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Securing a Permit
#57153 06/05/20 12:36 PM
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Like many hikers, our group did not receive any passes during the 2020 lottery.

Quick question to everyone. Is there a process where "unclaimed passes" become available to the general public? If so, please pass along that information to my email address. peter.omundson@gmail.com If you know any of the particulars, please let me know. (i.e. how many days in advance do they become available, where do I pick up the pass, etc) Thank you Peter O

Re: Securing a Pass
Peter Omundson #57156 06/06/20 07:40 AM
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Hello All. I am interested in this information as well. I know you used to be able to get unused permits day of when people didn’t show up. I have overnights permits for 3 in August and have another person that would like to join us. Thanks.

Re: Securing a Pass
Adingfish #57161 06/06/20 11:22 AM
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Permits to hike in Inyo N.F. are different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There are no walk-up permits at all -- everything is handled via the Recreation.gov website and email. You are emailed your pass, and there may be a phone call required for ranger instructions--at least National parks are doing that.

Currently (in June 2020), Recreation.gov is releasing available (unreserved) permits back to the online website 2 weeks in advance of the hike date. (need to check to see what time each day). You can then book the permit at that time, online.

If anyone actually logs onto Rec.gov and cancels their reservation (rarely occurs) a few days before the hike, it might show up on rec.gov (in the past, they showed up "at a random time in the next 24 hours"). Not sure if this is happening this year.

Here is the link to all except the Whitney Zone day use and Mt Whitney overnight permits:
https://www.recreation.gov/permits/...ype=overnight-permit&date=2020-06-06
Notes on using the Rec.gov page:
  1. If you intend to get a permit, you MUST log in. It is easiest if you log in first (upper-rt corner of that page).
  2. Permit Type: Overnight or Overnight exiting Mt Whitney. (The "exiting" permit means they will try to schedule you for two permits, your entry permit, plus the difficult to obtain Trail Crest Exit Permit.)
  3. Set the date to start looking for permits.
  4. Set the group size -- must be at least 1.
  5. Set the "No" button under "Is this a commercial guided trip?"
  6. At this point, it should show you a table with trails and numbers. Numbers show how many are available for the date. If no numbers, they are already reserved, or not available for some other reason.
  7. To book a permit (make sure your group size is accurate), click the number to the right of the trail, under the date you will start hiking, then click the Book Now button (you may need to scroll down to see Book Now).


For Whitney Zone day use and Mt Whitney overnight permits, use this link:
https://www.recreation.gov/permits/233260
  or this one:
https://www.recreation.gov/permits/...?type=overnight-permit&date=7/1/2020
Note that at this time (6/6/20), there are no Whitney permits available, and current permit holders' permits are being cancelled and refunded a week in advance of the permit date.

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Re: Securing a Pass
Steve C #57162 06/06/20 11:47 AM
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Thanks Steve.....useful information for an old man.

So, when I tried to secure a permit for Trail Pass out of Horseshoe Meadows, a "W' is displayed, and according to the translation, "Walk-up." so, what do I do?

As for Kearsarge Pass, the field is blank into August. Nothing available?

paul

Last edited by Paul; 06/06/20 11:51 AM.
Re: Securing a Pass
Paul #57163 06/06/20 01:48 PM
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I have been watching the numbers for Inyo in recreation.gov. I had reserved a Whitney Zone Permit (North Fork Lone Pine Creek) for today (Sat) but when I called the Inyo Permit Office they would not give me a Permit because the Whitney Zone is still closed but they said everything else is open. It seems the "walk-in" quota permits have stopped being dumped into the reservable permit bucket or they are dumped in there in batches (once a week?). On Wednesday, the last day with the available formerly "walk-in" quota permits was the 18th and it is still the same on Saturday. For example, Trail Pass (non-quota) has 10 (could be set to 1000, I guess) for the 18th, but then the 19th has "W" (walkup/unlimited). I expect that if a new batch of "walkup" permits shows up the Trail Pass should be converted from "W" to 10, but recreation.gov is pretty chaotic at this time. I would watch and wait.

Has anybody successfully gone through this Inyo "virtual permit" process here?

Last edited by jaym; 06/06/20 01:49 PM.
Re: Securing a Pass
jaym #57166 06/06/20 03:42 PM
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Paul, what date? As Jaym wrote, there are some available today thru 6/19. Kearsarge Pass has some available, too -- even some Exiting Mt Whitney!!

North Fork Lone Pine Creek has some available today (6/6) through 6/11.

Re: Securing a Pass
Steve C #57167 06/06/20 04:17 PM
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Steve, I was just trying to go out a few weeks and maybe I don't understand the process. After June, they haven't released permits, correct? Do they release permits 2 weeks in advance, or something like that?

As for Trail Pass, can you explain why there is a "W?" Does this mean that I really do have to show up for permits?

I am confused.

I am heading up on Monday to day hike Cottonwood Pass and Kearsarge Pass.

I miss my walkins......never had a problem.

paul

Re: Securing a Pass
Steve C #57169 06/06/20 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve C
Paul, what date? As Jaym wrote, there are some available today thru 6/19. Kearsarge Pass has some available, too -- even some Exiting Mt Whitney!!

North Fork Lone Pine Creek has some available today (6/6) through 6/11.

June 2, LA Times article:
[url=https://www.latimes.com/travel/story/2020-06-02/mt-whitney-hike-permits-on-hold-during-coronavirus-pandemic][/url]

Quote
Forest Service officials are canceling permits one week in advance of reservation dates. ... Schweizer (Inyo Nat Forest Spokeswoman) said canceling one week at a time allows officials to resume issuing permits as soon as trails open.

I wouldn't bother to reserve those North Fork Lone Pine Creek permits because at least for me, the Inyo Permit Office would not issue
it to me when I called on Tuesday for today (Sat). The permit lady indicated there is chaos at recreation.gov
probably due to understaffing because of the pandemic. My permit is still in the system now as "No Show" and has not been refunded.

That being said, if you time it right, you may be able to grab some coveted North Fork permits for a date shortly after the Whitney Zone opens.

Paul: In a normal year "W" means walkup/walkin permits, these are being converted piecemeal in the pandemic to reservable permits
even for non-quota (infinite) permits because the Visitor Centers are closed.

Re: Securing a Pass
jaym #57170 06/06/20 06:03 PM
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Thanks.......

Every year I would take the Trail Pass route down to the Kern and loop back around. Sometimes I take this route 3 or 4 times.

I would drive up from Santa Clarita, arrive at the Visitor's Center before closing and get my permit, never having to worry about quotas.

Oh how things have changed.

This is my 56th year of hiking in the Sierras.

So, I now have to watch for a release of permits for Trail Pass in order to get one.

Pul

Re: Securing a Pass
Paul #57172 06/06/20 09:07 PM
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> So, I now have to watch for a release of permits for Trail Pass in order to get one.

...or maybe just be bold and go without a permit. Times are strange.

Re: Securing a Pass
Paul #57174 06/06/20 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul
Thanks.......

Every year I would take the Trail Pass route down to the Kern and loop back around. Sometimes I take this route 3 or 4 times.

I would drive up from Santa Clarita, arrive at the Visitor's Center before closing and get my permit, never having to worry about quotas.

Oh how things have changed.

This is my 56th year of hiking in the Sierras.

So, I now have to watch for a release of permits for Trail Pass in order to get one.

Pul

If they don't show up in the next few days due to recreation.gov system problems, you could just grab a "Cottonwood Pass" Permit (quota permit). You can even put south bound PCT campsites in your permit when I tried it. Then take the "magic" shortcut straight up the Trail Pass if you don't want to actually go up Cottonwood Pass and loop back south on the PCT.

Re: Securing a Pass
jaym #57178 06/07/20 08:11 AM
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Most people do not understand the Trail Pass route. It is by far a much more direct route down to the Kern.

I think you are right Jaym........ Get a Cottonwood Pass permit but just head over Trail Pass.

Good advice.

Paul


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