From Desert to Highest Peaks in 20 Minutes

In the eastern part of California there is a tiny town called Lone Pine which attracts visitors for its proximity to Death Valley National ...

In the eastern part of California there is a tiny town called Lone Pine which attracts visitors for its proximity to Death Valley National Park and high peaks of Sierra Nevada. The scenery in Lone Pine is so dramatic, you get hooked almost immediately.  

Lone Pine is the quintessential Wild West with old ranches, cattle and cowboys. Many movies including westerns have been filmed here as well.
The pine, although not lone any more.
Lone Pine is a gateway to the highest peak in the continuous US - Mount Whitney (14,505 ft / 4,421 m). There is a 12 mile (19 km) dead-end road which takes you to its base. 
Though a part of Sequoia National Park, it takes over 5 hours to drive from the Giant Grove to Mount Whitney's base as there is no road which would connect the two sections in this part of the Sierra Nevada mountains.
As you slightly ascent from Lone Pine, you'll start seeing these strange-shaped granite rocks. 
Their yellowish colour makes a vivid contrast with high peaks of the Alabama Hills at the background. 
Nowhere else have I seen a blooming desert before. This year's generous precipitations made this wonder possible.
10-15 minutes drive from Lone Pine and and we're getting closer to the Sierra Nevada high peaks.
Trees are becoming higher and higher with every 100 ft of climbing up.
We are leaving the silent desert behind.
Entering the Whitney Portal base camp.
Something sinister is hiding behind these dark skies.
Here you go - it's snow that is almost becoming sleet.
It takes hours or even days of driving to experience such a dramatic change in climate on a flatland, but it only takes about 20 minutes of driving and 3,000 ft (1,000 m) of elevation gain to see the same effect in the mountains. Nature is absolutely remarkable!
The road dead ends at the base camp where hikers start their journey to Mount Whitney and other amazing places in the Sierra Nevada.


My other posts from the Trip to California:

The Hottest Place on Earth. But Is It Really Dead?

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