Mount Whitney—Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, California
Mount Whitney stands at 14,494 feet and if you’re shooting for the summit, you’ll have to brave slight altitude sickness if you haven’t trained at altitudes. It’s worth the queasiness and short of breath, though, because at the top of the 10.7-mile trail from Whitney Portal (13 miles west of the town of Lone Pine) you’ll literally be on top of the lower 48 states. As the highest peak in the lower 48 states, it’s the most climbed in California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range, and the National Park Service and National Forest Service heavily regulate the trails with permits to reduce day-hiker-impact. Technical climbing equipment isn’t needed between mid-July and October so if you’re not comfortable hiking with crampons and ice axes, plan your trip for summer/early fall.