Explore the best trails near Lone Pine with detailed reviews, photos, trail maps, and driving directions curated by hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
What a beautiful hike! I did this one on October 6th. The rangers warned of high wind and snow, but it was actually low wind and 60 degrees/sunny when I got to the top! So pretty. Views on views on views.
I did the single day hike and it was very obtainable. If you are in good shape, you will be able to day hike it no problem. I started at about 8am, hit summit around noon, and was down just after 3.
~7 hours total. I'm pretty fast, but not a racer.
Again, so pretty. Definitely do this one! I bet everyone who complained about it being super hard wasn't prepared - I saw a lot of that on the trail.
Check out my photos of the trip on Instagram: ahaler1
This is very convenient place to stop and camp, but I couldn't bring myself to get in the water. It's scummy on top and not very warm. There's garbage all around, including a mattress and pile of human exciment. Eww factor aside, there's a few cement platforms which are great for car parking/camping. The birding is excellent, I saw raptors, terns, ducks, and some other fun little stuff. Coolest of all was the airforce doing fighter jet drills. Definitely bring your binoculars if you're going to stay here.
Meysan lake is harsh, stark, and beautiful. The last 2 miles of the hike are much more strenuous than the first half. Using a GPS is a must, as the trail does not exist between Camp lake and Meysan Lake, and we had to rely on cairns and our topo maps to get to Meysan. Most of the lakes are completely dried up now (not sure if this is the drought or because we did this very late in the season, first weekend of October) but Meysan lake still has plenty of water. When we arrived, it was a sparkling deep turquoise, and the towering peaks surrounding it looks otherworldly.
Very doable as a day hike. Took us about 6 hours total, but I would budget at least 7 so that you can spend more time at the lake.
Took the unmaintained trail that branched off the trail ~1.2 miles from the trailhead. Turned out to be around 5 miles to South Forks Lake. When you're walking along the meadow, make sure to stay right along the creek. Beautiful lake, with golden meadows. Windy and VERY cold at night. Definitely end of Sierra season. Beautiful hike with lots of water available. Nice day hike over the hill to Cirque lake-has potential for amazing waterfront camping (100 feet from water!).
An Amazing Adventure and Challenge! - Mt Whitney was just "off my radar" for a long time, as I traveled the world, produced my art and did other adventures. When I discovered the tallest mountain in the U.S. was less than 4 hours drive from me, it quickly became on obsession.
There it was... just sitting there, being all tall... just asking to be climbed!
- We passed on getting more acclimated to the altitude and opted for a mellow first night camping at Lake Dias. Next morning hiked only 3.5 miles up to Outpost Camp. Again passing on more acclimation... but mostly passing on more cold. Up at 4 am to hike the remaining 7.5 miles to the summit, where we hung out awhile then hiked all the way back down to the trail head.
My usual curiosity kicked in and I wanted to know if "99 Switchbacks" was just a colorful, term to describe a hell'a lot of switchbacks?...
So, I counted. I may have lost track a bit but when they ended, I was at exactly 99! I'm sure the Park Service knows the count, as they maintain them. We did 18.5 miles in a day! Averaging one mile an hour on the way up.
For everyone preparing for the first time... all the basic advice you read is the real deal. GET ACCLIMATED, GET IN SHAPE. Know the Weather, Permits, Pack Light, Stay Warm and Prepare in general. Diamox can help a bit for Acclimation but is not a substitute for Endurance Training.
My brother and I hiked to the summit of Mount Whitney in September 2016 as a two-day backpacking trip. The description here is slightly off. The actual distance is 22 miles round-trip from Whitney Portal. I'll try to break up my description of the trail into sections:
Section 1 (Trailhead-to-John-Muir-Wilderness): There is a small general store at the trailhead, but since it is the only option in the area, the prices are outrageous. Plan ahead, and avoid purchasing anything at the general store. The first mile of the trail is a gradual incline. When you reach a sign stating that you're now entering the John Muir Wilderness, you've completed the first mile.
Section 2 (John-Muir-Wilderness-to-Mirror-Lake): After the first mile of gradual incline, you'll hit your first set of switchbacks. These switchbacks will continue for nearly three miles, to a meadow just outside Outpost Camp. Another short set of switchbacks will pick up right after Outpost Camp and will take you to Mirror Lake, about a third of a mile away. Mirror Lake is roughly halfway to the other two campsites, Consultation Lake and Trail Camp, so it's a good place to stop and rest before pushing on.
Section 3 (Mirror-Lake-to-Trail-Camp): After Mirror Lake is another set of switchbacks, these ones ascending a series of ridges overlooking Mirror Lake, Lone Pine Lake, and the meadow outside Outpost Camp. Once the switchbacks end, you'll see a large lake on your left. This is Consultation Lake. Trail Camp is just another quarter-mile ahead.
If you want quiet and serenity, find a place to camp at Consultation Lake and avoid Trail Camp. Trail Camp is busy, and people will be coming and going at all hours of day and night.
Section 4 (Trail-Camp-to-Summit): From Trail Camp, it's four miles to the summit. The first two miles are up a series of 99 switchbacks, so get some rest, drink some water, have something to eat, and get ready. Once you crest the saddle at the top of the switchbacks, you'll be rewarded with an awesome view of the east side of Sequoia National Park and King's Canyon National Park. You'll drop down a bit in elevation, swing around the west side of the summit, and then ascend from the west. I actually thought the last two miles were tougher than the switchbacks, but that might have been on account of the elevation and sun exposure.
Once you hit the summit - CONGRATULATIONS! You're standing at the highest point in the contiguous 48 states.
Well, I'm far from being an avid hiker but I decided to take on the challenge of going up Mount Whitney with a great group of ex-coworkers who I like to call friends. Amidst weather and physical challenges, we managed to stick together and make it to the summit and back in a long 19-hour day. For those that are looking for one of most challenging hikes in the USA without any extravagant gear and extremely rewarding views and scenery, I'd recommend this trek!!! But try to do it in 2 days so you enjoy the views more... :)
Nice, very easy & very short trail. We started around 3pm and only saw one other family. I expect the trail to be very crowded earlier in the day or around sunrise. As we felt like walking a bit longer, we combined several trails into a 4mi loop, beautiful scenery and no other people. Sadly, not all trails are available on alltrails, so we had go consult the park map, trails not very well visible at times. I still recorded the hike (sorry managed to cancel the recording at one point) if you feel like hiking longer.