Hike to Lone Pine Lake via Mount Whitney Trail

Mt. Whitney Trail, Inyo County, California, United States

  • Activities:

    Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    5.6 Miles

Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Lake
Scenic

This hike offers amazing view of Mount Whitney and the Sierra Nevada on the way up and Alabama Hills on the way down. If you go during late winter/early spring you can have of chance of seeing the lake still frozen. 

From the parking lot at the end of Whitney Portal Road, look for the trailhead, which is marked with a wooden "gate" that shows the map and description of the trail. Starting out at 8,350 ft in elevation, the trail begins a series of switchbacks that lead you into the Sierra Nevada. Take more breaks if you are not acclimatized to the altitude. After passing the tree covers, the view of Mount Whitney with its supporting peaks on one side and Owens Valley on the other will surely catch your breath.

You will cross two streams as you climb up: Carillon Creek and and the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek where you will rock hop your way into John Muir Wilderness. The trail keeps on switchbacking up until you escape the sun and reach a shaded forest. There you will cross Lone Pine Creek by navigating through a few well-placed logs. After that the trail flattens out, becoming less steep until you reach the Lone Pine Lake junction where you will turn left and head downhill toward the lake.

Lone Pine Lake, at 10,050 ft in elevation, sits on a ridge above Whitney Portal. Once you get there, take your time and enjoy the lake and its majestic surrounding, which includes huge boulders, sheer granite cliffs, and evergreens.

Pack List

  • Water
  • Jacket
  • Trekking Poles
  • Camera
  • Snacks
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Community Photos

+ Add Photos

Reviews

Overall rating: 

Leave a Review

The lake looks an infinity pool at some points and is gorgeous at dusk when the sky is more dimly lit and reflections from the surrounding rock is more visible. You also don't need a permit to hike up to this lake, everything after it you will.

6 months ago
6 months ago

Cuong Nguyen

Outdoors stuff give me life.

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

Nearby Adventures

Hike the Sugar Bowl Loop in Kings Canyon NP

Tulare County, California

First and foremost, to get to this trailhead you need to drive down a 2-mile, one lane dirt road that is quite steep.

6 Saves

Hike to Ehukai Pillbox

59178 Ke Nui Road, Hawaii

This hike starts directly across from Banzai Pipeline, the famous barreling wave at Ehukai Beach.

7 Saves

Winter Hike to Calypso Cascades

1046 County Highway 115, Colorado

While most people go snowshoeing near the Bear Lake or Glacier Gorge area in RMNP, Wild Basin is a much less trafficked option.

5 Saves