Towering above Highway 395 and the town of Lone Pine with a summit elevation of 12,944 feet, Lone Pine Peak is a popular and highly rewarding alpine climb in the Sierra Nevadas. Most approaches for this climb leave from the Whitney Portal Trailhead, though there is no single trail and there are various routes to the top. Climbers should be prepared with strong wayfinding skills in addition to trad climbing experience and equipment. Expect to spend 15 hours on this climb.
From the Whitney Portal Campground, look for the Meysan Lake Trailhead toward the back of the campground beyond some cabins. You’ll follow this trail for the first mile of the hike and quickly leave the noise of the campground behind. In 3.2 miles make a sharp left turn toward a stream. This stream is the only water source on the route until you descend, so be sure to fill up on water here; four to six liters is a good estimate for this long day trip.
The terrain becomes rougher as you leave the stream, and you’ll have some boulder hopping to do in order to gain the ridge. The climbing begins here, and it is predominately moderate in difficulty so long as you find the right route. From the summit you’ll have incredible views from Mount Langley to Mount Whitney and the Owens Valley behind you to the east.
Once you’ve enjoyed the views, follow the summit ridge southeast until you see a scree slope that leads down toward Meysan Lake. Be careful not to leave the ridge too early, as you will find yourself cliffed out. Once you reach the lake, follow the Meysan Lake Trail back to the Whitney Portal Trailhead.