"Trailhead to the Top of the Continental U.S." Whitney Portal by Hopkid
Whitney Portal Travel Guide: 22 reviews and 56 photos
Located 13 miles west of downtown Lone Pine at an elevation of 8,200 feet, Whitney Portal isn't really a town but the staging area for hikes that go up into the Eastern Sierra Nevada including the Mount Whitney Main Trail. Whitney Portal includes several parking areas, a campground, restrooms, trailheads, and the Whitney Portal store which has supplies and a grill that supposedly serves up some tasty burgers.
Mount Whitney's claim to fame is that at 14,491 feet, it is the tallest point in the continental United States. The nice thing about it is that it is very accessible due to a well-maintained hiking trail (thank you National Forest and National Park Service!) that takes the adventurer from the Portal 10.7 miles to the summit. However, because of this accessibilty and its reputation as the tallest peak in the continental U.S., it is a very popular hiking trail. In order ot limit the number of hikers/backpackers on the trail on any given day, the National Forest Service issues permits that are obtainable by entering a lottery each February. Check the General Tip on this process to get the scoop on how you might get one of these coveted permits.
We were asked to join a group by a friend who had a friend who had a single-day permit for 15 people. It was an offer we couldn't refuse. Ultimately we're glad we made the attempt, totally surprised that we actually made the summit, and somewhat delusional about whether doing it in a single day is complete madness. You can read the gory details of our day on the mountain in the travelogue.
Note on Things to Do tips: Hiking is the main activity here at Whitney Portal. My tips under Things to Do will focus on segments of the Mt. Whitney Main Trail from the Portal to the Summit. This will give those thinking about doing the hike some idea of what to expect. There is actual video footage of the trail available by checking this thread on the Whitney Portal Store Message Board
- Pros:Gateway to the eastern Sierra Nevada!
- Cons:Didn't get to check out the store...
- In a nutshell:If you want to go to Whitney, you gotta go thru the Portal!
It's a good idea to visit Whitney Portal during the day and get to know the layout before attempting the hike. If you're... more travel advice
After surviving the 99 or so switchbacks, you reach a ridge known as Trail Crest. This ridge divides the wilderness... more travel advice
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Whitney Portal Travel Guide
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- "Trailhead to the Top of the Continental U.S."
- "Camping at the base of Mt.Whitney"
- "The Gateway"
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- 14 Reviews
- 32 Photos
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- 13 Comments
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