Flora and fauna
The mountain is accessible via the city of Lone Pine on US-395, running along the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada.
Although the western slope of Mount Whitney lies in Sequoia National Park, there are no roads over the crest of the Sierra Nevada (which also hides Whitney from view from Sequoia) to the mountain. The nearest routes to the other side are Tioga Pass in Yosemite National Park (which is only open in the summer) to the north, and via Bakersfield to the south.
Everybody in the Mt. Whitney Zone must possess a valid wilderness permit. This includes BOTH backpackers and day hikers. From May 1 to November 1, entry and exit quotas limit the number of permits that are available. From November 2 to April 30, an unlimited number of permits are available.
Permits are issued at the InterAgency Visitor Center, 1 mile south of Lone Pine, CA. Permits for the quota period may be reserved in advance, or obtained on a "walk-in" basis. Most permits for the Mt. Whitney Trail are reserved during the Mt. Whitney lottery in February. The lottery is for Mt. Whitney Trail permits only. Lottery applications can be obtained from the Mt. Whitney lottery web site or by calling (760) 873-2483.
Food, gas and other supplies are available at the base of the Mount Whitney trailhead in the town of Lone Pine.
Just 90 miles (145 km) to the east (and nearly 2.8 miles [4.5 km] down) from the highest point lies the lowest point, in Death Valley.
The nearest town is the small town of Lone Pine