Whitney Portal Campground rests in the shadow of Mt. Whitney, 12 miles west of the town of Lone Pine. Many who visit the campground come with plans to climb to the summit of 14,505-foot Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in California. The trailhead is ½ mile from the campground. The hike to the top of Mt. Whitney requires a permit and planning. See Hiking up Mt. Whitney below for more details and links to Forest Service information.
Whitney Portal Campground has 43 campsites. Eighteen of the campsites are listed as Management, which means that reservations are not site-specific. For those with Management reservations, a site is assigned upon arrival. Thirteen specific sites for RVs, trailers, and tents can be reserved. Also a dozen tent only sites and one walk-in site can be reserved. Some campsites may be available for first-come, first-served campers. Campsites are nestled among rocks and mature pines.
The 22-mile round-trip hike to the summit of Mt. Whitney from Whitney Portal is a major undertaking. The trail climbs over 6,000 feet. Just the uphill climb to the summit can take 7 or 8 hours. Many hikers set out well before sun-up and often don't return to their cars until dusk.
A permit to hike up Mt. Whitney is required. (See link below.)
Layered clothing. It can be hot on the ascent and windy and cold on the summit.
Water bottles and filter. Plan to refill bottles at the last water at Trail Camp.
Trekking poles - for safety on uneven terrain and to ease the strain on knees on descent.
A good map - people have wandered off the trail.
Emergency contingency plans - tell someone when you will be back, carry rain gear, consider carrying a Spot GPS Messenger, or similar rescue device.
Hiking up Mt. Whitney should not be a spur-of-the-moment decision. Train for the hike, read books and websites about the hike. Plan on spending a couple of nights at a nearby campground to acclimatize before your hike.
Three tents-only, group campsites are located immediately to the west of the main campground.
Each of the campsites can accommodate up to 15 people and 2 vehicles. The campsites are set in a mature pine forest along Lone Pine Creek. No motorhomes, pop up V.W., campers, or sleeping trailers are allowed in the paved parking area for the group campsites.
Fee: $75 per night per campsite
Reservations: Whitney Portal Group Campground Reservations
Whitney Portal Store and Cafe
General Camping Information
Not all campsites can accommodate trailers or RVs of all lengths. Check carefully on the reservation site when you make your reservation to be sure your vehicle will fit your campsite. Purchase firewood locally to avoid spreading pests.
Designated Accessible sites are usually reserved for people with disabilities who have a vehicle displaying an accessible parking placard or license plate.