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ActivitiesMt. Whitney

MT. WHITNEY

Mt. Whitney Every year thousands travel to Whitney Portal with their hearts set on attaining the summit of Mt. Whitney, the highest point in the 48 US contiguous states. With secret techniques to conquer, hikers, and climbers try to reach the peak. Up the Mt. Whitney trail and to the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek provides access to the mountaineering and climbing routes on Mt. Whitney, Mt. Russell, and Mt. Carillon.

The Mt. Whitney trailhead is about 1.5 hours from Mammoth. While hiking the trail to the summit is only for experienced hikers, driving to the trailhead is fine for all. There are beautiful scenic photographic moments all throughout the drive, which is made up of switchbacks back and forth as you climb in elevation. You'll get pictures of the Alabama Hills, and the entire Owens Valley. At the trailhead, you can have a small bite to eat at the cafe and buy souvenirs. You won't be able to see the summit from the trailhead.

TRAIL SUMMARY
TRAILHEAD ELEVATION - 8,365 feet
HIGHEST ELEVATION -
Lower Boy Scout Lake 10,300 ft.
Upper Boy Scout Lake 11,350 ft.
Iceberg Lake 12,600 ft.
Mt. Carillon 13,552 ft.
Mt. Russell l4,086 ft.
Mt. Whitney 14,495 ft.
TRAIL DIFFICULTY - Strenuous. This route is not suitable for inexperienced hikers or climbers. It is infrequently maintained and difficult to follow. While it can be done in about 14 hours, many hikers will stay overnight on the trail.

WHITNEY PORTAL TRAILHEADMt. Whitney Climber

Driving 13 miles west of Lone Pine on Whitney Portal Road gets you to the trailhead. Whitney Portal Road intersects Highway 395 at the traffic signal in downtown Lone Pine. The road is usually open from May to November. In winter, the last 6 miles of the road are not plowed.

The road up to the trailhead is very scenic and worth the drive. There is a small store and cafe at the trailhead where you can have a cup of coffee, take photos and buy the infamous t-shirt "I climbed Mt. Whitney" and no one will question whether you did or didn't. Hey, it's a souvenir.

The trail is rated moderate to strenuous, depending upon your experience and skill level. At high elevations, altitude sickness affects many people. You can put yourself in danger by pushing yourself past your physical limits. Headaches, dizziness and nausea are symptoms that should not be ignored. If you begin showing signs of altitude sickness you should descend to a lower elevation immediately.

WILDERNESS RISK

Mt Whitney Peaks Of the thousands of people that climb Mt. Whitney, many are unaware of the inherent risks associated with being outdoors and on their own. You are far from help should you have a mishap. Remoteness and changing weather may compound problems that otherwise could be manageable. Everyone has a personal responsibility to maintain self-sufficiency in the Wilderness. For a safe trip, assess the skills and abilities of every member of your group, prepare for a variety of weather and plan for every contingency. Create your own "good luck" by being well prepared and making prudent decisions. You might want to consider hiring a certified guide.

TRAILHEAD FACILITIES

Campgrounds are available and a wilderness permit is required for all overnight and day hikes. To protect water quality, camp at least 100 feet from any water source. Campfires are prohibited; portable gas stoves are recommended.

Wood fires are not allowed in Sequoia National Park above 11,200 ft.

To protect water quality, camp at least 100 feet from any water source.

A California State Fishing License is required for fishing. State fishing regulations apply in the John Muir Wilderness.

FOR MORE INFORMATION
Mt. Whitney Ranger District
Lone Pine, CA 93545
760 876-6200
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