Hiking Mt Langley
Mt Langley (14,023 ft)is located south of Mt Whitney and is the ninth highest peak in the state and the seventh highest in the Sierras. The ascent from Cottonwood Lakes is straightforward and a lot of elevation is gained on the trail before a talus scramble over large blocks to the summit. The route falls somewhere between hiking and scrambling.
Mount Langley is one of the easiest of California's fourteeners to climb. A hiking trail starts at Horseshoe Meadow (elevation of around 10,000 feet), passes scenic Cottonwood Lakes, and climbs through New Army Pass.
From there climbers make their way across a mountain meadow and up a long gradual slope of rock and gravel before making a Class 2 scramble to the summit. New Army Pass is 7 miles from the trailhead at Horseshoe Meadow and is an easier but longer approach to Langley than Old Army Pass, which can become impassable due to snow.
Check out these great trail photos! Pay special attention to the 600 feet of scrambling that takes you to the summit. Although is is only Class 2, you'll need to watch your footing.
Although many guide books still direct hikers to (Old) Army Pass, the trail is poorly maintained an no longer the recommended route. If you have all your gear with you or set an appropriate base camp, you may consider taking New Army Pass up to the summit and Old Army Pass down. But be careful, even in low snow years, Old Army Pass can stay icey and exposed late into July.
Getting to the Trailhead
Drive on hwy 395 to Lone Pine. Turn west on Whitney Portal Rd. After five minutes, turn left on Horseshoe Meadow Rd and drive up the mountain almost to the end of the road (30 minutes or so) and turn right when you see the sign for Cottonwood Lakes (not the Pass).