Day 6: Lone Pine and Alabama Hills

Sunday October 6, 18.0mi/29.0km

Long John Canyon (103.0/5180ft) to Whitney Portal Campground (121.0/8020ft) (CA)

I was planning to meet a friend for breakfast, so I was excited to get to town! I was hiking at 7am, which is just before sunrise these days.

As I descended the last part of Long John Canyon, the wash slowly turned into a two-track road.

The Sierras in the distance.

Just before reaching Lone Pine, I crossed what was left of the Owens “River”. Sadly, most of it is diverted into a pipeline that runs over 300 miles to the city of LA.

Lone Pine looking like it always does:

I met up with Catwater! She and I hiked part of the PCT together in 2015, and she has continued on to hike the PCT again (southbound), the CDT, Colorado trail, JMT a few times, and is also a snowboarder and coach for the US national team. What a badass.

After a nice long breakfast, she was kind enough to drive me to the USFS office to pick up my permit for Mt Whitney (for some reason, they still make you go in person). We said our goodbyes, and I continued on hiking, in the afternoon heat. This hill above Lone Pine has “LP” on it, a common thing for western towns to do.

I hiked a couple of hours through the Alabama Hills, which is also a rock climbing destination.

Hundreds of film scenes have been shot here in the Alabama Hills, mostly Western movies. There was a plaque to explain and commemorate this.

I love the random PSA from CalFire along the roadside.Hmm, let me run home and check my space!

There was an hour of paved roadwalk, which was the only part of this route I didn’t like.

I was glad to turn off into a campground, and enter the Inyo National Forest. “I’m in yo forest!”

From there, I was on the Whitney Portal National Recreation Trail, a nice 3mi/5km trail up to Whitney Portal.

It started off in desert landscapes…

And turned to Pine forest as I went up in elevation.

And then, I even followed along a rushing stream, with log crossings and fallen leaves. It felt like being on the AT!

I arrived to the campground at 6:30pm, just before dark. I made my last dinner on trail, and setup quickly in the rapidly cooling temperature.

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