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2020 Permit Lottery
#56763 03/24/20 08:11 AM
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Deke Offline OP
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I was yet again unsuccessful in obtaining permits. I am 0/4 with this process. I'm wondering if they are even approving licenses given the covid-19 outbreak. Just wondering... We're any of you fortunate enough to get chosen?

Re: 2020 Permit Lottery
Deke #56764 03/24/20 08:23 AM
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Sorry Deke. I've always used the method of watching and getting one online a few days before I go.

Re: 2020 Permit Lottery
Deke #56765 03/24/20 08:30 AM
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I got the lottery...for Oct 22nd =/

Does anyone know what time the rest of the reservations open up on April 1st?

Do I need to stay up until midnight? 8am PST?

Last edited by gracekinsly; 03/24/20 08:30 AM.
Re: 2020 Permit Lottery
Steve C #56766 03/24/20 08:31 AM
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That's what I'm relying on now. The April release of available dates always get taken right when booking is made available so that's unreliable. Last time we picked a weekday and drove out there and got lucky but as I understand it you can only find them online now. Would you say I have a solid chance of being able to find 4 permits a few days before we drive up? Aiming for a weekday in late july. Would this be my best chance?

Re: 2020 Permit Lottery
Deke #56767 03/24/20 08:39 AM
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Well, didn't get one either for my NOBO JMT backup plan.

At the moment, I'm still doing my prep work for JMT either from Yosemite in mid July (got lucky and snagged a permit from Glacier Point) or from Cottonwood Pass in August.

All that depends on:

1) Yosemite is open again.
2) Inyo is allowing hikers.
3) The resupply points are in operation (JMR is the biggest concern-Reds Meadow and Onion Valley have several options).
4) I'm still alive.
5) Civilization hasn't broken down.

Re: 2020 Permit Lottery
Deke #56768 03/24/20 08:57 AM
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Tried for dates in September but unsuccessful. I will try checking back for open dates. I believe that if they refunded fees (even partially) there would be more open dates as that might encourage cancellations rather than no-shows.

Re: 2020 Permit Lottery
WanderingJim #56769 03/24/20 09:00 AM
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Iím not planning any trips near the Whitney Zone this year, but I reserved four Inyo permits further north. I also reserved one night in a campground near Bridgeport. Itís still early, but I havenít received any emails suggesting that they might cancel any of my reservations. Iím cautiously optimistic.

Re: 2020 Permit Lottery
bobpickering #56770 03/25/20 03:32 PM
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I got a date in September, just hope that the trail will be open.

Re: 2020 Permit Lottery
Deke #56771 03/26/20 12:43 AM
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I got my NOBO out of Cottonwood to Yosemite 3 days ago.... but the situation is so fluid I don't know if you will have concrete info until the day you try to go....

Re: 2020 Permit Lottery
gracekinsly #56772 03/26/20 12:45 AM
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I called the Lone Pine ranger station and Yosemite 2 days ago and neither could give a concrete answer other than "try later"....

Re: 2020 Permit Lottery
Deke #56777 03/31/20 11:43 AM
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I have entered the lottery 3 times in the past for day hikes for 2-4 people and have always been successful. This time I was going for a 1-person overnight permit and selected about a dozen weekend dates throughout the summer, so though I would for sure get a permit, but did not get one. Go figure.

When does the reservation system open up for unclaimed lottery dates? Is it April 1 or May 1? The official website seems confused on this issue. Guess I will look tonight and tomorrow morning and see if I can snag something.

Re: 2020 Permit Lottery
Louie #56781 03/31/20 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted By: Louie
I have entered the lottery 3 times in the past for day hikes for 2-4 people and have always been successful. This time I was going for a 1-person overnight permit and selected about a dozen weekend dates throughout the summer, so though I would for sure get a permit, but did not get one. Go figure.

When does the reservation system open up for unclaimed lottery dates? Is it April 1 or May 1? The official website seems confused on this issue. Guess I will look tonight and tomorrow morning and see if I can snag something.


The chances of being successful 3 times in a row is pretty rare. You were quite lucky.

This from last year: "On April 1 at 7 AM (Pacific time) any slots still open (will likely be May and October dates) can be purchased on-line." Those are not ideal hiking dates. (I am not sure if this year will be the same situation.)


Re: 2020 Permit Lottery
Steve C #56785 04/01/20 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted By: Steve C
Originally Posted By: Louie
I have entered the lottery 3 times in the past for day hikes for 2-4 people and have always been successful. This time I was going for a 1-person overnight permit and selected about a dozen weekend dates throughout the summer, so though I would for sure get a permit, but did not get one. Go figure.

When does the reservation system open up for unclaimed lottery dates? Is it April 1 or May 1? The official website seems confused on this issue. Guess I will look tonight and tomorrow morning and see if I can snag something.


The chances of being successful 3 times in a row is pretty rare. You were quite lucky.

This from last year: "On April 1 at 7 AM (Pacific time) any slots still open (will likely be May and October dates) can be purchased on-line." Those are not ideal hiking dates. (I am not sure if this year will be the same situation.)


Yup, they're available today at 7 AM. There are (were, by the time you read this?) weekend permits available for lone hikers in July as of this post. No April Fools; I'm totally serious and just grabbed one, so get them before they go!

Re: 2020 Permit Lottery
Deke #56791 04/01/20 09:58 AM
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Thanks guys, I will probably just try again next summer for an overnight and do something else this summer.

Of the 3 I won in the past, 2 were fairly early in the year, late May and late June, but last year I got Labor Day weekend for 4 which I though was pretty lucky, I think it was our 2nd choice. We must have been picked pretty early.

Re: 2020 Permit Lottery
Louie #56814 04/02/20 10:34 PM
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got 4 permits for late September, then got on again and got 4 for October 8. I'dlike earlier, but have hiked Whitney as late as mid Oct. It's cold, so I better get some warm stuff. Plus, now I have 6 months of training


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Re: 2020 Permit Lottery
Deke #56836 04/05/20 05:22 PM
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I am surprised how booked up June is, and May weekends for that matter. When I went about 8 years ago on a late June weekend, there was probably no more than about 15 people who made it to the summit all day, maybe another 10 on other parts of the trail, who didn't make the summit. Well below the permit quota. It was a heavy spring snowfall that year, looks like this year might be similar.

Re: 2020 Permit Lottery
Louie #56837 04/05/20 07:26 PM
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I miss the ďgood old daysĒ when there were no quotas or fees for Inyo National Forest (including Whitney), no permits at all for Half Dome, and free self-issue permits for Shasta.

Re: 2020 Permit Lottery
Louie #56838 04/05/20 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted By: Louie
I am surprised how booked up June is, and May weekends for that matter. When I went about 8 years ago on a late June weekend, there was probably no more than about 15 people who made it to the summit all day, maybe another 10 on other parts of the trail, who didn't make the summit. Well below the permit quota. It was a heavy spring snowfall that year, looks like this year might be similar.


Louie, lots of people sign up for whatever dates they can get, and then watch the conditions. In a heavy snow year, when the switchbacks open late, they just don't go on their permit date. Before last year, Inyo made those no-shows' permits available at 2 pm the day before the day-hikes, 10 AM the date of the hike for overnighters. Last year, they killed the walk-in process to pick up no-shows. But they didn't have any way to release the no-shows online. We can only hope they can get it together this year. It is a matter of setting up the software.

They used to have the attitude that they wanted to fill the daily quota as much as possible. I get the feeling that isn't a priority anymore.

Re: 2020 Permit Lottery
Steve C #56841 04/06/20 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted By: Steve C

They used to have the attitude that they wanted to fill the daily quota as much as possible. I get the feeling that isn't a priority anymore.


Yeah, I can see that. Last year I got a permit for 4 for August. 1 of our group dropped out so I called the permit office a couple days before and told them they could reduce our group to 3, but there were still 4 permits when we picked them up.

Re: 2020 Permit Lottery
bobpickering #56860 04/09/20 09:46 AM
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I agree, Bob. Has the permit system discourage wilderness travel? Apparently not.

For the amount of money it probably takes to administer the permit system, there might be plenty available to build toilets on the Whitney trail and elsewhere.

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