Weather on Mt Whitney
varies greatly during the year and can certainly be unpredictable at times. Temperatures at the lower elevations are generally warm. At higher elevations in the night, even in the summer months temperatures can fall below freezing. Typical winter temperatures above 9,500 feet range from -14 degrees F to 12 degrees at night and from 15 - 50 degrees F during the day.
Ninety five percent of total precipitation (which includes both rain and snow) falls between the months of October and May, with more than half falling in January, February, and March. The frequency of summer showers increase at higher elevations and correspondingly there are more cloudy days. But even though these thundershowers are of short duration they are still a danger to the hiker/climber on the summit or high ridges on Mt Whitney and other Sierra Peaks. That being said, if you detect a thunderstorm developing, vacate the summit and high ridges at once. The
first recorded fatality on Mt Whitney was due to lightning.
Snow is one of the most spectacular features in the Sierra Nevada
(the second snowiest mountain range on the continent) but due to the fact that Mt Whitney resides in the southern portion of the Sierra Nevada, it does not get nearly the amount of snow pack that the Palisade
or Mammoth Lakes region do.
Quick summary of Mt Whitney weather and road access for the next 7 days:
Mostly sunny and clear until next Wednesday and Thursday where we have a slight chance of showers on Mt Whitney. The Whitney Portal
is now open and the quota for hiking/climbing Mt Whitney is now in force.
Latest Trail Conditions as of 6/17:
The Whitney Portal Road is open so you now have direct access to the Trailhead
. Once on the Main Mt Whitney Trail
you will find the going is good with only a snow patch here and there all the way to Trail Camp. From that point on up to Trail Crest you will encounter snow and ice all the way to Trail Crest and most people are still using crampons and ice ax through this section (but things are melting out fast now). Once at Trail Crest
, you will find the backside of Mt Whitney all the way to the Summit
pretty clear due to the western sun exposure and wind. Lots of people going to the summit now so the above route is shaping up nicely. As always, be prepared for fast changing weather conditions.