Mount Langley via New Army Pass

Mount Langley via New Army Pass

Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Location Lat/Lon: 36.52330°N / 118.238°W
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Jul 4, 2008
Activities Activities: Hiking
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer


Mt. Whitney & Mt. Russell viewed from the summit of Mt. LangleyMount Whitney viewed from the summit of Mount Langley

At 14,042 feet, Mount Langley is the southern most major peak in the Eastern Sierra Nevada Range. Although Langley is located in close proximity to Mount Whitney, it is not included in the same group of peaks. However,
the views of Mount Whitney and Vicinity and southern Sierra peaks from the summit are stunning.

Golden Trout Camp

There are many class 2, class 3, and even class 5 routes leading to the summit of Mt. Langley. However, the route from Cottonwood Lakes and New Army Pass seems to be the easiest and the most popular way to climb this mountain.

Start your hike from Cottonwood Lakes trailhead.

Note 1: Make sure not to mistake Cottonwood Lakes trailhead
with Cottonwood Pass Trailhead. The two trailheads are rather close.

Continue your hike on a mostly level trail for two miles to Golden Trout

Camp where you get your first view of Mount Langley. From here,
continue up the trail, in a westerly direction, following Cottonwood
Creek to First Lake.  

Wildlife near First Lake of Cottonwood Canyon

Note 2: Make sure not to take a trail that leads to South Fork Lakes
or the one that leads to 4th and 5th Cottonwood Lakes.

The trail passes on the south shore of 1st Lake and another small unnamed lake, and continues through a boulder field to Long Lake. After Long Lake, with many campsite possibilities, the trail continues to High Lake, where many people prefer to camp. This camp offers great views of Cirque Peak, and many possible ways to climb it. However, the easiest route is through New Army Pass and following the obvious ridge leading to the summit of Cirque Peak

Cirque Peak viewed from High LakeCirque Peak on the left viewed from High Lake

New Army Pass to Mount Langley
From High Lake the trail leads up a very unlikely boulder-filled steep slope to New Army Pass. The trail is very good and the only difficulty may be encountered just before the pass due to the amount of snow in early season. From the top of New Army Pass the trail drops down about 300 feet on an excellent trail, but a little hard to see at first, to the Old Army Pass. From here the trail takes you up again between two rocky formations that are visible from high on Langley, thus a great landmark for your retuturn route. Pass between the two rocky formations and head toward the summit. There is a class 2 rocky section close to the top that will be your last real challenge. From the top of the rocky section there will be a number of sandy slopes and final boulders to the summit. The views from the top will be worth the hike.

Mount LangleyMt. Langley and Old Army Pass, 300feet bellow, are seen from the top of New Army Pass.

View from the summit of Mt. LangleyMore summit views.

How to get there, Camping and Red tape

How to get there
From the small town of Lone Pine on Highway 395 take the Whitney Portal Road for 3.2 miles to its intersection with Horseshoe Meadows Road. Turn left onto Horseshoe Meadows Road and drive 4.7 miles to a gate. This gate stays locked during the winter and part of Spring season due to snow and rockslides. About 13 miles after the gate you will arrive at the Cottonwood Lakes-New Army Pass Trailhead.

There is a camground at the end of Horseshoe Meadows Road which is used as a staging area for hikers going into the backcountry. Beyond this point there are many good sites for camping. It is highly recomended to camp no closer than 100 feet from any streams or lakes. There are also restriction placed on camp fires. Bear canisters are highly recommended, and in some cases they are required by the rangers. For more information refer to Lone Pine Visitor Center.

Permits are required for overnight camping, but quotas apply only during the peak season May 1st through Nov 1st. During off season, self-issuing permits may be obtained at Lone Pine Visitor Center a few miles south of downtown Lone Pine, or from White Mountain Ranger station in downtown Bishop. Day hikes do not require a permit on Mount Langley.


Post a Comment
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Marcsoltan - Nov 2, 2008 4:52 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Route might have been

Thank you so much for your constructive comment Mockba. The existing page you sent a link for is Mt. Langley via the "Old Army Pass" and mine is via the "New Army Pass." You may have already done this mountain and know that the two different routes are quite different. In fact the trail for the Old Army Pass splits from my route after roughly 2.5 mile from the trailhead, and it joins it back again 3 miles from the summit. This is a roughly 9 to 10 mile trip, one way of course.
I tried to attach my report to the main page on Langley by JohnK, however it doesn't
seem to have worked. I did get the exact title in the list of links, Mount Langley via New Army Pass" but when I click on it I get a different one done by Romain who had done a loop via my route. I looked around Romain's page and there was no sign of mine there either.
As far as the coordinate are concerned, I did put in my own GPS' Map Source coordinates, slightly different than the main pages' coordinates, and for some unforeseen reason my west coordinates had turned into an East one. I am sure I can take care of that from my wife's computer later, since mine has been acting funny.
However, I will attach my report to the link you sent as an alternate route. I am not sure if I should use "related, parent or what. May be you can comment on that. Thank you for such great comments and pointers. And, thank you for your understanding.
Best Regards,

Dmitry Pruss

Dmitry Pruss - Nov 2, 2008 7:52 pm - Voted 10/10

Re: Route might have been

No Marc, I haven't done it, although I studied it as one possible way to sneak GeoPooch on Whitney LOL. Eastern Sierra is kind of far from here and I've hardly done anything there.

I think the problem you have with "attaching" is that there are two buttons on "attaching" page, a "Find" button up on top and the "Attach" buttin lower down. After you "found" the page you needed, and selected "Attach as parent", then you need to press the "Attach Objects" button and it makes your choice final.

GPS coordinates and East / West confusion, that may be even easier to solve. Western longitudes are negative. Just add "-" sign and it should do.


Marcsoltan - Nov 2, 2008 8:26 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Route might have been

Thank you again, MOCKBA, for all the help. I am sure I did all that you are saying about attaching it, except that I chose "related instead of parent", and it did get attached. However, when I click on my link I get a different page other than mine.
Well, I haven't attached my page to the link you gave me "Langley from OLD Army Pass" yet. But, I will choose "parent" option and do that one too.
I am sure you have noticed that I did put the coordinates in, and when I clicked on it it did take me to the correct page, eventhough I show Eastern longitude. I will try it your way by adding the negative sign.
GeoPooch would love the hike if you could bring him/her out.
Many thanks for all your time, your votes and your advice.


EasternSierra - May 20, 2010 3:57 pm - Hasn't voted


Hey when did do New Army Pass? I have a permit to climb Mt. Langley for the July 4th 2010 weekend and I'm wondering if New Army Pass or Old Army Pass will have less snow in the early season. Just looking at the topo map, New Army Pass has a more southern facing slope so I'm guessing that one would have less snow. Just a guess though. If anyone has some good information on this,let me know.


Marcsoltan - May 20, 2010 5:40 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Snow

We did the hike on July 4th-2008. We got lucky because four people worked very hard to open the New Army Pass the day before we went for the summit. We got close to the pass, I still had to chop footholds in the snow because that last little bit is pretty steep. We had taken crampons and rope to belay if we had to, but we never used them. I am not sure what the situation is this year. BTW, the Old Army Pass was still brimming with snow, and we didn't see any foot prints coming up it.


dexml - Jun 30, 2010 10:20 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Snow

Hey ES, Heading out to Langley this weekend too so maybe I'll see ya on the trail. Probably gonna stick to New army pass myself. I'm expecting snow on both routes but judging from the topo and other reports ( it should have considerably less snow than New Army.



Marcsoltan - Jun 30, 2010 11:11 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Snow

New Army Pass would be my first choice too.
Sorry, not this 4th of July. Staying away from the crowds.
Good luck, have lots of fun,


SoCalHiker - Jun 30, 2010 11:59 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Snow

I was in the Cottonwood Basin last weekend (June 26) and there was still considerable snow on top of New Army Pass. It usually has considerably less snow than Old Army Pass.

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