dpmach: I picked up a permit on my way up on Friday afternoon in Lone Pine, but you can get one at any of the Inyo National Forest Ranger Stations. I did not reserve it in advance because Pine Creek isn't usually real popular. Now that high season is over, it should be even easier to get a walk-in permit without reserving in advance. If you want to reserve a permit so that you can pick it up at night in the outside box then you have to call at least two days in advance.
More info on permits:
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