In the aerial image to the left, you see all the major landmarks on the East Side of Mt Whitney. Mirror Lake is at the low point in the photo. It is located 4 miles from the Trailhead
at 10,640 feet above sea level. There is not camping at this lake due to restorative efforts.
About a mile from Mirror Lake at 11,400 feet, you come to Trailside Meadow. No camping here either, but a great place to take a break.
Next we come to Consultation Lake and Trail Camp
. Most people make these areas their high camp before going to the summit. Trail Camp is located 6 miles from the Trailhead at 12,000 feet. After Trail Camp, you are faced with the infamous 99 switchbacks. Fair amount of work to get up this section of the peak, and is one of the areas that fills up with snow and ice early on in the late fall and winter months. Then we come to Trail Crest
, 8.2 miles from the Trailhead at 13,700 feet above sea level. The view from Trail Crest affords one of the most beautiful views in all the Sierra Nevada
. Not far from Trail Crest you will pass the cut off scramble to the top of Mt Muir. As described in our page on the Mt Whitney Trail
, bagging Mt Muir from the backside of the Mt Whitney Trail is an easy way of picking up another 14er if you have the skills to climb a class three rated
peak. From there, its only a couple more miles or so to the Summit
of Mt Whitney.
On the right side of the above aerial photo, you see a great view of the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek. Climbers who are taking on Mt Whitney's East face routes this approach for access. It is a much more demanding trail and gets fairly faint in some sections as you scramble over boulders and loose rock, but it is by far the most direct route if you plan on doing the Mountaineer's Route
or one of the East Face Climbs
. Upper Boyscout Lake or Iceberg Lake are great places to setup camp for for East Face adventures. Lastly, you see Mt Russel in the upper right hand portion of the above image. It is another Sierra 14,000+ foot peak, and is a worthy goal for Mountaineer's and climbers of all skill levels.