Southern Eastern Sierra Attractions and Activities
South of Mammoth Lakes are a number of wonderful camping areas along the Eastern Sierra. Among them are Convict Lake, Rock Creek, Sabrina Lake, South Lake, and Big Pine.
Those camped at Mt. Whitney Trailhead Campground may enjoy visiting some of these places.
Find great fishing at Convict Lake, Rock Creek Lake, and Lake Crowley.
Enjoy wonderful hiking trails leading into the Sierra Nevada.
Spend days among the beautiful Mammoth Lakes.
Take a day hike up the trail into Little Lakes Valley at Rock Creek.
Enjoy a day at Rock Creek Lake's beach area, swimming and fishing.
Mt. Whitney Trailhead Campground is located at Whitney Portal, 13 miles west of the town of Lone Pine. The 24 campsites in the walk-in campground have a one night stay limit. The camp is intended for those who are setting out into the wilderness the following day. Whitney Portal is the trailhead for hiking to the summit of Mt. Whitney and is the southern terminus of the John Muir Trail.
The hike to the summit of 14,505-foot Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in California, requires a permit and careful preparation. See Hiking up Mt. Whitney below for more details and links to Forest Service information.
Mt. Whitney Trailhead Campground's 25 walk-in campsites are within walking distance of the main trails. All of the campsites are first come, first served.
Not all campsites can accommodate trailers or RVs of all lengths. Check carefully on the reservation site when you make your reservation to be sure your vehicle will fit your campsite. Purchase firewood locally to avoid spreading pests.
Designated Accessible sites are usually reserved for people with disabilities who have a vehicle displaying an accessible parking placard or license plate.
Whitney Portal Store and Cafe
Hiking up Mt. Whitney
The 22-mile round-trip hike to the summit of Mt. Whitney from Whitney Portal is a major undertaking. The trail climbs over 6,000 feet. Just the uphill climb to the summit can take 7 or 8 hours. Many hikers set out well before sun-up and often don't return to their cars until dusk.
A permit to hike up Mt. Whitney is required. (See link below.)
Layered clothing. It can be hot on the ascent and windy and cold on the summit.
Water bottles and filter. Plan to refill bottles at the last water at Trail Camp.
Trekking poles - for safety on uneven terrain and to ease the strain on knees on descent.
A good map - people have wandered off the trail.
Emergency contingency plans - tell someone when you will be back, carry rain gear, consider carrying a Spot GPS Messenger, or similar rescue device.
Hiking up Mt. Whitney should not be a spur-of-the-moment decision. Train for the hike, read books and websites about the hike. Plan on spending a couple of nights at a nearby campground to acclimatize before your hike.