After Half Dome, what’s next? Mt Whitney is the logical “next” big hike.

After I hiked Half Dome a few times, I wanted an even more challenging adventure. I had heard a lot about Mt Whitney – the highest peak in the “lower 48” at 14,500 +- some change.

Phto of Mt Whitney

Mt Witney – harder than it looks – HIKE IT

The bragging rights are up there with the biggies.

So I increased training with a heavy pack and stood on top with my brother months later.

I must tell you that he got altitude sickness….the headache, nausea and diarrhea type.  I felt great the whole time. He spent 10 mins up top – signed the log and headed down … looking for a rock to get behind…if you know what I mean.

I stayed about a half hour. Got my 360 degree photos and enjoyed the deep color of the sky.  Navy planes from Lemoore Naval Air Station flew below!

Interested?  Permits are needed AND you need a bear proof container AND a human waste disposal kit. Potties at 10K and 12K were removed years ago. They could not do their thing at the high altitudes.

Applications are being accepted through March 15 for this season’s permit lottery for Mount Whitney day hikes and overnight trips that are allowed from May 1 through Oct. 31

Enter the online lottery at You’ll be told yea/nay on March 24. Permits are $15 per person. You must accept and pay between April 1-30.

Canceled reservations will be put back in the online pool.

The daily quota is 100 day hikers and 60 overnight backpackers. Day hikers can be in the Whitney zone only on the calendar day of their permit.  14.5 in a day RT???  No way.

See the official website for more info. Contact me for “been there, done that” tips.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “There ain’t no mountain high enough. Ain’t no valley low enough. Ain’t no river wide enough to keep me from getting to you.” – Marvin Gaye

MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch –

One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome

About Mr Half Dome - Rick Deutsch

Mr Half Dome. Has written the only half dome hiking guide, One Best Hike: Yosemite's Half Dome. Has hiked it 31 times to day. Lives in San Jose, CA Available for presentations. Carpe Diem Experience, LLC
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4 Responses to After Half Dome, what’s next? Mt Whitney is the logical “next” big hike.

  1. Maureen L says:

    You can also go with a really classy outfit, Sierra Mountain Center, or with REI Adventures, for a guided Whitney journey, and even go multi-day to enjoy the Sierra rather than just bagging the peak.

    (I never belonged to the do it because it’s hard, or do it the hardest way, club.)

    There are a lot of nice peaks near Whitney that are almost as high, and not nearly as over-run with people. Guitar Lake is way over used, and it’s in a pretty fragile environment.

    With the popularity of Wild, the JMT and PCT are going to be very crowded next summer.

    • I didn’t see WILD…Thought was going to be mostly romance and heavy zen. Any good hiking scens?

    • Dean says:

      You’re right Maureen, Wild is inspiring, numbers wanting to go on long distance hikes will spike. It’s going to be tough to get permits, but that’s OK it should be, I’d hate to see the JMT overcrowded.

  2. Dean says:

    Been thinking about “what next?” a lot…I’ve been fortunate to have hiked most of the valley trails, Half Dome 3 times.

    I was thinking about a long day hike, maybe Happy Isles to Tuolumne in a day but recently I started thinking about the JMT.

    I met a lady doing the JMT back on 2011 and always dismissed it as impossible, would take too long. I wonder.

    I just finished reading Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, the account of her PCT hike, and it got me thinking about the JMT in 2016, while I’m still able.

    Big difficulty is the permits of course but we shall see.

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