Permit Pickup Instructions - Mt. Whitney

Wilderness permits for day hiking and overnight backpacking are required year round to visit Mt. Whitney.

ALL Inyo National Forest wilderness permits for Summer/Fall 2020 and Winter 2020/2021 are reserved and issued online.

Visitors must first reserve the permit online through  Then visitors must request the permit by email or phone. Lastly, the permit will be issued by email and visitors must print, sign, and carry with them on the trail. No walk up service at the visitor centers.

Read "How to Reserve a Permit" for instructions on how to book a Mt. Whitney permit.

Are you prepared for Mt Whitney?

Permit Pickup Instructions

Requesting by Email (2 to 14 days in advance):

Please follow these instructions carefully to ensure delivery of your permit:

In the subject line write: [Entry Date] [Trail Name] [Reservation Number]

In the body of the email answer the following:

  • Have you viewed the Mt. Whitney Leave No Trace video?
  • If your trip is overnight, do you have a bear can?
  • What is the final number of people in your group?
  • Where do you plan to camp each night (overnight permits only)?

Include any questions you may have on the following topics:

  • Food storage and bear resistant container use
  • Campfire restrictions
  • Human waste disposal
  • Campsite selection
  • Pack it in, pack it out/ Leave No Trace
  • Specific guidance if the itinerary enters Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks or Yosemite National Park

send to:  

Permit will be sent by email. Permit must be printed, signed, and in the group leader’s possession during the trip and must be presented to rangers upon request. The group leader signing the permit is accepting responsibility to ensure everyone in their group will follow the rules and regulations on the permit. 

Drop Box Service, must request by phone.

If you have no printer, you can request a paper copy of your permit be placed in the drop box outside of the visitor center.

Call the Eastern Sierra Visitor Center for this service, 760-876-6200 or 790-876-6222

Drop box location (kiosk near driveway)

Non-Quota Season (Winter) Permits

Reservations ARE needed during the non-quota winter season of 2020/2021 (November 2 through April 30).

All permits must first be reserved on Then follow the instructions above to request and recieve your permit. During the non-quota season the number of permits is unlimited.

Walk-Up Permits

There are no walk-up permits for Mt. Whitney. All permits must first be reserved on

You can reserve space from last minute cancellations or group size reductions on 

Leader Responsibility

The group leader is responsible for picking up the permit and relaying the wilderness information to the group members. Mt. Whitney permits include tags for each person to carry on the trail. The permit can only be used by the person the permit is issued to. Show photo identification when requested.
Link to Wilderness Regulations.

You are agreeing to the following permit policy when a wilderness permit is issued to you.

Permit Policy

  • The group leader signing the permit is responsible for ensuring that everyone in the group follows all of the rules and regulations during the wilderness trip.
  • Group leader must have the permit with them during the trip.
  • Group must start on the entry date and location stated in the permit.
  • Large groups cannot exceed group size limits even if they have separate permits.
  • All people count for wilderness quotas and fees; prices are not different for children or seniors.
  • A permit is valid for one continuous wilderness trip.
  • Each trip requires a new wilderness permit; there is no season pass.
  • The National Interagency Pass is not a substitute for specific activity permits, like a wilderness permit. There are no discounts or exemptions for wilderness permits.
  • Pacific Crest Trail (PCTA) permits are not valid to start on quota trails in Inyo National Forest.
  • Reservations or permits cannot be sold or transferred to other parties. Only an alternate leader listed when the reservation is made can replace the group leader.
  • A reservation receipt is not proof of having a valid reservation or permit.
  • Reservations for Mt Whitney permits can be made one day before the entry date.
  • Mt Whitney Day Use and Mt Whitney Trail Overnight permits are by reservation only.


Still have questions?

Call the Inyo National Forest Wilderness Permit Office.

(760) 873-2483
Phone line is open from 8 am to 4:30 pm. (closed at lunch)
Open daily May 15 to October 15
Winter season- closed on weekends and holidays.


Information -Mt. Whitney


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