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Mt Whitney from Horseshoe Meadow
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Horseshoe Meadow to Rock Creek
Whitney Portal to Lower Boy Scout Lake
The Whitney Trail in Winter
Bearpaw Meadow and Surrounding Area
South Lake - Evolution Valley - North Lake Loop
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Horseshoe Meadow
To Cottonwood Lakes
Cottonwood Lakes
Long Lake, New Army Pass and Soldier Lake
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Mount Whitney
To Trail Crest
Lower and Upper Boy Scout Lakes
Whitney Portal
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Inyo National Forest
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Suggested Books
Mount Whitney: Mountain Lore from the Whitney Store
Mt. Whitney: The Peak and Surrounding Highlands
Mount Whitney: The Complete Trailhead-To-Summit
Campgrounds
Nearby Campgrounds
Whitney Portal 10 miles
Lone Pine 10 miles
Grays Meadows 24 miles
Onion Valley 24 miles
Oak Creek 28 miles

Trail Journals

Mt Whitney from Horseshoe Meadow


Pages:   Introduction   1   2   3   4
 
Lower Crabtree Lake to Timberline Lake Map: Lower Crabtree Lake to Timberline Lake
First View of Mount Whitney
First View of Mount Whitney
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The descent from Lower Crabtree Lake follows a clear trail through the forest. Looking back after a couple miles you find a great view of the mountains you have been walking around for the past few days.



Within a couple miles it becomes obvious that you are approaching the Whitney Zone. You get your first view of Mount Whitney as you approach the John Muir Trail. Because the John Muir and Pacific Crest Trails are so popular you will find many more people from here on out.



The trail begins to climb along Whitney Creek and just beneath Timberline Lake you can look back at the world below. At Timberline Lake you will find one of the finest views of Mount Whitney's western face. A little farther on is Guitar Lake, by far the most popular campground beneath Mount Whitney. There is absolutely no privacy here because it is so exposed and overcrowded. Finding a secluded place to go to the bathroom is nearly impossible, so be warned.

Timberline Lake to the Summit of Mount Whitney Map: Mount Whitney
Timberline Lake with Mount Whitney in the Background
Timberline Lake with Mount Whitney in the Background
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Looking East through the First Window
Looking East through the First Window
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A little farther on is Guitar Lake, by far the most popular campground beneath Mount Whitney. There is absolutely no privacy here because it is so exposed and overcrowded. Finding a secluded place to go to the bathroom is nearly impossible, so be warned.



Once at Guitar Lake you can look right up Mount Whitney. You almost have to strain your neck to see the top. It goes without saying that it is all up hill from here.



After a million and a half switchbacks you arrive at the Main Whitney Trail junction. Turning right leads to Trail Crest and then down to Whitney Portal. Turning left leads to Mount Whitney. You will find a lot of backpacks left here by people continuing on to the summit and then down to Whitney Portal or Guitar Lake.



Starting from this junction you will begin meeting people who are day hiking from Trail Camp or Whitney Portal. They are not nearly as well acclimated to the altitude as you are. You will notice that the people you meet who came from Guitar Lake will be walking briskly, smiling, and very talkative. And you know who came from the east side because they slowly struggle along, gasping for breath with a look of exhaustion, and they say only one thing: "How much farther?"



The most dramatic view so far comes when you look through the first "window" to the east. This is your first glimpse of the Owens Valley, the Alabama Hills, and the White Mountains. Soon you will be able to see Mount Whitney.



The trail past the needles is spectacular.

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