Climb Mt Whitney and the remote backcountry wilderness of Sequoia National Park! Pack stock will ease our burden as we travel between camps along scenic high-coutry sections of the famous John Muir Trail and Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail enroute to the highest summit in the lower 48: Mt Whitney (14,500′). Foxtail Pines, sprawling meadows, and alpine lakes define this remote region of the Sierra and standing atop the highest peak in the contiguous US is (14,500′) is an exhilarating experience like few others.
2023: $4895 per person
Price based on shared hotel occupancy
Single Room Supplement:
Requested $150, Forced $75
Explore Custom Trip Options
Today we’ll meet for a stay at the pleasant Best Western Inn Lone Pine, Ca, with views of Mt Whitney to the west. Meet your guide and group for an orientation at 6pm. Dinner is then on your own in town, though typically we’ll all choose a place together.
Meet your guide and group for an included breakfast at 7am in the lobby. There, you can go over any last minute questions. You’ll then follow your guide to the trailhead, roughly 45 minute drive away. From there, we’ll lace up our boots and start our hike up and over Cottonwood Pass. Our first night’s camp is at Chicken Springs Lake,. Though a short day, it’s a full one in getting on the trail and climbing 1300ft over the pass.
4 miles, Elevation: +1516′ / -217′
Today we’ll follow the famous Pacific Crest Trail through majestic Foxtail Pine forests, and on to the lower reaches of Rock Creek.
9 miles +732’/ -2228′
Leaving camp, we’ll travel over the tame Guyot Pass to Crabtree Meadows. From there we’ll set our sights on our high camp at Guitar Lake in preparation for Mt Whitney.
10 miles, Elevation: +3100’/ -1316′
With an alpine start we’ll hit the trail early for an attempt of the summit of Mt. Whitney. After enjoying the panoramic views from the highest point in the US outside of Alaska, we’ll head back back down to Guitar Lake for lunch and a siesta. Our pack train will return to take our gear and we’ll head down to the forested lower country of Crabtree Meadows in the afternoon. In camp, we’ll enjoy a memorable sunset over Mt Russell and the Kaweah Crest.
14 miles, Elevation: +3310’/ -4475′
Waking with a sense of accomplishment, we’ll begin our hike back southward through Sequoia National Park. An alternate route than how we arrived will see us to the headwaters of Rock Creek near Soldier Meadow.
11 miles, Elevation: +2392’/ -1877′
Packing up camp one last time, we’ll exit the High Sierra back via Cottonwood Pass, which will get us back to our vehicles at the trailhead by 2pm.
9.5 miles, Elevation: +1302’/ -2192′
- 1st night’s stay at the Best Western in Lone Pine
- 5 nights of wilderness tent camping (permits included)
- All group gear including stoves, cookware, water filters, group first aid kit, etc.
- Personal backpacking gear provided by request: backpacks, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, trekking poles, and tents
- Starting with breakfast on Day 2 and ending with lunch on Day 7
- Backcountry gourmet meals including trail snacks
- Hot tea or coffee served each morning
A Few More Notes
Travel & Logistics
Your trip begins at the Best Western Frontier Hotel in Lone Pine, CA. Plan to arrive at the hotel before 6pm so you can meet your guides and group for your trip orientation. If you’re flying to the area, the closest airport options are LAX (Los Angeles) and LAS (Las Vegas). We recommend renting a car to travel to Lone Pine and the trailhead, as there are not public transportation options. On Day 2 of the trip, you will follow your guide in your own vehicle to the starting trailhead, where it can stay parked for the duration of your trip. We will return to the trailhead on the last day between 1-2pm.
About the packstock
Mules will be carrying all of our equipment and your personal gear each day. We won’t be hiking with the mules and perhaps not even camping with them depending on the day. You will need to pack your personal belongings (not including tent, sleeping bag & pad) efficiently into one mid-sized compression sack or duffel as outlined in our pre-trip materials, weighing no more than 15 pounds. You are welcome to pack anything extra in your daypack.
Training & Preparation
This is one of our more difficult trips and is one that we do not recommend for those who are new to hiking and backcountry travel. It is essential to come prepared!
To ensure the most enjoyable and successful experience out on the trail, we recommend a thorough training plan leading up to your trip, focusing on:
- Endurance, cardio, and aerobic activities
- Core and leg strength (don’t forget those abs and quads)!
- Day hikes (10-12 miles) or short overnight trips to train for both the physical and mental aspects of backcountry travel
- Cycling, running, step-master or stairs are great cross-training
- Include hilly terrain and steep climbs whenever possible
Looking for more tips? Check out our blog!
What's not included
- Personal clothing & footwear
- Dinner on the first night in Lone Pine
- Recommended 10-20% gratuity for guides and 3% for packers
- Trip Insurance
Rod A, 2015
Vivian K, 2015