2013 Whitney Lottery Information

Posted by: Whitney Zone

2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 01/03/13 10:56 PM

Mt Whitney Lottery 2014 information

Update March 24, 2013:  
Lottery results:
  total applications  12,153
successful 4,591
unsuccessful 7,562

Most results were received March 23.

March 25: There is an update with more info posted here.


Update March 12, 2013:  
Inyo has posted their last update before the lottery closes (likely 9 pm Pacific time March 15)
9,707 applications so far.
They plan to email results on March 23. Winners must confirm (and pay for) their reservations during April.
Most requested entries:
    Overnight entry date (as any choice): Fri, Aug 9.
    Overnight first choice entry date: Fri, July 19: 131 applications, 824 hikers.
    Day hike entry date (as any choice): Sat, Aug 17.
    Day hike first choice entry date: Sat, Aug 3: 128 applications, 668 hikers.

Lottery application links:   Sign in first.
    DAY USE of Mt. Whitney Zone     Mt. Whitney Trail Overnight Permit    



Edit Feb 11, 2013:  
Inyo National Forest has posted a status report showing 3633 lottery applications so far. ( link )   (Today the count is 4,532.)

The status report also shows dates and numbers of applications to start on that date.
Biggest numbers, which include alternate choices:
  Overnight hike:  Fri, Aug 09 - 267 applications, 1499 hikers
  Day Hike:          Sat, Aug 17 - 227 applications, 1479 hikers

Jan 3, 2013:  Information for the 2013 Mt Whitney Lottery is now available on the Inyo National Forest website:
    2013 Mt Whitney Lottery

From that website:
Lottery applications accepted online- February 1st to March 15th.
April 1st any remaining space will open for online reservations.
...If you win a trip, you must accept or decline by April 30, or the reservation will be canceled.


The lottery will be run electronically sometime between March 16 and March 22.  There is no advantage given to entries made earlier or later in the February 1 - March 15 entry period.

The most important differences in this year's lottery over 2012:

1.  If you win a trip, you must log on between April 1 and the April 30 to accept the trip, or it will be canceled.  When you accept a trip you will then be charged the usual $15 per hiker fee.

2.  You can make multiple entries, once you win a single trip, all the others will show "Unsuccessful".  Unlike last year, you will NOT be charged the $15 per hiker fee UNTIL you accept the winning trip.  If you decline the trip, or fail to accept it, you WILL NOT be charged the $15 per hiker fee. Only the trip you DO CONFIRM will be charged $15 per hiker. You will NOT be charged for the "Unsuccessful" trips, except for the initial $6 application fee charged when you enter the lottery.

3.  Like last year, each lottery application will cost $6 (non-refundable), and you can enter up to 15 start dates. (Sorry, no range-of-dates available, but it is in the works.)  Therefore, if you have enough time and enough $6 entry fees, you can blanket the lottery with many applications. But understand, only one can be successful.

4.  The slots from declined trips will be made available on-line, beginning April 1.  Slots declined after April 1 will become available at a random time within 24 hours of the time declined.  Slots from any non-accepted trips will be made available on May 1. Note that the system runs on Eastern Time, so actual times permits come available should be 9 PM the night before in California.

As a result of the changes, there may be a huge increase in applications this year, and a much lower success rate.  Some river rafting lotteries handled by Recreation.gov reportedly have a 5% success rate.

Inyo National Forest links:
-- Brochure: Hiking the Mt. Whitney Trail
-- Permit Pickup Instructions - Mt Whitney   Includes info on both reserved and walk-in permits

Recreation.gov Lottery/Reservation links
-- Recreation.gov:  under Where? enter Mt Whitney (then click the match)
                             under Interested in, select Permits & Wilderness

WhitneyZone Links:
-- Unused Whitney Permits for 2012   2011   2010
-- 2012 Whitney Lottery information
-- Mt Whitney Permit Reservations 2012


...watch this topic for updates and ask questions if something is not clear.
Posted by: Steve C

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 01/27/13 02:03 PM

More info:

Only one of your applications can be successful. It will not necessarily be the first application you created, since the applications are processed in random order.

If one of the applications is awarded, all the others are automatically marked as unsuccessful. If you really want a single specific date to start your hike, you can make multiple entries (at $6 each), and you can designate the most desired date as your first choice on each entry. The more entries you make, the better chance you have that one of them will be processed earlier in the lottery, and the earlier ones will have a higher success rate.

If you sign up as a different user with a different email address, or have others in your group sign on and enter the lottery, you MAY win several trips, and more than one could be for the same date if that is how you entered. Each entry will cost you $6, but if several win the same date, you can decline all but one, and only be charged the $15 per hiker fee for the one you accept.

Group size: If you ask for a larger group size (up to 15 is allowed), you might be less successful. This is due to dates filling up, and if your application is processed after some are nearly full, if your group is large, it would put the slots over the quota for the specific day. So smaller group sizes have a better chance of winning a reservation.
Posted by: Steve C

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 02/01/13 12:09 PM

The first post above has been changed to reflect slightly different dates: Acceptance period for those winning a slot is now between April 1 and April 30.

Non-accepted slots will become available May 1. Those declined should become available within 24 hours of the time they were declined.


Edit: Today (Feb 1) is the FIRST DAY you can enter the lottery.

  GOOD LUCK everyone!

Lottery application link on Recreation.gov: Mt. Whitney Lottery   (You will need to login first.)   login link
-- Important Dates --

Feb 1 - March 15 (9 PM PST): Create your lottery applications online

~March 23: You will receive an email with lottery results.

Apr 1 - 30: If you were successful in the lottery, you must login and
confirm your reservation.

Apr 1: Actually March 31 at 9 PM PST: Slots unreserved in the
lottery can be reserved online.

May 1: Any successful applications that were not accepted will
become available online.
Posted by: Bryan P

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 02/01/13 01:13 PM

Just filled out my permit application and let me tell you all to just make 100% certain that what you want is in the boxes. More times than not after I filled in the information it would all go blank.

After I was done I went back and reviewed all my entries and found 3 blank and 1 had a permit for 1 month.

Just double check your entries for accuracy!
Posted by: bettywouldgo

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 02/03/13 08:53 AM

Trying to understand better how the lottery works:

1. I see that you can enter 15 alternate choices on one entry. I am assuming this can include alternate group sizes as well as alternate dates - is that correct?

2. So, for example, if I enter my preferred date and group size (say, 7) as my first choice, can I then enter the same date with 6 as my group size as my 1st alternative, and same date with 5 as my group size for the 2nd alternative, to increase my chance of getting my preferred date, at the expense of not getting my preferred group size?

3. If my entry gets pulled, would the computer work through my alternatives and award me a permit for the highest-ranked alternative for which both date and # of spaces are available at that point?

4. I am assuming that whatever I put as the exit date does not affect whether or not I win the permit, and only entry date and # in party matters in that regard?
Does the exit date affect anything at all, in terms of the lottery, or is it just informational?

5. I am also assuming that I can make multiple entries that are identical in absolutely every respect, to increase my odds?

6. So the main advantage of having a different person in my group making separate entries (instead of me filing them all) would be to have a possibility that each of us would win, and then we might have two different entry dates and/or group sizes to consider, accepting one and declining the other?

Thanks for any insight on this, or any advice on what one can do to make it more likely to win a permit (other than applying for week days rather than weekend dates).

Posted by: Steve C

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 02/03/13 12:18 PM

> 1. I am assuming this can include alternate group sizes as well as alternate dates - is that correct?

Correct

> 2. if I enter my preferred date and group size (say, 7) as my first choice, can I then enter the same date with 6 as my group size as my 1st alternative, and same date with 5 as my group size for the 2nd alternative, to increase my chance of getting my preferred date, at the expense of not getting my preferred group size?

Just tried setting up an entry like that, and yes, it works fine. That is a good way to try to get a permit for a specific date.

> 3. If my entry gets pulled, would the computer work through my alternatives and award me a permit for the highest-ranked alternative for which both date and # of spaces are available at that point?

Yes, that is how it is supposed to work.

> 4. I am assuming that whatever I put as the exit date does not affect whether or not I win the permit, and only entry date and # in party matters in that regard?

Exactly. The exit date AND exit trail, for overnight permits, is strictly informational. Those can be changed at the Visitor Center in Lone Pine on the day you pick up your permit. (In my opinion, those items should not even be included on the lottery application, but rather on the acceptance or confirmation web page.)

> 5. I am also assuming that I can make multiple entries that are identical in absolutely every respect, to increase my odds?

Yes. Many if not most people will make multiple entries. The entries can be 100% identical.

> 6. So the main advantage of having a different person in my group making separate entries (instead of me filing them all) would be to have a possibility that each of us would win, and then we might have two different entry dates and/or group sizes to consider, accepting one and declining the other?

Yes. Another advantage is that the other person gets to spend time entering an application -- it is time consuming.

And beware, the entry page has bugs -- often blanking out fields you have already entered. Within each alternate choice, as you enter the fields, I'd advise making sure the (unnecessary) Trail/Zone field is set correctly before you click in the Entry Date or Group Size fields. And sometimes you have to set the Entry Date twice.

> Thanks for any insight on this, or any advice on what one can do to make it more likely to win a permit (other than applying for week days rather than weekend dates).


You're quite welcome. If you apply for any date in May or October (except Memorial Day weekend), you are sure to win. In fact it is not even worth applying for those dates, since there are always free walk-in permits available on those dates.
Posted by: bettywouldgo

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 02/04/13 06:50 AM

Thanks, Steve and everyone for the info & advice. Greatly appreciated!
Posted by: Steve C

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 02/11/13 11:02 AM

Inyo National Forest has posted a status report showing 3633 lottery applications so far. ( link )   (Today the count is 4,532.)

The status report also shows dates and numbers of applications to start on that date.
Biggest numbers:
  Overnight hike:  Fri, Aug 09 - 267 applications, 1499 hikers
  Day Hike:          Sat, Aug 17 - 227 applications, 1479 hikers
Posted by: 63ChevyII.com

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 02/12/13 12:21 PM

Maybe I'm just reading it wrong, but the numbers aren't making sense to me.


If you look at the most popular day for day hikes you see:
Sat, Aug 17 - 227 applications, 1479 hikers

If you look at the numbers for each individual day, you see:
7 {applications} Saturday, August 17, 2013.

Are the numbers for each individual day not updated or something?
Posted by: Steve C

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 02/12/13 01:03 PM

Originally Posted By: 63ChevyII.com
Maybe I'm just reading it wrong, but the numbers aren't making sense to me.

If you look at the most popular day for day hikes you see:
Sat, Aug 17 - 227 applications, 1479 hikers

If you look at the numbers for each individual day, you see:
7 {applications} Saturday, August 17, 2013.

Are the numbers for each individual day not updated or something?


That confused me, too. The first table showing the top 10 requested dates includes ALL the alternate choices.

The detail table is based on first choice only.
Posted by: 63ChevyII.com

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 02/12/13 01:58 PM

Ok, so the 2nd table is only useful for figuring out most popular days, not necessarily how many requests there are for that day.
Posted by: Bryan P

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 02/15/13 01:39 PM

Is there a link to where this information was found? I think a link to the live count (if available) would be cool
Posted by: Steve C

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 02/15/13 11:04 PM

Originally Posted By: Bryan P
Is there a link to where this information was found? I think a link to the live count (if available) would be cool


Here's the link: 2013 Mt Whitney Lottery Progress

But it is a manually created document created by Inyo staff. It would be great to have online access to such data, but that is way beyond the scope of Recreation.gov. They can't even get the application entry form working smoothly.
Posted by: JAGCHiker

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 02/19/13 09:04 PM

"And beware, the entry page has bugs -- often blanking out fields you have already entered. Within each alternate choice, as you enter the fields, I'd advise making sure the (unnecessary) Trail/Zone field is set correctly before you click in the Entry Date or Group Size fields. And sometimes you have to set the Entry Date twice."

This was a very annoying suprise. First as I'ld put in the alternate date- sometimes it would do an automatic exit date; sometimes it wouldn't. Sometimes it would put in the same exit location- sometimes it left it blank.

The real annoyance was when I submitted my primary and five alternatives-data was missing on one alternate; and had to re-enter different data for the same alternate three times before the program accepted the entire application.

I'm glad to see this isn't just my computer.... Is this a glitch in the "improved" Lottery's program? I've haven't had this happen before on any other REC.GOV reservation.

THE UPSIDE IS THAT YOU GET A CHANCE TO DOUBLE CHECK YOUR ENTRY AND NOT ASSUME WHAT YOU TYPED IS WHAT THE PROGRAM ACCEPTED....
Posted by: mrshherrera

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 02/20/13 08:38 AM

Originally Posted By: JAGCHiker
"And beware, the entry page has bugs -- often blanking out fields you have already entered. Within each alternate choice, as you enter the fields, I'd advise making sure the (unnecessary) Trail/Zone field is set correctly before you click in the Entry Date or Group Size fields. And sometimes you have to set the Entry Date twice."


I found that this year the site was slightly less buggy if I paused after entering the (unncessary) 'Trail/Zone' and then again at the 'Permit Entry Date' and allowed the system to catch up with the entries. I did this for 10 alternate choices and by the 11th choice, it began to get a little buggy again. But for the most part, pausing at the steps seemed to help me avoid much of the bugs.
Posted by: BillJ

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 02/23/13 07:21 PM


I'm entering the Whitney lottery for the first time and was wondering how the drawing is conducted so I understand my odds better.

Are entries drawn randomly from all entries received until all slots are filled?

- OR -

Do you have an advantage if your first choice is a date with the least first choice entries?

Or, is it something different.

Thanks for your help.
Bill
Posted by: Steve C

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 02/23/13 08:36 PM

> Are entries drawn randomly from all entries received until all slots are filled?

Yes. All entries are drawn randomly. If date of first choice is filled, it tries your second choice, down the line. If one of your choices is successful, any other entries you might have entered are then marked unsuccessful.

> Do you have an advantage if your first choice is a date with the least first choice entries?

No, no advantage like that.

You are sure to be successful if you pick a May or October date, but then the hike might not be successful.

The one way to get an advantage is to make multiple applications at $6 each. You can enter as many times as you want, it just requires more time and more money.
Posted by: 63ChevyII.com

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/07/13 12:16 PM

Steve,

Do you have any idea when the next update will be released? I was hoping to see some current numbers before submitting my application.

Thanks!
Posted by: Steve C

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/07/13 02:41 PM

The last update posted by Inyo staff is here, with data as of Feb 22. I'll ask if they will post one more update.
Posted by: 63ChevyII.com

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/08/13 10:42 AM

Thanks Steve.

I had seen the Feb 22 update. I was hoping they'd update it again before the application deadline.
Posted by: Steve C

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/08/13 09:50 PM

They will try to put up one more update. Maybe Monday, 3/11.
Posted by: Badwater Dan

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/10/13 01:17 PM

Hey Steve, curious if I can change my alternate leader and where...if successful I may need to change my alt leader. Is it done on-line or when picking up permit?

Additionally, I had a med issue on the trail last year. We had to break our group of four up. I tore my permit in half and gave to the alt while my son and I stayed the night above LP Lake. We were in the Whitney Zone still. I could think of no other option cause coming down with my situation was not an option yet (wrenched knee).

If anyone one else ever encounters a similar problem, what is the best proof that you all had a permit to be there?

Oh yea, about what date did the charges for permits start appearing on charge cards last year? I'm thinking it was the day after the close date.

Thanks, Dan
Posted by: Steve C

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/11/13 12:03 AM

Someone messed up the software this year so no alternate leader name could be entered. I am thinking you may need to call the wilderness permit office and ask about that if you actually get a permit.

As for a party splitting up, I think it would be wise for each member to carry a copy of the permit, or at least write down the permit number on something to carry.

This year, you won't be charged until you actually accept your permit. Soon after the lottery is run, emails will be sent to all the participants.

Edit: After seeing the post below, I guess things are still ok with alternate leader. I was recalling the testing web site that Inyo was running in January before the actual lottery began.

Posted by: mrshherrera

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/11/13 10:29 AM

I was able to add an alternate leader on the application, and I believe it was the same as last year where we could enter up to three alternates.

Lottery Application
Application #: 6-1459268 Lottery: Mt Whitney Lottery 2013
Facility: Mt. WHITNEY
Status: Entered - Payment Confirmed
Lottery Preferences

Permit Detail
Permit Issuing Station: Eastern Sierra InterAgency Visitor Center
Customer Information Heather Herrera
Group Leader Information
Name: Heather Herrera

Alternate Leader Information
Carlos Herrera
Posted by: 63ChevyII.com

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/12/13 02:59 PM

man, I have some crappy luck.

Gave up on waiting for an update around 2pm.

Filled out the 4 apps I was planning on.

Just went to close the link to the PDF (which has been open on my laptop for weeks), refreshed it without even thinking about it (out of habit I guess)

...an updated document appeared... :\
Posted by: Steve C

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/12/13 04:29 PM

> ...an updated document appeared... :\

Do you mean the Recreation.gov entry page? That's too bad! But...if you had it open for weeks, it probably expired anyway. Not sure, but I believe you need to enter your application on a fresh page, or the web site would expire your login.

Now remember, if you enter multiple applications, you have a better chance of being processed early. (They may limit multiples in the future, but not this year.)

I have updated the first post in this thread: _link_

One more important note: That updated progress page requires hours of work for Inyo people to compile and create. Please post a note of thanks and support if it is helpful. (In my own opinion, it is very informative!)
Posted by: 63ChevyII.com

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/13/13 09:13 AM

I had the pdf showing the submitted applications info open and would periodically hit 'CTRL+F5' to see if it was updated.

I kept holding off on submitting my apps b/c I wanted the most current info. They must've updated the document while I was filling out the apps using the old info.
Posted by: mrshherrera

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/13/13 10:17 AM

thanks

MANY, MANY THANKS TO THE INYO STAFF FOR THE UPDATED LOTTERY INFORMATION!! I found data to be very helpful and easy to understand. I used it when I submitted our applications, trying for dates that were not as popular as other dates but still worked in our schedule. Their time and effort is really appreciated.

And Thank You Steve for asking for the update and conveying the info back to us!!


grin
Posted by: Bryan P

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/21/13 03:55 PM

Anxiously waiting for the lottery results...
Posted by: Badwater Dan

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/22/13 12:23 PM

Ok, so the results come out tomorrow...can't wait. In fact since I could not wait, early last week I checked on entering the Zone from the west and exit through portal. I checked dates of entry from cottonwood lakes and the itinerary we would do and sure enough, entry and exit dates for a 7 day, 6 night leisurely tour were available, so we booked it! We are doing one night at cottonwood south fork lake, over new army, overnight at lower rock creek, overnight at crabtree meadow, 2 nights above guitar (a rest day in between), a 3am rise up to trail crest, drop packs and summit, back to the crest, grab packs and overnight at trailcamp and down to portal the next morning where our burgers and fries will be waiting. We are in no hurry and there will be ample days to acclimate on the trail before the summit. If I do get a lottery permit I'll probably just let it go back into the system since we are already set for this x-country tour.
Posted by: John P.

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/23/13 06:50 AM

Ok so I got my email congratulation for successfully drawing a permit. That's great except for the fact that its for May 16th?? Which happens to be a date I never submitted! Whats happening here?!?! There's no way I can take this date because I'm planning on taking my daughter this year and she'll still be in school. Is this a glitch in the drawing system? Am I just out of luck?
Posted by: Bryan P

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/23/13 08:31 AM

I got the email this morning! July 14 2 night!

John;

Unfortunately I suspect you are out of luck. I know that there will be a bunch of cancellations and non-acceptance of the permits so look for those to open up.

Posted by: Phillip

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/23/13 09:29 AM

For 9 years I've been unsuccessful with the lottery. Their previous method of 'drawing' names was always extremely questionable. Now, they need 8 or so days to find the results using the new computerized system. I'm not buying it. You have lotteries with tens of millions of people in it that come up with instant results. Sadly, my opinion of this new system has turned extremely sour. Yes, I feel it's rigged. Good luck to everyone, I hope it works out for you.
Posted by: Bryan P

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/23/13 09:47 AM

Originally Posted By: Phillip
Now, they need 8 or so days to find the results using the new computerized system. I'm not buying it. You have lotteries with tens of millions of people in it that come up with instant results.


Im sure the results are instant... thats why they went to a computer method of drawing the names. That and it is now all tied into the recreation.gov framework.

Originally Posted By: phillip
Yes, I feel it's rigged.


Why would they rig the lottery? In my opinion rigging something like a lottery is really to benifit the people who run it... what would Inyo National Forest have to gain?

Originally Posted By: phillip
Good luck to everyone, I hope it works out for you.


Thanks, I will enjoy my time in July on the Mountian and you can also look for permits that are unused April 1st and as then become availible after that!

Posted by: mandasueRN

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/23/13 11:07 AM

I understand your frustration with the lottery system... I recieved by "unsuccessful application" email earlier today. I'm totally bummed. I know people who get a permit and hike every year, I guess I'm just not that lucky. I guess I will just have to wait and see if any days that I could hike go on sale in April.
Posted by: tdtz

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/23/13 11:40 AM

except for one time, I have been unsuccessful in getting permits through the lottery. However, I have been extremely successful in getting walk-in permits.

I didn't bother with the lottery this year. I have no doubt that I'll end up getting permits when I want them. And if I don't, I will go up Meysan Lake trail, or tuttle creek or one of the other less popular trails.
Posted by: bettywouldgo

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/23/13 03:32 PM

My group got a permit for Monday, Aug. 5 - woo-hoo! We put in 10 overnight permit applications, 5 in my name, 5 in another person's name. I got four "unsuccessful" notices (not sure what happened to my 5th application), but the other person had a successful application. We had Aug. 5 as our 1st, 2nd and 3rd choices, with the only variation being a different group size for each alternative, and we aren't sure yet how many people are in our permit group -- it wasn't in the notification email, and I don't think it will show up on the recreation.gov website until April 1.

We did everything we could reasonably do to improve our chances, including using all 14 alternatives in each application. All 10 of our applications were identical, and we thought that 10 applications would give us a reasonable shot (and we thought, for a group, that $60 was a tolerable cost for our applications).
Posted by: JimC

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/23/13 03:35 PM

For those of you that received successful notifications, have you gone to the rec.gov site to see if your lottery applications now reflect your success as well?

If have no news as yet. In this digital age I would have expected all notifications to be issued within seconds.

I am still hopeful. If this fails I will try for a walk-in permit.
Posted by: bettywouldgo

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/23/13 03:50 PM

No, permit results aren't on recreation.gov as of yet, and that site says the results will be posted there by April 1.
Posted by: MaryC

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/23/13 07:19 PM

Both my husband and our friend entered the lottery. Our friend received an email this am telling him he was not successful. We have neither received an email either way. Is that ususual? Will more emails go out? I can find my application on our account. I know it exists, but no notification.Anyone know what might be going on? We would really like to be able to plan our trip and get the appropriate time off work and were waiting for this email.
Posted by: heatpro

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/23/13 07:49 PM

Originally Posted By: MaryC
Both my husband and our friend entered the lottery. Our friend received an email this am telling him he was not successful. We have neither received an email either way. Is that ususual? Will more emails go out? I can find my application on our account. I know it exists, but no notification.Anyone know what might be going on? We would really like to be able to plan our trip and get the appropriate time off work and were waiting for this email.


The results will be on recreation.gov, by April. So if you did not receive an email but can see your application status on recreation.gov, you should be able to see if you won or not when the results are posted on the website.

hope this helps
Posted by: MaryC

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/23/13 08:16 PM

Thanks for replying, but I just don't understand why some people get an email saying yes or no., but not everyone? Sigh. If its computer generated it should have been automatic. I'm guessing it means we didn't get a permit, but will have to wait till April 1 st to know for sure. Doesn't seem like it should be this complicated. Thanks for trying to explain.
Posted by: JimC

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/23/13 08:35 PM

Still hope for you MaryC.

I got lucky. Out of 5 submitted applications I received notification this evening that I had 1 success. Yipee! laugh

All the best luck to the rest of you.
Posted by: Badwater Dan

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/23/13 08:51 PM

Unsuccessful in the lottery but still have our Cottonwood entry/Portal exit permit June 23 thru 29th. More days on the trail + more miles (47 if we do Langley too) + still summit = too much fun wink
Posted by: heatpro

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/23/13 10:35 PM

Originally Posted By: MaryC
Thanks for replying, but I just don't understand why some people get an email saying yes or no., but not everyone? Sigh. If its computer generated it should have been automatic. I'm guessing it means we didn't get a permit, but will have to wait till April 1 st to know for sure. Doesn't seem like it should be this complicated. Thanks for trying to explain.


It doesn't necessarily mean you did not get it. I personally have received mine, 2 unsuccessful and 1 successful (still during school so i have to decline). I know multiple people who have not gotten their emails. It is a new system they have set up this year so who knows what happened
Posted by: Steve C

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/24/13 12:36 AM

Inyo N.F. passed along these stats:

Lottery results:
  total applications  12,153

successful 4,591
unsuccessful 7,562

Most results were emailed March 23.
Posted by: MaryC

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/24/13 12:26 PM

Still waiting for an email saying yes or no. Not sure what "most emails sent mar 23"
Is supposed to mean. whats the criteria? why not all emails sent out? ......so we wait.
Posted by: Steve C

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/24/13 12:50 PM

MaryC, I'd phone the Wilderness Permit Office and ask. Not sure if they are open today, but I am sure they will be Monday: 760-873-2483 ...Or alternately, you could call the Recreation.gov number: 1-877-444-6777 today and ask. I think people at either place should be able to look up your application(s), and see the results.

I wrote the "most emails sent Mar 23" phrase based on your experience.
Posted by: 63ChevyII.com

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/24/13 02:17 PM

I won overnight permits for Aug 18th, which was my preferred date.

I don't know how many permits I won though as the email doesn't say which 'choice' won.
Posted by: 63ChevyII.com

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/25/13 09:17 AM

I tried calling both offices this morning. Recreation.gov directs you to call the Inyo # listed above. Inyo office told me they can't access the info until April 1st.
Posted by: Steve C

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/25/13 12:29 PM

Ok, then here are some suggestions:

For those who have not received an email notice:
1. First suggestion is to look in junk mail
2. Many email systems block robo-mail from automated systems like Recreation.gov. (As an example, Hotmail and Yahoo both block email from whitneyzone.com)
3. If you cannot find the missing email, you will need to wait until April 1 to log onto your Recreation.gov account and check there.

For those who received a permit for a date they did not select: Log onto Recreation.gov and re-check your lottery application details. You should be able to see the dates on the applications. It is possible that due to the difficulty entering the application info, (it is known that dates sometimes got erased), that people re-selected a date, but got the wrong month.

For those with wrong dates, at least you don't have to pay the non-refundable $15 per hiker fees.

- - - - - - - - - -

On April 1 the reservation calendar will open for reservations. It will be the live calendar for reservations for the rest of the season, with canceled space returning to the calendar within 24 hours at a random time.

On April 1, the calendar will show some space available, due to returned/canceled reservations. During April (the acceptance period), as people log on and decline reservations or reduce their group size, those slots will become available at a random time within 24 hours of the cancellation.

Trips that are not accepted by midnight EST on April 30 will be canceled and will return to the reservation calendar at random times within 24 hours.

Posted by: mworkma2

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/26/13 04:40 PM

Do we know what time it will open on April 1st? Also, does anyone know if the "permits available" numbers listed on any certain date are an accurate depiction of what might be available on April 1st?
Posted by: Steve C

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/26/13 04:46 PM

Originally Posted By: mworkma2
Do we know what time it will open on April 1st? Also, does anyone know if they "permits available" numbers listed on any certain date are an accurate depiction of what might be available on April 1st?


Their times are usually Midnight Eastern Time, so I would try at 9 PM Pacific time here in Calif, on Sunday, March 31.

As for "permits available":   Checking just now, the numbers look realistic for what is left after the lottery. So I would think the numbers on each date are what will be available on March 31.
Posted by: mworkma2

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/26/13 05:59 PM

Thanks. Will certainly give it a shot!
Posted by: JimC

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/27/13 11:40 AM

So my permit request for 1 person overnight on Sept 02 +/- 6 days (lots of data entry) was rejected. Yet going to rec.gov site I see 2 unused on the 2nd and 4 unused on the 3rd. Seems like either one of those should have resulted in a success letter on my lottery permit request. I went back and verified my request on the site and there were no data entry errors. My 1st choice on the entry was Sept 02. I wonder how it is that a permit was not granted?

Curious.
Posted by: mworkma2

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/27/13 11:56 AM

Same thing happened to me. Showing availability on days that I requested unsuccessfully.

I'm guessing someone was lucky enough to "win" two slots, accepted one and rejected the other, putting it back in the pool. Could be way off though...
Posted by: Steve C

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/27/13 11:58 AM

> I'm guessing someone was lucky enough to "win" two slots, accepted one and rejected the other

In running a pre-lottery test run, I saw where once a single application was successful, all the others for the person were cancelled, even though there were more slots available for the other applications.

Nobody can log in and cancel as of yet -- that also starts April 1, and cancelled slots will show up within 24 hours of the cancellation at random times.

The Inyo staff who send me updates indicated there had already been some cancellations. I'm not sure how that occurs -- maybe someone calling the wilderness permit office or something.

Anyway, 9 PM March 31 (Sunday night) is your "Tee Time". (Please let us know how that works out.)

Edit, more info: In order to correspond with telephone availability, the April 1 opening is set to start at 10 AM Eastern Time. However, things don't always run as promised, so I would definitely be checking on Sunday night.
Posted by: Sparty85

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/28/13 10:23 AM

If you were not sucessful in the lottery I think there is still a great chance that you can get a permit. We asked for a group of 10 and 7 of us turned in applications. 5 were successful in getting dates (I was hoping for one and we got five, unbelievable). So I know in April there will be at least 20 spots that will come available for July 6th (two guys got the same day) 10 on July 20 and 10 on Aug 18th.

Good luck!
Posted by: Marty

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/30/13 08:43 AM


The supplementary lottery on April 1 has a bit of a West Coast bias with the midnight (Eastern) check in (and I wouldn't be surprised if this doesn't go smoothly, given the many web problems thus far; their lottery page was poorly designed. Many folks noted that data simply disappeared midway through their tedious, non-intuitive application.)

Maybe the old method (described as paper applications randomly mixed by fans blowing them around a closet) wasn't so bad. At least it didn't cost six dollars send one in.

Anyway, good luck to one and all!
Posted by: Bryan P

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/30/13 01:59 PM

Originally Posted By: Marty
The supplementary lottery on April 1 has a bit of a West Coast bias with the midnight (Eastern) check in.
I thought it was mentioned that they are going to wait until 7am Pacific since it would be when the visitor center opens? May be wrong on that...

Originally Posted By: Marty
(and I wouldn't be surprised if this doesn't go smoothly, given the many web problems thus far; their lottery page was poorly designed. Many folks noted that data simply disappeared midway through their tedious, non-intuitive application.)
Don't blame Inyo for all these problems, sure they are the ones that have to permitting office, but they don't (As far as I know) actually make the changes to recreation.gov

Originally Posted By: Marty
Maybe the old method (described as paper applications randomly mixed by fans blowing them around a closet) wasn't so bad. At least it didn't cost six dollars send one in.
The paper method was a lot more labor intensive than the online one. Sure it may be more work for us to input the data, but we just do it a few times... Imagine if it were YOUR job to sort out and file 12000+ permit applications in a 6 week window. NO THANK YOU!

Originally Posted By: Marty
Anyway, good luck to one and all!
Thanks, you too!
Posted by: Steve C

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/30/13 06:48 PM

Referencing Bryan P's post on the previous page:

Bryan P, you're right about the 7 AM Pacific Time. But I think it is set so people dialing in on the telephone system have a more equal footing. From their page: "Toll-free reservation line: 1-877-444-6777 (10:00 AM - Midnight EST)"

Online people still have an advantage, though, because they can be online and ready to click their browser refresh button until the permits become available, and then nail one down before a person on the phone can get an operator to get to the same screen.


Right about the changes to recreation.gov, too. Inyo N.F. is but one of many recreation.gov clients.

Paper applications are history, we can be sure of that.

Posted by: Marty

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 03/30/13 08:02 PM

Bryan and Steve,
Thanks for the additional clarification; it is very helpful. I'm thinking that persistence may be the best asset for this whole process.
Posted by: Akichow

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 04/01/13 07:09 AM

Didn't enter the lottery this year...but one thing led to another so did just enter the minilottery at 7 a.m. PDT, online, and snagged the two permits I had my eye on......

The other permits that had been listed available around the same day also went superfast....

So, they system sort of works.....
Posted by: Steve C

Re: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information - 04/02/13 12:04 AM

I posted this in another thread. The info is worth repeating here:

Someone complained that they had not received any notification after the lottery, either successful or not. I suggested that perhaps he had another Recreation.gov acct that he'd forgotten. Turns out his wife had created a new account to submit a lottery application. He wrote:
Quote:
I started thinking about it and talked to the wife who applied for me. She opened a new account when she applied for the lottery. I did receive my first choice in July so I can finish what I started.


A different individual contacted me privately, and I suggested the same thing, but that wasn't the case. He called the Wilderness Permit office, and they were able to look at his application and tell him it was unsuccessful. He then went online early on April 1 and reserved a good permit.

Coincidentally, he also reported both he and a friend BOTH received their lottery notices on April 1. Sounds like a glitch exists in the Recreation.gov system.