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Mount Langley is a 23 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Lone Pine, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is best used from June until October.

Length 23.0 mi Elevation gain 4,688 ft Route type Loop

Backpacking

Camping

Hiking

Forest

Lake

River

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Bugs

Rocky

Scramble

Snow

Off trail

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (0)

Mount Langley is the ninth highest peak in California. It is also the southernmost 14er in the United States. It is only 5 miles from Mount Whitney and in the same range. Enjoy the beautiful views and difficult journey to the top.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (234)
Photos (1443)
Recordings (176)
Completed (498)
TJ Kodras
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 8, 2020
Hiking
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Jack Tesmer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 3, 2020
Hiking

Hiked new army in and old army out logging 22.15 miles taking the group 12 hours round trip. The views at the top and on the way of the lakes were spectacular and well worth the effort. The elevation was tough for both the two others in the group with one not making it up past 12,500 feet. Once you get to the cairns near the top its also mostly sand and tough to navigate so be prepared.

Sarah Gerweck
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 1, 2020
HikingGreat!No shadeRocky
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Sara Valenti
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 1, 2020
Hiking

Went up on Aug 2-3. Slept near Lake 2 as we did start the hike at 5 pm ( after a drive from the bay area). No issues on day one, undulating terrain, plenty of water. Second day we went up via NAP, left at 9 am and summited around 2 pm. Last 2 hours were a slog. Total misery hill. Bring water and poles. Brought up the pooch with us. He is a seasoned 'hiker' having done another tall mountain the weekend before and being trained as a mountain rescue dog. At about 1 hour to the top there is a small scramble of approx 15 feet. You can easily avoid that going around those rocks and taking a wider path. The rest of the trail was very easy altought we always carry a small rope with carabiners attached to secure him. Came does OAP. Albeit shorter, I would highly discourage the trail. It is very unsafe with visibile rock slides that can happen at any moment. This trail will surely be abandoned and closed. In some areas the trail is barely visible as several rocks are blocking the path. Total hike was more than 21.8 miles. Probably around 24.

Carole E.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 31, 2020
HikingGreat!
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H Montenegro
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 31, 2020
Hiking
View H's Recording
Renee Kalt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 30, 2020
HikingBugsNo shadeRockyScramble

This trail is amazing! (But also a slog to the top.). We summited Langley 7/30/20. We started the hike at 5am and took 13.5 hours to complete the hike, covering as much ground within the Cottonwood Creek Basin as possible. We basically took Old Army Pass up and New Army Pass back and cut across and between in the Basin. It was a total of 24 miles. The first 5 miles of the Cottonwood Lakes trail is an undulating, well defined forest trail with a couple water crossings and the elevation goes up and down between 10000-1100 elevation. Very pleasant. At about mile 5 you come out onto Cottonwood Lake #1 and that it when it really gets amazing. At that point you can continue on Cottonwood Lakes trail or take NAP. We took NAP for a hot minute and then cut across on the last trail up to OAP through a beautiful meadow which takes you alongside beautiful lake #4 and then between lakes 4/5 up to the Langley Summit approach. It is hard to see the OAP trail at you approach it along Lake #4. It is there along the wall of the bowl. We took the upper trail. It is steep with tons of boulders and scree. If you don’t like heights...maybe this is the trail for you. There are beautiful views down to the basin below. There was no snow on the trail at all. Once you pop out of the top of the Pass you meet up with the junction of OAP and NAP and the approach to Langley. You are also entering SEKI at this point. There are several trails at the junction so you need some navigational skills. It is pretty well marked, but pay attention. The first part of the approach to Langley Summit is well defined. It is exposed so bring your sunscreen. Then you reach the cairns and this is where is gets interesting. They go on forever. You will need to do some scrambling after cairn 3. I did not find it difficult, but there is no real route. After cairn 3 it is like hiking up a sand dune. No discernible route most of the time. Or maybe too many routes? It took us 1.5 hours to go up to the summit from the junction. It only took us 35 minutes to come down. The up is a slog. We took NAP back to see more trail. Smart choice as it was much easier on the knees than coming down OAP would have been. It is granite switchbacks. Much longer than OAP and reminds me of Whitney. NAP is also beautiful as it runs along High Lake and Long Lake. Much more traffic than OAP. Good backpacking spots. I got eaten alive my mosquitos along Long Lake at 4pm. We hopped off NAP and back onto Cottonwood Lakes Trail after Lake #1 on the way back. I used 4L of water. My hiking partner used 2.5L of water. We are 46 and 47 year old female hikers in good shape but not particularly speedy hikers who did Whitney on 7/20/20. Our average pace was about 36 minutes, but we stopped a lot for photos and snacks and spent some time at the top. Weather was very cooperative on our hike.

View Renee's Recording
David Eriksson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 30, 2020
Hiking

I went up and down in a little over 6 hours with a mix of fast hiking and running. I took old army up since it’s more direct and ran down old army on the way back. The trail is a little tricky to follow for the last mile, but it’s class 1 all the way. Beautiful views and very nice trails.

Peter Kehr
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 29, 2020
Hiking

Did this as a day hike. Beautiful but brutal. Definitely harder than Whitney. Started at 2 am and motored to the summit by 830. You gain some elevation steadily and consistently the whole way but the real challenge is the last 1.5 miles. You basically hike on gravel scree at a 30-45 degree angle. If you don’t have poles, you’ll wish you did. So hard. Follow the cairns to get to the top but there’s so many social trails you may sometimes need to make your best guess how to get from cairn to cairn. Awesome views. Incredible scenery. Ample water sources until you crest the passes so no need to carry 6L or anything crazy. Went up NAP and down OAP for the change of scenery. Beautiful and recommend!

Thinzar Htut
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 20, 2020
RockyScramble

Datevof hike 7/18. First 5 miles were great. The switchbacks are quite a work but if you get there before 7am, it may help alot ( getting to the switchbacks in the heat may not be pretty). There is a short decent after the switchbacks and the brutal incline to the peak begins. Actually the first mile of the incline is still manageable but once you start passing by the cairns, the brutal incline begins. The air gets thinner and with the altitude, it is extremely daunting. The ground is unsteady and loose gravely and rocks didnt help either. I clocked 24 miles round trip from Cottonwood campgrounds. You passed by many beautiful lakes which makes the hike very pleasant..

Camillia Brieno
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 19, 2020
Hiking

Hiked this on 7/19 via OAP. Started at 5:50 am, summited at 10am, and back down to the car by 1:45pm. The first few miles have shade and are a nice gradual ascent- good for trail running. I loved passing all the lakes and the beautiful scenery. There were only a few patches of snow after the last lake, and they were easy to pass/walk around. I wish we would’ve read the posts saying to go to the left, and follow the trail with the cairn instead of following AllTrails map, in the final section before the summit. It would’ve saved us some time and not needing to do the extra scrambling on the rocks. But overall I loved this hike because of the scenery and the ability to trail run parts of it. Round trip my strava said it was 20 miles taking Old Army pass up and down.

Carl Hoffmeier
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 17, 2020
Hiking

Great overall hike. It’s LONG. The approach is super easy and the lakes along the way are stunning. The real work doesn’t begin until about 7 miles in at the pass. We did New Army up and Old Army down. It’s class 1 all the way to the base of the main summit ridge where there are some unexpected easy class 3 moves and some long and hard class 2 scrambling up the loose sand up most of the final pitch. Don’t follow the All trails map towards the top. Apparently the route has changed. Follow the nicely marked Cairns along the way to the left instead. OAP vs NAP. I had heard that Old Army was closed so we went up New. What sucks about it is you have to give up about 500 ft of elevation to meet back up with the old pass, which is a bit demoralizing 9 miles in. We went down Old Army which apparently had some rock slides taking out sections of the trail. It was a little dicey but saved having to climb back up to New Army, and prob saved a couple miles on the return. Going up Old Army seems doable- we met some folks who did it. But it’s steep and could be challenging route finding. Overall amazing hike. More challenging than we expected. About 7.5 hrs up and 4.5 down. Experienced climbers, but we came from sea level the day before.

Comment from AllTrails

- 20 days ago

Thanks for the review, Carl! We have updated the route near the peak. Still see something wrong? Please write us at support@alltrails.com!

Brett Sanner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 17, 2020
HikingRockyScramble

Amazing trail! The first seven miles are an easy hike or run - featuring great pines, babbling brooks, and picturesque lakes. Then hit the switchbacks to ascend to the pass - not bad. The last two miles are a slog, but so worth it. The peak rewards you with a fantastic 360 degrees panoramic. I tackled this as a trail run... otherwise, I’d recommend an overnight at the Cottonwood Lakes.

Lisa O'Donnell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 17, 2020
Hiking

Mount Langley is awesome! I did this today (7/16/20) via the New Army trail using this Alltrails map. We only saw two other groups out there. It’s much less busy than Whitney but just as beautiful and no permit needed for day hikes. Plus there are great views of Mount Whitney from the top. The trail is pretty gradual until after the lakes when you climb switchbacks to the pass. Then you drop down again to the base of the final climb. The final climb is very steep and rocky/sandy. Make sure to follow the large rock cairns and not the other side trails people created. The trail was completely clear with no snow. I hiked it in shorts and a shirt...perfect weather! Saw tons of marmots, some deer and bighorn sheep. The only issue with this route is that when you come up over the pass and start to descend toward the base of the final climb this route has you take a shortcut trail to connect to the one that begins the climb to the summit..we completely missed this trail because it’s not marked and not really a trail. Overall an awesome trip. We started at 5am and were back by 3:30pm (spent an hour at the summit and stopped along the way to filter water and take pictures).

Shawn Ziegler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 11, 2020
HikingGreat!RockyScramble

Started the single day round trip hike at 6am. The total trail ended up at 24 miles and I took New Army Pass. The first 7 miles are nice and relaxing with little elevation change and beautiful scenery with the lakes. The fun begins at the first set of switch backs that give you your first taste of the elevation climb. After the first set of switch backs, you actually start descending again until you reach the base of Mount Langley. The approach to the base of the mountain is easy until you reach the first bolders that you have to navigate. There is small section that is a little tough, but once you get passed the first two - three boulders........look for the Cairns and follow them up. I made the mistake of going to the left after the first few boulders. This resulted in climbing boulders almost all the way to the top. Some of this bouldering was a little exposed. The summit was beautiful and I found the easy way down by following the Cairns. The trip down from the summit is really easy as the ground is mainly coarse sand. I pretty much ran down the entire way. The last 4-6 miles proved to be tough given the long exhausting day. All in, it was a beautiful day and I managed to finish the 24 mile hike in approximately 11 hours. Although I met someone that mentioned that they did the round trip hike in 5 hours.

Amer Haider
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 5, 2020
Hiking

Great hike. We got lucky with amazing weather. Cottonwood lakes are amazing. We loved the view from Lake 1 and stayed there. We left at 5:30am via OAP. The trail is decently marked. There was a detour near the top to avoid a snow patch. The last 50 feet has kicked in steps that I found scary. We were wearing snow traction on our boots and made it through. We dropped our back pack on the trail at 13000 ft to lighten our load. We returned using NAP primarily to checkout NAP and secondarily because the ranger discouraged us saying NAP is safer. I found NAP similar to OAP in terms of terrain and climbing required. However, OAP is lot shorter if you are camping at cottonwood and is nicer except for the 50ft of snow. In summary if OAP is clear and doesn’t have snow it is the way to go. If you are experienced navigating snow and have the gear then OAP is an option. The views from NAP are nice and you can just hike 400 ft from OAP to see them then go back down OAP :)

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Jack Anderson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 25, 2020
HikingBugsClosedFeeIcyMuddyNo shadeRockyScrambleSnow

Awesome trail we started 1/4 of a mile away from the actual trail head because the gate was close we camped muir lake the first day if you camp at Muir lake your likely going to have the lake all to yourself but there’s mosquitos. We camp at long lake the next day even more mosquitos and people. In the morning you should get a early rise to the summit in case of thunderstorms. Don’t go up or down old army pass because of a big snow field at the top of the pass!

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