Mt. Whitney Trail
The trek to the top of Mt. Whitney, which at an elevation of 14,497 feet is the highest point in the contiguous U.S., typically takes two days of fairly strenuous hiking, but no technical climbing. The trail is wide and often crowded, as thousands of people make the trip each summer. Or, you can hike part of the trail and enjoy the high-country setting without the extended effort of “peaking out.”
After driving to Lone Pine, head up Whitney Portal Road. The road will end at about 8,000 feet elevation, at Whitney Portal, where you can then begin your climb of Mt. Whitney (after getting a permit from the Forest Service).
Check the Inyo National Forest website for information on permits and regulations.
Hiking, photography, fishing, camping, bird watching, wildlife viewing.
The trail is open in the spring when the snow melts, usually by June, and closes when the snow piles up in the fall, usually around November. Hearty souls can make the trek in any season, but should be skilled in winter mountaineering and prepared for a cold, high-altitude expedition if taking on Mt. Whitney during the snow season.
Fees: The U.S. Forest Service/Inyo National Forest requires a Wilderness Permit, and from May 1 to Nov. 1 those permits are handed out on a quota system, and reservations ($15) must be obtained before making the climb.
Not ADA accessible once out of the Whitney Portal Parking lot.
Pets are not allowed on the summit.