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Will C
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Original Post (Thread Starter)
Sleeping in my car #58398 03/25/2021 3:35 AM
by Will C
Will C
Hello forum. First post and for starters thanks for all the awesome information. I have tried to find a fairly recent topic pertaining to my specific questions and really didn't see the answers I was seeking so I am starting this thread. Sorry if this is a repetitive question.
Anyway, I am doing a 1 day Summit attempt August 3 and I would like to sleep at least a few nights above 10,000 feet. I will be flying into Las Vegas , renting a minivan and driving to Lone pine a week before. Will stay a few nights in Lone pine and do some day hikes around the area. However, I am somewhat prone to altitude sickness if I don't take the time to acclimatize, so I would like to sleep in my minivan 2 or even better 3 nights above 10,000 feet either at Cottonwood pass, Horseshoe meadows, or the whitney portal. ( any recommendations would be most appreciated ) or a combination of any of the available local spots

Is this allowed? I've been looking at campground permits and have seen people reference sleeping in vehicles but I haven't seen anything that either allows or prohibits it.
Is a permit required or anything else that is required to park in the lots at these campgrounds / trailheads and just sleep in the vehicle.

Thanks so much!
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Re: Sleeping in my car #58409 Mar 26th a 05:18 AM
by Steve C
Steve C
I have slept in my car at Horseshoe Meadows (Cottonwood Pass trailhead campground) parking area -- next to the walk-in camp sites. I don't think there are any rules against it. I think you could sleep in your car in the Whitney Portal overflow parking lot (the last spur before the trailhead), too -- you want to be as far from the trail head as possible, since hikers start really early and their noise would make for a bad night. No permits required to park.

If you would rather sleep on the ground, the walk-in sites at Whitney Portal are reasonably close to the parking. They are one-night only, first come first served, and cost $5 or $10. But the car sounds more comfortable and less setup hassle. You definitely want to sleep in your car at Whitney Portal Aug 2, so you can get out and start early on Aug 3. Good luck, by the way.

You are wise to sleep at the high elevations. In fact, you could do that every night, and use the showers at Whitney Portal Hostel (In Lone Pine). If you slept as high as you are comfortable every night, you should be well prepared for the altitude on your hike day.
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Re: Sleeping in my car #58405 Mar 26th a 12:02 AM
by Andrewzuber
Horseshoe Meadows has a campground and I would imagine you'd be able to camp in the van there. I've spent a few days up there acclimating before climbing Whitney.

The Whitney Portal elevation is only 8,300 feet. This is probably my favorite campground in the world, but a lot of other people agree as getting a reservation is very tricky. I snagged the last spot the night before before my summit date this coming July. There are walk-in spots available but you wouldn't be able to drive to those, and again, that won't get you to 10,000 feet. The closest option would be to start the hike and camp at Lone Pine Lake, but that too requires the elusive overnight permit (even though it's not technically in the Whitney Zone.)

I'd shoot for Horseshoe Meadows personally (Cottonwood Pass is the campground I stayed in.) Those are walk-in sites so they don't require a reservation.

Best of luck on the climb!
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