We got to backpack and climb Mt. Langley. It had been on our list for over a year!
We arrived to Lone Pine Ranger station around noon, and were luckily able to secure a permit for that day. (You only need a permit if you're planning to overnight.) While on our way up to the trailhead, we explored the rocks in Alabama Hills.
We arrived at the trailhead and got ready for the 6-mile hike to Cottonwood Lakes. While on our way, we crossed various streams, saw deer and finally we came to several lakes and choose to stay at "Lake 3." At this point, we had only experienced a little elevation gain, so if you are a beginner, getting to the lakes from the trailhead is a great entry level hike.
As nightfall came, we set up our tent, and had the opportunity to test out our "Sawyer Mini" water filter. Keep an eye out for our review! It was a chilly evening so we ate and got into our tent quickly.
We woke up the following morning and decided to take the "Old Army Pass" trail up to the summit. We had read that the trail is no longer maintained, luckily we met a hiker who pointed us in the right direction as the trail splits in between lakes 4 and 5, and you can easily miss the trail. As we started up the steep switchbacks we kept one foot in front of the other, and made our way up. The trail later joins up with the "New Army Pass" trail. If you continue to the right, you will get to an area where you must follow some very large cairns all the way up to the summit. We eventually reached the summit at 14,026 feet, had lunch and enjoyed our view!
After our summit we quickly descended back down the Old Army Pass trail. We decided to take a small break to enjoy the lakes, then went to our campsite to pack up, and hiked down to the car before sunset.
We recommend this hike for it's beautiful lakes and scenery. Even if you don't want to hike all the way up to Langley, there is great opportunity to backpack and enjoy the sights!
*Side Note: Altitude sickness is highly likely, make sure to take the time to acclimitize, drink plently of fluids and hydrate a few days before the climb!
Resources for Climbing Mt. Langley: Trail to Peak