Mt. Whitney, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

4.7
#10 of 13 in Trails in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
Mount Whitney is the highest summit in the contiguous United States and the Sierra Nevada, with an elevation of 4421m. It is on the boundary between California's Inyo and Tulare counties, west-northwest of the lowest point in North America at Badwater Basin in Death Valley National Park at 282ft below sea level. The west slope of the mountain is in Sequoia National Park and the summit is the southern terminus of the John Muir Trail which runs 211.9mi from Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley. The east slope is in the Inyo National Forest in Inyo County.GeographyThe summit of Mount Whitney is on the Sierra Crest and the Great Basin Divide. It lies near many of the highest peaks of the Sierra Nevada. The peak rises dramatically above the Owens Valley, sitting or just over two miles above the town of Lone Pine 15 miles to the east, in the Owens Valley. It rises more gradually on the west side, lying only about above the John Muir Trail at Guitar Lake.
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Mt. Whitney Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
44 reviews
Google
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TripAdvisor
  • Highest peak in the lower 48 states. Can't snag a permit to hike it then drive up to Whitney Portal. Have a look around or hike part way up. Be sure to eat at the Portal store you will be surprised!  more »
  • Running Mt. Whitney has been on my bucket list for over two years. Towering at 14,508 ft (4,420 meters), Mt. Whitney is the highest summit in the contiguous United States. This must be on your bucket ...  more »
  • We were in Lone Pine (Eastern Sierra Side) of the Mountains. One can drive up to Whitney Portal to do the hike to top of Mt. Whitney, the tallest mountain in the continental United States (Alaska has ...  more »
Google
  • The most amazing experience in my life. The mountaineer's route is incredible. Everyone should climb Mount Whitney once. The geology of the Sierra Nevada, and the Basin and Range are in full view.
  • Mount Whitney twice 2000 and 2001 first time all in 20 hours - second time the usual 3 days - second summit date was "9/11" - all fantastic memorable experiences except for what was otherwise happening on 9/11.
  • Mt. Whitney has the highest summit in the United States at just over 14,500 feet. Best place to view it from afar is on route 395 just south of Lone Pine. Viewing it from a distance however doesn't do it justice. Many people have passed it on the way to Mammoth and not even realized what they were driving by.
  • I have had the pleasure of camping on two separate occasions so far on the way up to the summit of this great mountain. The Mt. Whitney Trail is a great well-established trail that makes a meandering way up many switchbacks to the summit. This was a successful trip, and it is well worth it to take the time to stay at the camp just below the last large collection of switchbacks to the trail crest. Take some time to linger a bit, not only to acclimatize to the altitude and prevent a possibly headache or other ailments of mild altitude sickness, but also to take it all in. The night sky watching here is quite excellent, with only Lone Pine giving off a bit of light pollution to the east, though no light pollution from every other direction. I have also done most all of the Mountaineer's Route (not shown on Google Maps), which requires a permit that is a good deal more limited, and happens to be a legendary route trail blazed by the great John Muir. I got lucky enough to have the opportunity to scramble through a primitive trail and some hardy shrub cover before reaching the foot of the majestic Mt. Whitney east face. Unfortunately, I didn't have time in the schedule to make the quick climb to the north and up the snow chute to the summit that day. Curses. The other people on the road trip expected me back promptly. I will try again, though. Either I will deal with the Mountaineer's Route again and bring something to help push the shrub plants out of the way a bit, or do the less-shrubby main route in order to descend the snow chute and climb back up to the summit to complete the legendary route. All in all, the highest elevation mountain in the contiguous 48 states is surprisingly accessible, and straddles the Inyo National Forest and Sequoia National Park borders. One can also access the mountain from the huge Sequoia and King's Canyon Nat. Park backcountry. If you have hiking and backcountry camping experience, this is an epic place for a mountaineer's experience.
  • This was my 1st and most epic overnight hiking trips. As the only other hiking that I had done to this point was a couple of practice hikes to get ready. Absolutely gorgeous and also the highest peak in the continuous United States. Definitely a must do trip
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