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Mount Whitney via Mount Whitney Trail

 17 votes

Length

20.7 Miles 33.3 Kilometers


Elevation

6,533' 1,991 m

Ascent

-6,532' -1,991 m

Descent

12%

Avg Grade (7°)

42%

Max Grade (23°)

14,462' 4,408 m

High

8,361' 2,548 m

Low

Conditions


Unknown

Getting forecast...

A popular, strenuous journey to the highest peak in the contiguous United States. A must-do.

Miguel Vieira

Overview

Wilderness permits are always required for this trail, and between May 1 and November 1, a quota permits only 60 overnight users and 100 day users per day: fs.usda.gov/detail/inyo/pas…
This well-maintained route that leads to a rewarding summit with incredible scenery is well worth the effort of acquiring a permit.
Features: Lake — Views — Wildflowers
Dogs: No Dogs

Need to Know

The Whitney Portal Store at the trailhead serves good pancakes and burgers.

Description

At Whitney Portal, find the trailhead for the Mount Whitney Trail located below the Whitney Portal Store. Climb along the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek along several long switchbacks. Pass Lone Pine Lake at 2.8 miles.

At 3.5 miles you'll reach Bighorn Park, a scenic meadow with granite cliffs on both sides. A short while later is Outpost Camp at 3.8 miles.

Continue climbing through the increasingly rocky landscape to Trail Camp at 6.3 miles. Trail Camp is popular with Whitney climbers doing overnight trips.

Past Trail Camp are the infamous 99 switchbacks that climb the granite slope to Trail Crest, at 8.5 miles and 13,645 feet - the highest trail pass in the United States. You'll get your first views west of the mountains, and they are spectacular.

Make the short jaunt to the junction with the John Muir Trail. From there it's a relatively level - but high-elevation - 2 mile hike to the summit along granite slabs. "Windows" through the granite spires on your right provide dramatic views toward Owens Valley.

Expect a round-trip day on the trail to take anywhere from 10 to 20 hours.

During peak season the trail is well-maintained and easy to follow. From early summer on, the mountain clears of snow and ice and reaching the summit via the trail requires no mountaineering or winter gear.

Contacts

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May 13, 2018
Lee Scott
Awesome trail!! Lots of snow so you have to climb up and slide down a chute rather than the 99 switchbacks. Amazing time. 20.7mi
May 5, 2018
Alec Vis
got off track from the trail a few times woke up at 2:00 am started at 2:40 am summited at 12:45 got back at 7:45 26.7mi
Jan 2, 2018
Yi Shang
Three-day and Two-night hike. 20.7mi
Dec 31, 2017
fibre claw
Dec 30, 2017
fibre claw
Dec 28, 2017
Zachariah Epperson
this milage is a bit off... not sure where your info was from. garmin got me at 28 miles. 28mi
Oct 7, 2017
Meghann Long
Sep 10, 2017
reiternick Reiter
Some AMS but otherwise a beautiful day! 20.7mi

Trail Ratings

  4.9 from 17 votes

#140

Overall
  4.9 from 17 votes
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Rankings

#20

in California

#140

Overall
359 Views Last Month
3,079 Since Dec 31, 2016
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