Mount Whitney is the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States with an elevation of 14,505 feet. Mount lies on the boundary of Sequoia National Park and Inyo National Forest.
It is the most frequently climbed mountain peak in the Sierra Nevada so why hikers entering the Mt. Whitney zone, including day-hikers, are required to obtain a permit. For permit you need to apply for Mt. Whitney Lottery between February 1 and March 15 to hike between May and October the same year. You apply at www.recreation.gov. Good Luck! 🙂
We did one day hike and we started from Whitney Portal. It is the shortest and most popular route to climb Mt. Whitney.
- Length: 10.7 mile in one way
- Elevation gain: 6145 feet
- Difficulty: Hard
|Whitney Portal||8,360 Ft||0.0|
|Lone Pine Lake||9,900 Ft||2.8|
|Outpost Camp||10,400 Ft||3.8|
|Mirror Lake||10,640 Ft||4.0|
|Trailside Meadow||11,400 Ft||5.0|
|Trail Camp||12,000 Ft||6.0|
|Trail Crest||13,700 Ft||8.2|
|Muir Trail Jct||13,480 Ft||8.7|
The best time to start hike is round 1-3 am. If you are not trained a lot before even you can start from 10-11 pm. We started at 10 pm and reached summit at 9 am. If you are fit you will be faster. Make sure to reach summit before 12 pm because afternoon thunderstorms are a part of hiking in the Sierra in the summer. If you see lightning while hiking above Trail Camp, you should think to turn around.
Make sure that you are prepared and do before other hikes like 15-20 miles with good elevation gain. We recommend to come earlier near by and hike Lone Pine Lake (6 miles). This is the same trail which is for Mt. Whitney. Why you should come earlier? Mt. Whitney is more than 10 000 feet and you need to acclimate for altitude. You will need also medicine for altitude sickness. Ask your doctor for prescription.
Food and water
Also important is to have enough water and food. On the way you have lot of water/ streams so you can filter but always check in reports till water is available. Below our list of food what we had and worked great:
- water – minimum 3L
- sandwiches (at least 2 per person)
- energy gels (link)
- energy chews (link)
- nuun – electrolytes (link)
- salty nuts
- bars (link)
What to take
- Water filter
- First aid kit
- Toilet paper
- WAG bag
- Oral rehydration salts
- Head lamp
- Trekking poles
- Additional Socks
- Jacket / Rain Shell
- Long-sleeve shirt
- Bug repellent
During night is really cold there so you will need gloves and jacket but later is hot.
When you will be on the top try to find board with Mt. Whitney and take photo.
This place is between Lone Pine and Whitney Portal. If you have time after Mount Whitney it nice to see. Even if you will be tired, just drive around and use Movie Road.
Here many movies took place like Gladiator, Django Unchained or Iron Man.
Formation of those hills is amazing and so different from rest of area. From here you can have nice look at Mt. Whitney. We just did short hike 0.5mile to Mobius Arch.