Explore the most popular trails near Whitney Portal with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.



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Whitney Portal, California Map

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.

This hike is no joke. You WILL get lost once or twice when starting that early in the morning. We got turned around in a circle near a waterfall and then again when trying to reach upper boyscout lake.

On top of that it is very likely you will get stuck at an impassable section and will need to find another route along the right or left.

When going up the notch at the end we opted to stay next to the left wall since that appeared to be the easiest.

We were pretty burnt out once we reached iceberg lake and the last section took us probably 3 hours. The back side of the summit was pretty rough too and we almost needed to get some ropes out to complete it!

After we were finished up top it was amazing. Two of the three in our hiking party did get some altitude sickess so we had to take the normal trail back down and took a long break at the camp below 97 switchbacks.

Absolutely beautiful!

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.

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.

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

What a climb! Went up the Mountaineer’s route (6/27/18) and returned on the main trail in the same day. Snow in the couloir was varied—The first section was still filled, but became more broken and often completely devoid of snow the closer we became to the notch. The traverse section (if the notch is avoided) was still covered in snow. While this super amateur mountaineer played it cautious, one may be able to make it up the final section of the route past Iceberg Lake without the need for crampons and an ice ax if staying to the far left in the couloir. Great experience!

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.

Great 1/2 day hike.

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!

Did this last Sunday with great snow conditions above iceberg lake. The route provides a great mixture of scrambling, route finding, and technical sections. The 400 ft above the notch was turned into an exposed class 4 because of the fresh snow from the night before and icy rocks. I took the traverse on my way down to the notch. Awesome route!

Wonderful trail and beautiful lake.

Many times, in winter only, solo most times, once with friends

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!

I've hiked this route about 3-4 times and love it! My favorite spot to camp is at the biggest Cottonwood lake. Beautiful! Fairly easy getting into the Cottonwood Lakes basin. The trail is nice and very easy to follow. From the lakes to the top of Langley can be a challenge. Definitely prefer Old Army pass as is detailed on this map as the trail tops out in the bottom of the pass. But I've had to go around by Long lake a couple of times due to snow conditions on Old Army pass. Going that way means you have to go up and over and down from a ridge, which means on your way back down from the peak, you have a substantial uphill once again. But when the Old Army pass trail is snowed over, it's better than nothing. The last bit to the top of Langley is a scramble through the scree and route finding through the boulders. Coming down the scree field is fun, though. Some of my best backpacking memories are from this trail.

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.

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!

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

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*.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

Completed mountaineers ascent yesterday.
Route has nice mix of hiking and scrambling. Scrambling in the couloire was fun but quite challenging due to recent snowfall. We did not have equipment to use the snow chute so we stayed to the left and eventually made it up.We were fortunate to be the only group on the couloire at the time we ascended, otherwise we surely would have experienced falling scree from hikers ahead of us. Helmets and poles are obligatory. We took the notch to the summit, which had some icy patches but enough grips and footholds to allow us to reach the summit safely. Overall we were fortunate no one in our group of 5 was injured. Took the main route down, which was very long and less interesting than the way up.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Much more enjoyable way to summit Whitney. It involves some simple route finding, since you need to start super early in the morning (if doing it as a day hike) and there's no single maintained trail to get there, but they all generally lead to the same place. If you're doing the mountaineer's route I'm sure you'll be gathering beta from much more informative sources so I won't go into that here. I'll just talk about the trail condition. There was still enough snow in the chute to take it almost all the way to the notch. We opted for the class 2 traverse once at the notch and it was OK. Had to avoid some ice, which made for some careful scrambling, but once past it was pretty easy getting up to the plateau. We took the main trail down - instead of returning the way we came - which is always a mind-numbing grind.


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