Type: Snow, Alpine, Grade II
FA: Charles D. Begole, Albert H. Johnson, John Lucas - Aug 18, 1873
Page Views: 1,641 total · 77/month
Shared By: Alex Temus on Apr 17, 2017 with updates from kenr
Admins: Chris Owen, Lurker, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Certain Peaks: Access limited from May to October every year Details


This is the easiest and most popular route to climb Mt. Whitney. The trail is 10.7 miles (17.1km) long, and gains over 6100 feet vertically (1860m) one-way from Whitney Portal.

Ice axes and crampons should be brought if attempting the route in spring and early summer, but technical climbing equipment is not necessary between mid-July and early October. The elevation at the trailhead is 8360' (2550 meters). The elevation at the summit is 14,494' (4418 meters).

There are a few other hikes that lead to the summit of Mt. Whitney which all require crampons and general mountaineering equipment except in late summer. Other, more technical climbing & mountaineering routes are covered on this site.


The trailhead at Whitney Portal is 13 miles (21 km) west of the town of Lone Pine on the east side of the Sierras.


Ice axe & crampons (seasonal)


Chris Owen
Big Bear Lake
Chris Owen   Big Bear Lake  

May 24, 2017

Due to the heavy snowpack; alpine conditions currently exist on this trail - possession of an ice-axe, and familiarity with its use should be seriously considered. Crampons/spikes may also be necessary if you'll be out before dawn or after sunset. May 24, 2017
Will P.
Will P.  
A heartbreaking scene. Trash & used wag bags (bags of human feces) litter the trail & surrounding area, particularly around trail camp.

Avoid if possible. The Mountaineer's route is still mostly pristine, as is every other 14'er in the Sierra. Jul 30, 2017
Wag bags everywhere! Trail Camp until Summit is cluttered with bags of people's poo? I'll pick up an empty water bottle but who tf is picking up your Sh!*?? Come on people. Park Rangers should put a barcode on the bags and start fining people. Somehow this problem must be addressed. Jun 16, 2018