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North Fork Permit
#21135 01/31/12 08:21 PM
Joined: Sep 2011
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I'm not able to apply for North Fork MR in the current on line application system.
I want to enter via North Fork and exit via Main trail.
I was successful in applying for the Main Trail.
Any luck?
Thanks
J

Re: North Fork Permit
Julius S. #21136 01/31/12 08:31 PM
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Never mind . Found it.

Re: North Fork Permit
Julius S. #21137 01/31/12 08:50 PM
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Julius, the North Fork is special. If you want to DAY hike it, you need a regular Mt Whitney Main Trail Day Hike permit, which means you apply in the lottery for: Mt. Whitney Zone- Day Use All Routes JM34.5MWZ
If you get that permit, you are good to go -- up the MR, down the main trail -- all in one day.

However, if you are overnighting, you need a completely different setup: Search for Inyo National Forest, Permits and Wilderness, click Search. That should get you a screen with two choices (scrolling down) you see:

Inyo National Forest - Wilderness Permits
and
Mt. WHITNEY. Select the Inyo National Forest link. Under the next screen, on the left under Find Permits, you would select "Overnight, Exiting Mt Whitney", and on Entry Trail: "North Fork Lone Pine Creek JM34".

Enter the date and group size, then click Search. On the next screen click See Details (are we having fun yet???). Next screen shows you two sets of choices, first is for:
Select your Entry Location and Entry Date
second is
Select your Exit Location and Exit Date

If you can find an available entry date and exit date combination, you are good to go.
Sure is a pain, but I don't know how they could make it much easier, given all the rules and regulations we have for the Whitney Zone.

Re: North Fork Permit
Steve C #21179 02/02/12 04:38 PM
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Thanks Steve, I found it the same night.
I can't look for any permits as of now. The trip will be more than 6 months away. In 2 weeks I'll be able to do it.
We want to go up the MR and come down the main trail. As a back up we applied for permits via the lottery for the man trail.
One way or the other my 6 year old will try to climb it this summer.
Julius

Re: North Fork Permit
Steve C #21959 03/14/12 01:01 AM
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If I do all my overnight camping on the North Fork Trail, I should get a DAY USE of Mt. Whitney Zone permit to get off the peak?

The "overnight, exiting Mt Whitney" permit is only if I plan to spend a night on the main Whitney trail?

Also, my understanding is that North Fork Trail permits are much easier to obtain so I can hold off and see which day I get from the lottery?

Re: North Fork Permit
Shin #21960 03/14/12 02:05 AM
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Hi Shin, it is all very confusing. I'll try to explain, but ask again if I don't understand the question.

> If I do all my overnight camping on the North Fork Trail, I should get a DAY USE of Mt. Whitney Zone permit to get off the peak?

If you come back down the Mountaineers Route, and NOT the Main Trail, then your overnight permit for the North Fork (North Fork Lone Pine Creek JM34) is all you need.

However, if you camp in the North Fork, and then carry all your backpacking gear to the summit, and exit on the Main Trail, then you ALSO need the Trail Crest exit permit. That is when you would select "overnight, exiting Mt Whitney", and the online system would show you two separate sets of dates to select -- one for your overnight permit, and the second for the exit permit.

> The "overnight, exiting Mt Whitney" permit is only if I plan to spend a night on the main Whitney trail?

No, that is for people starting their overnight backpacking hikes on any trail in Inyo National Forest, including the North Fork, (but excluding starting up the Main Mt Whitney Trail), and EXITING to Whitney Portal via the Main Mt Whitney Trail. These permits will include BOTH the entrance trail permit PLUS the Trail Crest exit permit, same as for your North Fork overnight with a Main Trail exit example.

If you have a Trail Crest exit permit, you may camp overnight on the Main Trail, too (but your first night would likely be in some other place). But most backpackers with the exit permit probably don't stop to camp on their way down from Trail Crest.

> Also, my understanding is that North Fork Trail permits are much easier to obtain so I can hold off and see which day I get from the lottery?

No, they aren't easier to get. There are only ten per day in the quota, six are reservable on www.recreation.gov, and four are held back for walk-ins, available from the Visitor Center at 11 AM the day before the day you start your hike. Checking the Recreation.gov site, there are ONLY TEN permits left to reserve between mid-June and mid-September. (But remember the 4 per day available by walk-in.)

Note that the dates beyond Sept 14 (six months from today) are not yet reservable. If you are quick on the computer, the next day's permits come available at 9 pm each night, Pacific time (midnight Eastern time, where the website runs). You can reserve up to the maximum 6 permits that way.

But at this point, I'd just go for the 4 walk-ins available at the Visitor Center. Also, no-shows become available at the Visitor Center at 11 AM for the day OF entry. So when you go, be sure to ask for both types -- next day walk-ins, and current day no-shows.

To find the availability page, click here.
Or go to www.recreation.gov
Enter where: Mt Whitney
Interested in: Permits and Wilderness
click search
scroll down past "Mt Whitney California", to Inyo National Forest Wilderness Permits.
Click Overnight Visiting Mt. Whitney (The "visiting" part puts you into the $15 per hiker fee, and also allows you to find the North Fork trail option.)
On the left side of the next screen, below "Find Permits" click the "Trail / Any Trail" box, scroll down to, and select "North Fork of Lone Pine Creek JM34"
Enter any date and group size, and click search.
On the next screen, click the "Find Next Avail. Date**" button.
Here, you FINALLY get the option of scrolling left or right two weeks at a time to find dates when you can reserve a permit.

~~~ Good Luck!!! ~~~

Edit: By the way, there are some explanatory notes in the Wilderness Permit Options, boxes 3 and 4. (Link in the Feature Topics box, above on the left.)

Last edited by Steve C; 03/14/12 01:58 PM.
Re: North Fork Permit
Shin #21984 03/15/12 07:13 PM
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Julius when you camped in Sept. last year did you camp at lake #4 I remember seeing those pictures of of your daughter, your tent camped near that lake near old army pass..It would have been the weekend of Sept. 17th..hopeing to see you in August in the mountains..

BTW...welcome aboard Shin

mark

Last edited by So.BayMark; 03/15/12 07:27 PM.
Re: North Fork Permit
So.BayMark #21986 03/15/12 10:03 PM
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Shin,
First of all, you post from yesterday got lost due to a server crash. The site has been restored, but the messages from yesterday were lost. I apologize. We'll be moving the site to a more reliable hosting service ASAP.

But trying to comment on your last (missing) post, I recall you wanted to backpack and camp in the Mountaineers Route (MR) somewhere, and then hike to the summit, returning by the Main Trail, and then re-climb back to your MR campsite and spend a second night.

Looking at it a different way,m you are combining two trips: A day hike going up the MR returning on the Main Trail, plus camping on the MR. (And please note, the North Fork / Mountaineers Route is NOT a trail, even though they permit it as if it is.)

You can do your loop hike, it just takes a different permit: You need the North Fork (Mountaineers Route) permit in order to backpack and camp in the MR area. And you need the Trail Crest exit permit to descend via the Main Trail. You can get both of these on a walk-in basis the day before you start the hike; just be there at 11 AM and hope to be first in line. (actually you draw numbers from a hat)

Your North Fork permit allows you to camp in the MR for up to 14 consecutive nights. Your permit is good, even if you exit at the Portal for less than 24 hours and return to your camp site. (So I guess by that rule, you could even exit the Portal and spend a night someplace else as long as you get back on the trail within 24 hours.)

I hope this answers your question a bit more.

Re: North Fork Permit
Steve C #21991 03/16/12 12:07 AM
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Aww man, it took so long to write that message. haha. But thank for even more clarification. I'm in the lottery for the Mt Whitney area day pass so keeping my fingers crossed. If my group size shrinks (current at 6) I'll see if I can get a walk in permits for North Fork with exit permit to Whitney Trail. Either way I'm excited for my first Whitney trip.

Here another scenario:
Assuming I get the lottery for a Mt Whitney Day Use Permit and a walk in North Fork overnight Permit.
Can a Mt Whitney day use permit be used in conjunction with north fork overnight? I guess the only technical problem is that you would not be exiting the North Fork "trail" via the portal? To get around this, the group would have to hike down to exited via the portal, turned around and hike back up the north fork and completed the loop down Main trail (of coarse within 1 day). That wouldn't be braking any rules? Man they make this complicated. You'd think being in the great outdoors would free you of rules and regulations...

@ Mark, Thanks. Now I have even more distractions at work!!

Again Thanks.

Shin

Re: North Fork Permit
So.BayMark #22078 03/19/12 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted By: So.BayMark
Julius when you camped in Sept. last year did you camp at lake #4 I remember seeing those pictures of of your daughter, your tent camped near that lake near old army pass..It would have been the weekend of Sept. 17th..hopeing to see you in August in the mountains..

BTW...welcome aboard Shin

mark


Thanks Mark,
that was a great trip that I'll remember for ever.
We applied for permits for the main trail, still waiting for the
answer.

We're looking at mid August, before my daughter's 6th birthday.
I understand that some are seeing charges on their credit card for the permits. We have seen none, not good news.
My daughter is crushed. She wants to write a letter to someone to complain. In here own words " the mountains belong to nobody, why can't we go daddy?"

I may have to take her up the MR, it will be hard but, slow and steady wins the race, like I always tell her.
Looks like the North fork permits are all taken, except the 4/day walk in.
For now we are continuing our training here locally.
See you on the trail.
Julius

Re: North Fork Permit
Julius S. #22083 03/19/12 10:34 AM
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Julius, if you want them bad enough, the walk-in permits are the way to go. Read this post. There are lots of walk-ins available every day.


Edit: the other "North Fork" thread (comedy version) has its own thread.

Last edited by Steve C; 03/28/12 12:33 AM.

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