick-up available/cancelled permits through the various means of doing so online or in-person. However, I do have a question about this that I can't seem to find an answer to.

Let's assume I do score a permit in the lottery, but it is a day use only permit (versus overnight). Can that be used to summit Whitney within the designated day, but then exit down the western slope toward Crabtree Meadows and continue along another itinerary? Technically, one would only be in the Whitney Zone during the time indicated on the permit. However, it's not something I would want to try unless I knew for sure that is allowed. Just curious if anybody has any insight.

#56610 - 01/08/20 03:08 PM Re: Multi-Day Backpack Trips Starting at Whitney Portal [Re: Jammer]
Steve C Offline

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7996
Loc: Fresno, CA
Hi Jammer, You would need an overnight permit of some sort to spend overnights anywhere in the area, whether it be on the east side of Whitney, in Inyo National Forest, or on the west side in Sequoia National Park. So the Day Hike permit would not suffice.

All the agencies, National Forest and National Parks, require that you have an overnight wilderness permit, but it doesn't matter which agency issued the permit. Even PCT hikers starting from the far south (or north) need to carry a permit issued by the PCTA organization.

Last year, there were surprisingly few last-minute online permits available for overnight hikes. I'm pretty sure the software has not been built to automatically release the no-shows into the online system. I think last year the only slots showing up online were the group-size reductions occurring when people were picking up their reserved permits. I am sure hopeful that the no-shows will be made available this year.

#56617 - 01/09/20 12:03 PM Re: Multi-Day Backpack Trips Starting at Whitney Portal [Re: Steve C]
Jammer Offline

Registered: 04/09/13
Posts: 34
Loc: North Carolina
That confirms what I expected, but glad to have a definitive answer. Would be quite the loophole if otherwise. smile