Mile 20.4 to 24.2 (Lower Crabtree Meadow to Guitar Lake) At the trail junction in Lower Crabtree Meadow, take the right fork leading to the Crabtree Patrol Cabin and Guitar Lake. Scenery off the charts and definitely a challenge. Turn south onto Horseshoe Meadow Road and continue 20.5 miles to Horseshoe Meadow and the Cottonwood Pass trailhead (not to be confused with the Cottonwood Lakes and New Army Pass trailhead). It is essentially free of snow by mid-June, so it is a good trail to take before the wilderness permit quotas become effective each summer (starting the last Friday by June). There are twelve walk-in campground sites, toilets, and piped water near the trailhead. Over the last couple of miles the trail drops about 1000 feet to Rock Creek. We need to get a wilderness permit at the ranger station in Lone Pine for whatever trail head we plan to use. The trail itself is impressive as it climbs through the talus, large rock faces, and imposing granite towers. Traverse left across a sloping ledge. Permits question for Horseshoe Meadows to Mt Whitney and back. Deer and colorful wildflowers are plentiful along Rock Creek and in Crabtree Meadow. From the summit of Mount Whitney you will be greeted with impressive views of Mount Langley and Mount Muir to the south; the Kaweah Range and Sawtooth Peak to the west; Mount Russell, Tulainyo Lake (to the right of Mount Russell), the highest large alpine lake in the Sierra Nevada, Mount Williamson, Milestone Mountain, Table Mountain, and Thunder Mountain to the north; and Trail Camp, Mount Whitney Trail switchbacks, Consultation Lake, and Owens Valley to the east. 6 ½ hour riding time Climb up to Guyot Creek was badly rutted due to pack animals. Most of the information on this page is directly excerpted from Mount Whitney - The Complete Trailhead-to-Summit Hiking Guide by Paul Richins, Jr., pages 134-142. There is also a stock camp exactly at the Rock Creek crossing (it is about 1 before Gyuot Creek). The trail is not that hard but be prepared to be challenge at some point in you're hike!!!! Camping at Horseshoe Meadow. Drop your pack and head for the summit. A bear-proof food storage box has been placed southeast of the creek about 0.1 mile from the Crabtree Patrol Cabin near the creek crossing. The paved road is usually open from May to late October. A network of trails leads into the Golden Trout Wilderness or north into the John Muir Wilderness. If you are not suffering from the altitude, the next 2 miles will be enjoyable as the trail snakes through impressive rock towers and past windows in the Sierra Nevada crest that provide breathtaking views of Trail Camp, the Mount Whitney Trail, and the Owens Valley far below. John Muir Trail: Horseshoe Meadow to Happy Isles [CLOSED] is a 227.8 mile heavily trafficked point-to-point trail located near Lone Pine, California that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. Extra time allows for more enjoyable pace. Just about 40 miles starting in Horseshoe Meadow and ending at Whitney Portal. added keeler needle on the way down. Very comfortable camp just below Guyot Pass. bring a bear canister along!!!! Hike your heart out. To reach the trailhead from Lone Pine, drive three miles west on Whitney Portal Road to Horseshoe Meadow Road and turn left. Whitney via the John Muir Trail returning to our camp in Crabtree Meadows making our way back to the trailhead at Horseshoe Meadows. Whitney Trail and Mountaineers Route in .GPX Format GPX.gpx 335 KB GPS Waypoints and Tracks for the Mt. Rising to 14,042 feet, Mount Langley is less than five hundred feet shorter than Mount Whitney but receives far fewer visitors. Whitney Trail and Mountaineers Route for Garmin Map Source Garmin.gdb 59 KB GPS Waypoints and Tracks for the Mt. Ascend a shallow gully of loose scree, and head toward the notch in the ridge to the right of the main summit. MILE 744.5 | Follow the Mulkey Pass Trail 1.7 mi / 2.7 km to Horseshoe Meadow and then hitch 18 mi / 28.9 km to Lone Pine. This video is about Father/Son Cottonwood Pass to Mt. Guests arrive at 7AM at Horseshoe Meadows. The photos were "borrowed" from the Internet. Beautiful sunrise views. Arrived at Rock Creek ranger station early and decided to continue 2 miles to next good water. The trail begins at 8,360 Ft, and ends at the 14,508 Ft summit of Mt Whitney. Mt. Its easy access by the Horseshoe Meadow Road from Owens Val… After you cross the outlet creek, there is a short climb of about 300 feet. To ascend any of the four 14,000-foot subpeaks of Mount Whitney, leave the trail and scramble up the west slopes to the summit of these needles. Pretty sunset with the moon approaching full. There are numerous excellent places to camp near the lake. If the weather is nice, spend some time on top; take in the scenery and savor your accomplishment. Consider camping near Guitar lake or continue about 0.3 mile and camp near a tarn at 11,600 feet. We arrived to Lone Pine Sunday afternoon and got our permits. Langley is only about 500 feet shorter than Mt. This trailhead (along with the New Army Pass trailhead) starts at nearly 10,000 feet, the highest starting point of any of the trips in this guidebook, with an elevation gain of only 7341 feet over about 30 miles of trail. Follow the Pacific Crest Trail in a west-northwest direction as it gently traverses the southwest slopes of Cirque Peak into Sequoia National Park and onto the Siberian Pass Trail. Always love this trail. GPS Waypoints and Tracks for the Mt. Mile 27.7 to 29.7 (Mount Whitney Trail to Mount Whitney) There are only 2 more miles to the summit and a little more than 1000 feet of elevation gain. From the junction of the Mount Whitney Trail, ascend the two switchbacks and proceed to a large rock cairn marking the cutoff to Mount Muir. MILE 766.3 | Follow the trail up Mt. Others hike the trail in sections, entering from lateral trails along the way. Unbelievable scenery. For a description of the trail, refer to Route 6.   or Tom Harrison Mount Whitney High Country Trail Map (1:63,360), Trail Profile Table: Cottonwood Pass Trail. Mile 3.5 to 8.1 (Cottonwood Pass to Siberian Pass Trail) At the four-way trail junction just beyond Cottonwood Pass, turn right onto the Pacific Crest Trail toward Rock Creek. The route is splendid in the early hiking season of June and July as it passes through magnificent stands of ancient foxtail pine, vibrant meadows, and the wonderful alpine environment of the high Sierra. Sequoia National Park charges a fee to enter. We stopped in between for lunch at Lone Pine’s Mt. The road climbs to about 10,000 feet elevation in approximately 15 miles, and ends at Horseshoe Meadows. Chicken Spring Lake and its outlet creek are soon passed. It begins at the Horseshoe Meadow parking lot at an elevation of 10,000 feet. Very pretty through Crabtree Meadow with flowers and mountain vistas. Camped at first tarn above Guitar Lake to make for easier summit. Question. Day 47: Horseshoe Meadow to Crabtree Meadows / Ranger Station (base of Mt. The most difficult hiking is over as the trail gradually reaches the highest point in the Lower 48. It's closed during the winter and rocks are removed daily at 4:00 pm (that should give a hint to the nature of this road.) This trail is a good choice for an early season ascent. Actually it’s probably better than the main trail because you get more variety, better views, and easier climbs. Wind calmed and sun was warm. More traffic in this section. Day 1 Horseshoe Meadow to Long Lake From this notch, angle left and scramble up a small chimney. On the trail from Horseshoe Meadow After some lengthy discussions, we called it a training hike, going about 2 miles out and turning back, rather than making it all the way to Chicken Spring Lake, for a 4 mile day at 10,000’. At Guyot Pass, one can climb the ridge, over easy terrain, to the summit of Mount Guyot with its 360-degree views of the Sierra Nevada and Mount Whitney. About a mile from the trailhead, the trail crosses the creek and less than 100 yards from this crossing, there's a faint, almost invisible trail going off to the left. Trip total 43 miles, 8900’ gain. At the upper end of the meadow, the trail begins its upward climb to Cottonwood Pass, gaining about 1000 feet in less than 2 miles. Sheltered campsite with good water supply, but cold and windy all afternoon and evening. We got a pair of walk-in permits (it was easy since we were entering on a loop and less traveled route. Left excess gear at trail junction. Horseshoe Meadow lies in the Inyo National Forest southwest of Lone Pine in the Eastern Sierra Nevada at the boundary of the Southern Sierra to the south and the High Sierra to the north. Then turn south onto Horseshoe Meadow Road. On the other hand, this may be the most strenuous portion of the trip because the altitude may have depleted your strength, energy, and desire to continue. The Pacific Crest Trail is nearly flat over this segment, with several ups and downs along the way. This segment of trail and the ninety-seven switchbacks below Trail Crest on the east side (Mount Whitney Trail, Route 6) are engineering marvels and tributes to the workers who built them. Mile 16.8 to 20.4 (Guyot Pass to Lower Crabtree Meadow) From the Guyot Pass, the Pacific Crest Trail skirts Guyot Flat and gradually descends to Lower Crabtree Meadow. From Route 395 in Lone Pine, turn west at the traffic light on to Whitney Portal Road. Return to your pack and hike out the Mount Whitney Trail. This is a 3 days backpacking trip starting from Horseshoe Meadows in Inyo National Forest. HORSESHOE MEADOW TRAILHEAD The trailhead is located 24 miles from Lone Pine. Join the John Muir Trail by turning right toward Timberline Lake and Guitar Lake. From the Sierra Nevada Crest, the Pacific Crest Trail descends 1500 feet to Rock Creek before starting a climb of 1360 feet to Guyot Pass. From Lower Crabtree Meadow to the Crabtree Patrol Cabin it is about 1.3 miles with a slight climb of about 400 feet. At Lower Crabtree Meadow there is a bear-proof food storage box located about 75 yards south of the Whitney Creek crossing on the west side of the Pacific Crest Trail. Still a small patch of snow just below the summit, but not an issue in good shoes. Mile 0 to 3.5 (Horseshoe Meadow to Cottonwood Pass) For the first two miles the Cottonwood Pass Trail skirts Horseshoe Meadow, gaining only 200 feet in the process. Our mules will transport your personal gear, camping equipment and supplies.You carry only aday pack for water and essentials. The hike out of the Rock Creek canyon is steep for the first 600 feet. Whitney; however, if you were to enter/exit at Whitney Portal, you would have to hike about 9 miles along the Mt. You can also purchase a park specific annual pass for $70. Whitney, so Whitney Portal is a zoo. After breakfast and orientation, riders travel to Cottonwood Pass and continue on the PCT to camp alongside of Rock Creek. I left my car at Onion Valley Campground below Kearsarge Pass and was driven by my good friends, Jonathan and Brendan, to Horseshoe Meadow. The top 50 feet of climbing is Class 3. Refer to Chapter 4 for a complete discussion of wilderness permit requirements. Pretty crowded here, but everyone was friendly and accommodating. Mostly out of tree cover except for sections right next to Rock Creek. Easy 6.5 miles, gentle grade to 11000’, all shaded. Horseshoe Meadow Road is generally closed for the winter (May-October). The route begins by ascending Cottonwood Pass (a gradual climb of about 1260 feet), where it picks up the Pacific Crest Trail traversing the southwest slopes of Cirque Peak. You get a nice high start, and the trail is excellent. New Army Pass was straightforward. There a very nice camp site right at Gyuot Creek. Because of its southerly route and sun-drenched terrain, it is the earliest of the trails in this guidebook to open in the spring. Photo trip report of my 6-night hike from Onion Valley to Horseshoe Meadow via Mount Whitney. From the summit there are impressive views of the east face of Mount Muir directly below, ninety-seven switchbacks in the Mount Whitney Trail, Trail Camp, Consultation Lake, Arc Pass, Whitney Portal, and the Owens Valley far below. Lone Pine to Horseshoe Meadow $85 first passenger, $30 each additional. The area is south of Lone Pine, CA and an hour drive from Mt. This places the … Everyone wants to "bag" Mt. Can be done in two days but wish we had spent more time. Day 1: Kearsage Pass and Vidette Meadow We were dropped off at Onion Valley by Mt Whitney Shuttle the night before, with our car left at Horseshoe Meadow, and started hiking at 8 am on Aug 4. If you have a fear of heights, it’s probably not a drive for you. Fees are $35 per vehicle or $30 per motorcycle. Class of 2015, Northbound, Thru-hiker. Hikers ready to start the John Muir Trail! The enchantment of the John Muir Trail draws hikers from across the United State and around the world. We worked out some kinks with her gear and went back to Horseshoe Meadow to add an extra camp for the night. Turn south onto Horseshoe Meadow Road and continue 20.5 miles to Horseshoe Meadow and the Cottonwood Pass trailhead (not to be confused with the Cottonwood Lakes and New Army Pass trailhead). The summit of Mount Muir is visible from this point on the trail. It's well worth the drive to get to 10,000 feet in altitude very quickly but it is has … Onion Valley to South Lake or North Lake $260 first 2 passengers, $50 each additional. The first trail steps of my PCT Journey began after a car shuttle. The area around Timberline Lake is closed to camping. While the lottery to get a permit for Mount Whitney can be challenging and competitive, Mount Langley’s hikers can easily get a free permit on the day of their hike. MT. After an hour on the summit it is time to consider the hike out. From the lake, the John Muir Trail climbs about 500 feet to Guitar Lake. A good number of backpackers choose to hike northbound from Whitney or even Horseshoe Meadow/Cottonwood Lakes because permits are easier to obtain. Turn west on Whitney Portal Road. MILE 750.2 | Follow Cottonwood Pass 4 mi / 6.4 km to Horseshoe Meadow and then hitch 18 mi / 28.9 km to Lone Pine. Continue about 20 miles up this precipitous two-lane to the signed parking area for the section of Cottonwood Lakes Trail leading to New Army Pass. Below 12000’ by early afternoon and decided to exit same day. Day 4 Guitar Lake to summit and Whitney Portal There is room for only three or four carefully placed climbers on top at any one time. This 10,000 foot trailhead is paved all the way, has a zillion parking places, and is empty. Watch for the brown bear!!!! Whitney, which offers a great view of the surrounding area, and it sees far less hikers and permit can be picked up last minute. This time, Horseshoe seemed like the best option. The plan I came up with was a slight variation on our 2012 trip, but on a much tighter schedule: drive to Whitney Portal, leave the car, “teleport” over to Horseshoe Meadows. Alternatively, instead of turning left toward Lower Rock Creek Crossing at the Siberian Pass Trail junction, you can leave the Pacific Crest Trail by turning right toward Rock Creek Trail and Lower Soldier Lake. There are two trails that begin here that can connect you to the JMT near Mt. July 11, 2015. The trail leaves Horseshoe Meadows, dipping briefly into the drainage of Cottonwood Creek South Fork. This option is slightly longer but affords a worthwhile side trip to beautiful Lower Soldier Lake and passes through numerous lush alpine meadows along Rock Creek. A series of switchbacks seems endless but finally ends at the junction with the Mount Whitney Trail. The summit provides expansive views, solitude, and a deep feeling of accomplishment. From the signal light in Lone Pine on US 395, drive 3.5 miles west on the Whitney Portal Road. Whether you want to climb Mt Whitney from the west side, or traverse the entire John Muir Trail, we offer fully outfitted pack trips for both hikers and riders. Copyright © 2001 by Paul Richins, Jr. For information on referenced chapters, please refer to the book. (Had food for 2 more nights if needed.) Just south of Lone Pine, the gateway to Mt Whitney, you leave Rt 395 and climb 6,000 feet up Horseshoe Meadow Road, a long windy road up the side of the mountain. Whitney Portal. 6 days and 5 nights. We will work our way to Crabtree Meadows, where we will make camp for a day hike to the summit of Mt. Click for full size 2400 x 1800 map (2 MB) in a separate window. It is approximately 30 miles from Horseshoe Meadows Campground to the summit of Mt. went all the way to Crabtree the first day and the 2nd pass was tough. excellent route. Did it in late October this year!! All are easy Class 2 scrambling (See note below) and provide a bird's-eye view of the sheer, nearly vertical east face. Deer are often seen browsing in these meadows. I have official notification that we have a permit for the July dates for our Mount Whitney excursion! For the last and highest needle, Keeler Needle, leave the trail before it turns west, heading away from the crest and the trail's final switchbacks. From Los Angeles, California, take the I-5 North to the 14 North to the 395 North and then turn left on Beautiful views the whole way. Mile 24.2 to 27.7 (Guitar Lake to Mount Whitney Trail) From Guitar Lake, the John Muir Trail climbs steadily for 3.5 miles and nearly 2000 feet up the steep west slopes of Whitney. The Mt Whitney Trail is a well maintained 11 mile foot path to the summit of Mt Whitney. The others follow in quick succession. After three miles, turn left on Horseshoe Meadow Road. hated trail camp with all the idiots. Many excellent campsites are nearby among the widely spaced foxtail pine. There will be two nights in hotels. Located at about 10,000 feet altitude it is a central hub for many day- and back-backing trips. Comfortably made summit by 10 am. Alpenglow on western peaks reflecting in many lakes and tarns. To the Paiute Indians of the Owens Valley, Mount Whitney was known as Too-man-go-yah, roughly translated as 'very old man.' Note - Class 2 Hiking: Includes hiking over uneven terrain, through brush, and up and around rock bluffs, steep gullies, scree (loose and sandy rock), and talus, where the hands may be needed for balance. Whitney) By Sarah Marjorie. some earthquake damage on crest trail but easy to manage. Hiked this back in September 2018; absolutely stunning scenery, first real time where I did backpacking and can safely say that I will be planning on returning to this trail sometime in the future and continue backpacking. Horseshoe Meadows to Mt. Climb a crack to your right, gaining the small summit block. Made easier by the extra mileage on the previous day. The top of each needle is visible from the trail. The trail offers a number of activity options and … Can be done in 3 days, or 2 if you’re really ambitious. Arrived at Portal just before sunset after 16 miles. The hike profile and the map were created by Steve Singkofer. The views of Hitchcock Lakes, Guitar Lake, and the mountain panorama steadily improve as you gain elevation. This popular trail is perhaps the easiest of the routes not originating at Whitney Portal. To reach the top of the first needle, Aiguille Extra, leave the trail about 1 mile from the trail junction and scramble to the top. From this trail junction it is about 1 mile to Timberline Lake. The trail along the west side of the crest provides an excellent opportunity to scramble up Mount Muir and to bag the four 14,000-foot subpeaks of Mount Whitney: Aiguille Extra, Third Needle, Crooks Peak (also known as Day Needle), and Keeler Needle. Day 0 Horseshoe Meadow overnight with exit car at Whitney Portal Horseshoe Meadows to Mount Whitney and Whitney Portal Trailhead via New Army Pass is a 37.6 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Lone Pine, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. From the pass the trail advances past Crabtree Meadow and the Crabtree Patrol Cabin, where it joins the John Muir Trail on its way to the summit of Whitney. Day 2 Long Lake to Guyot Creek Nice overnight camping at the trailhead, and it's free. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Smooth trip up New Army Pass and onward to Sky Blue Lake in the Miter Basin. As one drops into Rock Creek there are excellent views of Mount Langley, Joe Devel, Mount Pickering, Mount Chamberlin, Mount Mallory, and Mount LeConte to the north. Turn south on Horseshoe Meadow Road. 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