"A small town with a really big mountain" Top 5 Page for this destination Lone Pine by goingsolo

Lone Pine Travel Guide: 126 reviews and 335 photos

The roof of the Continental U.S.

If it weren't for the Alabama Hills rolling gently in a crimson tide and the giant behemoth otherwise known as Whitney towering above, Lone Pine would be just another dusty little blink-and-you'll-miss-it-when-driving-by town. But this couple blocks of fast food restaurants, motels and the like, many of whom bear the name of the mountain in their title, propel the intrepid and/or those who are glutton for punishment or really good burgers, away from the two lane road and up to about 8,000 feet in a series of switchbacks culminating in Whitney Portal.

My journey to Lone Pine was for one purpose, and that was to summit Mount Whitney. My goal accomplished, this page is devoted it it.

Mt. Whitney is the tallest mountain in the contiguous or "lower 48" states. For that reason, many venture towards the summit, inspired by the promise of bragging rights or a really tough workout. The most popular way to the top is the 22 mile roundtrip trail which switchbacks into eternity leading to the summit. For those who want a little something different, there's the Mountaineers Route, a shortcut of sorts which ascends 6,000 feet in 6 miles (so they say, but we'll get to that later), the last part scarily almost vertical. Never one to pass up the something different route, I ventured up the Mountaineers route, where "only 6 miles" took on a whole new meaning. In fact, it became the subject of curses and torment when I realized that 6 miles at altitude can make an eternity of switchbacks seem like a pleasant stroll.

Take a peek inside if you'd like to see the route to Whitney's summit, along with a couple of views of the tiny town below.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Mount Whitney
  • Cons:Mount Whitney
  • In a nutshell:Mount Whitney
  • Last visit to Lone Pine: Sep 2006
  • Intro Updated Jun 17, 2007
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Reviews (50)

Comments (8)

  • johncudw's Profile Photo
    Nov 22, 2008 at 4:52 AM

    you must have to have good lungs to go up to 14.5 thousand feet. I think theres only 58% or so as much air at that altitude as there is at sea level.

  • VA_Dave's Profile Photo
    Jun 25, 2007 at 6:04 PM

    Thanks for the great story and pix! I enter the Whitney lottery every year but never get a slot. :( We did the hikers route in 2001 but the mountaineers route sounds more exciting.

  • Sep 26, 2006 at 3:29 AM

    FANTASTIC documentation of your rough, but rewarding hike!! Beautiful pictures!!

  • Sep 24, 2006 at 8:31 AM

    V Interesting account. Well done on the ascent and pages. Reading this makes me realise how lazy I`ve been this last year...too much work!

  • chewy3326's Profile Photo
    Sep 12, 2006 at 12:45 PM

    Mt. Whitney does looks like quite a hard climb! I've never heard of the mountaineers route before, just the 22-mile trail; hopefully I will be able to climb Whitney someday...

  • Hopkid's Profile Photo
    Sep 10, 2006 at 9:38 AM

    Great account of your trip! Glad to hear about the mountaineers route. As I'm also afraid of heights I don't think I could have done that. I also felt pretty fuzzy on the summit. Happy (to have made it) and grouchy (headache and nausea) at the same time!

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Sep 9, 2006 at 7:09 PM

    A fabulous account of your trek up Mt. Whitney! Your tips really conveyed the doubts that creep in when it is 'your body vs. nature' (I know from experience)! Amazingly rugged-looking terrain you conquered & good humoured tips too.

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo
    Sep 9, 2006 at 9:18 AM

    Diamox can also give you some wicked dreams! Over on the main trail, mice + marmots are problems. Plus with that vertical four miles without trail your comments on good gear are very important - light gear, too ;-]


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