Climbing Mount Whitney
Do you want to stand on top of the tallest mountain
(14,497 ft / 4418,69 m)
You walk there.
Walk, even in one day.
Test your limits,
Accept the challenge,
It’s up to you;
Prepare to ascend Whitney…
"To know the road ahead, ask those coming back."
Your “how-to”, “step-by-step” trail guide to take you to the trailheads, Above…then beyond
Mountain climbers will appreciate the steep eastern side of the mountain, while backpackers and hikers undertaking the challenging hike on the western side of Mt. Whitney can expect to view picturesque sunrises, giant granite peaks and even encounter strange little animals called marmots. The main trail can be hiked in 1 day, but most people complete it in 2-3 days.
Mt. Whitney , east of the California town of Lone Pine along US Highway 395 is most easily accessed by the Whitney Portal Trailhead (8,365 ft), 13 miles east of town. This granite peak of the Sierra Nevada Range, located in the John Muir Wilderness and Sequoia National Park (its western face), is the highest point south of Alaska.
Mt. Whitney is one of the most popular wilderness destinations in the world! Backpackers and climbers visit Whitney from all corners of the globe.
While accessible without extensive training or technical equipment, summiting Mt. Whitney still requires planning, permits, practice and preparation.
Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my!
You will need to take precautions for bears and marmots!
Marmots will chew through your tent to get to anything that smells interesting — leave the door open so they don’t make their own entrance.
Bear Vaults: a Mt. Whitney Requirement
Food and even empty food containers (such as ice chests) must be stowed in bear proof boxes at the Whitney Portal, not in your car (you can be cited if you fail to do so even if the bear has already ripped your car a new sunroof ); bear canisters must be utilized by hikers on the trails unless they have a one-day permit only and even then, consider using one.
There are a great many routes to ascend Mt. Whitney, such as the “Shaky-Leg Crack Variation” or the “Cardiovascular Seizure”.
Mt. Whitney Trail is the most accessible, fastest and most popular; the other approaches require greater time, cover more distance, or mountaineering expertise and technical gear.
A permit is required for any descents along the Mt. Whitney Trail, no matter your starting point.
Mount Whitney Trail Crest