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Possible backpacking options with Whitney day permit
#57424 06/24/20 03:23 PM
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 6
J
Justin Offline OP
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Joined: May 2019
Posts: 6
First, I really want to thank everyone that organizes and contributes to this message board. Through the years I have gained a lot of knowledge for my upcoming trips that have been invaluable.

I snagged a day permit for a Friday at the end of July for the Whitney main trial. I have day hiked the trail to summit 2 years in a row, and really want to mix it up a bit. Ideally would love to put together a 1-3 night backpacking trip, working in Whitney summit on the Friday I have the day permit for. Also ideally would like to stop and start at the same location as I will be alone, unless transportation between start/stop is possible.

Basically, my questions are this:
1) Is something like the above even possible given I only have a Whitney day permit. I understand I cannot camp anywhere on the main trail (trail/outpost camp/consultation lake are out) but if I hike in from a trial not starting/ending on the main trail (like Horseshoe meadows) and camp outside the permit zone is this “allowed” and doable, still working in a Whitney summit?

2) If #1 is doable, then any recommendations for possible routes would be greatly appreciated (and additional permits I might need). Again I will only have a max of 3 night. Would love to tag another summit like Langley while I’m out too but not necessary.

Thank you in advance to all that respond! Happy trails

Last edited by Justin; 06/24/20 04:03 PM.
Re: Possible backpacking options with Whitney day permit
Justin #57438 06/24/20 10:20 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
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> First, I really want to thank everyone that organizes and contributes to this message board. Through the years I have gained a lot of knowledge for my upcoming trips that have been invaluable.
Well, you could always donate $10 or $20 to WHA -- it's the fund that pays for the software and hosting service that this forum runs on. I had to throw some of my own $$ into the pot this year to do the recent upgrade. I guess we could always introduce advertisements....

Now about that permit: You cannot backpack on that day hike permit period. It really won't do you any good if you are backpacking, so go ahead and return it once you get an overnight permit. (So someone else can use it.)

There are two routes you can use to backpack and climb Whitney: Either starting from Horseshoe Meadows (actually 2 trailheads there: Cottonwood Lakes & Cottonwood Pass), or Onion Valley (Kearsarge Pass trailhead). If you only have 3 days, Horseshoe Meadows is better. But you also need the "Exiting Mt Whitney" additional permit to descend from Trail Crest directly to Whitney Portal. Those permits (25 per day limit) are really hard to get, but maybe this year it may be easier -- with the walk-ins released to the online Recreation.gov site two weeks in advance of the hike. If you can't get the Exit permit, then you would need to go out-and-back via Horseshoe Meadows, likely a 4-5 day trip. But at least your car would be where you needed it.

The one-way in at HM, out at WP is difficult for transportation. Good luck1


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