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Mount Langley is a 21 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Lone Pine, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October.

Distance: 21.0 miles Elevation Gain: 4,429 feet Route Type: Out & Back

backpacking

camping

fishing

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

bird watching

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

scramble

snow

off trail

no dogs

hiking
scramble
6 months ago

We drove up on Saturday and slept in our car before an early 4:30 start on Sunday morning. The trail was easy to follow as it meandered its way up to the lakes. At 6, we got our first look Mt Langley, right as the sun rose. We made our way up Old Army pass before heading over to the last climb. Once we reached the base of the final boulder field, the wind died down, and the temperature up to a pleasant 65 degrees. It took a little longer to make it up the last section than we expected, but the views were worth it. After a few photos on the summit, we started back down. It was nice being able to stop at the streams to get more water on the way down. We go back to the cars well before we thought we would and were rewarded with a beautiful sunset drive down the mountain. Overall, this day hike worked out better than I expected, and I'm excited to head back.

hiking
rocky
6 months ago

11-09-2019 My friend and I started the cotton wood lakes trail at 7:23 AM,hiked 6 miles to the new army pass. Then we gradually made our way up to the army pass,new army pass is in excellent conditions and snow free,it looks intimidating at first,cause it just looks like a giant bolder field,but don’t get discouraged the trail is super safe,not technical and with stunning views. We set up camp on top off old army pass,just 1.6 mile from the summit that night. We had ideal weather conditions,no winds and not a cloud in the Sky. The sunset was probably the best I ever seen,and the sunrise was no different. 11-10-2019 We got up at 5:00 and made the push for the summit,ran out of water before I reached the summit. Still pushed on,reached the summit at 7:23 AM. The last mile with the sand and the boulders will make you want to give up,DONT. Fallow the cairns,remember this as you go up,the cairns are your friends. They will take you all the way up,fallow nothing else,unless you like the extra suffering. Came down through old army pass,I don’t understand why everyone makes such a big fuss about this section,it was way faster and easier then new army,there was zero snow on the old pass. There were two parts that were a little technical but it was so simple that even this cave man could do it lol <true story <<. Overall I loved every minute of it,and I will return once more.

hiking
rocky
scramble
6 months ago

I summited in 9/14/19. Hiked up New Army Pass and down Old Army Pass. This mountain is a beast! The first quarter of the trail up to Cottonwood lakes is pleasant and moderate, but the second quarter getting up the pass after the lakes is very steep. There is a long flattish section 3/4 the way up, but then the last 1/4 is very steep and punishing. The trail near the top is very rocky and guided by large caryns, with many ways to get from point to point. Old Army Pass has a couple treacherous points and you should only take that route when there is minimal snow. I have to say this mountain is almost more challenging than Whitney, but then again it’s been 10 years since I’ve done Whitney so it could just feel more challenging to me! All in all it was very rewarding and a really great experience.

hiking
rocky
scramble
7 months ago

This is an extremely hard hike. For the first 8 miles it is a nice hike. After that is where the fun begins. I set up camp at long lake then hiked the peak and back to my camp site. The trail is pretty defined until the cairns start. Once they start there are a lot of trails going every which way. Try to take the trail that leads you to the next cairn. The sign at the top is broken and pretty close to not be able to read it. Overall I enjoyed it and the sunset at the top was awesome but not fun hiking back in the dark.

hiking
7 months ago

Great hike, I hiked on Tuesday October 15th. I started at the trailhead at 5:30am, it was about 23 degrees out and there was decent illumination from the moon when the trees weren’t too thick. I took the Cottonwood Lakes Trail to New Army Pass up to the top and then followed Old Army Pass back down. Beautiful views along the entire route. Maintained over 2 mph with 10 minute breaks every 2 miles. I reached the top around 12:30 and started back down around 1:20. That time could probably be shaved down, but I was alone and didn’t want to overdo things. I saw no else on the trail whatsoever throughout day. After plenty of stops for water, snacks, and photos....I reached the end of the trail at 5:45pm with 23 miles on the day. I would say approximately 1 mile was going off trail for stops/photos. There were two small areas that had snow/ice blocking the trail coming down New Army Pass. It was no major issue as there are already paths worked around the snow. I took a 40oz hydro flask with me and filled up in the streams along the route as needed. A flowing stream just past High Lake was the last water spot on New Army Pass, I recommend topping off here. I had trail mix, gummy bears and a couple emergency health bars for food. I suggest following the red highlighted routed to summit verse the black trail lines on the map unless bouldering/rock climbing is your thing. Follow the cairns to the top and you’ll be in good shape. The notebook has been replaced......but writing on the sign is getting worn down, a sharpie could be a quick fix. I’m a fairly experienced hiker/outdoorsman but by no means a pro. Challenging hike, know your limits and have a plan.

hiking
7 months ago

I did this as a dayhike. I followed Alltrails maps until the last section where the trail staff had put giant cairns. I took the Old Army Pass both ways which is much shorter and more beautiful than the alternative route. There was no snow on the trail.

backpacking
7 months ago

Amazing hike, camped at Long Lake. Following the huge cairns reminded me of LotR. I used ~3 L of water/workout mix from the last lake before New Army Pass. The bit of class 2 rock climbing was definitely challenging at the elevation, make sure to prepare for that. I've done more difficult climbing around San Gorgonio which I think helped a lot. Met some cool guys at camp and again while heading up, having them with me definitely made following a decent trail easier. Shout out to Sea Bass, Andy, and their sick friend.

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
7 months ago

One of my difícil trail. It’s a easy from, the beginning until the last lake, if you take the old army pass it is very hard going up because it’s a lot of rock and very incliné. You finish that part, and walk on a open esparce. Look easy, but went you start climbing the peak it’s very hard because people ,make they on Pat. But if you have all trail use the maps and direction , so you will not get confused. Be prepare for strong wind and cool

hiking
8 months ago

This Trail is amazingly beautiful. The first 5 or 6 miles are very flat, with a very slow incline. We hiked from the cottonwood trailhead to our camp at Long Lake in four hours, with multiple long stops, even a nap at one stop. There is a very nice big flat area to camp on the south side of long lake, ideal for groups, and with good easy access to the lake if you are fishing or swimming. That area was full on Sat evening, so we hopped over the stream on the west side of the lake and found a lot more secluded spots, with a few with a lot of tree cover that would shield you if there is a lot of wind (which we had). Sunday Morning we got up early and hiked up New Army Pass as the sun was coming up. We stopped at the last water source, High lake. The trail is beautiful and had a great view of the sun rising. The trail then goes down a few hundred feet where it meets old army pass. and then back up the long slog to the summit. About a mile from the summit the trail splits in front of a big rock wall. We went left on other hiker's recommendation for an easier scramble. Presumably going right would take you to a shorter, but steeper climb up the boulders. Then the long hike up the sandy west side. Its not terribly steep, but there is just a spider web of use trails with no clear path. So you just follow the cairns, but its not confusing... basically just go up. The summit was awesome and beautiful. As of 9-22-19, the register at the top is FULL. Someone should bring up a new notebook. On the way down, after talking to several others, we decided to do a loop and go down OLD army pass instead of going back the way we came. The pass is almost completely clear of snow as of right now, except for one very small section that is super easy to get around. Dont let the rangers dissuade you from going this way until it starts snowing again. this trail is gorgeous.... but so is New army pass... you cant really go wrong. We camped again at Long Lake that evenign and then hiked out Monday Morning. all in all we did 22.5 miles, which is slightly longer than necessary because we did the loop of up new army and down old army... but it was new scenery and very worth it.

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful. Old Army Pass doesn’t have snow yet so fairly easy to navigate.

hiking
8 months ago

9/15/19 I camped at Cottonwood Lakes walk-in campground the night before the hike. I did this as a dayhike. I started hiking at 5:15am with my headlamp and a nearly full moon. The trail starts out relatively flat for a few miles until you start ascending to the Cottonwood Lakes basin. The climb is about a 1000 feet gain. The lakes have a lot of fish in them; they were jumping at the surface nonstop. I took the Old Army Pass. The main difference is that the Old Army Pass ascends a steep rocky bowl surrounding a lake, whereas New Army Pass takes a longer but more gradual (and boring) route. There was a small patch of snow on the narrow trail of Old Army Pass, but there is a path around it. Unless there is a lot of snow on the trail, it is not dangerous. As can be seen in the elevation profile, this hike progressively gets steeper as you approach the summit. There are many ways to get to the summit. I recommend following the giant cairns made by the forest service. You will find that you will spend most of the time hiking on sand. If you take one of the alternate routes to the top, you may end up climbing nonstop over giant boulders. While that may sound fun, your sense of joy is greatly diminished above 12,500 feet elevation. The default AllTrails map is slightly inaccurate near the summit. You can see that there are two sets of black dotted lines leading to the summit, however neither matches up with GPS recordings. The more western route is the one that follows the cairns, and is the route I recommend. The more eastern route goes up a boulder field, which is very safe, never exceeding a Class 2 scramble, but is very slow and zaps your energy unnecessarily in my opinion. See my recording with an ascent up the boulder field and a descent following the cairns. Notice the shape of my recording is the same as the dotted lines, but they do not line up. There is a lot of water along the trail until you leave the Cottonwood lakes basin. You can probably get away with carrying 1 L of water if you have a filter. Be sure to fill up before you ascend one of the passes. It can get very windy and cold at the summit, so be prepared.

hiking
8 months ago

Wonderful! You'll feel the altitude! Great day hike! I think it's more miles than that, but maybe I'm wrong

hiking
9 months ago

Beautiful trail with great views. Can be done in one day but you must be in good shape and ready for the high altitude. Recommend stopping by Lone Pine Visitors Center to get current trail and weather conditions before heading out..

hiking
9 months ago

Loved this hike

hiking
no shade
scramble
9 months ago

8-15-19. Just completed a three day, two night stay at Long Lake, with a summit of Langley on the middle day. Outrageously beautiful. Traveling solo, I decided to stick with the New Army Pass route because every review said it was the safer option and because it’s a maintained trail. Good enough for me and I made this decision on my walk in. My total mileage was estimated to be around 23 miles roundtrip. 6.5 miles from Cottonwood Lakes Trailhead to Long Lake. From Long Lake to Langley was around 10 miles roundtrip. And then back down the remaining 6.5. Lots of people have this question about “Is there snow on Old Army Pass?” — And unless we’re in a super light snow year, expect Old Army to be snow bound late into the season due to the angle of the ridge and the direction of the sunsets. So I’m not saying “don’t take it” - I’m saying unless you’re absolutely ready to traverse a 1000 foot snowbound cliff, just save yourself the trouble of wracking your brain of which way to take and take New Army. I decided to make camp at Long Lake and that seems like the preferred destination for overnighters attempting to summit Langley via New Army. There’s definitely a community atmosphere here but there also were secluded campsites if you cross the rushing creek that feeds Long Lake. I opted for secluded and the uninterrupted sound of the creek for the night. If you’ve come specifically because you’re a Landscape Photographer or somesort, you may want to camp at High Lake because it is admittedly much more scenic. You’ll see what I mean when you get there. Just breathtaking. The trip from Long Lake to High Lake the next morning was a good warmup for New Army Pass. At the top of New Army there was snow which necessitated a 10-12 foot rock scramble to avoid it. This is no big deal and the largest obstacle of the route. Follow the cairns. They are your friends. New Army Pass adds an additional couple miles round trip and some extra elevation gain because of a descent you have to take to get to Old Army Pass that you have to ascend back up on the return journey. It’s certainly not pleasant after you’ve bagged the peak, but consider it Whitney Mental Training if you’re using Langley as a stepping stone for Whitney. From the New Army Sign, take the trail a bit until you can spot Old Army Pass on your right. Just go cross country to Old Army Pass and meet the trail that continues on up to Langley. Don’t follow the trail all the way down the valley on your left because you’re just adding even more extra mileage. At this point, you’re at Old Army Pass and you’re headed up to that big rock in the sky. From here, it may take an hour if you’ve done this thing before or it may take you 4 if you’re just beginning big ascents. Do not slip up mentally, because you’re going to need all the mental energy and leg endurance to get you up this thing - but you’ll absolutely do it. I passed people as young as 11 and as old as their 50s. It’s all a matter of how much you want the view and the internal satisfaction at the top. The last mile is absolutely brutal for something that could be called “a walk.” It’s more like trying to “ski uphill” but again, doable. Follow the cairns to the top and proudly sign your name in the register.

hiking
9 months ago

I’ve never been to a mountain that has that much wonderful hidden places as Mount Langley does. On my way back, I took the old army trail which is spectacular! You will discover many lakes and green places, I felt I was in Switzerland and sometimes in Peru ! Seriously this hike is though but worth it !!! I’ll never forget it !

hiking
bugs
snow
9 months ago

We went up and down old army trail. This would be a great trail if it was maintained several rock slides across the trail. Had to walk across 4 or 5 snow fields not sure if these will melt before winter arrives again. Just be careful when crossing them a slip or fall could be fatal. If your staying at Cottonwood lakes make sure you bring bug spray. This climb did not have really any switchbacks so when you get to the top it's pretty straight up. Great Challenge incredible views

hiking
9 months ago

Summited via New Army Pass with a group of friends on 8/3. We were able to navigate around the snow field easily. Follow the cairns at the top. The last mile or do is tough, but worth it.

hiking
bugs
off trail
rocky
scramble
snow
9 months ago

Great hike. We went up Old Army, and enjoyed the snow field crossings near the bottom. Once we got 1/2 way up the ledge we did our best to walk around the snow, but there was one snow field very near the top that needed to be walked on. It was sturdy, but icy, and slipping down it could easily be fatal. After summitting Mount Langley we decided to come down New Army, but since we came up a different way we couldn't tell how to get onto the trail because of the snow, and wound up scrambling half way down before finding the trail. I recommend using New Army until you're sure all the upper snow is melted on Old Army. Old Army is a pretty good trail if you look for it. We saw people trying to scramble straight up the end of the valley instead of using the long switchback, which is foolish. It gets very steep, but the trail is good. The lakes are very beautiful, but there were a TON of mosquitoes there and most of the way back to Horseshoe Meadow. And mosquitoes in Horseshoe Meadow too, but less. They responded well to deet. With coming down New Army it made the hike 20 miles. I'd like to do this again someday as a 3-day, with 2 nights at the lakes and summit Langley the full day between.

hiking
9 months ago

Hiked to Mt. Langley via New Army Pass, not Old Army Pass. Both passes have snow at the top. The snow on both can be avoided, with a bit of off trailing. We chose to do New Army Pass; our detour kept us off the snow most of the way, except for about 15 feet or so. We turned at the cairn and followed them up alongside one of the snow chutes. The class 1 rock scramble at 13,000 feet was a bit of a shock, but fortunately it wasn't very long.

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