What's it like getting a walk in permit? | High Sierra Topix  

What's it like getting a walk in permit?

If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!

What's it like getting a walk in permit?

Postby MarmotPrince » Sun Jun 05, 2011 12:23 am

Searched this topic without finding much...

My question: What is it like getting a walk in permit to Whitney, Kearsage or the Palisade trailheads?
Do I have to line up at the permit station at 6am to fight for a space? Or do I show up at 1pm for the no shows? Or is there enough cancels so that even by the end of the day, I can come into the office and pick up a permit? Obviously I don't expect an exact answer but a general idea.

The reason I'm asking is because I get to Lone Pine after a 11 hour drive from Arizona...it's going to suck driving there, then waiting overnight in town, then waiting all day to get a permit, then finally starting up the trailhead LATE in the day, as opposed to just driving into the trail head, acclimating, and starting the next morning.



User avatar
MarmotPrince
Topix Novice
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon May 23, 2011 12:08 am
Experience: N/A

Re: What's it like getting a walk in permit?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sun Jun 05, 2011 7:02 am

Rather than drive 11 hours straight, why not just plan to stop and camp on the way- there are high altitude campsites nearby Lone Pine (Cottonwood walk-in comes to mind) where you can relax at 10,000 feet. Then drive down to the permit office in the AM. Cancelled permits used to be given out after 11AM for the day of entry. And yes, there usually is a line. Unfilled spaces can be given out the previous day. Hard to say if you will quickly get a permit or not. But, at any rate, there are plenty of opportunities to drive up to higher altitudes so you do not have to "sit in town all night". Best to call the FS office or get the most current information on their web site. Some of the Forests here have changed the rules for walk-in permits this year. I always plan on a day's delay if I need a walk-in permit, but rarely have had to wait that long. You would be amazed at how many people cancel their reservations. I have found that for one person, a permit is easy to get, and it gets more difficult the larger your group size.
User avatar
Wandering Daisy
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 3286
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:19 pm
Location: Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento area)
Experience: N/A

Re: What's it like getting a walk in permit?

Postby sparky » Sun Jun 05, 2011 7:53 am

Get there early, and there shouldn't be any issues. I rarely make reservations I usually do a walk in, with alternatives planned. I have been skunked twice that I can think of, once we waited a day as we didn't want to hike the alternative, another we took the alternative and had a blast.
User avatar
sparky
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 915
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:01 am
Experience: N/A

Re: What's it like getting a walk in permit?

Postby sparky » Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:06 am

Also a few times I timed it to drive strait through to arrive at the ranger station in the morning. It makes for a really long day, but you would be surprised at how energized you can be on little sleep. The mountains are magic. I don't know if this is safe for most people, I will let you decide if you can do that or not, but it has worked for me. I always get there early enough to sleep for an hour or so too.
User avatar
sparky
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 915
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:01 am
Experience: N/A

Re: What's it like getting a walk in permit?

Postby maverick » Sun Jun 05, 2011 10:28 am

I do not mind driving 5 hours, starting at 3 am, to get a walk-in permit first thing in
the morning, but 11 hours is long.
Try to camp somewhere along the way, preferably at elevation if you can, so on your
next day hike the elevation will not be as much of an issue, plus you'll have gotten
an earlier start, and be well rested.
Inyo NF Site: Permits
http://www.fs.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsint ... 520Permits
I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 9304
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 4:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: What's it like getting a walk in permit?

Postby rlown » Sun Jun 05, 2011 10:34 am

User avatar
rlown
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 6442
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 4:00 pm
Location: Petaluma, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: What's it like getting a walk in permit?

Postby RoguePhotonic » Sun Jun 05, 2011 11:38 am

I have never tried to get a Whitney permit but I have never reserved a permit before at all. Not even on major holidays. I have always just strolled in sometimes later in the day near closing time and just got a permit. I have yet to have the permits be full on me.
User avatar
RoguePhotonic
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1685
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:52 am
Location: Bakersfield CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: What's it like getting a walk in permit?

Postby balzaccom » Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:14 pm

Rogue

I can only assume that you have never tried to get a permit for a popular trailhead during a summer weekend...
Balzaccom

check out our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
User avatar
balzaccom
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1453
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:22 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: What's it like getting a walk in permit?

Postby RoguePhotonic » Sun Jun 05, 2011 6:18 pm

Depends on what is popular. I've had no trouble with places like Cottonwood Lakes, Onion Valley, Little Lakes Valley, Lake Sabrina, High Sierra Trail on the western side etc...
User avatar
RoguePhotonic
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1685
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:52 am
Location: Bakersfield CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: What's it like getting a walk in permit?

Postby balzaccom » Sun Jun 05, 2011 7:22 pm

Except that the OP was asking about Whitney...
Balzaccom

check out our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
User avatar
balzaccom
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1453
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:22 pm
Experience: N/A

Next

Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], MRrogers, robow8 and 1 guest

cron