Day hikers warned us water was scarce in this section, and we found that to be true. After Neel Gap we passed four places where the Guthook app indicated was a water source, but all of them were dry. We realized that all of them were above 3500 feet in elevation, and this then posed a problem.
The next best place to camp would be at Whitley Gap Shelter, but getting there required taking an extra 1.2-mile side trail. If we hiked all the way there and found the spring was dry, we would have to then double back to the trail and continue another .2 miles down a steep descent to Hogpen Gap, where we had heard there was a flowing spring.
We elected to take the safer choice, which was to continue on to Hogpen Gap, collect water, and then hike back up the mountain to Whitley Gap. Although the climb back with an extra load of water was not fun, it seemed like the smart thing to do. At least adding .4 miles would would mean we could avoid adding another 2.4 miles to our day.
As it turned out, all of that fuss was unnecessary. The spring at Whitely Gap was flowing nicely.