The first light of the day shines on the Rare Aire of Mt Whitney in the Eastern Sierra mountains of California.

Mount Whitney is the highest summit in the contiguous United States with an elevation of 14,505 feet (4,421 m). It is on the boundary between California's Inyo and Tulare counties, 84.6 miles (136.2 km) west-northwest of the lowest point in North America at Badwater in Death Valley National Park at 282 ft (86 m) below sea level.

The summit of Whitney is on the Sierra Crest and near many of the highest peaks of the Sierra Nevada. The peak rises 10,778 ft (3,285 m) or just over two miles above the town of Lone Pine in the Owens Valley below.

Mount Whitney is above the tree line and has an alpine climate and ecology. Very few plants grow near the summit: one example is the Sky Pilot, a cushion plant that grows low to the ground.

This is a must see up close if you are in the area...

Discover more inspiring photos like this one.

Download the FREE 500px app Open in app