Mount Whitney, California

Prominence: 10075 ft, 3071 m

Elevation: 14,495 feet, 4418 meters

True Isolation: 1646.3 mi, 2649.47 km
Elevation Info:NAVD88 Elevation: 14,501 ft / 4420 m
Alternate Name(s)Fishermans Peak
SubpeaksKeeler Needle (14,239 ft/4340 m)
Crooks Peak (14,173 ft/4320 m)
Third Needle (14,108 ft/4300 m)
Aiguille Extra (14,042 ft/4280 m)
Aiguille du Paquoir (13,976 ft/4260 m)
Aiguille Junior (13,927 ft/4245 m)
S'brutal Tower (13,865 ft/4226 m)
Latitude/Longitude (WGS84)36° 34' 43'' N; 118° 17' 33'' W
36.57855, -118.29239 (Dec Deg)
384374E 4048898N Zone 11 (UTM)
CountryUnited States
State/ProvinceCalifornia (Highest Point)
County/Second Level RegionInyo (Highest Point)
Tulare (Highest Point)

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Other Web Sites
     Mount Whitney at
     Mount Whitney at Trip Report for Inyo, CA by Ron Tagliapietra Trip Report for Inyo, CA by Dale Millsap Trip Report for Inyo, CA by Dale Millsap Trip Report for Inyo, CA by Carl Millsap Trip Report for Inyo, CA by Peter Maurer Trip Report for Inyo, CA by Matt Worster Trip Report for Tulare, CA by Dale Millsap Trip Report for Tulare, CA by Dale Millsap

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Lists that contain Mount Whitney:
     USA Lower 48 Top 400 Peaks by Prominence (Rank #2)
     USA Lower 48 Range5 High Points (Rank #1)
     USA/Canada Range4 High Points (Rank #6)
     California 14,000-foot Peaks (Rank #1)
     USA Lower 48 Peaks with 4000 feet of Prominence (Rank #2)
     North America 14,000-foot Peaks (Rank #39)
     USA Lower 48 Peaks with 100 miles of Isolation (Rank #1)
     California Peaks with 2000 feet of Prominence (Rank #1)
     Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" Peaks (Rank #1)
     USA Lower 48 Drainage Basin High Points (Rank #1)
     Western Contiguous USA CoHPs (Rank #1)
     Western USA CoHPs (Rank #6)
     North America Peaks with 2000 meters of Prominence (Rank #15)
     Sierra Peaks Section Emblem Peaks (Rank #1)
     Most Isolated Peaks of the U.S. States (Rank #3)
     USA Lower 48 Range4 High Points (Rank #1)
     California County High Points (Rank #1)
     U.S. County High Points over 13,000 feet - 48 States (Rank #1)
     USA Lower 48 Range3 High Points (Rank #1)
     U.S. National Forest High Points (Rank #1)
     California Peaks with 25 Miles of Isolation (Rank #1)
     Western USA Peaks with 25 miles of Isolation (Rank #1)
     California Wilderness High Points (Rank #1)
     California 13,500-foot Peaks (Rank #1)
     Sierra Club Sierra Peaks Section (Rank #1)
     Western States Climbers List (Rank #1)
     Fifty Highest CoHPs in Lower 48 (Rank #1)
     California County Prominence Peaks (Rank #1)
     High Points of Counties Crossed by the Pacific Crest Trail (Rank #1)
     Vagmarken Sierra Crest List (Rank #1)
     Western States Climbers Star Peaks (Rank #1)
     Counties with Largest Area (Rank #1)
     Las Vegas Mountaineers Classics (Rank #1)
     Contiguous 48 U.S. State High Points (Rank #1)
     Sierra Sampler List (Rank #1)
     5000 foot Prominence CoHPs - 48 States (Rank #1)
     5000 foot gain CoHPs - 48 States (Rank #1)
     USA 48-States 14,000-foot Peaks (Rank #1)
(Peak is on over 20 lists; Not all shown here.)

Selected Guidebook(s) for this Peak:
       California County Summits (Suttle)
       Fifty State Summits, Guide with Maps to State Highpoints (Zumwalt)
       Highpoints of the United States: A Guide to the Fifty State Summits (Holmes)

Selected Trip Reports from this site:
     1989-06-13 by Greg Slayden (GPS Track)
     2000-11-16 by James Barlow
     2003-06-18 by Patrick Shannon
     2010-08-10 by William Musser
     2010-09-17 by Dave Dunham
     2011-08-16 by Jason Reed
     2011-08-25 by Peter James (GPS Track)
     2011-08-31 by Matthew McPherson (GPS Track)
     2011-09-10 by Matthew Gray
     2011-10-14 by Ed Wandall
     2011-12-22 by Marlin Thorman (GPS Track)
     2012-08-05 by Patrick ONeill (GPS Track)
     2012-09-08 by BMS 914 (GPS Track)
     2012-09-14 by ChadL Painter (GPS Track)
     2013-08-01 by Sean Rowe (GPS Track)
     2013-08-18 by Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach (Unsuccessful)
     2013-08-22 by Marlin Thorman (GPS Track)
     2013-08-23 by Peter Stone
     2013-08-29 by Chad Straub (GPS Track)
     2013-09-03 by Patrick ONeill (GPS Track)
     2013-10-04 by Jerry Thomas (GPS Track)
     2013-10-04 by Rich Stephens
     2014-03-21 by Mihai Giurgiulescu (GPS Track)
     2014-03-22 by Mihai Giurgiulescu (GPS Track)
     2014-03-23 by Mihai Giurgiulescu (GPS Track)
     2014-04-18 by Tye Scott
     2014-06-26 by Joseph Esparza
     2014-06-26 by Rob Woodall (GPS Track)
     2014-09-05 by David Odenwalder
     2014-09-30 by Zach T
     2015-06-30 by Scott Burley (GPS Track)

View ascents of peak by registered members (1071 total)

Nearby Peak Searches:
     Radius Search - Nearest Peaks to Mount Whitney
     Elevation Ladder from Mount Whitney
     Prominence Ladder from Mount Whitney


Mount Whitney is universally famous as the highest mountain in the United States outside of Alaska, as well as the highest point in California and the Sierra Nevada. Few major peaks have a more pronounced Jekyll-and-Hyde personality; the east face features sheer cliffs plunging thousands of feet down to the Owens Valley, while the west side provides a much more gentle aspect. The summit area is very flat and broad, one of the more anticlimactic summits of a famous peak anywhere.

Climbing Notes:

Even though the east face of Whitney is the steeper, cliffy side of the mountain, it overlooks U.S. 395 and provides the easiest and quickest ways to the summit. Access from the west is a multi-day backpacking trip across the great gash of the Kern River canyon from the Sequoia National Park roads.

By far the easiset route is the Mount Whitney Trail from the Whitney Portal Campground at the end of a paved road from Lone Pine. It is a graded, well-maintained trail that uses hundreds and hundreds of switchbacks to gain the crest of the Sierra a mile or so south of the summit, and then winds along behind the craggy pinnacles of the crest to the main summit. The main obstacle is bureaucracy; the climb is so popular that camping reservations often need to be made months in advance. One strategy for avoiding the hassle is to make the trip a very long (almost superhuman) day-hike, avoiding the need for a camping permit.

There are many other routes, including the "Mountaineer's Route" on the east face, a nice class 2/class 3 alternative to the throngs on the trail. There is no shortage of world-class big wall rock climbing on much of the east face.

Mount Whitney is the flat-topped feature to the left and behind the much more spectacular-looking Keeler Needle in this picture taken from the final section of the Mount Whitney trail (1989-06-13).
Web Map LinksAcme Mapper   MyTopo   Gmap4   TopoQuest
Bing Maps   Google Maps
ProminenceKey Col Page  (Detailed prominence information)
  Clean Prominence: 10,075 ft/3071 m
  Optimistic Prominence: 10,085 ft/3074 m
  Line Parent: Nevado de Toluca
  Key Col: Playas Valley/Pride Draw Saddle    4420 ft/1347 m
Isolation1646.3 mi/2649.47 km
Nearest Higher Neighbor in the PBC database:
    Nevado de Toluca  (SE)
Isolation Limit Point: 19° 7' 7'' N; 99° 46' 1'' W
    ILP Map Links:
Bing Maps   Google Maps
RangesContinent: North America
Range2: Pacific Ranges (Highest Point)
Range3: Sierra Nevada (Highest Point)
Range4: Sequoia Sierra Nevada (Highest Point)
Range5: Mount Whitney Group (Highest Point)
Ridges/DividesPacific Crest (Highest Point)
Sierra Nevada Crest (Highest Point)
Drainage Basins
Kern (HP)
Buena Vista Lake Bed (HP)
South San Joaquin Basin (HP)
Internal Drainage-N.A.
Worldwide Internal Drainage
Owens Valley (HP)
Great Basin (HP)
Internal Drainage-N.A.
Worldwide Internal Drainage
OwnershipLand: Sequoia National Park (Highest Point)/Inyo National Forest (Highest Point)
Wilderness/Special Area: Sequoia-Kings Canyon Wilderness Area (Highest Point)/John Muir Wilderness Area (Highest Point)
Topo MapMount Whitney O36118e3 1:24,000
First AscentAugust 18, 1873
Charles Begole (United States)
Albert Johnson
John Lucas
Route #1 Maintained Hiking Trail: Mt. Whitney Trail
Trailhead: Whiney Portal Campground (Paved Road) 8350 ft/2545 m
Vertical Gain: 6145 ft/1873 m
Distance (one way): 10.75 mi/17.3 km
Google Maps Dynamic Map

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Other Photos

Dawn illuminates the east face of Mount Whitney (center) from Lone Pine, CA (2001-12-17).
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
All smiles on top of Mount Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous 48 states (2013-08-29). Photo by Joel Waddington.
Click here for larger-size photo.

Click on photo for original larger-size version.
The Smithsonian Institution Shelter atop Mount Whitney (2013-08-23). Photo by Peter Stone.
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Click on photo for original larger-size version.
HP #1 (2007-06-16). Photo by Ken Curtis.
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Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Mount Whitney Summit New & latest measurement from Ranger Station report is 14,508 ft (2014-08-14). Photo by Gretchen Nelson.
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