Mount Whitney Trail

(Southern Sierra Council)


Obtain a current copy of "Southern Sierra Council Award Trails". This brochure contains emergency procedures, hike profiles, hike descriptions, required topo maps, and other valuable information.


A backpack trip of 3-4 days, approximately 25-miles in length, starting at Whitney Portal, going up the Mt. Whitney Trail past Mirror Lake to Trails crest, and then north to the summit of Mt. Whitney. Return by the same route or by the trail that goes past Consultation Lake to the Whitney Portal trailhead. Because the Mt. Whitney Trail is subject to trail quotas, Cottonwood Lakes is an acceptable alternate starting point for ascending the summit.

  1. Meet and comply with all General Requirements.

  2. Have completed a minimum of two weekend training hikes prior to taking this trek.

  3. At the top, take a photograph of participants at the summit hut.

  4. Outing Leader/Unit:

    1. Submit an itinerary showing hike plan, roster, pack list and menu, to your Council's High Adventure team for approval.

    2. Fill in trip report and affix photograph taken at the hut.

  • This award is sponsored by the Southern Sierra Council and may be obtained through the Southern Sierra High Adventure Team (HAT).

  • A permit is required from the National Forest Service to climb Mt. Whitney from Whitney Portal. Because of the popularity of this trail, permits can be very difficult to obtain. Bear this in mind, and apply for permits well in advance of the planned ascent date.

  • An alternative trail to the summit that also qualifies for the Mount Whitney Trail Award is to start the ascent from Cottonwood Lakes.


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