Mt. Whitney Trail climbs over 6,000 feet in 11 miles. When free of snow, it provides a strenuous, non-technical route to the summit of Mt. Whitney. However, when snow and ice are present, additional skills and equipment may be necessary for safe travel. The trail is usually relatively snow-free from late June to mid-October.
Mt. Whitney Trail Recreation Guide (pdf)
Safety is your responsibility! Every year, horrible accidents occur along the Mt. Whitney Trail. Almost all of them are completely avoidable. Report emergencies to Inyo County Sheriff at (760)878-0383. Searches and Rescues are managed by Inyo County Sheriff and Inyo County SAR, a non-profit all volunteer organization.
At a Glance
||30 June 2016: Although a few patches of snow linger at high elevations, snow is no longer a significant obstacle for most visitors. "The Switchbacks" are almost completely free of snow.
Due to road construction, expect delays of 30 minutes. Beginning on July 11, expect delays of up to 3 hours.
- Permits for the quota season may be reserved at http://www.recreation.gov .
- Each year, reservations are initially allocated in a lottery. Apply for the lottery between February 1 and March 15.
- After the lottery, remaining permits may be reserved on a first-come first-served basis.
||Reservations cost $8 + $15/person.
||Wilderness permits are required year-round for:
Obtain permits at the Eastern Sierra Interagency Visitor Center.
Between May 1 and November 1, the number of visitors is limited by daily entry quotas:
- All overnight visitors
- Day visitors in the Mt. Whitney Zone.
**Trail Crest Exit quota applies to visitors who exit the wilderness on the Mt. Whitney Trail after beginning their trip elsewhere..
- Overnight use: 60 people / day
- Mt. Whitney Zone Day Use: 100 people / day
- Trail Crest Exit**: 25 people / day
From Lone Pine, CA, travel west on Whitney Portal Road. The Mt. Whitney trailhead is located approximately 13 miles from Lone Pine on the north side of the road.
Special Notice: Due to road construction, expect delays of 30. Beginning on July 11, expect delays of up to 3 hours between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Limited parking is available at the trailhead.
- There is a high level of bear activity at the trailhead. Remove all food and trash from vehicles and place in bear-proof lockers and trash receptacles.