Mt. Whitney From Cottonwood Lakes


Your editor of Sierra Trails just about to hit the trail for the long overdue trip to the summit of Mt. Whitney. This is the furthest and lower Cottonwood Lakes parking lot and Trailhead. Photo by Dave E.

Cottonwood Lakes Trailhead

Mt. Whitney Trip from Cottonwood Lakes Trailhead. June 2000.

Day 1, June 29th, 2000: After spending a pleasant night in Mammoth in a Motel 6 after a long drive over the Sierra, we were up early and on the road south on US 395, one of the worlds most scenic highways. After a hearty breakfast, for me anyway, we were soon in Lone Pine picking up our Permit. With our permit secured, we began the incredible drive through the Alabama Hills (where many a movie was shot) and up the switchbacks that gained us about 6000 feet to the Cottonwood Pass parking lot at nearly 10,000 feet. Having never been there before, once again I was surprised that it was unlike anything I imagined and indeed it exceeded my expectations. Especially impressive were the views southeast over the dry Owens Lake bed and the deserts and mountains beyond that faded into the distance like massive frozen waves on a vast ocean.

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