Posted by vasechek, 09-12-2007         41289
Quick question: Is it legal to camp near Lone Pine Lake (how close to the water is legal, if there is a limit) and do I need a permit to do so?

The scenario is - I have a Main Trail permit to start on Sunday (this is an overnight trip). I want to pick up the permit on Saturday and camp at the Lone Pine Lake, outside the Whitney zone, where a permit is required.

Posted by wbtravis5152 09-12-2007
You cannot start up the trail until 12:01 AM Sunday.

However, you can ask if there is a Saturday permit available when you arrive. If available, there will be no additional charge for this permit, since all walk-in permit are free.

The Whitney Zone rules have nothing to do with entry date.

Posted by enf, 09-12-2007
Yes, you can camp near Lone Pine Lake. You must stay 100 ft from water. Yes, you do need a permit to camp overnight, even though it is not in the Whitney Zone.

I was just there Sept 4-7. Our permits were originally for Sept 5-7, and the initial plan was to sleep in the Portal, then start our trip on Sept 5. We got to the Lone Pine INF Station at 3:30 PM Tues Sept 4, and asked about cancellations. There were indeed open slots. I did want to get a little head start, so we hit the trailhead at 4:30 PM and made it to Lone Pine Lake with sunlight to spare. Definitely worth the beauty and the solitude.

Chances for a no-show are good; the odds were higher for us since it was a Tuesday. Camping at Lone Pine - I emphatically recommend.