Lone Pine pad
Doug Thompson, who runs the Whitney Portal Store at the base of Mt. Whitney (and whose cooks churn out those enormous high-altitude pancakes that hikers devour), recently opened the Whitney Portal Hostel in downtown Lone Pine. Backpackers, hikers and general visitors can get a twin bed for $22.40 (including taxes) before and after scaling the 14,497-foot mountain, said front-desk attendant Marie Hampton. The building, at 238 S. Main St., has a fresh, whitewashed feel with a big living room area on the ground floor. A room for four costs $89.60, $134.40 for six and $179.20 for eight (all including tax). Each room has private bathrooms and showers. The hostel is open year-round and takes bookings 24/7. Info: (760) 876-0030 or go to www.whitneyportalstore.com.
-- Mary Forgione