How do I get a Whitney unused permit???

Posted by: wvueers

How do I get a Whitney unused permit??? - 07/23/12 08:08 PM

I failed to earn a pass thru the lottery this year, but it's my understanding that I could possibly get an unused permit for day use or overnight.

Does anyone know how this works? What's the best way of going about it? I'm prepared to do a day hike or overnight hike depending on whats available. What are the chances of getting an unused pass? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Posted by: tdtz

Re: How do I get a Whitney unused permit??? - 07/23/12 08:19 PM

On saturday, I showed up at 10:55am for the 11am drawing. There were 16 groups with a total of 25 people looking for permits. I drew #16 and I got an overnight permit.

In other words, your odds are very good of getting a permit by just showing up.
Posted by: Steve C

Re: How do I get a Whitney unused permit??? - 07/23/12 11:19 PM

wvueers, start by reading the Wilderness permit Options (link in the box below the web cam images). Check especially Step 6, "No-Fee Permit Options.

And the "unused whitney permits thread is a good discussion, too.
Posted by: Sparty85

Re: How do I get a Whitney unused permit??? - 07/24/12 08:56 AM

I just released 4 dayhike spots for Monday July 30.
Posted by: Steve C

Re: How do I get a Whitney unused permit??? - 07/24/12 09:02 AM

Originally Posted By: Sparty85
I just released 4 dayhike spots for Monday July 30.
Thanks, Sparty85! Appreciate your returning them, and for posting.

Curious to see how soon they would show up, I checked the recreation.gov site for July 30.


At 9 AM PDT, there are 5 available. ...and 9 available for Thursday (day after tomorrow)!

Edit: at 4:30 PM, there is 1 left.       ...and 7 left for Thursday.
Posted by: wbtravis

Re: How do I get a Whitney unused permit??? - 07/24/12 09:30 AM

I'm big on just going up. If the permit is available...great. If not...great.

There are plenty of great PLAN Bs in the general area, many of which you just find a better experience than Mt. Whitney.
Posted by: wvueers

Re: How do I get a Whitney unused permit??? - 07/24/12 06:36 PM

Is it best to go up planning to do both a day hike or overnight hike depending on what pass you are able to get? what do people do when they essentially "wing it" on a trip up hoping to get a pass?
Posted by: Steve C

Re: How do I get a Whitney unused permit??? - 07/25/12 01:47 AM

I think most people have one or the other hike specifically in mind. It is so different packing for a backpack instead of a day hike.

I just read a report on another site that the Visitor Center was back to releasing no-show day hike permits at 2 PM (rather than the 11 AM that I thought was the case this year.) So now it is show up at 11 AM for the no-show permit lottery for overnight permits starting the same day.

And show up at 2 PM to go after the next-day no-show permits of day hikers that did not pick up their permits by noon. This is the same as it was in 2010.
Posted by: amarion

Re: How do I get a Whitney unused permit??? - 07/26/12 07:44 AM

I'm cancelling 2 permits today for July 30th overnight. They should be up later today or tomorrow morning.
Posted by: Art

Re: How do I get a Whitney unused permit??? - 07/30/12 11:33 AM

On Saturday, July 21, 2012, I got a walk up permit (cancellation) for a day hike of the Mt Whitney trail for the following day, Sunday, July 22.

I showed up at the Lone Pine visitor center about 10:30 and checked for cancellations. They had no day hike cancellations available but said to get in the 11:00 am lottery. At 11:00 about 16 people drew numbers from a hat. These were both day and overnight hikers. The number drawing was for the order in which we went up to the permit counter and got served.

There were still NO day hike permits available when I got to the counter. The ranger told me to come back around 2:00 pm because that is when the computer kicks out more cancellations. I returned at 1:30 and there were 2 day hike permits available for the next day. My buddy and I were a party of 2 so it worked out perfectly.

Next day's hike went great.
Posted by: whitneyhiker929

Re: How do I get a Whitney unused permit??? - 09/05/13 06:11 PM

We're 6 of us looking for an overnight permit on Sunday Sept 29th . What are the chances that we'd get it? And what options do we have if we don't?
Thanks!
Posted by: Steve C

Re: How do I get a Whitney unused permit??? - 09/06/13 12:31 AM

Starting your overnight hike on a Sunday, your chances are very good. Saturday less. Go in on Saturday AM and ask if there are any available (from other groups picking up permits and shedding some slots). On Sunday at 11 AM any no-shows will become available for the Sunday start. That late in the year, there may be some slots available for a Saturday start still left Saturday.

Last year's unused permits show an anomalous low number left for the last weekend in Sept. Not sure why that occurred -- maybe the earlier weeks' closed trail.

Plan B: Extend your trip an extra day. I am 99.9% sure you would get permits to start on Monday.

Plan C: Unlikely you will need it. And coming from so far, I can understand your intense wishes for Whitney. But Mt Langley via Cottonwood Lakes would give you an excellent experience above 14k. Or drive north and dayhike White Mountain on Monday or Tuesday.
Posted by: jackdaniels

Re: How do I get a Whitney unused permit??? - 06/17/14 04:47 PM

Hi!
I don't have a permit but I'm trying to get one for 14/15 August (Thursday/Friday)
What are the chances I'll get an overnight pass vs a dayhike? When is the lottery for Dayhike/overnight? is it at 2PM ?
Posted by: Steve C

Re: How do I get a Whitney unused permit??? - 06/19/14 01:00 PM

Originally Posted By: jackdaniels
Hi!
I don't have a permit but I'm trying to get one for 14/15 August (Thursday/Friday)

What are the chances I'll get an overnight pass vs a dayhike? When is the lottery for Dayhike/overnight? is it at 2PM ?


Mid-week, no-shows are easier to get, so your chances of getting overnight are good. Read the thread above. The drawing of numbers occurs at (8 am if there are lots of people when they open), 11 AM for the same-day entry overnight permits, and 2 PM for the next-day day use permits.

Here are the unused permits numbers.