A single-day summit of Mt. Whitney in the California Sierra Mountain Range is one of the most grueling treks in America. At 22 miles and 6000+ feet of gain, it’s the culmination of an entire day on your feet that will leave you more tired than you can imagine.
I remember sitting down at around the 16-mile mark, being completely exhausted but knowing I had to eat food to help stay energized during the final six miles.
The Mt. Whitney hike, however, is quite straightforward, as it requires no technical skills nor any points where you’d feel unsafe or in a sketchy area. All it takes is serious stamina and the urge to go for it!
The Mt. Whitney hike
I hiked the first five-ish miles in the dark before stopping to enjoy the sunrise. This was about a mile from High Camp.
First light on the Sierras.
Whitney Spires plus the last true water source (minus snow)
Views of the gorgeous spires
First snow field to cross
Heading to the chute route. You can see people in the snow on the left slope
Hiking up the “winter” chute route
Incredibly steep yet not too nerve-wracking. Enough people had made steps where you’d just hike up it.
The thawing lakes of Sequoia
The stunning views looking west into Sequoia NP
Guitar Lake is visible on the bottom right of the image. Those taking the PCT or High Sierra Trail will usually stay there before summiting the following morning.