Mount Langley is one of the easiest California Fourteeners to climb if the Army Pass route is chosen. Langley provides a great view of the south Sierra in all directions from the summit, including the Mount Whitney group, the Great Western Divide, Olancha Peak, and Owen's Valley. It is the southernmost fourteener, and the most desert-like of the Sierra Nevada fourteeners. The North and South faces provide excellent technical rock climbing, while Old Army Pass and the south slopes provide an easy walk-up.
Take US-395 to Lone Pine, CA, and head west on Whitney Portal Road. After a couple of miles, turn left at a sign to Horseshoe Meadows Road and follow it to the Cottonwood Lakes/Army Pass trailhead. Make sure you turn right at the sign indicating Cottonwood Lakes, otherwise you will end up at the trailhead for Cottonwood Pass. There is a walk-in campground, bear boxes and toilets at the trailhead, as well as ample parking.
The quota in the Inyo National Forest is from May 1st through November 1st and permits can be obtained from any one of the four Ranger Stations: Mono Lake in Lee Vining, Mammoth Lakes Visitor Center in Mammoth, White Mountain Ranger Station in Bishop or Lone Pine Ranger Station in Lone Pine.
There are 60 spots on the quota. 60% (36) of the quotas are held for reservations. The other 40% (24) are for walk-in permits.
It costs $5.00 per person to reserve a permit in advance. All other times of the year have no quota on trail users, but require a wilderness permit, which can be obtained free at the ranger station in Lone Pine. The mountain is always open, but the road is not plowed during winter. For example, in 2002, the road opened in late April (some have been known to open up the gates and proceed up anyway, especially in low snow years like 2002 - however this is illegal). Go here for more information on permits.
The best hiking and rock climbing is during June through early October. Good mountaineering snow is present from May through July. This peak can be snowshoed up in winter, but is very far, with the road not being plowed (see above for the road access conditions. In 2002 a party was able to climb the mountain in February by driving all the way to the main trailhead.
Overnight wilderness permits are required at all times. There are use quotas in effect from May 1 to November 1. Obtained permits from the ranger stations in Lee Vining, Bishop or Lone Pine. If under quotas, make reservations is advance. More information can be found at the Inyo National Forest Visitor Center.
Outstanding spots for a basecamp can be found around the Cottonwood Lakes, in particular lake # 3.
Check www.395.com for current conditions, or call the Inyo National Forest Rangers at (760) 873-2400 for conditions. Daily report at the ranger station.
Another nice source for weather data is Howard Sheckter's webpage out of Mammoth Lakes.