Whitney Portal Campground is in a prime location within the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains - at the base of Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in the continental United States.
With hiking trails to Mt. Whitney and the John Muir Wilderness less than a mile away, the campground is a popular home base for hikers, as well as family, RV and tent campers who wish to explore the area's activities and enjoy unparalleled scenery.
Hikers are drawn to the majestic scenery and challenging trails of the Whitney Portal recreation area. Nearby trails lead into the John Muir Wilderness and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.
The campground is only 0.5 miles from trailheads to Mt. Whitney, Meysan Lake and other popular destinations. Visitors should be aware that hiking in this area may require a permit.
Visitors can also hike, fish and picnic in the area around the campground. There are numerous lakes, streams and a small pond in the area for trout fishing.
The campground is adjacent to Whitney Creek and just down the road from Trailhead Campground. Numerous campsites are arranged on either side of the creek, including three group camping areas and several tent-only sites. Paved roads, vault toilets and drinking water are provided.
Bears frequent the area, and campers are required to use the bear-proof food storage lockers provided in the facility (all supplies must fit; dimensions are 18 inches high, 18 inches deep and 50 inches long). Firewood is available for purchase on-site, and a small convenience store with showers is nearby.
The facility is situated in a thick pine forest at an elevation of 8,000 ft. Campers can see striking views of the rugged granite peaks surrounding it.
The area is home to abundant wildlife, including black bear, mountain lions, mule deer, pine martin, pika and many species of fish and birds. This campground is especially prone to bear activity.
Campers can enter the John Muir Wilderness, a land of lofty snow-capped mountains, deep canyons and vast expanses of glacially carved terrain, via nearby trails. Mt. Whitney is within the wilderness area and entry is available by lottery for experienced hikers.
John Muir Wilderness
ADA Access: N
Great camping spot right next to the trailhead! Come early as many backpackers will camp overnight here before starting their multi day hiking trip. There’s a small store/ cafe here.
We explored this in completely unprepared clothing but it was so worth it. Camp spots are right in the middle of the forest, it feels like every campsite is it’s own little mountain. It’s so desolate and quiet here, definitely for those that want to be completely submersed in nature. Fishing is allowed at the portal and there’s a gorgeous waterfall that you can hike throughout, the water is so ice cold its refreshing. There’s a visitors center with additional information, no food but maps and small trinkets to buy. The folks there have been there for decades they say and know the area very well, along with the bears that are regularly seen roaming. Its $24 a night, you can stay up to 7days and the campsite is open from May-Oct. We’ve gone through the months of Sept/Oct and there are some major snow storms that come through during this time! There’s no restrooms, trash dump, or cell service and for the most part people are hard to come by. This is a place that’s far away from most folks, if you want a true get away.
Stayed here before our hike to Whitney. Great spot to get acclimated. Next time, I would try to stay here at least 2 days before the hike. I booked the site a week before but in the midst of the season, I’d probably book weeks, if not months in advance for prime availability. Was here the last weekend of September and it was COLD. Great site, friendly camp host, vault toilets, not service for t-mobile but Verizon has some signal. There’s a store for last minute items you might have forgotten. My brother and I hiked the next morning and summited Mt. Whitney. Would definitely stay here again!
This campground is well maintained, there's a store that sells everything you could want, including alcohol. The high elevation makes it a great place to spend the night before hiking Mt. Whitney to get acclimated. There's a waterfall only a couple hundred meters from the sites. Even if you don't have Whitney permits, the hike up to Lone Pine Lake is stunning, just be prepared for snow well into June!
This campground is right at the trailhead for Mt. Whitney! Because of this the campgrounds do fill up insanely quick! Be sure to book at least 2-3 months out especially during the "climbing" season for Whitney June-Sept. There are all the basic amenities here with the added bonus of a snack bar at the Whitney Portal Store!
Visit for the day or stay overnight this is a gorgeous place to visit. At the base if the mountain you’re camping amongst tall pines and a running river falling from above. Visit the store for a souvenir or a breakfast for the hike. Campground is set on a winding amongst the trees with developed sites. Bathroom areas etc Gets busy and is a first come first serve so have a backup plan in the summer.
this is a great campground to use as a base camp before you summit Whitney. The staff is friendly and helpful and the portal is just a few minutes away with the store and small restaurant. Lone Pine is close about a 10 minute drive away.
The Whitney Zone has an other-worldly feel to it. You can start your adventures to this unique place in the High Sierras by camping at the end of the road, just before the trailhead. The elevation is high enough to make it substantially cooler than Lone Pine, and it also has plenty of shade. The drastic climate difference here should acclimate you for even colder weather and altitude, if you're hiking up into the Whitney Zone!
There are plenty of bearboxes, sufficient pit toilets, and it tends to be quiet. Most people who stay here use it as a launch pad to hike into the backcountry early in the day. So, in my experience, you won't run into boisterous parties, and the campground is fairly spread out.
Just a reminder to obtain permits before you head into the Whitney Portal!
Great camp ground. no running water that time of year. Toilets were clean and bear boxes were easily accessible.
This is a great place to stay a couple of nights if your looking to acclimate a bit before going Mt. Whitney. It's also just a beautiful campground in general. There are hiking trails from the campground itself, a gorgeous river flowing through it and the camp sites are spacious. It is a short drive from the Whitney Portal Store which has the biggest pancakes I've ever seen and if you go the other way, you can easily get to the Alabama Hills or the cute town of Lone Pine. The sites are shaded and there are pit toilets. It's a terrific campground for families or people just looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city!