The highest peak in the lower 48
Mt. Whitney, is located just west of Lone Pine, about a one hour drive south of Bishop. Rising to 14,496 feet above sea level, Mt. Whitney towers 10,000′ over the 4,000′ Owens Valley floor. The Mt. Whitney Trail, one of the world’s most popular trails, sees thousands of visitors annually climb the strenuous 10.5 mile trail to the summit.
How to get there
From Bishop, Follow Highway 395 south for approximately 60 miles until you get to the town of Lone Pine. At the only traffic signal, go West on Mt. Whitney Portal road for about 13 miles. At the Whitney portal you will find a refreshingly cool fishing pond, one of the best waterfalls in California, a convenience store with mouthwatering burgers, campgrounds and of course, the trailhead to Mt. Whitney.
2 Days. 2 Nights. 20 Iconic Images.
Blog by Gigi deJong
The Eastern Sierra is one of the most photographed regions in California. It’s a land of contrasts and opportunity. There are obvious and well-known scenes and settings, and there are hidden gems. If a photograph is worth a thousand words, here’s a challenge to create a visual story worth 20,000 words.
It’s a whirlwind auto tour to witness and document our beautiful big backyard. From the highest point on the continental USA, to the oldest living things on earth, to remarkable reminders of lives lived in a bygone era, to the power and grace of our natural world – make brief moments last forever with iconic images of this diverse landscape and the stories they tell.
This is a two-day, two-night suggested itinerary for adventurous souls to follow a recommended route to unlock the magic of the Eastern Sierra in summertime.
Permits are required for ascending the trail and are available on line or at the Mt. Whitney Ranger Station in Lone Pine. The Forest Service has more information about Mt. Whitney permits.
Other area campgrounds include Lone Pine Campground, Tuttle Creek Campground or camping in the Alabama Hills Recreation Area, just about half way between Lone Pine and the Whitney Portal.
Lone Pine: Whitney Portal Store; things to do
Blog by Carole Terwilliger Meyers
Getting here is a 13-mile climb (in this case, by car) up into the scenic mountains to 8,360 feet altitude. Most of the people who come here are climbing Mt. Whitney–at 14,505 feet it is America’s tallest peak–or backpacking along the John Muir Trail. In addition to stocking important backpacking and camping items, this store is an oasis known for its surprisingly good, and huge, 16-inch pancake breakfast and for its burger and fries. But I discovered that the BLT is also primo. After ordering in the store at a take-out window with a chalk-board menu, settle in with your grub at one of the many tables out front or in the back under giant trees. A branch of the store with hostel lodging is located in town at 238 South Main Street.