Whitney Portal Travel Guide

  • Whitney Portal
    by goingsolo
  • Mt. Muir, the Pinnacles, Mt. Whitney
    Mt. Muir, the Pinnacles, Mt. Whitney
    by Hopkid
  • Whitney is to the right of the Pinnacles
    Whitney is to the right of the Pinnacles
    by Hopkid

Whitney Portal Things to Do

  • Mt whitney - Lone Pine lake

    Lone Pine Lake is the first notable landmark at 2.5 miles. It is nestled in between the high peaks. One thing nice about this lake is that no permit required to hike this far. You can go about 2.8 miles from the base of Whitney Portal until you must have a permit.This lake is located 9974 ft above sea level. It has amazing scenery and was loaded...

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  • Whitney Trail - The Summit!

    You've made it to the summit! Elevation 14,491 feet and the highest point in the continental United States! Celebrate by having your photo taken with the magnificent view and also by signing the book at the weather station. You have to lift the heavy cover to the metal table that houses the box outside of the building. Take your time to take in the...

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  • Whitney Trail - Trail Crest

    After surviving the 99 or so switchbacks, you reach a ridge known as Trail Crest. This ridge divides the wilderness between the Inyo National Forest (from which you just came) and Sequoia National Park (on the other side of the ridge and where the rest of the trail is located). The view into Sequoia is breathtaking. Elevation here is 13,600 feet....

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  • Mount Whitney area dayhikes

    For those who do not wish to go "all the way" to the Whitney summit, and for those who want to spend some time at altitude the day before going "all the way", there are a couple of shorter dayhike options. North fork Lone Pine Creek is not exactly scenic and crossing is not exactly fun, as you can see from photo one, but this one mile jaunt will...

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  • Whitney Trail - Trailside Meadow

    After another mile of climbing switchbacks and rocky trails, you'll come on a part of the trail that runs alongside Lone Pine Creek and has a large quantity of meadow grasses and alpine flowers (if in bloom). With the peaks above and the rushing water of the creek, this is a very serene and scenic part of the hike. We're 5.3 miles into the trail at...

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  • Whitney Trail - Mirror Lake

    Just a half-mile after leaving Outpost Camp, you will come across this very still and picturesque lake. Because of the stillness of the water, the reflection of the surronding mountains is like a mirror, hence the name. The trail here is wooded and is usually nice and cool.

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  • Whitney Trail - Outpost Camp

    Not long after Bighorn Park you will come upon the first of two campgrounds along the trail, Outpost Camp. There are solar toilets here (out of service during our visit in August 2006) and an abundance of campsites. There is also a picturesque waterfall that is part of Lone Pine Creek. Nothing like camping with the sound of a rushing brook, creek,...

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  • Whitney Trail - Bighorn Park

    After grinding away for 3.5 miles the rocks and trees open up upon a big meadow. This is Bighorn Park. The elevation here is 10,300 feet so you've climbed just over 2,000 feet to this point. The meadow is especially beautiful if you happen upon it just as the first rays of sunrise hit the peaks beyond. Outpost Camp is just up the road a bit from...

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  • Whitney Trail - Trail Camp

    This is the last place to camp and is a common spot for backpackers to set up camp and spend a relaxing night before going to the summit the next day. Located 6.3 miles from the trailhead and at an elevation of 12,000 feet, it's a good place to rest and get acclimated to the higher altitude. There are a couple of small lakes here which are a good...

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  • Whitney Trail - Switchbacks

    After leaving Trail Camp (don't forget to fill your water bottles/hydration packs) there is a series of 97 or 99 or 100 switchbacks (it depends on how you count them) that take you up to Trail Crest. The change in elevation in this stretch is from 12,000 feet at Trail Camp to 13,600 at Trail Crest at the top of the switchbacks. This is over a...

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  • Hike to the Summit of Mt. Whitney

    Mt. Whitney, at 14,491 feet, is the highest point in the lower-48 states (all states excluding Hawaii and Alaska). It is also very accessible without any technical climbing necessary via the main Mt. Whitney Trail (10.7 miles and over 6,000 feet of elevation). Because of these facts it is a very popular trail. To limit the damage to the wilderness,...

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  • Night in the Sierra Foothils

    The nearest "big town" to Mt. Whitney is Lone Pine, Ca. and we actually camped out on public land in between the Alabama Hills and Whitney Portal. This region is just at the base of the Eastern Sierra Nevada range and offered us a spectacular view of Mt.Whitney, Thor Peak, Lone Pine Peak, and Mt. Langley. When the sun sets over the Sierra you will...

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Whitney Portal Restaurants

  • Whitney Portal Store

    The Whitney Portal Store has a kitchen and grill. It is also said to have great burgers. That may be due to the fact that most of its customers have just finished hiking Mount Whitney. The store also has hiking supplies for those who need something last minute.I'd wanted to stop here and sample the burgers. But, after finishing the hike, my stomach...

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  • Last Chance for a Cooked Meal

    There is a grill at the Whitney Portal Store at which you can get breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Hours vary depending on the time of the year. Current posted hours are as follows:May: 9am-6pmJune: 8am-8pmJuly: 7am-9pmAug: 7am-9pmSep: 8am-8pmOct: 9am-6pmIf you're camping at the Portal campground you can grab a bite here instead of cooking your own. I...

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  • Whitney Portal Hotels

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Whitney Portal Warnings and Dangers

  • Hopkid's Profile Photo

    by Hopkid Written Aug 15, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Climbing to 14,491 feet can be hazardous if your body does not rapidly respond to being in an environment with less oxygen than at lower elevations. Symptoms can range from severe headache, loss of appetite, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, and shortness of breath. Well, you'll likely feel the last two symptoms whether you actually have altitude sickness or not. So be mindful of the first few symptoms. It is very hazardous, not to mention difficult, to continue climbing when you've started feeling the effects of altitude sickness. It's best at that point to call it a day and head back down. More details about altitude sickness and how to attempt to counteract it can be found at http://userwww.sfsu.edu/~stevec/altitude.htm.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park
    • Backpacking

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Whitney Portal What to Pack

  • Hopkid's Profile Photo
    Taking a break at Trail Camp

    by Hopkid Written Aug 14, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: Hydration pack (2 liter minimum)

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Comfortable moisture wicking shirt, lightweight fleece, lightweight rain shell (rain paints optional), convertible pants, hightop lightweight hiking shoes, good hiking socks, hat, bandana

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Moleskin, TP/tissue, zip lock bags, small first aid kit, sunscreen

    Photo Equipment: Camera (whatever you're comfortable with...I brought my 10,000-pound Nikon D70. Well it sometimes seemed that heavy)

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Hiking poles, gloves optional, small pocket knife, 2-way radios

    Miscellaneous: Headlamp, food (sandwiches, fruit, energy bars, energy gels), water filtration pump and/or iodine tablets to purify water, duct tape, extra batteries for radios, headlamp, and camera.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Backpacking
    • Hiking and Walking

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Whitney Portal Off The Beaten Path

  • Mount Russell

    bMount Russell is a separate trip which uses detours from the Mount Whitney trail at Upper Boyscout Lake, approximately 3 miles from Whitney Portal. It is one mile north of Mount Whitney and more technical. The summit is a knife ridge which would scare even the more adventurous.

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  • Mount Muir

    If Mount Whitney is not enough of a challenge for you, there is the possibility of a toofer by scrambling up to the summit of neighboring peak Mount Muir. The slightly shorter summit is more exposed and technical and requires scrambling- hand over foot climbing over rocks. Its not recommended for the novice or the faint of heart. It is also not...

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Whitney Portal Favorites

  • Permits required

    A permit is required for hiking the Mount Whitney trail and for any hikes in the Mount Whitney Zone, which includes the Mountaineers Route. Between May and November, there is a quota of 100 hikers per day. There are an unlimited number of permits available for the winter months. The Mount Whitney permit lottery begins in February and it is all...

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  • Whitney Portal Reconnaissance

    It's a good idea to visit Whitney Portal during the day and get to know the layout before attempting the hike. If you're camping at the Portal you'll have plenty of time to do this. If you're staying down in Lone Pine or elsewhere, I'd recommend driving up and get to know the lay of the land. It will likely be dark when you arrive to start the hike...

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  • You need a permit

    Because of it popularity among hikers and backpackers, the National Forest Service limits the number of hikers/backpackers via a permit system in order to limit the damage inflicted on the mountain and environment. Daily limits are 100 day hikers and 60 overnight campers. Permits are issued via a lottery held in February. Any remaining spots after...

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