February 1 is the first date on which you can apply for a permit for Mt. Whitney. For details, go to:
And read the section about 2/3 of the way down the page about Mt. Whitney. It says:
"There are NO CHANGES to the current Whitney Lottery. Applications for a day or overnight Mt. Whitney trail reservation will be accepted by mail and FAX only, starting February 1st until February 28 for all dates during the quota season. Processing of reservations will begin February 15."
That means that you must
MAIL your application to the USFS or FAX your application to the numbers just below that paragraph. There are both .pdf and .doc (MSWord) forms of the application available from the page above.
I strongly suggest you have your application filled in and ready to FAX early on the morning of 1 February. Although not explicitly stated, it is implied that they will be processing applications in the order received, which was the method in 2001 (but not in 2000). It pays to be as early as permissible on this one.
(been there, done that...)