Hiking Mount Whitney | Advice to Reach this 14er Summit

Mt Whitney is the tallest peak in the lower 48 states, but it’s not a technically challenging mountain to climb. It’s graded as a class 1 hike from trailhead to summit top, however it’s a long 22 miles round-trip, with more than 6,000 feet of elevation gain. Because the mountain is so popular, you’ll need a permit if you plan on hiking Mount Whitney during the best summer months.

Click here to learn more about the lottery permit system. Only climb outside of the permit season if you’ve got serious mountaineering experience and know how to use an ice axe and crampons. Once you’ve got your permit, prepare for hiking Mount Whitney with my route guide below.

NEW TO 14ERS? CHECK OUT MY BEGINNERS GUIDE FOR A SAFE FIRST SUMMIT!

Hiking Mount Whitney: Fast Facts

Hiking Mount Whitney via the Mount Whitney Trail

Alex Derr, Creator of The Next Summit

Alex is an Eagle Scout and mountaineer living in Denver, Colorado. He created The Next Summit to help others stay safe exploring the mountains and advocate to preserve the peaks for the future. You can subscribe to his Next Summit Newsletter here.

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