Mt.Whitney (14, 505 ft) is the highest peak in the lower 48 United States, the tallest peak of California, and sits a full 2 miles above the town of Lone Pine, CA! Hiking Mt.Whitney is on many peoples' hiking/backpacking bucket list but requires a long day of hiking, if doing it in one day. This 20 mile round-trip trek is not for the faint of heart - it gains just over 6,100 ft of elevation over 10 miles one way. But wait, that's not even the hard part. Getting a permit will be your first step - only 1/3 of 17,000 applicants are rewarded a day hiking permit! Combined with backpackers hiking through the John Muir Trail (JMT), close to 20,000 people will summit Mt.Whitney in one year!