White Mountain Peak via White Mountain Road
9 reviews Inyo National Forest #1 hike out of 19 in
8 hrs 18 min
This is a difficult out and back trail to White Mountain Peak in Inyo National Forest.
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White Mountain (8/13/14, 7:48:47AM)
White Mountain the second highest peak in California, stands at 14,246 ft. Located Near the Nevada border on the edge of Owens' Valley outside of Big Pine California. This trail is probably one of the easier of the fourteener's in California because the trail is a dirt road that leads all the way to the top. At the top is a research building that's part of the Barcroft Research Center. The views of the Eastern Sierra's are beautiful, but some say the path is pretty boring up to the top. The landscape is very barren, desert like and no trees. What you will see are a lot, I mean A LOT of Marmot's and some golden mantel ground squirrels. If you are very, very lucky... you might even get a peak at some very rare Big Horn Sheep that live in the area. I was VERY blessed the day I was up White Mountain. I saw four Big Horn Sheep, two Ewes and two babies ( probably under a year old). On this trail, you'll see lot's of fellow hikers as well as some cyclist. Since it is a dirt road, it has multiple uses. White Mountain is a great place to start if your interested in climbing a fourteener. It has all the challenges of elevation gain, but not a extreme milage like Whitney or Langley ( some of the other less technical 14'er's).
White Mountain Peak, 14,250'
And...on the day after our walk in the ancient Bristlecone pine forest, Chris (birthday boy), Cindi, and I climbed White Mountain Peak. After a 25 mile dirt road drive with views of the Easter n Sierra to the west and beautiful alpine terrain, we bedded down at the trailhead. We were hiking by 6:30 AM the next morning, having diapered our cars in heavy duty tarps to keep marmots at bay. 2.5 miles in we encounted a reasearch station with a flock of sheep (Loma Linda University is doing hypoxia experiments on them. Sucks to be a sheep). Then past a small observatory with a bronze roof (color coordinated with the rock well) and on up. The steep summit push to 14,250' gave us our "Everest" experience without having to go to Nepal. On the way home we had a close up encounter with a flock of bighorn sheep (rare sight!) and a few marmots. Highly recommended adventure!
2015.08.02 White Mountain (14,246'/4,342m)
White Mountain (14,246'/4,342m). Camped at Barcroft gate trailhead (11,640'/3,550m) in rain the night before. The morning started cold (~50°F/5°C). A few inches of new snow above 13,500'/4,100m. Great view from the peak. Marmot was basking in sun. Thinking of bugging Mt. Barcroft (13,040/3,975m) as well, attempted a peak visible in the west of UC Barcroft Lab on the way back, but the real peak turns out to be further west and slightly higher by 250’/75m. So, instead, hiked cross country back to the trail and to the trailhead. This cross country on a gentle rolling hills was more enjoyable than hiking on dirt road/trail. On our way back to Bay area, the city of Big Pine (~4,000/1,220m) in Owens Valley below was dry and hot, with temperature of 93°F/34°C.
White Mountain Peak MTB 7/29/15 9:45 am
With Jim, Lamar, Matt & Rudy. Flickr album: https://flic.kr/s/aHskhifvyz
White Mountain Peak
Decent amount of snow at the top, dad and I summited in June