Trip Type: Day Hike - Climb
Round Trip (from Cottonwood #3): 14.5 miles
Altitude Gain: 2950 feet
Trail Difficulty: Strenuous
Season: Mid/Late Season
Trail Traffic: Moderate. Langley is a popular peak given it tops 14K and is a Class 2 hike.
WSH Trip Rating: 5 out of 5 stars: For those that want to climb a 14'er in the Sierra this is easily the most accessible.
THE HIKE: Get up early and grab your day pack, this will take some time. Head back to the New Army Pass Trail and head up to New Army Pass. The first couple of miles is a joyous, beautiful walk past Cottonwood #1, #2, and Long Lake. Once past Long Lake the climb up New Army Pass begins in earnest gaining 1000' in the next 2 miles. Actually tame by most standards when it comes to sierra passes but the altitude may affect some travelers. Once you make the pass continue to follow the trail down until you're just above the Old Army Pass saddle to the north. As you look towards Old Army Pass you'll be able to pick up a Use Trail heading up Langley. Cross country over to this trail and follow it. This is an unmaintained trail but by late season it's stamped well into the side of the mountain. This coupled with stunning efforts to build 15' high cairns along the route this 14'er is about as straight forward as they come (save the trail up Mt. Whitney). As you near the final ascent the trail will take you toward what appears to be a wall. Don't do what we did and turn up the mountain. Instead trust the trail, complete a couple of easy class 3 moves and you're up on the Langley plateau. Again follow the use trails and the cairns to the top, all class 2 from there. Note that this is a sandy slog. Between the sand and the altitude your pace will come to a screeching halt but remember the adage, slow and steady. You'll get there!