Mount Whitney Portal to Lone Pine Lake

HARD 108 reviews
#8 of 49 trails in

Mount Whitney Portal to Lone Pine Lake is a 5.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Whitney Portal, California that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. Horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
5.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,784 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no dogs

No permits required for hikers going no further than Lone Pine Lake. Day hikers going beyond require a day-use permit, obtained from the Mount Whitney Ranger Station in Lone Pine. Overnight hikers require a wilderness permit. Hikers bound for the top of Mount Whitney are controlled by a strict quota system and need to reserve a space far in advance. Fantastic views of Mount Whitney!

backpacking
15 days ago

Great spot to camp if splitting a Mount Whitney hike into more than a day. Beautiful lake and not as crowded as Trail Camp (but not as close to the MW summit of course.) Flat ground is a bit of a commodity close to the lake but we got there first and got a great flat spot with enough space for two tents.

hiking
1 month ago

If you're attempting a Whitney summit, this would be a good way to get up to 10k ft a day or two prior. Very scenic and not technical at all. It's also a good way to check out the first few miles of Mount Whitney Trail since you'll probably be night hiking this for your attempt if its summer time. Lone Pine Lake at the top is very picturesque.

If you're not a avid and fit hiker and/or are not accustomed to hiking to 10000ft, you may find this hike difficult just due to grade and elevation. That said, this trail would be a nice way to get your feet wet. I'd say give it a shot. If you don't feel right for whatever reason, just turn back.

2 months ago

Great 5 mile hike from Whitney Portal. Lake is very serene and peaceful. Nice hike to do day before summiting Whitney Some campers there. Don’t need permit to hike there but you do just past the Lone Pine Lake Trail.

hiking
2 months ago

I pass by Lone Pine Lake on my way to Mount Whitney Day Hike,beatiful and enchanted place. start at 12 midnigth Full moon.

hiking
2 months ago

Spectacular hike up to a 10K elevation lake. Had a wonderful swim after a long climb up to the lake. Water was a still bit chilly towards the last week in June, but definitely not too cold to enjoy close to shore. Closer to freezing temperature as I got to deeper water. Got an instant headache the first time I went under. Stay close to shore and you will be fine. Relaxing, beautiful hike back down to Mount Whitney Portal.

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Great 1/2 day hike.

hiking
4 months ago

The views up to the lake are amazing. The hike up is fairly strenuous but you can take your time. The lake is beautiful and full of trout. Great day hike, have lunch at the lake and soak it in!

hiking
4 months ago

Wonderful trail and beautiful lake.

4 months ago

Difficult

6 months ago

Favorite trail to date! Was well cleared and easy to follow, a lot of switchbacks along a steady incline but very doable. Go on a clear day and the views are unrivaled!

hiking
8 months ago

Excellent hike. Amazing views of the Sierra and Owens valley. Not an easy hike but well worth it. Not much snow at 10,000 for January. Lake was frozen solid. Ice appeared to be a couple feet thick.

hiking
8 months ago

This is not for the weak!! I got slight elevation sickness (headache and mild nausea). Not recommended if you have asthma or any condition. Overall STUNNING views. Amazing. The trail is extremely well maintained!

hiking
9 months ago

What an amazing experience. We loved every step and it awesome to reach out the beautiful lake.

9 months ago

A quick hike on a steep, but extremely well maintained trail. Hiked this over Thanksgiving with snow on the higher portions of the trail. Still didn’t need micro spikes though. I recommend walking to the far side of the lake to get a full view of Thor and Whitney. Benefit of going during the winter is the frozen lake provides great access to the other side *Attempt at your own risk*.

hiking
9 months ago

The hike is all uphill with plenty of switchbacks . It definitely takes time to complete but the view and lake are beautiful ! Snow was more common the higher in elevation we went . By the lake in certain areas it was almost knee deep . Slippery ice as well!

10 months ago

i hiked on November 21st and there were quite snow after second creek and i was happy that i had spike to make the hike easier.. in afternoon, there’s not much sunlight so you might want to hit it before midday. i didn’t find this hike “hard”. technical and trail is well tracked. just steady incline. i hike a lot, and took me 2.5hrs for return including short break.

hiking
10 months ago

Great views the entire way.
For someone who lives at sea level and doesn't do a ton of hiking, I found the elevation gain challenging.

hiking
10 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

I loved everything about this hike. It was a nice steep climb to a gorgeous lake. The views on the way were spectacular and you get to hear the sounds of the falls as you make the climb. Every switchback offers a beautiful view. This was a perfect way to end the weekend after we had completed Big Pine Lakes the day before. Try to get to the lake when the sun is up high, you'll have great reflections off of the lake.

hiking
11 months ago

Beautiful hike to the lake. Lots of small streams, at least in October. Make sure you allow enough time, or it will be a dark hike back. Headlamps or flashlights are a must.

hiking
Wednesday, August 09, 2017

A high altitude body of water that sits on a shelf above Whitney Portal. Its waters, mirror-like in appearance, stretchs out to the horizon like a natural infinity pool—reflecting the surrounding evergreens, massive boulders, and towering cliffs with perfect symmetry. At an elevation of 10,050 feet.

hiking
Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Awesome hike, the scenery is amazing!

Friday, August 04, 2017

Awesome terrain. Great views throughout. Challenging water crossings including a log walk across the marsh.
A must do !!
PS the lake at the end is a wonderful natural infinity pool overlooking the mountains.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Awesome terrain. Great views throughout. Challenging water crossings including a log walk across the marsh.
A must do !!

hiking
Monday, May 29, 2017

Slushy snow , slippery at about 3/4 miles to the lake. 2 rivers running strong so be prepared to get wet, the log bridge is in the water about half way - so again be prepared to get feet wet. At the lake - snow and ice too. Trekking poles would have probably made it easier and safer. Some people had crampons to make Handling the slush better. Other than that it's a fairly easy hike - but we're OK with going slow and stopping when needed. Especially with 2 dogs - we made room for other hikers and other dogs on the hike. Enjoyable hike, at the lake it's partly frozen so we were careful not to let the dogs too close to the frozen lake.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

snow and ice today. gorgeous place and worth the trek. trekking poles came in handy

hiking
Wednesday, May 03, 2017

The hike to Lone Pine Lake is about as far as you can hike out of Whitney Portal without a permit for the Whitney Zone. The hike is mostly sunbathed and hot. It climbs relentlessly in the heat. However, the endpoint of Lone Pine Lake is absolutely beautiful. The lake is relatively small and the granite faces above it are towering.

hiking
Tuesday, May 02, 2017

This is the bottom portion of the Whitney Portal Trail and as far as you can hike without a permit. Although forested, this section is mostly exposed to the sun and a good trail. The views of the Inyo Mountains, Owens Valley and the Alabama Hills open up as you gradually switchback up the trail. The only water crossing is just before you come to the John Muir Wilderness sign and the barely noticeable junction for the Mountaineering Route. At about 2.5 miles is the junction to Lone Pine Lake, a place to fish for golden trout, and some folks camp here if taking two days to Trail Camp - said to be better than Outpost Camp. We hiked on a beautiful day and was around 80 degrees at the bottom, but the lake was nice and breezy with some snow patches. Beautiful views. Take water and sunscreen. My goal is to do the rest of this hike to the top some day.

hiking
Saturday, April 15, 2017

Still a lot of snow near the top at this time of year, but this is absolutely beautiful. Favorite hike I've ever done

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