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“Best Hiking Accomplishment to Date...” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mount Whitney

Mount Whitney
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, CA
760-876-6200
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Type: Mountains, Trails
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Attraction Details
Owner description: The most climbed peak in the Sierra Nevada, and the highest.
Atlanta, Georgia
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Best Hiking Accomplishment to Date...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2013

50% of the people who try to summit Whitney will not make it. Among the challenges you need to overcome: the highly restrictive permit application process, physically demanding conditions, extreme weather, dehydration, and if you can overcome all of those things, you never know if acute mountain sickness (altitude sickness) might set in. I am very thankful to have summited last October. We arrived in Lone Pine on a Tuesday night, camped out at the portal the first night (8000'). Be sure to say hello to Doug if you stop at the Portal store, he's one of the good guys. We let the portal at 10 am and ascended to Trail Camp by Wednesday night at 4pm (12,000'). We summited on Thursday (14,505') by leaving at 4:45 am and made the trek all the way down by 7:30 pm. We took Diamox to help with AMS and stayed well-hydrated and loaded with caffeine and ibuprofen. My most difficult time on the mountain came at 10,000 ft, but after making it past that point, I was issue free with the exception of a persistent dull headache while 11,000 ft.

I would HIGHLY recommend planning this trip well in advance, especially if you will be flying to this location. I started planning more than a year in advance. The permits are hard to obtain, and I would hold out for an overnight pass rather than a 24 hour one. Rent a bear canister from the Eastern Sierra Interagency Visitors Center for $5 as they are required gear in the Whitney Zone. I would try to eat as much as possible while climbing in lower altitudes as I have heard AMS makes you lose your appetite, and you'll need the energy. Water sources beyond Trail Camp are scarce to non-existent. Plan on taking 3 liters of water per person to get you up the 97 switchbacks and the final 5 miles to the summit. We got hit with a blizzard near Trail Crest (13,600') but weren't about to turn back. I would also start early from Trail Camp as unpredictable weather can pop up as noon approaches. This was a killer experience, truly extreme, highly rewarding, a great team effort, and provided unrivaled views of the Sierras and beyond. As they say: The summit is optional, the parking lot is mandatory. Be safe and take your time.

Visited October 2012
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27 reviews from our community

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English first
Bishop, CA
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“A beautiful trail, challenging hike to the top!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

Beautiful, varied scenery on a nice trail, a bit scary on the ridges, but breathtaking to see over the crest. Of course, the bad news is you have to join lots of others along the way.

Visited October 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ridgecrest, California
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
60 attraction reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
“Mt. Whitney”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

At 14,496 ft, the highest point in continental US; 10.6 mile trail gains 6000 ft. to get you to the top. All sorts of permits required. Must be in good condition to survive the high altitude, but it's worth the view from the top!

Visited August 2012
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Kernville, CA
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“High and mighty”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

This is a gorgeous peak. One can climb it the hard way (East face) or take the longer trail - allow at least two days and get reservations way in advance. Even if one just goes to the base at Whitney Portal, the spectacular eastern face, glorified by a creek and abundant conifers, is well worth the steep and winding drive. If open, get a Whitney Birger while you're there.

Visited September 2012
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Ridgecrest, California
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
“Don't miss this, the view is amazing!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

Had the grandparents here from Virginia and had to show them Lone Pine and Mt. Whitney. Of course you have to stop at 8500 feet, but the drive and the views along the way are breathtaking. Take a camera and make sure you go on a clear day. Be sure you stop at the lookouts along the way. You won't be sorry. Take a hike for a little while up the trail just to get a feel of what the hike might be like. But don't go far you will be fined and turned around, you have to have a permit to hike the whole trail.

Visited October 2012
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