Before visiting any state highpoint, please check for restrictions. This includes weather and road conditions! Even the highpoints on public land have restrictions such as quotas, hours, permits, etc. A quarter of the highpoints are on privately-owned land. Please respect the land and follow owners’ wishes. This list describes which highpoints have on-going access restrictions. For current conditions, you should contact the relevant agency or post an inquiry on Facebook or Reddit. Also check the Red Tape section on summitpost.
Alaska – It goes without saying that Mount McKinley requires much preparation. The climbing process is heavily regulated with a permit and fee required. The NPS is considering quotas. For more info: https://www.nps.gov/dena/planyourvisit/mountaineering.htm
California – Entry into the “Whitney Zone” is heavily regulated. The quotas were reduced in 2001. If you want to camp on the mountain you need to enter a lottery in February stating your dates. You also need a permit if you simply want to day hike, and those permits are also in the February lottery. Hint: August weekends are most sought after, and permits are more likely for weekdays. For more info: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/inyo/passes-permits/recreation
Hawaii – Although Hawai’i is nearly a drive up there has been publicity about restricting access to the summit hill. Astronomers do not want you to driving there after dark. Limits have been imposed on commercial group size, and most car rental companies prohibit cars from driving on Saddle Road and the mountain. Native Hawaiians prefer visitors do not walk on the highpoint which they consider sacred, or at least give it the appropriate respect.
Illinois – privately owned – The owners have three firm rules for visitors: #1 No cars on lane, #2 No pets, and #3 No visitors after dark. The owners have an open access agreement for the first full weekend of the summer months (June, July, August, September) plus Presidents Day weekend in February. Check our “Events” sidebar or page for specific dates.
Kentucky – Now state owned with no restrictions. [It was privately owned by Penn Valley Coal Company and a 1999 agreement permitted highpointers to access the summit if they signed a liability waiver (download the waiver, fill it out, and mail it to: Penn Virginia Resource Partners, L.P, Attn: Steve Looney, 7 Sheridan Sq, Suite 400, Kingsport, TN 37660-7451.]
Maine – Baxter State Park has very strict rules on access, hours, and quotas on the trails. For more info: http://www.mainerec.com/baxter1.asp?Category=101&PageNum=101
Michigan – privately owned – The highpoint is owned by a resource (lumber) company. The state of Michigan was given an easement to this summit, so there are no restrictions other than the possibility of the dirt access road blocked by snow or mud.
Nebraska – privately owned – The owners request a $5 donations. You must not hike the lane nor across the fields (to the Colorado-Wyoming-Nebraska Tri-State marker) because the bison herd there is considered dangerous. The lane (and thus access the highpoint) may be closed due to snow or mud.
New York – The New York DEC is considering quotas for Mt Marcy and other high peaks. There are restrictions on group size and parking. Further, New York traditionally requests you do not climb the High Peaks during May and the first couple weeks of June to avoid damaging muddy trails. For more info: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9198.html
Ohio – privately owned – The highpoint is owned by the Hi Point Vocational School and is inside a gated compound. The road into the compound is ungated during daylight on weekdays, however, the pedestrian gate to the left of the main gate is left open. To confirm access call (937) 599-3010 on weekdays been 7 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Oregon – Quotas are being considered. Currently, you only need a free self-issue permit. To avoid the dangerous most dangerous conditions consider climbing May to mid-July. For more info: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/mthood/home/?cid=FSEPRD526098&width=full
Washington – NPS is considering closing its Paradise Parking Lot to climbers (climbers would have to be shuttled to and from the trailhead). Currently, the only official regulation is the $15 climbing fee. For more info: https://www.nps.gov/mora/planyourvisit/climbing.htm