Eastern Sierra Hikes
Just because the Eastern Sierras are home to the big mountains doesn’t mean that all the Eastern Sierra hikes are long or tough. There’s a great range of hikes in the Eastern Sierra and neighboring regions for all skill levels. From short hikes through rock formations, to moderate hikes to pristine alpine lakes, to hikes to the oldest trees on earth, and of course, hikes to the high mountains, the Eastern Sierras has it all.
|Cottonwood Lakes Hike||13||Moderate||Lone Pine||1350||Y|
|Lone Pine Lake Hike||5.6||Moderate||Lone Pine||1900||N|
|Fossil Falls Hike||0.5||Easy||Olancha||30||Y|
|Hike the Mobius Arch Loop Trail||0.6||Easy||Lone Pine||65||Y|
|Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest Hike||4.4||Moderate||Bishop||900||Y|
|White Mountain Peak Hike (California)||15||Hard||Bishop||3360||Y|
|Mt Whitney Hike||22||Very Hard||Whitney Portal||6960||N|
Eastern Sierra Hiking Tips
- Rt-395 is the main route along the Eastern Sierra. There are small towns where you can set up basecamp to explore. Lone Pine and Bishop CA, are probably the most popular places to stay in the Eastern Sierra.
- If you want some good free camping on BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land, try the Alabama Hills outside of Lone Pine, CA. It’s a fragile landscape so please be respectful of the land if you do camp.
- Consumer goods are limited along Rt-395. There are supermarkets and some smaller stores with gear, but no REI stores. It’s best to get your gear (and use it) before coming here.
- The Eastern Sierra Visitor Center in Lone Pine, CA is worth stopping at. There are good interpretive displays, basic hiking gear, and a good gift shop.
- Winters commonly clobber the Eastern Sierra’s with snow. Unless you know what you’re doing and have good experience on a trail in normal conditions, don’t attempt a hike in the winter. Many roads and trailheads at the higher elevations are closed in the winter. Snow can last into September (from the past winter). Here’s how to check for snow on a hiking trail.
- In the summer mosquitos and bugs can be intense. Take insect repellant and a head net, they are worth every cent.
- The Eastern Sierra is home to black bears (but no grizzlies). Know how to hike and backpack responsibly in bear country.
Popular Hikes in the Eastern Sierras
- Mt Whitney
- Cottonwood Lake
- Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest Hike
Family Hikes in the Eastern Sierras
- Mobius Arch Loop
- Lone Pine Lake
- Fossil Falls
13 miles - Moderate
5.6 miles - Moderate
0.5 miles - Easy
0.6 miles - Easy
4.4 miles - Moderate
15 miles - Hard
22 miles - Very Hard