Lone Pine, CA
There are two trails that begin at the Whitney Portal, 8,000 feet up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. We did one of the trails last week with Eric and Laurel. This morning we headed back up to the portal to hike the other trail, the Mt. Whitney Trail. If you hike the full length of this trail it is eleven miles to the top of Mt. Whitney, the highest point in the 48 contiguous states, with an elevation gain of over 6,100 feet. We may be crazy, but we’re not that crazy. Our goal today was to hike up three miles to Lone Pine Lake, with a gain in elevation of just under 2,000 feet.
The temperature at the trailhead was only in the forties and we thought it would get colder as we climbed. So we came prepared with multiple jackets and gloves. But the sky was clear and the sun kept things nice and warm allowing us to put the extra clothing in our packs.
This hike is all uphill to the lake, mainly through a series of long switchbacks. The next two photos show hikers below us and above us on the switchbacks.
After a long three miles uphill, we came to a sign pointing the way to the lake. We could see water down a hill to the east.
The beauty of the lake and the mountains around it made the hike up the mountain worth while.
A number of hearty high altitude trees surrounded the lake. The stumps and twisted trunks reminded us of the Bristlecones we saw a few weeks ago near Bishop.
After lunch and some exploration around the lake we headed back down the trail, glad that gravity was now our friend.
This hike is rated “moderate” by some hiking sites. We agree with that rating as the trail is well-maintained and easy to follow. Elevation gain is the only difficult part of the hike.