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White Mountain Peak next weekend
#58153 10/13/20 08:59 AM
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So, before the winter rains come, I was thinking of going over and climbing White Mountain Peak next weekend.

As far as I can tell, the road is open and there shouldn't be any conditions to worry about. Anyone have any recent first hand knowledge?

While I may just sleep in my Jeep at the gate, a part of me may want to backpack in a little and setup my tent somewhere with a view. Is camping allowed along the trail to the peak? I know I can't camp near the station or observatory.

Re: White Mountain Peak next weekend
WanderingJim #58154 10/13/20 09:48 AM
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People sleep at the gate all the time, though it can be really windy, and level spots to sleep are scarce. I’m sure you can backpack anywhere you want, but I don’t recall seeing many level, rock-free spots to sleep, and, of course, there is no water. I usually sleep at Grandview Campground (don’t know whether it’s open right now), and drive to the gate for the easy dayhike.

Re: White Mountain Peak next weekend
WanderingJim #58156 10/13/20 06:13 PM
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One restriction is that camping in the ancient Bristlecone Pines area is prohibited. I forgot what that area is called, and (disclaimer) I've never been up White Mountain. It was my intention for last weekend, but we hiked Telescope Peak instead.

Also, AllTrails is reporting White Mountain trails as closed. Not sure if that is accurate. It usually is.

edit: Yet people are posting trip reports on AllTrails of hiking it in October.

Last edited by futbol; 10/13/20 06:17 PM.
Re: White Mountain Peak next weekend
futbol #58157 10/13/20 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by futbol
One restriction is that camping in the ancient Bristlecone Pines area is prohibited.
Camping is prohibited in the Methuselah and Patriarch Groves. They probably also frown on camping in the parking lot at the Visitor Center and near the Barcroft facilities. Otherwise, I think you can camp anywhere you want.

Re: White Mountain Peak next weekend
futbol #58158 10/14/20 09:26 AM
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According to the latest amended closure order from Inyo NF, the Whites are open.

Re: White Mountain Peak next weekend
futbol #58159 10/14/20 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by futbol
One restriction is that camping in the ancient Bristlecone Pines area is prohibited. I forgot what that area is called, and (disclaimer) I've never been up White Mountain. ...

Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest:

https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/inyo/recreation/hiking/recarea/?recid=70821&actid=50

One of the things that doesn't appear in any of the forest service announcements is which restrooms, if any , have reopened. There is a vault toilet at the locked gate area. Is it open? Be prepared for rocky soil and no woods to s--t in.

In the last week I've been on 395 from I-15 to the Oregon border. The worst air I saw was at Mammoth. Yesterday at noon the Whites couldn't be seen from Lake Crowley, and that wasn't the worst air. Look at:

https://www.purpleair.com/map?opt=1/mAQI/a10/cC0#1/9.6/-30

or

https://fire.airnow.gov/

as the date of visit nears.

Dale B. Dalrymple

Re: White Mountain Peak next weekend
WanderingJim #58160 10/14/20 07:11 PM
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The thought of backpacking in a bit was mostly due to my not being able to do much backpacking this year (although with 27 nights altogether, it actually was a lot in retrospect).

After determining it was too much of a hassle to assemble my gear for one night, I'll sleep at the gate in my Jeep.

I've been up there before, so just looking for a change of pace this weekend.


I had no toilet for most of 24 days in August... not afraid of finding a big hole to use. smile

Last edited by WanderingJim; 10/14/20 07:16 PM.
Re: White Mountain Peak next weekend
WanderingJim #58162 10/15/20 08:56 AM
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I am sure this is in a thread somewhere, but where does the pavement end on the way to the WM trailhead? I do not have a 4X4 vehicle but I have seen, from pictures, 2-wheel drive vehicles parked at the trailhead. Is the dirt road comparable to Granite View Rd outside of Lone Pine that goes to Tuttle Creek Trailhead? I do not want any flats or to become stuck in the middle of nowhere!

Re: White Mountain Peak next weekend
WanderingJim #58164 10/15/20 11:31 AM
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WanderingJim, when I was in Bishop a week ago, the air quality there was horrendous, but looking up towards the Whites, it appeared to be much more clear. As I drove by Boundary Peak and Montgomery Peak, I was actually thinking about trying to get up there soon. That area didn't appear to be bad at all. https://www.iqair.com/usa/california/bishop/ncore-white-mountain-research-station-ovl Best link I found after a brief search for air quality in the Whites.

Re: White Mountain Peak next weekend
fit2climb #58165 10/15/20 12:42 PM
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fit2climb, the pavement ends at the Schulman Grove, which is at the southern end of the mountains. You have to drive 15 miles of gravelly road. If you take it easy, and make sure you have a good spare tire, you should be ok. 4WD is not necessary at all.


This late in the season, don't head up that way if any storms are predicted. I snowmobiled in one winter and found a car parked up there, stranded for the winter.

Re: White Mountain Peak next weekend
WanderingJim #58166 10/20/20 12:02 PM
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Well, went up last weekend and made it to the summit! When I have a chance, I'll put up my photos and a short report.

I almost gave up after only 1/2 mile and 400 feet climbed. I felt horrible and had a headache. I only had one night at altitude and 4 days of Diamox to acclimatize, so it wasn't surprising that I'd feel some altitude problems. Just how fast it hit me was surprising. After more breakfast and some Advil, I enjoyed the sunrise from the trail and then felt better so decided to continue to the summit.

Did tweak my ankle on the way down, so it was a slow descent.


Road was in good condition (similar to last year). As for the pavement, it ends after Schulman Grove. But there is a short section of paved road around Patriarch Grove for some odd reason.

No smoke over the White Mountain area itself, but plenty down around Bishop and a little to the east over the Nevada side.


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