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Mt. Whitney / SEKI

Sunday, August 18, 2024 - Monday, August 26, 2024 -- $2000 ★★★★★, ONLY 2 SPOTS LEFT


Summit the highest peak in the lower 48!

At 14,505' the summit of Mount Whitney is the highest point in the lower 48 of the United States. You already know that summiting is a life-list goal for some and a nonpareil personal challenge that will give you a great deal of personal satisfaction. And for the rest of your life, you can impress your friends by casually mentioning your feat in conversation.

But what you may not know is just how beautiful the rest of the High Sierra is, with stunning all day views of distant lesser known and unnamed peaks, beautiful mountain lakes and redolent wildflowers. Because of all this, and the fact that we will hike along the famous John Muir Trail (and Pacific Crest Trail), this is one of the most popular and sought after hiking destinations there is.

While Mt. Whitney is officially located within Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park, we will start and end in the , and pass through the John Muir Wilderness along the way.

Our journey has 2 parts. The first half of the trip will take us through Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park North of Mt. Whitney. We will begin at the Onion Valley Trailhead North of Lone Pine and West of Independence, CA and loop around the High Sierra, going off-trail through Center Canyon on the way up to lightly traveled Junction Pass. One nice thing about starting here is that the elevation is already over 9000' to help us get acclimated to the altitude quickly. There will still be plenty of elevation gain (and loss) along the way, but at least we're not starting thousands of feet lower..

The 2nd half of the trip is the summit of Mt. Whitney. We will begin this part at the classic, way-too-popular Whitney Portal. We'll camp at Trail Camp on our way to the summit, wake up before dawn to day-hike to the summit and return back to Trail Camp that night.

Come summit the highest peak in the Lower 48 and create a lasting memory. Why not join us this summer?

Topographical Map of Proposed Route

See CalTopo map


Weather is always an important concern when hiking. Expect daytime hiking temperatures well into the 70s and nighttime temperatures in the 40s & 50s. However, be prepared for the possibility of day temperatures in the 80s and as low as 30 plus violent afternoon thunderstorms. Here is the historical August weather.

Probable Trip Leaders

Steve Silberberg
Rick Romine
Any Other Guide(s) TBD


The trails through the Inyo National Forest and Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park are well groomed with good footing. However, elevation gain and loss can be dramatic. We will be going over Kearsarge Pass, Junction Pass and summitting Mt. Whitney itself. Our trip will be a long, difficult journey at times not only because of the distance we'll cover, but because the thin air at high elevation can induce altitude sickness, especially to those who are coming from Sea Level. In order to combat this, we will endeavor to stay super-hydrated.

That said, the continually changing incredible scenery that few ever get to see should keep you engaged even when fatigue begins to set in.


$2000 per person double occupancy. Here, double occupancy means that you will share a room with another participant during the 1 hotel night. You will also be responsible for transportation to and from Las Vegas, CA (LAS), personal equipment, restaurant meals eaten off the trail and any gratuities for guides.

Covered expenses include 1 hotel night, 2 nights in a frontcountry campground, 7 days of trail meals, ground transportation, National Park permits, National Forest Permits, Mt. Whitney Summit permits and 2 awesome guides.

Tipping: In order to keep our prices competitive with (and hopefully favorable to) other outfitters, we shamefully can’t pay our guides as much as we think they deserve. Like most other guiding services, we rely on the generosity of our participants to make up this shortfall by tipping the guides. While tips are not required or expected, if your guides have served you well, please consider a gratuity so they can continue living their extravagant lifestyles of eating powdered meals, sleeping in the dirt and pooping in smelly outhouses and small holes they've dug.


We must be continually mindful of the elevation and acclimate to it. On our first day of hiking, we will traverse Kearsarge Pass at 11,709' and on the third day, we will hike over 13,200' Junction Pass -- higher than Forester Pass, the highest point on the Pacific Crest Trail. Unfortunately, we won't have too much of an opportunity to acclimate since the start of the trip (Las Vegas) is only at 2000' above sea level. And contrary to popular belief, fitness level has little to do with altitude acclimation. Your body chemistry is what dictates its effects. Staying super hydrated and limiting caffeine can help however.

Wag bags are required on Mt. Whitney. It is possible that there will be a box of them left on the approach trail for our taking, you should probably carry one anyway. Unfortunately, your full wag bag must be carried out with you.

Civil Rights Compliance

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, and reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.)

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible State or local Agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information is also available in languages other than English.

To file a complaint alleging discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at, or at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provided in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (a) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (b) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (c) email:

Fitpacking operates under permit on the Inyo National Forest.

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Guides for this trip
Important Note
Difficulty (Please Read)


Sunday, August 18, 2024

Fly or drive into Las Vegas, NV (LAS). Please arrive by Noon as we will depart between 1PM and 2PM.

Take the free airport shuttle to our local hotel

We will assemble at: El Cortez Hotel & Casino, 600 Fremont St, Las Vegas, NV, 89101, (702) 385-5200.

Mini-equipment shakedown. We reiterate the virtual shakedown you did pre-trip.

Make Your Own Trail Mix Bar from our assortment of ingredients

"Before" body composition measurements taken

If you have forgotten or overlooked gear, we may take a trip to REI Las Vegas, 710 S. Rampart Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89145, (702) 951-4488, for last minute or forgotten equipment

All the items that you won't bring on the trail will be set aside and placed in storage

If you drove, vehicles may be left at Hotel. However, the hotel may charge you a fee and assumes no responsibility for your car's security and will have you sign a document saying so.

At around 3PM, shuttle to campsite: Onion Valley Campground, Independence, CA 93526. Site(s): 011 & 017 Elevation: 9600'

Shuttling will take about 4 hours

Guides prepare dinner in camp. On some trips with longer shuttle times, we may opt to go out for an opening dinner at a local restaurant. (Cost of restaurant dinner not included in trip price)

Camp at Onion Valley Campground, Independence, CA 93526. Site(s): 011 & 017 Elevation: 9600'

We will likely pick up bear canisters in Lone Pine.

Spot a vehicle at the Shepherd Pass Trailhead.

Be prepared to set up camp in waning daylight if we leave Vegas late.

Monday, August 19, 2024

Start hiking at Onion Valley Trailhead, elevation 9200'

Hike 4.7 interminable uphill miles on the Kearsarge Pass Trail to Kearsarge Pass, elevation 11,820'

Hike 0.5 downhill miles on the Kearsarge Pass Trail to the Bullfrog Lake Trail, elevation 11,400'

Hike 0.5 downhill miles on the Bullfrog Lake Trail to the Kearsarge Lakes Trail, elevation 11,060'

Hike 0.6 miles on the Kearsarge Lakes Trail to Kearsarge Lake, elevation 10,930'

Camp at Kearsarge Lake, elevation 10,930'

Miles today: 6.2 miles. Total to Date: 6.2 miles

Possible Bailout: Onion Valley

Tuesday, August 20, 2024

Hike 0.6 miles on the Kearsarge Lakes Trail to the Bullfrog Lake Trail, elevation 11,000'

Hike 1.7 downhill miles on the Bullfrog Lake Trail to the John Muir Trail, elevation 10,530'

Hike 4.3 downhill then uphill miles on the John Muir Trail to a campsite just after a trail junction that heads to Center Canyon, elevation 10,470'

Camp at a campsite near Bubbs Creek just after a trail junction that heads to Center Canyon, elevation 10,470'

Miles today: 6.6. Total miles: 12.8

Possible bailout: One Day Away

Wednesday, August 21, 2024

Today we go off-trail to a High Sierra Route through Center Canyon

Hike 4.8 sometimes grueling uphill miles through Center Canyon to Junction Pass, elevation 13,200'. Some scrambling may be involved.

This video may give you an idea of what this route is like:

OMG look at the view! (if you don't have hypoxia). Junction Pass is the highest point on this part of the trip.

Hike 2.5 mostly downhill miles to the Shepherd Pass Trail, elevation 10,830'

Hike 0.8 mostly downhill miles to the Anvil Camp, elevation 10,350'

Camp at Anvil Campsite, elevation 11,180'

Miles today: 8.1. Total miles: 20.9

Possible bailout: One Day Away

Thursday, August 22, 2024

Hike 9.6 all-day, bone-crushing, downhill miles on the Shepherd Pass Trail back to the Shepherd Pass Trailhead, elevation 5,700'

Miles today: 9.6. Total miles: 30.5

Cram everyone into the spotted vehicle, pick up the vehicle at Onion Valley and shuttle to Whitney Portal

Shuttle to Whitney Portal, elevation 8375'

Camp at Whitney Portal Frontcountry Camp, sites 001 & 003, elevation 8375'

Possible bailout: Shepherd Pass Trailhead

Friday, August 23, 2024


Saturday, August 24, 2024


Sunday, August 25, 2024


Shuttle back to local hotel: Luxor Hotel, 3900 S. Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV, 89119, (877) 386-4658.

Gather your off-trail items from storage

After body composition measurements taken

Dinner and awards ceremony at a local restaurant (Dinner cost not included in trip price)

Stay in our local hotel (included in trip cost)

This is the official end of the trip. You are welcome to spend the night at the hotel, however if you drove and would like to get on the road or if you flew and would like to schedule a late flight (or a red-eye if this is a West Coast trip) you can definitely do so.

Monday, August 26, 2024

Take free airport shuttle or we will pay for a shared cab/Uber

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