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Trip Advice: Wolverton to Onion Valley in 6 days

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Re: Trip Advice: Wolverton to Onion Valley in 6 days

Postby zwoij » Fri Mar 11, 2016 6:32 pm

I like the Moraine Ridge route! I looked at your write-up Tehipite Tom.

What I'm worried about is driving all the way to Onion Valley and not getting a permit. Could we be confident of getting a walk-up permit at Onion Valley if we are there at opening time? I'm leaning towards a west side start because if not the Lakes trailhead, there are other trailheads nearby that will get us to the same area by a different route.

On the east side we could get a permit for Baxter Pass, which adds 12 miles to get to East Lake, but would let us see Rae Lakes. That would be nice, but would cut down time for cross country travel around Brewer. My friend handled routes and permitting on our trips the last couple years. Now that
I'm doing it I have learned my lesson: prepare early and get a permit early.



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Re: Trip Advice: Wolverton to Onion Valley in 6 days

Postby maverick » Mon Mar 14, 2016 1:17 pm

Could we be confident of getting a walk-up permit at Onion Valley if we are there at opening time?


There are 24 walk-in permits per day, just get to the Eastern Sierra Interagency Visitor Center in Lone Pine early (opening) and you will be fine, especially if you have a weekday start.
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Re: Trip Advice: Wolverton to Onion Valley in 6 days

Postby TehipiteTom » Mon Mar 14, 2016 2:07 pm

maverick wrote:
Could we be confident of getting a walk-up permit at Onion Valley if we are there at opening time?


There are 24 walk-in permits per day, just get to the Eastern Sierra Interagency Visitor Center in Lone Pine early (opening) and you will be fine, especially if you have a weekday start.

Just to be clear, are you talking about opening time the day of or the day before? Because walk-up permits are available the day before entry. (SeKi releases next-day walk-ins at noon or so; the Inyo website says "walk in permits cannot be issued more than one day before the entry date", which I take as any time that day.)
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Re: Trip Advice: Wolverton to Onion Valley in 6 days

Postby maverick » Mon Mar 14, 2016 2:25 pm

The walk-ins are released at 11 am the day before the start of your trip, so if you have the time, go a day before (before 11 am), stand in line (if there is one) and get your permit if you are worried.
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Re: Trip Advice: Wolverton to Onion Valley in 6 days

Postby TehipiteTom » Mon Mar 14, 2016 3:21 pm

I would recommend getting the permit the day before, for a lot of reasons:
[*]If you get it that morning, you're stuck with a really late start (not on the trail til maybe 9 or 9:30 at the earliest);
[*]You have a better shot at getting a permit in the first place; and
[*]You can spend the night at Onion Valley to get acclimated.
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Re: Trip Advice: Wolverton to Onion Valley in 6 days

Postby Wandering Daisy » Mon Mar 14, 2016 7:50 pm

Last time I got a permit for Onion Valley, it was a Saturday and the permit was for the next day. But when I got to the parking lot, all the campsites were taken. It was 4PM. I just went up the trail to Matlock Lake and camped. I know that it was not 100% legal to do this but I was not about to drive back down the road to find a lower campsite because Owens Valley was thick with smoke from forest fires and I was already coughing from too much breathing smoke. Ended up that Matlock Lake was absolutely gorgeous! I am glad I camped there. If you get a same-day permit there are plenty of places to camp before you reach Kearsarge Pass.
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Re: Trip Advice: Wolverton to Onion Valley in 6 days

Postby LMBSGV » Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:29 pm

If you know your exact dates, you can reserve a campsite at Onion Valley Campground at recreation.gov. So you can get the permit the day before and then go to your reserved campsite.

http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/inyo/rec ... 2&actid=29
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Re: Trip Advice: Wolverton to Onion Valley in 6 days

Postby TehipiteTom » Tue Mar 15, 2016 7:35 am

LMBSGV wrote:If you know your exact dates, you can reserve a campsite at Onion Valley Campground at recreation.gov. So you can get the permit the day before and then go to your reserved campsite.

http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/inyo/rec ... 2&actid=29

Yeah, that's what I did the one time I went out of Onion Valley. High elevation campground, good for acclimation, and you can get a nice early start.
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Re: Trip Advice: Wolverton to Onion Valley in 6 days

Postby zwoij » Tue Mar 15, 2016 1:11 pm

This is all very helpful to know.

Do walk-up permits work the same for trailheads that are actually in SEKI, or is that just how Inyo Nat'l Forest runs it? The SEKI website says, "You may, however, obtain permits the afternoon prior to your hike (after 1:00pm)." I just want to be sure that applies to walk-up permits, not just reserved. (I think Tehipite Tom may have answered this above, now that I look more closely).

This is in case we decide on a west side start and end to avoid the driving to the east side, which would probably be Wolverton to Road's End. If they give them early, we'll aim to be there by 1:00pm and if there happen to be any left for that same day (not likely on the Lakes Trail I'm sure) we'll start hiking. If not, we'll pick up a permit for the next day and spend the afternoon Lodgepole/Wolverton.
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Re: Trip Advice: Wolverton to Onion Valley in 6 days

Postby maverick » Tue Mar 15, 2016 5:21 pm

There are plenty of wilderness permits available still for July 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 12, 13, and then Aug 18 and the again at the end of August, that you could reserve ahead of time thru rec.gov.

Edit:
SEKI NP:
During this time period, there is a $10 per permit, plus a $5 per person wilderness permit fee.
Permits are issued on the day of your hike by trailhead rangers during normal operating hours.
The rangers provide important information about trail conditions in the area. No night drops are permitted. You may, however, obtain permits the afternoon prior to your hike (after 1:00pm).
Approximately three-quarters of the daily trail quota (see trail descriptions) may be reserved in advance. The remaining spaces are available on a first-come-first-served basis. The permit fee applies to both walk-up and reserved permits; and both walk-up and reserved permits must be picked up at the issuing station closest to your trailhead.


Inyo NF:
Walk in permits must be requested in person at the visitor centers. During the quota season (May 1 to November 1) walk in permits cannot be issued more than one day before the entry date. Permits are issued for same day entry or for next day entry; you must enter on the date stated.
• Walk-in permits are subject to space available* at the time the permit request is processed.
• Person requesting the permit will be listed as the group leader. Leader must be a person going on the trip and must be in person at the visitor center.
• Group leader can request a permit for the whole group; all members of the group do not need to be present.
• Leader responsibility includes the terms in Permit Policy
• Walk in permit cannot be held by phone or web.
• No night box service for walk in permits.
• Walk in permit is free.
*The amount of space available for walk-in permits may vary. For all trails except Mt Whitney, 40% of the quota space is saved for walk-in permit requests. In addition, space from any reservations that did not fully book, cancelations, group size reductions, and reservations that are not confirmed or picked up (No Show) will be made available for walk-in requests. Some specific trails are identified as non-quota and are only limited by maximum group size

During the quota season
The following permits can be issued starting at 8:00 am:

Walk-in permits for same day entry.
Reserved permits for same day entry, or up to 2 days before entry date.
Non-quota permits for same day, or up to 2 days before entry date.

The following permits can be issued starting at 11:00 am:

Walk-in permits for next day entry.
No show for same day entry.
Trips using Trail Crest exit to end at Whitney Portal are issued based on entry date.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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