Day Hikes In Mt Whitney Area

Posted by: reuterm

Day Hikes In Mt Whitney Area - 03/07/19 02:19 PM

My friends and I are planning a spring break trip down to Lone Pine, CA to go sport climbing in Alabama hills for a day or two. We'd also like to go on a couple day hikes in the area. All of us are physically fit and have experience hiking and backpacking (mostly in Oregon). I have been doing research and am looking for day hike recommendations that my Prius could access the trail heads of during the end of march. If you have suggestions I'd love to hear anything within an hour or two of the lone pine area ranging from 5 to 15 miles (nothing longer though). Thanks!!!
Posted by: RichardK

Re: Day Hikes In Mt Whitney Area - 03/07/19 06:05 PM

Meysan Lake is a great hike.
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Day Hikes In Mt Whitney Area - 03/07/19 10:50 PM

You're kind of limited the end of March. Every place good to hike is under snow. Most of the access roads to trail heads are closed at the snow line.

You could drive up the Whitney Portal road as far as possible, and hike up to the trail head. Meysan lake trail head is up that way, too.

Here's hoping others might have some ideas for you.
Posted by: futbol

Re: Day Hikes In Mt Whitney Area - 03/08/19 07:32 AM

Yeah, Meysan Lake would normally be the ideal hike in your situation, but a Prius would likely experience problems up there in late March and you would need snow/ice gear.

Consider hiking along Hogback Creek, which flows off Mt Carillon and near Alabama Hills. You might not have to drive anywhere. Note that some of the stretches of dirt road nearby are very primitive -- I did this last year and had to be careful with my Ford Ranger.

You would have a nice slightly uphill hike overlooking the snow-capped Sierra Nevada. There are even spots to camp a little off the creek.

Another option, which is not much hiking but walking, is to visit the Manzanar Museum. It is a US monument to Japanese internment during WWII, which is a few miles north of Lone Pine.

Posted by: Fran

Re: Day Hikes In Mt Whitney Area - 03/08/19 10:35 AM

I highly recommend the Manzanar Museum. It is an eye opener. Love that side of the Sierras all along Hwy. 395. Beautiful!!!!
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Day Hikes In Mt Whitney Area - 03/08/19 12:47 PM

If you have a day... Death Valley is 100 miles away, but is well worth taking a day to visit! It is one-of-a-kind. See Dante's Point and Badwater.
Posted by: KevinR

Re: Day Hikes In Mt Whitney Area - 03/08/19 02:18 PM

An excellent DV dayhike is Corkscrew. It's near the Nevada border. There are several GPS tracks on the net, and you'd definitely want one, along with software for your phone. (My current favorite is Avenza. I start with CalTopo, unload a track into that software, then print a map in .pdf format. Email the map to yourself, and presto - you have a great nav app that works outside cell phone service.) The trailhead is a way place on the hwy. It's important that you follow the track to the right wash - there are alot of them, and if you just try any of them chances are you'll find a dead end/ridiculously steep vertical wall. Once you gain a bit of elevation, there's a faint trac, with a few cairns. If your group is quiet you may be rewarded by spotting some desert big horns (they're a different than the mountain big horns).

It's a great hike, and a marvelous way to see a bit of the park others might not. Pay attention on the way down once you leave the wash and enter the playa.