Everyone has seen Mount Whitney from Highway 395 or the Alabama Hills outside of Lone Pine, but the view from the Inyo Mountains is a unique one all on its own! The solitude in this place in particular contrasts greatly to the "hustle and bustle" one often experiences at the Alabama Hills.
Telephoto lens (270mm)
Shoes and clothing for short off-trail hike
Attire and gear appropriate for weather conditions
How to get there
N36° 42' 13.4676"W118° 01' 00.8004"
This spot if off the beaten path, and requires some off-road travel on a narrow two-track road lined by creosote and other desert plants. Road conditions can change from year to year and 4-wheel drive may be required. At the very least, a high clearance vehicle is recommended to make sure your hike isn't longer than it needs to be.
Make your way on Highway 395 to Lone Pine, CA. At the north end of Lone Pine, turn right (east) on Lone Pine Narrow Gauge Rd. At 2.5 miles in there will be a fork, stay left to stay on Lone Pine Narrow Gauge Rd. You will come to another fork in 0.5 miles, stay left to continue on Lone Pine Narrow Gauge Rd. The road will angle into Owenyo Lone Pine Rd 0.4 miles later and you will continue north (left at the intersection) for 4.6 miles. The road was once paved, but has since become more of a paved/graded road. It is still in good condition.
At the 4.6 mile mark, you will make a right turn on an unnamed, unmarked two-track road. The road is located at a point where a former canal (now just a dry ditch) that has been paralleling Owenyo Rd on the east makes a 90 degree west turn crossing Owenyo Rd. This road is a two-track road and it is not maintained. Shortly after turning on the road (after ~700 feet), you will cross over another canal (also dry) and the road will make a right and head south for about 300 feet before a small fork in the road, continue to the left (east). In total, the road is about 2 miles long and heads up the alluvial fan toward the Inyo Mountains. At about the 1.7-mile mark there is another fork, continue straight (right fork). A quarter mile or so later the road will end where it has been washed out by a large drainage. Park there (or anywhere you are able to park before that).
From there, you will hike up the drainage which has washed out the road for about a quarter mile before coming to a confluence with another minor drainage coming from the south. Continue straight up the ridge in front of you that is isolated by those two drainages. You will hike up that ridge for approximately 1,100 feet and a little over 400 feet in elevation gain. All the while a ridge to the west of you will block your view of the Sierra.
Once you reach the GPS coordinates, turn around and Mount Whitney will be visible through a notch in the ridge!
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