Whitney Portal - National Recreation Trail and Fossil Falls

Whitney Portal National Recreation Trail


The plan is to enter Lone Pine Campground where the NRT trail begins and hike 4 miles along the Whitney Portal Trail to Whitney Portal.  The trail follows the south side of Lone Pine Creek and ends at the Portal.  We will have lunch, enjoy the views of Mt. Whitney and other surrounding peaks, then return to the trailhead via the same route.  This hike is 8 miles round trip.

The Whitney Portal National Recreation Trail connects Lone Pine Campground and Whitney Portal. The upper portion of the trail is in a forested canyon alongside a creek. The lower portion is more open and can be very hot in summer. This trail should not be confused with the trail to the summit of Mt. Whitney.

Fossil Falls: A short side trip on the way home will be a hike to Fossil Falls in Owens Valley.  http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/ridgecrest/fossil.html 

*** PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY *** No one in the group is a guide or in any way responsible for your comfort or safety. Please be prepared with adequate gear and supplies for the trip. Please remember that going out into wilderness has risks associated with it and you should be aware and prepared to address any changes in weather, road conditions or to look out for/avoid random acts of nature, including insects, wild animals and natural hazards. It is your responsibility to evaluate the difficulty of any activity you participate in, and decide whether you are prepared by having the experience, skill, knowledge, equipment, and the physical and emotional stamina to safely participate.

*** WAIVER OF LIABILITY *** The Organizers and members in this group are not professional leaders, guides, or mountaineers. The function of the member or organizer is only to organize the trip. Each person who shows up for a trip/meetup (and their guest or guests) is responsible for his or her own safety. By attending a hike, or any other event organized by this group, you are acknowledging that you and any guests that you bring are aware of the risks, dangers and hazards associated with the activity and freely accept and fully assume all such risks, dangers and hazards, and further agree to release and discharge the Organizers, Members of the Southern Sierra Hiking Club Meetup Group from and against any and all liability arising from your participation in the group activities.

By RSVPing you ARE agreeing to the above statements.

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  • Stephen B.

    A great group of people, I had a blast. I'm glad everyone enjoyed Fossil Falls.

    1 · August 25

  • Cathy B.

    OK, one more thing. Aida, girl you MOVE! I love having you on the beginner hikes, but please try the moderate hikes on Tuesday and Thursday also. I think you would really enjoy them!

    1 · August 25

  • Cathy B.

    Oh and Fossil Falls was magnificent! I've been driving by it all my life from point A to point B never stopping. Thank you for insisting Steve!

    1 · August 25

  • Cathy B.

    I am happy to report that after back to back hikes, my muscles hurt but not my joints! This was a beautiful challenging hike with awesome people. The night before with the camping group was equally as fun. I really enjoy my new found friends! Maureen, Pedro, and Kim thank you so much for sticking with me through my tortoise pace on the way up. Can't wait to do this again.

    1 · August 25

  • Maureen R.

    Fun challenge. And the Fossil Falls is 'other worldly!' Thanks!

    2 · August 25

  • Tony S.

    Fun day! Good to see a lot of our newer members make it out of Bakersfield!
    And Matt rounded up 23 Wasco High School kids to get up around 4:00 am to make there ride to Lone Pine! Great bunch of young adults!

    3 · August 24

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'll be leaving Bakersfield around 1:00pm Saturday if anyone wants to hitch a ride.

    August 22

  • Aida L. W.

    Do you think I could still reserve a spot to camp if I were to go on Saturday.

    August 22

    • Pedro Ruiz A.

      It looks like it is full (Check at http://www.recreation...­ ) but there are some people that can share its place. We can also share our spot #004 with you, but If you bring a car, you must pay an additional fee (5$ I think). We will be arriving around noon (Look for a blue Xterra).-

      August 22

    • Aida L. W.

      Ok. Thank you.

      August 22

  • Stephen B.

    According to the website, no more reservations, but it looks like there are walk up sites available. If you are tent camping, I'm happy to share my spot, #41 . I'll have a stove, water,and cooking utensils.

    August 22

    • Tony S.

      I would like to take you up on that Stephen. I am planning to just sleep in the bed of my truck though, is there enough room for my truck? I can also use a tent if no room.

      1 · August 22

  • Cathy B.

    Here is my number in case anyone needs it[masked]

    August 22

  • Pedro Ruiz A.

    Good afternoon:
    I am asking for one favor: Is anyone hitting the road on Saturday afternoon around 4: 00 p.m.? The idea is to give a ride to my wife (Carpooling her), because she has to work late on Saturday afternoon. If anybody is able, please call me at[masked]-4384. Thanks to all.

    August 22

  • Cathy B.

    There is an exquisite restaurant in Lone Pine named seasons. Is anybody up for going to an early dinner Saturday night?

    2 · August 20

    • Cathy B.

      Early dinner and only little wine=}

      1 · August 22

    • Cathy B.

      Besides, it's for medicinal purposes. Digestion, good blood, good mood, good night's sleep...

      2 · August 22

  • Pedro Ruiz A.

    Good evening everybody:
    I can't go en Friday, but for sure on Saturday (Work related problems). My spot #028 will be available for anyone needing it. See you there.....

    August 21

  • Kathleen

    Sorry guys, changing my RSVP to another time. I am going to do this hike when I can stay the weekend, too much driving from Porterville.

    August 21

  • Ana A.

    Hi Matthew! I'm on the wait list for Whitney Portal, unfortunately I won't be able to go. Hopefully, next Time! You guys be safe, have a great time, take lots of pictures. Vayan con DIOS MUCHACHOS!:-)

    August 20

  • Cathy B.

    Ana! Get on it! There are 2 spots open!

    August 20

  • Patty B.

    Sorry have to drop out of the Whitney Portal hike. I think I may have been in with a plus one.
    Have a great hike. See you all soon.

    August 19

  • Cathy B.

    During my crazy insomnia last night, I found there are many sights devoted to sleeping in a Subaru Forester! I don't know if that is good, but it certainly is helpful.

    August 19

  • Kathleen

    Anyone interested in carpooling from Porterville area on Sunday? Happy to drive or passenger.

    August 18

  • Matthew S.

    Hikers. Here is what you can expect for Sunday's hike.

    9:00 a.m meet at Lone Pine Campground. Start hike from there up to the Portal. Lunch at the Portal store if you like, or pack one. Hang out in the Portal area, watch and meet other hikers getting ready for Whitney Summit attempt.

    1:00 p.m. Depart Portal and hike back to cars at original trail head.

    3:00ish Those that want to visit Fossil Falls can caravan. To Find Fossil Falls, set your odometer at McDonald's in Lone Pine at drive south on 395 for exactly 44 miles to Cinder Road, turn east into the parking area. The Fossil Falls area is just a short walk from the parking. It's slippery climbing around the lava falls, so be careful.

    If you don't want to visit the Fossil Falls, or you want to spend more time at the Portal, in Lone Pine or the Alabama Hills, you are welcome to change your plans.

    My number is[masked] if you need any assistance.

    See you there.

    August 18

  • Pedro Ruiz A.

    Good morning everybody:
    I have had some dificulties: neither my wife or Viva can join me in this hike, so I am alone to do this long road trip & camping. There are two options: a) Somebody can take for free my reserved parking spot for from Friday to Sunday and I am going to stay in Bakersfield, or b) Anybody con join me in my car, so I have some company. But they have to bring his food and camping gear, or can sleep in my SUV.
    So, anybody interested, can call e at[masked]

    August 18

  • ML

    I realized I am already committed to going to another group on Sunday. I am taking someone so I cannot go here. I am sorry. Looking forward to next time. I need a good hike.

    August 13

  • ML

    Does the trail go by the lakes up there?

    August 8

    • Matthew S.

      We are hiking from the Lone Pine campground to Whitney Portal. Then back to the trailhead. After that we are driving to Fossil Falls in Owens Valley. The Mt. Whitney Main Trail starts at the Portal. From there you can hike to Lone Pine Lake, any further requires a permit.

      August 9

  • Stephen B.

    I have never been there, so your guess is as good as mine. I think the tent sites, and the RV sites are gravel. I only know what I read on the web site.

    August 6

    • Pedro Ruiz A.

      I could reserve two different spots: #28 en Friday and # 004 for Saturday. I would like to join you with my car, if it is not a problem. Anything, call me at[masked]

      August 6

  • Stephen B.

    Hi Pedro, I just looked at the website, and it shows that site 40 is still available for Saturday. You're welcome to stay at my site, I believe there is room for 3 tents, but I think you'll have to pay a second vehicle fee of $5. I hope to leave by 5:00 on Friday, so I can get there before it's completely dark.

    1 · August 5

    • Pedro Ruiz A.

      I already found the right web place. It looks like place #40 is available for Saturday only, but place #006 is available from Friday. Can I use it for my SUV? Can I invite somebody else from our group to share my place? Thanks for your help

      August 6

    • Pedro Ruiz A.

      Some more questions: I looked on Google maps and looks like tthe place is a little dusty...where are the better spots to camp: a)yours, b) place # 40 or c) place # 006. Thanks for your advice.

      August 6

  • Stephen B.

    Hi Pedro, or any one else. I'm looking for a car pool companion. I'm driving up on Friday afternoon, and will be camping Friday, and Saturday. I already have a site reserved in the walk in tent area. I'm planning on going up to Bishop on Saturday ( Have to get the Schatts' chili- cheese bread while I'm there), and am open to exploring , or whatever. I have a small 4 wheel drive truck, and all the camping gear. You would need your own food and tent.

    August 3

    • Pedro Ruiz A.

      Hello Stephen: I am planning to go on Saturday at any time with my wife and probably with Viva and her daughter. I would like to know how to make a camping tent reservation and where you are going to put your tent, in order to get close to you, if it is possible. Thanks

      August 4

    • Pedro Ruiz A.

      Hello Stephen: I have been looking for a place to camp, but they are all already been reserved. Is there any chance to join you with me and my wife. Also, what time are you planing to leave ?

      August 5

  • Stephen B.

    Hi Pedro, Here's the link. There is only 1 tent site left on that date, site 40. All the other sites are for RV's I don't know if you can set up a tent on them. Good luck, I hope you can get it. http://www.recreation.gov/camping/lone-pine-ca/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=70292

    August 4

  • A former member
    A former member

    I did this hike last weekend. Started in the PM and it was very warm. I suggest bringing plenty of water. The early start is a good idea. Great hike; especially the upper portion. The Lone Pine Campground is easy to find, 3 hours max. from Bakersfield. I am planning to camp at Lone Pine the night before.

    1 · July 21

    • Pedro Ruiz A.

      Good morning: I would like to camp also. But because it is going to first time (in USA), I would like to go with someone. I already have all the gear). Any suggestion?

      July 25

  • Cathy B.

    This is my first outing with the group-other than conditioning hikes-and I am super excited! I will be car camping the bought before in space 20. Someone on Trip Advisor said it is right by the creek and really nice.

    1 · July 25

    • Cathy B.

      That's the NIGHT before... Spell ck...

      July 25

    • Matthew S.

      It's a fun hike. Nice little intro to the Whitney area. You can hike on the Whitney Main Trail, also, up to the Whitney Zone. From there a permit is required. In this section you can visit Lone Pine Lake and a water fall. I am just leading to the Portal and back so we can move on and visit the Fossil Falls area.

      1 · July 25

  • Matthew S.

    Hi, the hike starts from there at 9:00 a.m., so a little before just to make sure.

    1 · July 3

  • Cathy B.

    Hi Matthew. What is the meetup time at the Lone Pine Campground?

    July 3

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