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. Everyone wants to "bag" Mt. Each of these peaks is only a couple hundred feet above the trail. Rising to 14,042 feet, Mount Langley is less than five hundred feet shorter than Mount Whitney but receives far fewer visitors. Although the trail is about 100 feet lower at the junction with the Siberian Pass Trail, there is a gain of about 500 feet over this trail segment. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Guests arrive at 7AM at Horseshoe Meadows. It's a great way to climb Mount Whitney if you don't have any permit and you're up for a 3-4 days hike in the mountain. some earthquake damage on crest trail but easy to manage. Camping at Horseshoe Meadow. The Indians believed that the spirit responsible for the destiny of their people lived inside the mountain, and from his high perch he observed the Indians and noted their behavior. Whitney, so Whitney Portal is a zoo. For a description of the trail, refer to Route 6. Its easy access by the Horseshoe Meadow Road from Owens Val… Whitney 2016 ... Glacier National Park Hiking … Can be done in two days but wish we had spent more time. 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. 5 am start was plenty early. The dozens of luxuriant meadows are teeming with lush new growth, flowers, and wildlife, including an occasional bear. 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. 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. Beautiful sunrise views. If you are entering on foot or bike the fee is $20 per person. 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. Whitney Portal. Come along on my hike from Horseshoe Meadows to Mount Whitney. From center of Lone Pine, turn west at the stoplight and follow Whitney Portal Road for 3 miles. Day 2 Long Lake to Guyot Creek Driving up Horseshoe Meadows Road is a white knuckle ride for sure! This popular trail is perhaps the easiest of the routes not originating at Whitney Portal. Coming soon - Zero Carbon Shuttle! Day 3 Guyot Creek to Guitar Lake MT. The trail itself is impressive as it climbs through the talus, large rock faces, and imposing granite towers. From the lake, the John Muir Trail climbs about 500 feet to Guitar Lake. 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.) Whitney) By Sarah Marjorie. Whitney, which offers a great view of the surrounding area, and it sees far less hikers and permit can be picked up last minute. Can be done in 3 days, or 2 if you’re really ambitious.   or Tom Harrison Mount Whitney High Country Trail Map (1:63,360), Trail Profile Table: Cottonwood Pass Trail. 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. The trail is not that hard but be prepared to be challenge at some point in you're hike!!!! Return to your pack and hike out the Mount Whitney Trail. Actually it’s probably better than the main trail because you get more variety, better views, and easier climbs. At the John Muir-Mount Whitney Trail junction there are several large tent platforms that can serve as campsites, but bring plenty of water because these campsites are dry. Nice overnight camping at the trailhead, and it's free. From this notch, angle left and scramble up a small chimney. This is a 3 days backpacking trip starting from Horseshoe Meadows in Inyo National Forest. 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. 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. 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. Copyright © 2001 by Paul Richins, Jr. For information on referenced chapters, please refer to the book. To the Paiute Indians of the Owens Valley, Mount Whitney was known as Too-man-go-yah, roughly translated as 'very old man.' Located at the end of Horseshoe Meadow Road, 24 miles southwest of the town of Lone Pine, California. We arrived to Lone Pine Sunday afternoon and got our permits. This time, Horseshoe seemed like the best option. Whitney Trail and Mountaineers Route for Google Earth Google.kmz 26.4 KB Turn south on Horseshoe Meadow Road. I left my car at Onion Valley Campground below Kearsarge Pass and was driven by my good friends, Jonathan and Brendan, to Horseshoe Meadow. Before reaching the Crabtree Patrol Cabin, turn left and cross the creek. 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. Extra time allows for more enjoyable pace. The photos were "borrowed" from the Internet. Day 47: Horseshoe Meadow to Crabtree Meadows / Ranger Station (base of Mt. Over the last couple of miles the trail drops about 1000 feet to Rock Creek. 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. Whitney Restaurant. The top of each needle is visible from the trail. The summit provides expansive views, solitude, and a deep feeling of accomplishment. 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. The hike profile and the map were created by Steve Singkofer. The Pacific Crest Trail is nearly flat over this segment, with several ups and downs along the way. Hike up Cottonwood Pass, down to Rock Creek, up to Guyot Creek, camp there. It is approximately 30 miles from Horseshoe Meadows Campground to the summit of Mt. More traffic in this section. 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. Permits question for Horseshoe Meadows to Mt Whitney and back. If you have a fear of heights, it’s probably not a drive for you. 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. Very pretty through Crabtree Meadow with flowers and mountain vistas. 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. 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. Best... hike... ever. There are also numerous campsites a little higher at the 11,900-foot level near a series of small tarns linked by a small stream flowing toward Hitchcock Lakes. The trail leaves Horseshoe Meadows, dipping briefly into the drainage of Cottonwood Creek South Fork. 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. Scenery off the charts and definitely a challenge. Deer are often seen browsing in these meadows. There are twelve walk-in campground sites, toilets, and piped water near the trailhead. The trail offers a number of activity options and … Photo trip report of my 6-night hike from Onion Valley to Horseshoe Meadow via Mount Whitney. Left excess gear at trail junction. Turn west on Whitney Portal Road. The trail crest exit quota was plenty full for walk-ins) We left our car at the Portal and hired Whitney Shuttle to pick us up and bring us to Horseshoe Meadows. 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. This 10,000 foot trailhead is paved all the way, has a zillion parking places, and is empty. The road climbs to about 10,000 feet elevation in approximately 15 miles, and ends at Horseshoe Meadows. Be careful of leaving backpacks at trail crest with the animals. wont go into detail but won't sleep there again. Day 4 Guitar Lake to summit and Whitney Portal There a very nice camp site right at Gyuot Creek. 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. 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. Langley is only about 500 feet shorter than Mt. (Had food for 2 more nights if needed.) Located at about 10,000 feet altitude it is a central hub for many day- and back-backing trips. Our mules will transport your personal gear, camping equipment and supplies.You carry only aday pack for water and essentials. 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 great option is to park and Whitney Portal and prearrange with Paul at eastsidesierrashuttle.com to shuttle you … My son and I are going to do Horseshoe Meadows to Mt Whitney and back. There is a bear-proof wilderness food storage box on the south side of the creek crossing about 5 feet southwest of the trail. Consider camping near Guitar lake or continue about 0.3 mile and camp near a tarn at 11,600 feet. We will work our way to Crabtree Meadows, where we will make camp for a day hike to the summit of Mt. 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. Day 0 Horseshoe Meadow overnight with exit car at Whitney Portal Smooth trip up New Army Pass and onward to Sky Blue Lake in the Miter Basin. The trail begins at 8,360 Ft, and ends at the 14,508 Ft summit of Mt Whitney. It's well worth the drive to get to 10,000 feet in altitude very quickly but it is has … You get a nice high start, and the trail is excellent. Still a small patch of snow just below the summit, but not an issue in good shoes. Alpenglow on western peaks reflecting in many lakes and tarns. Sequoia National Park charges a fee to enter. Whitney from Crabtree Meadow and descend to Whitney Portal (5,100 ft / 1,554 m descent). 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. 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. Unbelievable scenery. Traverse left across a sloping ledge. From Route 395 in Lone Pine, turn west at the traffic light on to Whitney Portal Road. From this trail junction it is about 1 mile to Timberline Lake. The summit of Mount Muir is visible from this point on the trail. There are numerous excellent places to camp near the lake. The first 2 miles of this trail segment are nearly flat, with a few ups and downs. Because of its southerly route and sun-drenched terrain, it is the earliest of the trails in this guidebook to open in the spring. After three miles, turn left on Horseshoe Meadow Road. There is room for only three or four carefully placed climbers on top at any one time. 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). Always love this trail. July 11, 2015. Mount Whitney comes briefly into view for the first time about 0.5 mile before you cross Whitney Creek at Lower Crabtree Meadow. 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. Class of 2015, Northbound, Thru-hiker. Drop your pack and head for the summit. From Lower Crabtree Meadow to the Crabtree Patrol Cabin it is about 1.3 miles with a slight climb of about 400 feet. Since we knew we wouldn’t have much time on the return, we ordered a round of Burgers and a 6-pack of beer at th… This video is about Father/Son Cottonwood Pass to Mt. 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. Made easier by the extra mileage on the previous day. Fees are $35 per vehicle or $30 per motorcycle. From the signal light in Lone Pine on US 395, drive 3.5 miles west on the Whitney Portal Road. Watch for the brown bear!!!! There is also a stock camp exactly at the Rock Creek crossing (it is about 1 before Gyuot Creek). 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. 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. 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. 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. I didn’t sleep well due to a mix of excitement and anxiety, but still woke up feeling energized. 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. Horseshoe Meadows to Mt. Follow Horseshoe Meadow Road to its end. 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. Space is limited to 10 clients with 2 guides. This trail is a good choice for an early season ascent. From Los Angeles, California, take the I-5 North to the 14 North to the 395 North and then turn left on 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. It starts off fairly level then descends a bit to the golden trout camp area. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Chicken Spring Lake and its outlet creek are soon passed. Question. The paved road is usually open from May to late October. 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. Climb up to Guyot Creek was badly rutted due to pack animals. Sheltered campsite with good water supply, but cold and windy all afternoon and evening. Onion Valley to South Lake or North Lake $260 first 2 passengers, $50 each additional. Getting a permit starting from Whitney Portal is very difficult, so many NOBO hikers opt to begin their hike at Horseshoe Meadow (can camp the night before for $6 per person). To get to Horseshoe Meadow: From the city of Lone Pine, it takes half an hour to ascend to the trailhead campgrounds. Horseshoe Meadow Road is generally closed for the winter (May-October). Pretty sunset with the moon approaching full. 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’. Here the trail runs level for a while and then climbs out of the basin to the Cottonwood Lakes area. Easy 6.5 miles, gentle grade to 11000’, all shaded. added keeler needle on the way down. Refer to Chapter 4 for a complete discussion of wilderness permit requirements. The Mt Whitney Trail is a well maintained 11 mile foot path to the summit of Mt Whitney. Mile 14.0 to 16.8 (Lower Rock Creek Crossing to Guyot Pass) Cross Rock Creek on a log and begin the ascent to Guyot Pass, a climb of 1360 feet over about 2.8 miles. The hike out of the Rock Creek canyon is steep for the first 600 feet. Comfortably made summit by 10 am. Whitney Trail and Mountaineers Route for Garmin Map Source Garmin.gdb 59 KB GPS Waypoints and Tracks for the Mt. Trip total 43 miles, 8900’ gain. Arrived at Portal just before sunset after 16 miles. We got a pair of walk-in permits (it was easy since we were entering on a loop and less traveled route. Did it in late October this year!! At the trail junction near Rock Creek, turn left and hike along the creek, passing the ranger station on the way to Lower Rock Creek Crossing. Hikers ready to start the John Muir Trail! The first trail steps of my PCT Journey began after a car shuttle. 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. Retrieved entry car and went for burgers and beer. A network of trails leads into the Golden Trout Wilderness or north into the John Muir Wilderness. The others follow in quick succession. After you cross the outlet creek, there is a short climb of about 300 feet. After an hour on the summit it is time to consider the hike out. 6 days and 5 nights. Camped at first tarn above Guitar Lake to make for easier summit. To reach the trailhead from Lone Pine, drive three miles west on Whitney Portal Road to Horseshoe Meadow Road and turn left. excellent route. New Army Pass was straightforward. 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. Join the John Muir Trail by turning right toward Timberline Lake and Guitar Lake. Climb a crack to your right, gaining the small summit block. 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. There will be two nights in hotels. Mostly out of tree cover except for sections right next to Rock Creek. This places the … 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). Others hike the trail in sections, entering from lateral trails along the way. The enchantment of the John Muir Trail draws hikers from across the United State and around the world. Hike your heart out. This is also the trail segment that connects the Cottonwood Pass Trail with the New Army Pass Route. From the signal light in Lone Pine on US 395, drive 3.5 miles west on the Whitney Portal Road. The views of Hitchcock Lakes, Guitar Lake, and the mountain panorama steadily improve as you gain elevation. 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. It is not a loop so you'll need to figure out how to get back to your car or have a car waiting at the end. 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. 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. Wind calmed and sun was warm. 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