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Michael Demchak
(mikey) - F

Locale: new england
Mount Whitney area dayhike? on 06/10/2010 09:48:08 MDT Print View

Hah, well they say ignorance is bliss, but the Mount Whitney permit ignorance is giving me a blister. Apparently you need to reserve a permit in the winter... Anyway I've planed on hiking the JMT and I've got a friend picking me up at lone pine. It would have been awesome to climb Whitney together, but that doesn't seem like it's going to happen. anyway, I really want to show this person a little bit of mountain fun because she's making a little bit of a drive. Anyone recommend a nice day hike around the area? She's in amazing shape so a little difficulty would be nice.
thanks!
mike!

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Mount Whitney area dayhike? on 06/10/2010 09:55:32 MDT Print View

The simple dayhike is on the Mount Whitney Trail. Anybody is allowed to hike up to Lone Pine Lake without any permit. Just beyond that lake, you would enter the wilderness zone and permits are checked. However, that first 2.5 miles uphill is pleasant, and there are nice flowers.

I'm not sure what the Mount Whitney permit ignorance is.

This year I will be on Whitney again. Year 35. I've never had any serious problem with permits.

--B.G.--

Michael Demchak
(mikey) - F

Locale: new england
Re: Re: Mount Whitney area dayhike? on 06/10/2010 10:04:20 MDT Print View

Bob, I'm new to this whole system, but it seems to me that I'm out of luck for getting a day use or an overnight permit on Whitney for this August. I Honestly had no idea i had to be put in a lottery months ago etc etc. I just somehow assumed that i could just arrive early, be first in line, give them a few bucks, sign and bada bing bada boom.
mike!

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Mount Whitney area dayhike? on 06/10/2010 10:28:49 MDT Print View

If you intend to go to the top of Whitney, you must have the right permit, and I'm sorry that you made some poor assumptions. I don't think that there are any Mount Whitney guidebooks that are misleading in this regard, and the Forest Service web site has current information.

Back in the old days when I started (in the 1970's), permits were required, but they were do-it-yourself permits that just allowed the Forest Service to keep statistics on trail use. The whole permit system kept getting more and more complex as trail use increased, and especially as illegal trail use increased. Now there is a standard chokepoint along the trail just above Lone Pine Lake where the rangers check permits in the early morning.

Now, for people who have applied for their permits and got a confirmation, they have to actually pick up the permits on the day before. If they don't show, or if they have not called to say they are late, the Forest Service will throw those permits up for grabs. However, if you are not standing in line at the permit office, that won't do much for you. Apparently a few people score their permits that way, but it is an awfully shakey way to plan.

It's getting so bad with me that when I walk up to the permit desk, they look at me and alert the other permit workers, "Hey, look, it's the old guy!"

--B.G.--

Ben Crowell
(bcrowell) - F

Locale: Southern California
permit on 06/10/2010 12:12:37 MDT Print View

I can easily imagine how Michael could not have known. Like him, I'm doing the JMT north to south, and that means you don't need to enter the Whitney lottery. Judging from his photo, it looks like he's not from the Left Coast.

In any case, Michael, Whitney is not necessarily such a great idea for a day hike. Most people driving up from sea level will have a heck of a hard time with the altitude. It's one thing to climb 6100 ft on a day hike. It's another thing to do that when the *starting* altitude is 8400 ft, and you're not acclimatized.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Mount Whitney area dayhike? on 06/10/2010 18:24:55 MDT Print View

"Anyone recommend a nice day hike around the area? She's in amazing shape so a little difficulty would be nice.
thanks!"

Drive north to Independence then head west to Foothill Road and go south and west to the Shepherd Pass TH. The hike up to Shepherd Pass(12,050') is 22 miles round trip on a beautiful, strenuous trail. The views of the great Western Divide from the pass are awesome, as is the view of Mt Williamson from the Symmes/Shepherd Creeks divide at ~9300'. Even if you only get to the divide between the creeks, you'll have a spectacular view of Williamson and an ~7 mile round trip through beautiful high desert terrain with 3000' of elevation gain.

This has to be one of the best day hikes in the area, and challenging to boot.

Edited by ouzel on 06/10/2010 18:29:37 MDT.