Mount Whitney Trail, Lone Pine

4.9
#2 of 6 in Parks in Lone Pine
The Mount Whitney Trail is a trail that climbs Mount Whitney. It starts at Whitney Portal, 13mi west of the town of Lone Pine, California. The hike is about 22mi round trip, with an elevation gain of over 6100ft. It is an extremely popular trail, and its access is restricted by quotas from May to October.
The original pack trail from Lone Pine to the summit of Mount Whitney was designed by local engineer Gustave Marsh. This original trail, opened on July 22, 1904, was the basis for most of today's Mount Whitney Trail.
The Mount Whitney Trail starts at Whitney Portal. Almost anyone in good physical shape has a good chance of hiking to the summit. The trail does not head up the direct route to the summit by the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek, as this is a very steep route used by mountaineers. Instead, it follows the gentler main branch of Lone Pine Creek to its source, and then climbs by 97 switchbacks to the Sierra crest about 2.5mi south of the summit. The trail then travels very close to the crest of the range until reaching the summit plateau. This longer "dogleg" route makes possible a standard hiking trail. During peak season the trail is well-maintained and easy to follow. When the mountain clears of snow and ice, usually in early to mid summer, it requires no mountaineering or winter gear. Beyond Trail Crest pass the trail loses a small amount of elevation that is gained on the return. In this final stretch of the trail, on the west side of Whitney's needle-like south ridge, some sections of the trail must be rebuilt after each winter. The views here of the interior High Sierra can be extraordinary, due in part to the precipitous exposure. The crowning views are had on the summit of Whitney, where the trail ends at the Smithsonian Institution Shelter.
It couldn't be easier to arrange your visit to Mount Whitney Trail and many more Lone Pine attractions: make an itinerary online using Inspirock's Lone Pine trip planner .
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  • To see the contras between the great mountain and the Alabama Mountain will leave you in true aaawww.  more »
  • Wow. I live in Las Vegas and my brother lives on the east coast. This mountain was outstanding. I wish we had time to make it to the summit. We originally planned to visit Death Valley but mount whitn...  more »

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