Mount Langley

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Mount Langley
Highest point
Elevation14,032 ft (4,277 m) NAVD 88[1]
Prominence1,165 ft (355 m)[1]
Parent peakMount Whitney[2]
Coordinates36°31′24″N 118°14′20″W / 36.5232685°N 118.2389774°W / 36.5232685; -118.2389774Coordinates: 36°31′24″N 118°14′20″W / 36.5232685°N 118.2389774°W / 36.5232685; -118.2389774[7]
Mount Langley is located in California
Mount Langley
Mount Langley
LocationInyo / Tulare counties, California, U.S.
Parent rangeSierra Nevada
Topo mapUSGS Mount Langley
First ascentUnknown, but prior to 1871[8]
Easiest routeHike from New Army Pass on the south, class 1[4]

Mount Langley is a mountain located on the crest of the Sierra Nevada, on the boundary between Inyo and Tulare counties in eastern California, in the United States. To the east is the Owens Valley, and to the west is the Kern River Valley. It is the ninth-highest peak in the state and the seventh-highest in the Sierra. Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the contiguous United States, lies 4.8 miles (7.7 km) to the northwest. Mount Langley also has the distinction of being the southernmost fourteener in the United States.


Today, the mountain is named after Samuel Pierpont Langley. In the early 1870s, it was confused with Mount Whitney by early climbers, and called by this name. When the mistake was realized, the peak was alternately called Mount Corcoran, Cirque Peak, or Sheep Mountain;[7][9] the former two names being later attached to other mountains. But its current name became established in local usage, and was made official by the Board on Geographic Names in 1943.[7]


View of buttes from summit

Mount Langley is one of the easiest of California's fourteeners to climb.[10] A hiking trail starts at nearby Horseshoe Meadow, at an elevation of about 10,000 feet (3,048 m), passes scenic Cottonwood Lakes, and climbs through New Army Pass. From there hikers travel cross-country to Old Army Pass, where they may pick up the recently constructed Class 1 Mount Langley Trail, which follows a series of large rock cairns for the two mile push to the summit.[11] New Army Pass is 7 miles (11 km) from the trailhead at Horseshoe Meadow and is an easier but longer approach to Langley than Old Army Pass via Cottonwood Lakes Trail.[12]

Due to the elevation, both passes are covered with snow most of the year. New Army Pass sits on a south-facing slope and it tends to clear of snow somewhat earlier in the season. Old Army Pass is only clear of snow for less than two months per year, from mid-August to early October. During the winter months, even the paved road to Horseshoe Meadow is closed, making the summit significantly harder to reach.

The first recorded climb of the mountain was in 1871 by Clarence King and the French mountaineer Paul Pinson.[9][13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Mount Langley, California". Retrieved 2009-01-20.
  2. ^ "Key Col for Mount Langley". Retrieved 2016-03-23.
  3. ^ "California 14,000-foot Peaks". Retrieved 2016-03-23.
  4. ^ a b "Sierra Peaks Section List" (PDF). Angeles Chapter, Sierra Club. Retrieved 2009-08-12.
  5. ^ "Western States Climbers Qualifying Peak List". Retrieved 2016-03-24.
  6. ^ "Vagmarken Sierra Crest List". Angeles Chapter, Sierra Club. Retrieved 2021-11-10.
  7. ^ a b c "Mount Langley". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior. Retrieved 2009-01-20.
  8. ^ Secor, R.J. (2009). The High Sierra Peaks, Passes, and Trails (3rd ed.). Seattle: The Mountaineers. pp. 43–44. ISBN 978-0898869712.
  9. ^ a b Farquhar, Francis P. (1926). Place Names of the High Sierra. San Francisco: Sierra Club. Retrieved 2009-01-20.
  10. ^ "California 14ers - Guided Summit Climbs with AAI". American Alpine Institute. Retrieved 2021-11-10.
  11. ^ "Climbing Mount Langley?" (PDF). National Park Service. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-03-04. Retrieved 2020-11-10.
  12. ^ "Mount Langley in Sequoia National Park". Hikespeak - Sierra Nevada Mountains. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
  13. ^ Hill, Mary (2006). Geology of the Sierra Nevada (revised ed.). University of California Press. p. 99. ISBN 0-520-23696-3.

External links[edit]