Posted by Dryfly, 01-29-2008
Can anyone help with the 411 on what kind of Whitney Zone permit I need if I'm hiking the JMT North to South (Yosemite to Whitney)? I guess a permit is required to exit to Portal, but you can't go through the lottery. Also, the Whitney Zone site says that if you originate in Yosemite, you're not subject to the Trail Crest daily exit quota. Ideally, I'd like to have some flexibility on the trail by a day or two. Can anyone clarify? Apologies if there's already been a thread on this. And many thanks for any help!

Posted by Steve C, 01-29-2008
If your permit enters from Yosemite, you do not need any kind of Whitney permit.

The Trail Crest exit permit is ONLY required of people whose hike originates within Inyo National Forest.

Posted by VersatileFred, 01-29-2008
I tried summarizing that in Step 0 of the Wilderness Permit Options feature topic. Exit quotas only apply to people who plan to exit via the Main Mount Whitney Trail from another Inyo National Forest trailhead and they only apply when the people request overnight permits. The exit quota is a second condition that has to be met before an overnight permit will be issued (the first condition being the entry quota for the starting trailhead). It limits the number of people bypassing the quotas for the main trail by using alternate entry points. It is not a second permit.
Orientation Notes for Whitney First Timers


Posted by rosabella, 01-29-2008
I'm hoping to do the JMT again this summer; permitting doesn't seem to be much different from before:

"John Muir Trail area Permits:
Required since the routes are thru National Parks or wilderness areas. Get the permit at the point of entry. East side permits are U.S. Forest Service. The Mt. Whitney end is thru the Forest Service by lottery, but there are nearby passes where you can get to the JMT and permits are usually available in advance or at the trailhead. Try to get them online as there is a daily quota at all trailheads. Forest Service Permits. Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park Service Permits. Yosemite National Park Permits. Starting from Yosemite on your online reservation request, entry trailhead will be HappyIsles>LittleYosemite and exit trailhead will be Lyell Canyon. When you pick up permit, tell ranger your final destination is Whitney Portal and approximate date of exit. Ask them to stamp it for the Whitney Zone! If online reservations are full for your day and route, do not be discouraged. 40% of permits are reserved for walk ups either for same day or one day before. Go midweek, get in line at the wilderness early, and have a day or two flexibility. If the Happy Isles - Little Yosemite is still full, ask for Happy Isles - Sunrise/Merced Lake - it works for JMT. If you still can't get a walkup permit, try for one leaving from Tuolumne Meadows or Glacier Point."

You can request your permit 24 weeks in advance. Good luck on your hike... maybe I'll see you out there!

Steve C, 01-29-2008
Two summers ago, Alan K (on this board) and his son day hiked their first two sections: the Yosemite Valley (Happy Isles) to Tuolumne Meadows, and Tuolumne Meadows to Reds Meadow. Therefore, they did not need permits for that section. So they were getting their first overnight permit starting from Reds Meadow (the Mammoth / Devils Postpile area). Since the JMT trail in this area is in Inyo National Forest, they had to get a Trail Crest exit permit.

Such fun.

Posted by AlanK, 01-30-2008
Steve -- you have the memory of an elephant!