Scenic USA - California

Mount Whitney Trail (JMT)

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Whitney Trail - John Muir Trail - California

Photos by Rob Jones
Wilderness Vagabond Trip Reports

Sky Pilot wildflower    Receiving a huge emotional boost with a final climb to Mount Whitney now in sight, John Muir Trail Mount Whitney - on the Trail (JMT) hikers face just a few more challenges. Climbing up from Vidette Meadow, the heart is tested again as the JMT crosses the Great Western Divide at Forester Pass. This 13,000 foot ridge also marks the border between Kings Canyon and Sequoia national parks. Ahead lies the Bighorn Plateau, and soon this southward march turns abruptly east to the Crabtree Ranger Station, Guitar Lake, and the Mount Whitney Zone.
   The sky pilot adds a pleasant splash of color to this otherwise barren landscape. There's no surprise that Trail Camp at 12,000 feet is cold and windy as the peak baggers contemplate their final push to the summit, the highest point in the Lower 48. Mount Whitney Trail Hiker Here the bare rock summit is marked with a figurative exclamation point, and a circular bronze summit marker announcing the elevation as 14,494.777 feet, one of a half million benchmarks placed throughout America by the USGS.
   It's been a marvelous journey! Even though the trail seems busy on rare occasions, only a small percentage of the population has taken the opportunity to witness this marvelous section of the High Sierra that John Muir so fervently petitioned to protect.

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