mobius arch loop trail hike

Hikes Around Mt Whitney

In This Guide
  • Overview
  • Day Hikes
  • Hikes on the Way to Mt Whitney
  • All Hikes Around Mt Whitney

Most people don’t just drive to Mt. Whitney, hike it, and leave. A more common common scenario is to make a trip of a few days to Mt Whitney, maybe acclimatize, and enjoy the area. Even for those not hiking Mt Whitney, a trip through the I-395 and Eastern Sierra area is a fun place to explore and do some great hikes. Here are some hikes around Mt Whitney that you can enjoy whether you’re going for the summit or not.

Hikes Around Lone Pine, CA

Lone Pine Lake

lone pine lake

Even if you don’t have a permit to hike to Mt Whitney, you can still hike up the Mt Whitney Trail to Lone Pine Lake. It’s a beautiful alpine lake in the shadows of the Eastern Sierras. The hike is about 5.5 miles roundtrip, and has about 1800 feet of climbing, so it’s a challenge, but a doable one. Follow my trail direction to Mt Whitney. When you get to the Lone Pine Lake turnoff, just make the left to the lake instead of the right to the summit.

Lone Pine Lake Using the Mt Whitney Directions

Mobius Arch Loop Trail

mobius arch loop trail hike

This is a fun, short, family-friendly hike right outside of Lone Pine, CA. It’s only 0.6 miles and offers some really cool photo opportunities of Mt Whitney framed by natural arches.

Mobius Arch Loop Trail Hike Directions

Hikes Near Bishop, CA

White Mountain Peak

hike white mountain peak california

If you didn’t score a Mt Whitney permit and want to bag a 14er, White Mountain Peak is your move. Even if you are doing Mt Whitney, the White Mountain Peak hike is a great way to prep for the altitude. It’s a 15 mile hike, but the trail is non-technical, and you can drive to the point where you only do about 3500′ feet of climbing. Now that’s still a very hard day, and not for beginners. But if you have the experience and fitness and want to climb to a point just a few hundred feet less than Whitney, White Mountain Peak is a good choice. The surroundings are also very different than the Eastern Sierra.

White Mountain Peak Hike Directions

Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest Hike

Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest Hike

How about a nice 4.4 mile hike among trees that are thousands of years old? That’s what you’ll find on the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest hike. The hike starts at a visitor’s center that makes it fun and easy to understand what you’re looking at.

Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest Hike

Hikes Between LA and Mt Whitney

It’s a long drive between LA and Mt Whitney, and luckily there are some fun, short hikes right off of the highway where you can stretch your legs and get some nature in.

Red Cliffs Trail Hike – Red Rock Canyon SP

Red Cliffs Trail (Red Rock Canyon State Park, California)

The Red Cliffs Trail hike in Red Rock Canyon State Park is a loop under a mile with great views of the unique Red Cliffs. There’s also a nice grove of Joshua Trees on the hike.

Red Cliffs Trail Hike – Red Rock Canyon SP

Hagen Canyon Trail Hike

Hagen Canyon Trail Hike

Right across the road from the Red Cliffs hike, Hagen Canyon is another short 1.2, family-friendly trail. It takes you through some cool geological formations in the Mojave. Worth the 30 minute stop.

Hagen Canyon Trail Hike

Fossil Falls Hike

fossil falls hike

Another hike right of the highway, this. 0.4 mile hike across a volcanic landscape takes you to a dry waterfall with lots of interesting geology.

Fossil Falls Hike

List of Hikes Around Mt Whitney

Name Miles Climbing Difficulty Dogs
Fossil Falls Hike0.530EasyOff Leash Okay
Hike the Mobius Arch Loop Trail0.665EasyOff Leash Okay
Red Cliffs Trail Hike – Red Rock Canyon SP0.9120EasyLeashed
Hagen Canyon Trail Hike (California)1.2120EasyLeashed
Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest Hike4.41750ModerateLeashed
White Mountain Peak Hike (California)153623HardLeashed
Mt Whitney Hike226100Very HardNo

All Hikes Around Mt Whitney

The short, easy, and fun Fossil Falls hike brings you through a volcanic landscape to a 20,000 year old smooth, water-polished waterfall. The actual water disappeared 10,000 years ago when the Owens River took another path, leaving a geological wonderland for you to checkout. The landscape is beautiful and unique, and is well worth a stop to stretch your legs.

Read More

The easy Hagen Canyon Trail hike takes you through a colorful geographic landscape that was once all underwater. The colorful layers are sediment washed down from the old Sierra Mountains. Over the last 10 million years plate tectonic movement and erosion have formed what you see today. At one point it was a tourist attraction run by the Hagen family, today it’s a state park.  The hike is short and shouldn’t take you more than an hour.

Read More

The Red Cliffs Trail is an easy 1 mile loop hike in a unique Mojave Desert landscape. You’ll pass the namesake Red Cliffs, rock formations of eroded sandstone, mudstone, and volcanic rock, thrusted up above the desert floor by faulting. It’s also been the backdrop of many movies and television shows. The Red Cliffs Trail is a great place to stretch your legs if you’re traveling between LA and the Eastern Sierra or Death Valley.

Read More

If you’re in Lone Pine, CA, don’t miss the Mobius Arch Loop Trail in the Alabama Hills Recreation Area. It’s an easy hike that has one of the best photo opportunities in the Eastern Sierras. You’ll be able to perfectly frame Mt Whitney and the Sierras within a natural rock arch formation. And there’s more than just Mobius Arch, Alabama Hills Recreation Area is full of natural beauty and unique rock formations. You might even recognize some of the spots in Alabama Hills from Django Unchained, Gladiator and Iron Man.

Read More

This Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest hike takes you through awe-inspiring groves of the oldest trees in the world, the Ancient Bristlecone Pines. This trail will take you past living trees that are up to 5000 years old, shaped and gnarled by thousands of years of wind coming off of the Sierras and Nevada Basin, which you will also get incredible views of. This hike is relatively easy, on a well marked trail, and includes a very cool visitor center and interpretive info along the route.

Read More

The White Mountain Peak hike brings you to the third highest peak in California, only a few hundred feet lower than Mt Whitney, and the highest outside peak of the Sierra Nevada. The hike is tough, but doable, and meanders through the White Mountains Wilderness section of Inyo National Forest: a rugged a beautiful mountain desert, tucked into the rain shadow of the Sierra Nevada. The summit of White Mountain Peak offers great 360 views from the Eastern Sierras to Nevada.

Read More

The Mt Whitney hike is on every hiker’s bucket list. At 14,505 feet, it’s the highest point in the lower 48, and is one of those rare high peaks that you can hike to without any mountaineering skills. There is some prep work you need to do, like getting your Mt Whitney permit and dealing with the altitude. This hike guide has everything you need to know to successfully climb Mt Whitney. Keep reading for all the info.

Read More