"Anna Mills, the first woman to climb Mount Whitney in 1878, wrote of her journey, “I can candidly say that I have never seen, nor do I expect to see, a picture so varied, so sublime, so awe-inspiring, as that seen from the summit of Mount Whitney.” (Mount Whitney Club Journal, 1902). Indeed, Mount Whitney is a perch that inspires the use of superlatives. Less intimidating than most peaks, Mount Whitney welcomes hikers to her gently sloped top with a winding path that requires no technical experience. As 14,000-foot mountains go, Mount Whitney is a relatively easy one to climb. But relative is the key word. Hiking to the top of the highest peak in the lower 48 states (second in the continental United States only to Alaska’s Mount McKinley), is still a feat to be admired. Thin air, winding switchbacks, endless sun, and wind exposure can all take their toll, and this is not a task to be taken lightly. Preparation— both mental and physical—is the key to success. From trailhead to summit requires more than 6,000 feet of elevation gain over 11 miles. The fittest of trail runners accomplish the feat in less than three hours. But your average hiker will need anywhere from 12 to 16 hours to make the journey. Outstanding features: Mirror Lake, Trail Crest, Mount Whitney"