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TREKS : The Trail Less Traveled

WHEN THE TRAIL to Mt. Whitney is the Sierra equivalent of a freeway SigAlert, nearby Meysan Lake Trail offers hikers a quick, welcome escape. Just one canyon away from the trail leading to 14,495-foot Mt. Whitney (the highest peak in the United States outside Alaska), the Meysan trail, with its breathtaking mountain views and tumbling stream fed by snowfields, offers easy access to the subalpine John Muir Wilderness.

The trail runs 4.7 miles up the right-hand (north) side of Meysan Creek, from the Whitney Portal campground to Meysan Lake. If making the round trip in one day sounds too rigorous, consider a round trip to Little Meysan Lake, about 2 1/2 miles above the trail head at Whitney Portal campground. Trekkers should wear sturdy walking shoes and bring at least a quart of water per person. To reach Whitney Portal, drive north on California 14, the Antelope Valley Freeway, and U.S. Highway 395 for about 200 miles to Lone Pine; then head west for 13 miles on paved Whitney Portal Road.


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