Whitney Portal area still being evaluated

Register Staff
Staff Writer

The Whitney Portal emergency evacuation will be lifted by 5 p.m. today, according to the U.S. National Forest Service. The area was evacuated in response to the June 24 5.8 earthquake near Lone Pine and subsequent rockslide at Whitney Portal.
No injuries nor substantial damage was reported due to the earthquake.
U.S. Forest Service geologists determined that the southern area of Whitney Portal is still showing instability in the rockslide area and this area will remain closed. Rangers are working to secure this area from entry.
However, most of the Whitney Portal area including the Whitney Portal Road, the Whitney Portal parking lots, Whitney Portal Cabins, the Mt. Whitney Trail, the Meysan Lake Trail, and the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek Trail (Mountaineering Route) will re-open.
Permits for the Mt. Whitney Trail will begin being issued on Friday.
The Forest Service reports substantial damage to a section of the National Recreation Trail (that starts at Lone Pine Campground and ends in Whitney Portal) and the damaged segment of the trail is closed.
Inyo National Forest rangers will work on implementing a re-route around the damaged section of trail.
The Whitney Portal Campground will re-open. However, Whitney Portal Trailhead Campground will partially re-open. Some of these sites are closed either to damage or due to proximity to the rockfall area. The Whitney Portal Group Campground remains closed as well.
Additional geologic assessments will be completed at Whitney Portal. Visitors to the Whitney Portal area, and all the Inyo National Forest are reminded that there is always risk associated with the hiking and camping in the mountains and that they are responsible for their own safety and need to be prepared and trained for the conditions these mountains bring.