Mt Whitney Permits
Permits are required year round for entry into the Mt. Whitney Zone. A valid overnight permit or day use permit is required.
A Permit For The Mt. Whitney Zone Is Required No Matter Where Or When You Start.
A quota system is in effect between May 1 and November 1 each year.
Trail Crest permits (entering elsewhere; exiting at Whitney Portal) have a separate application process.
You can get a permit for day use or overnight; with a day use permit you must not camp or sleep. You may start before sunrise and you are limited to a 24-hour period on the trail.
All applications must be submitted by snail mail. No fax, internet, email or phone applications are accepted.
Applications must be submitted with a $15 fee per person; payable by Visa, Matercard, or check to “USDA Forest Service”.
Payment is processed ONLY if applications are accepted.
There are NO REFUNDS
Mail your application (post marked in February) for the Mt. Whitney lottery to:
Mt. Whitney Lottery
You can pick up your permit only from the Interagency Visitor Center in Lone Pine and you must do so (or call to confirm) within one or two days prior to entrance of the Whitney Trail. You will forfeit your permit if you do not pick it up in time
Where to Pick Up Your Mt. Whitney Permit
Eastern Sierra InterAgency Visitor Center
What happens if I don’t use a permit while hiking in the Mt. Whitney Zone?
You will be fined and asked to leave (no joke). The rangers patrol regularly to ensure hiker safety and enforce permit regulations. According to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR 36, Sec. 261.17, the failure to pay recreation fees is punishable by a fine (for a first offense) of not more than $100, as well as being directed to leave the mountain immediately.