Summit of Mt. Whitney, Sequoia National Park, CA

John Muir Trail Map 9 - Guitar Lake to Mt. Whitney to Whitney Portal

Guitar Lake to Whitney Portal

Most hikers make an early start for the summit of Mt. Whitney, leaving before dawn and making their way up the first switchbacks guided by headlamps. Some leave early enough to enjoy sunrise from the summit. Carry plenty of water since none is likely available until near Trail Camp.

Hikers leave their packs at the trail junction and make the final 2 miles with daypacks. A few sections of the trail to the summit are rugged and require careful attention to footing, but there is little danger for those who move with caution. A stone building is located near the summit along with a register.

The 10-mile descent to Whitney Portal is long and tiresome. Countless switchbacks are followed by weary miles along streams, past lakes, and eventually to the end of the trail. A store and restaurant greet hikers at the portal along with a backpackers' camp.

John Muir Trail elevation profile from Guitar Lake to Mt. Whitney to Whitney Portal, CA