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Getting Started On Starlight Peak - means choosing which side of the peak you want to climb. If you climb the
northeast side, you will be entering from the town of Big Pine. If you climb the southwest side, you will be accessing it from the
town of BIshop. Through our research, we found the Bishop entry the best way (in our opinion) to climb Starlight Peak. Either
way, both towns are accessed by using highway 395. Both towns also have well paved access roads that take you well up the
mountain and end with overnight parking areas near or at the trailhead. The trail for the northeast side is named "North Fork
of Big Pine Creek" and the designated trail for the southwest side in called "Bishop Pass Trail"  The
National Forest Service
requires back country permits for overnight stays. For information on permits and availability click
here.  The photo above
shows you some of the beauty you will encounter along the Bishop Pass Trail.
Starlight Peak - Getting Started
As with all back country trips in the Sierra's you start
off by securing a permit. Many times we start our
climbs in the night and arrange to pick up the permit in
a night box. Sean above is picking up our permit for
Starlight Peak at the Lone Pine Ranger Station after
Depending on which route you decide to take, you will be presented with a final challenge on summit day. The view on
the left is basically what you will be looking at if you choose the southwest approach. And the view on the right is what
you will see if you camp on the
Palisade Glacier and climb the peak from the northeast. From the northeast, the most
popular route involves going up the
"U" Notch and then traversing over to Starlight Peak. But this route is definitely
more time consuming as well as more difficult. Therefore, if you are looking for the less difficult way up Starlight Peak, I
would recommend taking the southwest approach.
Mike going over last minute details by examining maps and
weather charts before setting off in the morning for
Thunderbolt pass. The pass would be the location for our high
camp and starting point for summit day on Starlight.