Mt. Langley is 14,042 feet and the southern most peak in the Sierra above 14,000.
Overshadowed by its popular neighbor Mt. Whitney it receives much less traffic while still offering excellent views and an aesthetically fun route to its summit. The route leading from the Horseshoe Meadows trailhead to the summit is approximately 9 miles.. The terrain is over a well-maintained trail with a reasonable grade to Cottonwood Lakes. The scenery is spectacular starting off in a Jeffrey pine forest giving away to Foxtail, Lodgepole and Fir trees as the scenery opens up revealing grassy meadows and lakes plus views spanning for hundreds of miles. On summit day we ascend above timberline into the alpine zone where white granite dominates the landscape. The route to the summit becomes less maintained but remains non technical as it offers views into Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Park and countless peaks of the High Sierra to the north. This climb requires participants to be in good physical shape but no previous mountaineering experience is necessary. Mt. Langley is an excellent introduction to the high altitude for the novice backcountry traveler.
The group meets at the nearby town of Lone Pine on the first day of the trip. We park our cars at Horseshoe Meadows trailhead at 9680’/2950m feet. From here we start hiking on a gentle trail ascending up through jeffrey pine and lodgepole-fir forests as we make our way up to our camp near Cottonwood Lakes at 11,500 feet. The scenery includes high mountain lakes, meadows and the pretty and slightly more sparsely populated high mountain forest. The hike to camp takes us 4-6 hours leaving time in the afternoon for us to relax and take in the scenery, take hikes around the lakes, or go trout fishing. We go to sleep after dinner that evening in preparation for our summit bid the following morning. On summit day we begin our ascent at dawn. The route ascends above timberline along a cross country route and up a wide chute to the northeast ridge and the summit plateau. As we ascend the ridge leading to the summit we get our first views of the spectacular east/west crest of the Sierra Nevada range and Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park. After reaching the summit we return to our camp at Cottonwood Lakes and prepare a final menu of fine backcountry cuisine. Day 3 is devoted to packing up and returning to our cars.
Length of Trip: 3 Days
Difficulty Rating: Class 2
$575 based on a minimum of two people
August 28-30, 2020
Private Guiding Available