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Whitney Portal road construction through Nov 2016

Original Post
fossana · · leeds, ut · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 12,951

As if the Portal wasn't a big enough CF, there's a road construction project planned through Nov 2016 with very limited parking and up to 3 hour delays twice daily:…

kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 11,653

Thanks for the timely warning.
At last I got lucky in the Lottery for a single day use permit -- which I intend to use to traverse the ridges and peaks on ascent above S Fork, then go down the MtW trail, or perhaps down Mountaineers + N Fork if I find that I'm fast.

Looks like the main things in that announcement are:
No Parking along the road
. . (only in the designated lot areas near the trailheads).

And some delays driving in or out.
Three-hour closures on some days.

Looks like there will be no "official" shuttle service from the valley up to the trailheads, but some hope that private enterprises will sell services for that.


Jeff Mahoney · · Santa Barbara, CA · Joined Feb 2007 · Points: 1,320

I'm surprised you didn't post Doug's (Thompson, Portal Store Ruler & Hostel Emperor) "inside info" about the whole thing.

Here's the word from on high; seems clear to me:

Parking and the rest of the story! We had about 700000000 calls yesterday asking about Parking and Shuttles, so the short story if you have a day permit I don't see any problem , you will come to the Portal long before the Road work Starts and not exit until the Road work is over for the day. You will get 1 parking space per permit( ONE) AND THAT IS FOR 24 Hours, Over Night permits get 1 parking Space per permit. The keyword is parking space FOR BOTH PERMITS WILL SPACE BE OPEN for you to Park????

I don't see a problem until early July and recall from the Permit breakdown that the most requested DAY was Aug. 6, 2016. So until the third week of August parking may be limited on the weekends.

You can control the parking by car pooling and being dropped off and picked up. Parking looks like many options around Town so I don't see this as a problem.

Many are asking about the 3-5 day hikes , I would think Horseshoe and Onion Valley Lots will fill this year since you will not be allowed to Park at Whitney, think about why Whitney Portal Lots fill in the past, it is because of the long term Parking for these hikes ,JMT, PCT, HST,Cottonwood, Golden Trout,Kersage and many more that would exit out at Whitney Portal. These trail heads make up much of the use for the Inyo.

Shuttles are available , Are they at 2 AM I don't know, and I don't know the total list of services so will not list any. You may get an official list from the Eastern Sierra Interagency Visitor Center. Book your shuttle early ,Walking into the Store and asking to call for a shuttle VERY SELDOM turns out good.Most often we advise talk to the people in the Portal and ask for a ride down.Hint if you are on a 5-30 day trip and happen to see another person you may ask if they will take you into town.

A final thought: the season hasn't started yet and the Road work just started so as things move on into the main season we will have a clear picture of how the parking and details are working.

All construction is planned. All plans will fail at some point! This is an absolute fact . When the events during the day bring large rocks onto the Road , a truck breaks down in the middle of the Road, a car fire waiting to go up or down and how about during the wet season bringing rock onto the road from the recent work all of these events have happened on years of no construction.

fossana · · leeds, ut · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 12,951
Jeff Mahoney wrote:I'm surprised you didn't post Doug's "inside info" about the whole thing...
I didn't b/c it's missing some info. Per the Inyo FS post parking passes are given only for reserved permits, not walk-ins. Also a pass doesn't guarantee you'll get a spot.
C Brooks · · Fresno, CA · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 546

Apparently the road is going to be gated and locked starting Monday April 4th until April 11th! Don't plan any trips to Whitney for that week!

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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