Mt. Whitney is the highest peak in the lower 48 states. Soaring 14,497 feet into the sky, it is the
most climbed peak in the United States. This page provides information about permits, camping, bears and other tips
to make hiking Mt. Whitney more enjoyable.
click to enlarge photo
Location: Eastern, CA (165 miles from Las Vegas)
Entrance Fee: None
Time Zone: Pacific Time
Managed by: BLM
Best Season: Late summer
Visitor Center: None
Ranger Station: Lone Pine, CA
Closest Town: Lone Pine, CA
Campgrounds: See beloe
Permits: Yes, see below
Special Attractions: Highest peak in US (outside of Alaska)
You need a permit for both hikes to Mt. Whitney summit: the regular trail or the Mountaineers route, even if you
do the hikes in a day.
More information about permits and to apply: Mt. Whitney Permits
Additional questions: Call the ranger station: (760) 876-6200
Mt. Whitney Message Board - very active
Lone Pine: $17 per night, vault toilets and water. 40% walk in.
Location: 7 miles west of Lone Pine on Whitney Portal Road. 6 miles to the trailhead.
Elevation: 6,200 feet
Open: April through October
Whitney Portal: $19 per night, vault toilets and water.
Location: 13 miles west on Lone Pine on Whitney Portal Rd. Near the trailhead.
Elevation: 8,300 feet
Open: May 22, to Oct 02, 1999 and May 24, 2000 to Oct 13, 2000
Horseshoe Meadow: $12 per night, walk in only, vault toilets and water.
Location: 3 miles on Whitney Portal Road, left on Horse Meadows for 21 miles to the end of the road. It's about 31
miles to Mt. Whitney trailhead.
Elevation: 10,000 feet
Open: June through Sept.
All campgrounds provide metal containers for food storage. This is to protect your food from bears. To make camping
reservations online for Lone Pine or Whitney Portal campgrounds, click here or call 1-800-280-2267.
Bears and Marmots:
Bears can be a problem while hiking and camping around Mt. Whitney. The rule is to store all food in metal
storage lockers. They are provided at campsites and at the Mt. Whitney trailhead. Do not leave any food, food
wrappers, toothpaste, or anything a bear might eat in your car. If camping on the route, buy or rent a bear box.
There's a set-up for hanging food at Iceberg Lake. This is favorite spot to camp along the Mountaineers Route.
Marmots are little animals resembling fat squirrels. They can be a nuisance. Luckily they are not good
climbers. Do not feed them as this only encourages them to ransack your backpack when you set it down. Marmots are
at the summit.