White Mountain Road starts as a well-paved road as it ascends 3,000 feet to the Schulman Grove of the Ancient Bristlecone Forest.
From there, the dirt road continues 17 miles at high elevation with a lot (seriously) of ups and downs making for strenuous hiking.
The Barcroft Gate is reached after these 17 miles, and the final seven miles climbs to the peak at 14,246 feet, with a few relatively minor ups and downs in between.
This presents several options for the strong, acclimated hiker. Bring plenty of water (as there is none up there), and be ready for lots of sun, lots of wind, and lots of exposure. The top of the Whites offers nothing in the way of shelter.
The easiest would be to make the long drive out to the Barcroft Gate and do a 14-mile out-and-back from that point.
More sadistic hikers may want to start at the Schulman Grove and enjoy a 48-mile out-and-back with over 8,000 feet of climbing.
If you really hate yourself, don't bother with the initial paved 10 miles of road. Instead, start in Bishop at just over 4,000 feet, and climb up Silver Canyon Road, and turn left up for White Mountain Peak. With 60-some miles, over 13,000 feet of climbing, and pretty much nowhere to get water, this hike will make for a truly regrettable decision.
Shared By: Rick Ianniello