High Sierra Trail to Mount Whitney: Wilderness Permits

This is my first blog post in my series, trekking through the High Sierra to Mount Whitney. Today, I received my custom made map, which I will use to finalize my planning of this trip (More info on my custom made map soon).

Plotting out m y route to Mount Whitney!

Plotting out my route to Mount Whitney!

My initial planning began here on Backpacker, where I found most of the details for this 72 mile hike.

My first part of business for this hike, is obtaining wilderness permits. I wrongly thought this would be simple, but its more then just a phone call with my credit card at hand. From the research I have done, it looks like I can not secure permits via phone, email or web. You have to fill out the forms and either snail mail them or fax them.

Information for reserving a wilderness permit for the High Sierra Trail to Mount Whitney from Sequoia Nation park can be found here:


I want secure my permits as quickly as possible, but I do not own a fax? Would email have been that hard? Instead of waiting for my permit to go through the snail mail, I found a website called eFax. I filled out my wilderness permit request form, printed it out, signed it and scanned it back onto my computer.

Using my 1 month free trial eFax, I created an account and sent a “fax” by uploading my document to pressing send. It was almost like an email. Within second I received an email saying my fax transmission was successful.  For the fax cover sheet, I left my email and phone number, and politely asked them to either send me an email of call my cell phone to confirm receipt.  I am just not sure if the “fax” really did in fact go through, since I have not sent a fax in years…. and this digital “fax” from my computer is something totally new to me, so fingers are crossed!

I will update this post with a link to my next post regarding this adventure when I have updates to share. While I wait for my permits to be approved, I will continue to plan out my rout on my map, and continue to finalize/obtain the rest of my gear list.


Petra, the hidden rock carved city!


Custom High Quality Map Board


  1. Paco

    Why no email? Because you have to send a check or your credit card information.

    • Mike

      You can use credit cards online though, they just have not implemented it which makes it a little bit off a pain.

  2. Jeremiah

    I am interested in doing that same hike next year…. When getting a permit which trail are you requesting? New to the whole process and have no idea what to even ask for.. ..

    • Mike

      Entry Trail: High Sierra
      Exit Trail: Whitney Portal

      If you are doing the hike next year be sure to follow the blog on twitter of Facebook. I will have a lot of posts coming up!

      • Jeremiah

        Thanks Mike! Definitely staying tuned, look forward to getting some insights!

  3. basedrop

    Just wanted to let you know, your permits are more than just waiting for approval, there are quotas for all the trails in these areas and if you didn’t apply for the permit in a very specific time frame, you might be out of luck. I’m pretty sure you need the “Portal” permit if you are planning on exiting at Whitney (i.e. not turning around and backtracking.) The odds of getting that permit are slim even if applying within the first 30 seconds of them being available. You might want to make a few calls.

    • Mike

      My permits were approved, and you do not need a separate permit if you are hiking out of Portal.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén