Mount Williamson tops out at an elevation of 14,389 feet. This makes it the second-highest mountain in California after Mount Whitney. Only some six miles separates these loftiest of California peaks, and this helps to make the general area popular with mountain climbing enthusiasts. If mountain climbing isn’t your thing, the area is also prime hiking terrain, and there are other outdoor activities that can be added to the itinerary.
Mount Williamson more specifically calls the John Muir Wilderness area home. This area, in turn, is part of the Inyo National Forest, which is near Sequoia Naitonal Park and Kings Canyon National Park. The closest town to Mount Williamson is known as Independence, and it can make for a good travel base. If nothing else, trekkers can stop in Independence to stock up on supplies before they venture back out into the wilderness.
Climbing Mount Williamson is something that people can look to add to their California vacation plans. The most standard route is the class 3 West Side Route, which can be accessed from Shepherd’s Pass. Significant elevation changes add to the challenge of climbing Mount Williamson. In fact, just getting to Shepherd’s Pass is a rather demanding thing. This pass sits at an elevation of 12,040 feet, and the hiking trail that serves as its main access route begins at an elevation of just 6,299 feet.
It is possible to climb Mount Williamson throughout the year. This wasn’t the case in the past, as parts of the mountain were regularly closed to access for much of the year. These closings were related to the area bighorn sheep population, which has struggled to thrive. While it is now possible to climb Mount Williamson in any season, winter is generally a time to avoid. This is due to the fact that snow, ice, and the weather in general can make the going extremely difficult.
As a side note, anyone who is looking to do some camping in the immediate Mount Williamson area might turn to the camping areas that are found along the trail to Shepherd’s Pass. Examples of these camping areas are Mahogany Flat and Anvil Camp.