Hiking Mount Whitney

Mt Whitney Trail / Mount Whitney Map

mt whitney mapWhen the snow melts in the High Sierra, the rush is on! This is one of the most popular backpacking trips in the Eastern Sierra, as Mt Whitney is the highest peak (14505′ elevation) in the contiguous United States of America.

Day hikes to the summit should only be attempted if you are in excellent physical shape & used to high altitude hiking. There are so many folks trying to hike this sought-after peak in the warmer summer months (MAY-OCT) that the National Forest has put tight restrictions on these Mount Whitney trails. You must obtain a Wilderness hiking permit for this hike & that requires waiting in a long line of outdoor enthusiasts that also seek this prime destination.

The Lone Pine Ranger station holds an annual Whitney trail LOTTERY, where you must apply a year in advance & be granted a permit before you can set foot on this popular hiking route.

An alternate backpacking route to Mt Whitney is the southern ridge line from the Cottonwood Lakes trailhead, but you still must verify with local authorities for permits & Wilderness passes.

The Alabama Hills, between US Hwy 395 @ Lone Pine CA and the Whitney Portal offers camping and mountain biking trails with excellent views of Mount Whitney from below. A short drive up to the portal & you can stand in the waterfall mist & then do a day hike up to Lone Pine Lake.

Now that we have you salivating for this epic adventure, you can start your dreaming & real planning by ordering hiking topo maps of the region. Then after you have thoroughly reviewed the maps, the terrain (as well as your own physical condition), you can contact the Inyo National Forest / Lone Pine ranger office for more specifics on dates & details. This may take years of planning to make it happen.

lone pine roads

The Alabama Hills sit at the base of Mt Whitney, California

Cool Places to See in Cali

Cool Places in California

Off the Beaten Path
inside California

California Day Trips

 

Shopping Tourists
more tourist attractions and family vacations

Hearst Castle

Carlsbad Flower Fields
North county San Diego annual bloom event every Spring (March & April)

Hearst Castle
Central Coast rural and rugged coastline, south of Big Sur, California. Very touristy destination; Tickets for tours required.

Historical Re-Enactments @ Riley’s Farm
A real working apple orchard near Los Angeles; offering living history programs; re-enactments of scenes from the American Revolution, Civil War & Old West. Dinner, holiday shows, restaurant & tavern.

Monterey Bay Aquarium
This is the premier ocean museum and largest tanks on the California Coast.

Mystery Spot
Defy gravity, geological puzzling; Interstate 236 Santa Cruz coastal redwoods

Winchester Mystery House
6 acre, 160 room 45 million dollar Victorian mansion with bizarre architectural features

San Diego Hiking Trails

San Diego hikes, SD hiking, San Diego Mountains

Anza Borrego Desert Slot Canyons
Anza Borrego Desert Slot Canyons

Back a couple of decades ago, inspiration and research for creating this very web site began in the deserted hills behind San Diego. Escaping the city at every chance, some feel the rat race more than others. Luckily the desert is close and there is plenty of space for everyone. California boulders and badlands, hot springs, pine meadows, great views, oak forests creeks, coastal cliffs and lush canyons near downtown, SD does have some awesome hiking trails – even a few waterfalls too.

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San Diego County Parks Map w/ links
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SD small towns w/ hiking trails nearby
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San Diego Hiking Maps

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California Campground Maps

California topo mapsWhen you go camping, you wanna explore the area. That’s why you are camping there, right? Hiking & biking trails, equestrian trails, off road routes, river, streams, waterfalls & the closest trail heads. If you prefer primitive camping, outside of developed campgrounds without all the amenities, topographic maps of the back roads give you a perfect overview on where to begin your search. The ultimate creek side camp spot awaits.

The California maps we carry have developed Campgrounds featured for that region. These camps could be managed by any government agency, BLM, NPS, NFS, SP or perhaps a private campground. Below is a list of gorgeous regions that have excellent Campgrounds:

CA National Forest Maps

grover hot springs

Central Coast California

Central Coast Mountains / Central Coast Cali

Within 40 miles from the Santa Barbara coast are mountains that reach near 9000′ elevation, the tallest in Kern County. Mount Pinos & Mt Able, as well as the Sespe, Dick Smith, San Rafael, Matilija & Chumash Wilderness Areas, make up this southern portion of Los Padres National Forest. There are plenty of tiny, primitive campgrounds that offer seclusion for RVs & car campers. 4×4 camps, OHV routes & parks, plus numerous Wilderness areas that will suit everyone’s need for the outdoors. A great drive for accessing this area is Hwy 33 North from Ojai.

Further up the coast is the northern section of Los Padres National Forest – which is the mountainous back drop to the magnificent Big Sur coastline. If you are seeking to camp near Big Sur without the fees of a developed Campground, these dirt road ridge lines may be your saving grace… if you don’t mind roughing it. Views over the ocean & coastline are even more spectacular than from Hwy 1, but campfire restriction can be tight in summer & fall months. There are plenty lodging opportunities, historic lodges, cabins or luxury RV parks, located in the small towns along the coast.

Both Los Padres forest north & south are open all year long for recreation & camping. Only one town in this region, Pine Mountain Club, gets considerable amounts of snow (roads may be impassable without chains, AWD or 4×4). Central Coast icon Big Sur with Hwy 1 is prone to mud & rock slides during heavy rains, so plan for alternate routes & check road conditions w/ CalTrans when traveling during inclement weather.

Central Coast forest & parks –

Los Padres National Forest
Andrew Molera State Park
Julia Pfieffer Burns State Park
Limekiln State Park
Pfieffer Big Sur State Park
San Simeon State Park

Moonstone Beach Cambria

Central Coast maps & trails –

Central Coast towns nearby –
Big Sur, Cambria, Frazier Park, Gorda, Gorman, Ojai, New Cuyama, Pine Mountain, San Simeon, Ventucopa

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California North Coast

Northern CA Coast / Northern Coast of California

The redwood north coast of California is very forested region with many rivers & streams running throughout. Fishing, kayaking, rafting, camping & backpacking are all superb here. The wilderness rules, as the majority of the landscape is wild & untouched by development. Mountain ranges near the north California coast span in elevation from 1000′ to 8000′. The Klamath River, Eel River & Trinity River are the predominate waterways in this region, with designated National Forest lining their canyons. There are over 10 parks along the coast that feature the redwood trees as the main attraction. The ones listed below are the inland, mountainous areas of Northern California.

klamath river

Mendocino National Forest

Clear Lake, Kelseyville, Ukiah

north coast CA

Redwood National Park

Klamath, Orick

north coast CA

Six Rivers National Forests

north coast CA

Smith River Recreation Area

Crescent City, Orleans