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mt whitney photo
INYO National Forest
Every year thousands travel to Whitney Portal with their hearts set on attaining the summit of Mt. Whitney, the highest point in the 48 US contiguous States. With secret techniques to conquer, hikers, and climbers try to reach the peak. Up the Whitney trail and to the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek provides access to the mountaineering and climbing routes on Mt. Whitney, Mt. Russell, and Mt. Carillon.

Lower Boy Scout Lake 10,300 ft.
Upper Boy Scout Lake 11,350 ft.
Iceberg Lake 12,600 ft.
Mt. Carillon 13,552 ft.
Mt. Russell l4,086 ft.
Mt. Whitney 14,495 ft.
TRAIL DIFFICULTY - Strenuous. This route is not suitable for inexperienced hikers or climbers. It is infrequently maintained and difficult to follow.
SEASON - Temperatures may change in a moment's notice. Prepare for dramatic shifts.

Driving 13 miles west of Lone Pine on Whitney Portal Road gets you to the trailhead. Whitney Portal Road intersects Highway 395 at the traffic signal in downtown Lone Pine. The road is usually open from May to November. In winter, the last 6 miles of the road are not plowed.

mt whitney climber
Mountaineering can be an exhilarating sport, but it is not without risks. Most of these risks can be minimized by carefully planning the trip -- beginning to end. The climber should be well acquainted with the special techniques and equipment that enable one to safely move on rock, snow, and ice. Check the trail and weather conditions before departing on any hike or climb. The responsibility for accident prevention lies with each individual in a climbing party. Each season many climbers suffer injuries that could have been prevented if sound judgment and proper mountaineering techniques were used. The ultimate goal of every climb is a safe return.

Water is available along the route to Iceberg (East Face) Lake, Carry water from there to the summit as there is no dependable source of water. Giardia is a problem throughout the area. Boil all drinking water 3 minutes.

About 1/2 mile from the trailhead, leave the Mt. Whitney trail where it crosses the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek. Follow a path up the south side of the creek about 1/2 mile to the point where the canyon narrows. Cross to the north side where both canyon walls approach the creek and ascend about 100 feet to a bench, If care is taken, this crossing is not difficult to locate. Follow the bench a short distance downstream until it is possible to ascend and travel upstream via the "Ebersbacher Ledges" Continue on the north side of the creek to the outlet of Lower Boy Scout Lake. Cross to the south side of the creek and proceed up a talus slope. Where the creek forks, stay to the right to reach Upper Boy Scout Lake (access to Mt. Carillon and Mt. Russell ) . For access to routes on Mt. Whitney, cross the creek just below Upper Boy Scout Lake. Follow a path up through the talus, then turn west and hike about 1/2 mile. Turn north and ascend a steep rock slope (often wet or icy) to Iceberg Lake.

Campgrounds are available and a wilderness permit is required for all overnight and day hikes.
To protect water quality, camp at least 100 feet from any water source. Campfires are prohibited; portable gas stoves are recommended.
Wood fires are not allowed in Sequoia National Park above 11,200 ft.
To protect water quality, camp at least 100 feet from any water source.
A California State Fishing License is required for fishing. State fishing regulations apply in the John Muir Wilderness.
Discharging of firearms in the John Muir Wilderness is allowed only for taking of wildlife as allowed by state law.
Pets and firearms are not allowed in Sequoia National Park


Mt. Whitney Ranger District
P.O. Box 8
Lone Pine, CA 93545
760 876-6200
Leave No Trace.

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