Explore 2017 Hike til you Drop - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

2017 Hike til you Drop Map
VIEW FULL MAP

on Mount Tallac Trail

10 hours ago

So worth it! My husband and I did this hike early this morning. It was tough to say the least. Took us about 5 hrs of moving time and a total of 6.5 hrs with breaks and such. You need lots of water and snacks. We saw people hiking in flip flops and converse tennis. Crazy! 90% of this trail is rock. It’s a killer on the feet. Absolutely gorgeous scenery, lakes, forest and some wild flowers still blooming. We also saw some snow when we reached the summit. There’s plenty of shaded areas to rest, but also lots of open areas. Sunblock is a must. I suggest hiking early to get a parking spot.

Gorgeous hike. There are now portapotties at the parking lot but they are pretty gross. Bring your own TP.
Nice lollipop if you take the alternate trail to Relay Peak Road and loop around that way back to the trailhead. Really nice hike through wildflower meadow. There is a small pond for a dip/wade - the dogs we passed were loving it.

Amazing and very rewarding hike!!! Make sure you bring enough water. I ran out right after hitting the top ( I took 1.5 liters) Thankfully I was hydrated enough to walk back down to the falls(probably 4 miles) to get more. Totally worth it!!! I was glad I had trekking poles with me, I would definitely reccomend to do the same!

My wife and I made the climb on July 16th. For most of the hike, we couldn't have asked for better weather.

We began our journey at 2:15am after eating a solid breakfast. It was warm at Portal, about 70 degrees so I ditched my top base layer quickly. We made it to the camp in about 4 hours.

The dreaded 99 switchbacks were tough, but taking frequent breaks and taking deep, slow breaths helped us acclimate. I feel taking our time here is what helped us avoid altitude sickness later on.

We felt amazing when we reached trail crest... That was until we began the last 2 miles until summit. It was brutal. But, at last, around 11:20am we made it to the summit! It was amazing up there, not a cloud in the sky.

We stayed about 15 minutes and then headed back down. This is one of the few hikes I have ever taken where going down is almost as hard as going up. We slowly made our way down. All was good until the last 4 miles... Lightning, thunder, rain, and hail all came out to wish us well at the end of our journey. We made it back at 7pm, wet, tired, and elated.

Remember to eat every hour or so, drink water frequently, and pace yourself. Also, we wore trail runners, which we wouldn't recommend... You feel every rock and pebble by the second half of the hike.

Good luck!

hiking
2 days ago

Did this hike with a group from church. Very strenuous and tough on the knees. Took us about 5.5 hours to summit as we stopped for breaks quite a bit. Definitely get an early start, good shoes and tons of water!!

Excellently maintained trail considering the traffic and geographic conditions. As long as you are reasonably fit, you should be able to make it to the summit that has very rewarding views of the vast Sierra landscape.

We completed the hike with an overnight stop at Trail Crest. We camped the night before at the Whitney Portal Campground, which is a very convenient spot as long as you make reservations well in advance ($24/night for our campsite). We started from Whitney Portal at 8 am, but would recommend starting earlier as the trail up to Outpost Camp can be pretty hot in the summer. The trail is a series of switchbacks even before you get to the infamous 97 switchbacks, but on the whole, the grade of the switchbacks is generally gentle. Outpost Camp is in a pretty meadow with easy access to water and a beautiful waterfall, but unfortunately, it is just 3 miles in. If you choose to overnight here, the tradeoff is a much longer hike (~19 miles) the next day and poorer acclimatization.

We hiked up to Trail Camp for our overnight stay, which is about 6-6.5 miles in, and at 12k ft elevation. There is easy access to water, but the pond is sort of scummy, so make sure you have good filtration plus iodine tablets. The benefits of sleeping at trail camp are obvious, but on the flip side, it is pretty crowded and a pretty boring spot.

We started hiking out to the summit at 4 am the next morning, but again, I would highly recommend leaving earlier (3 am?). It helps to get through the mind-numbing 97 switchbacks before sunrise, and an early start will help avoid a lot of traffic. Most of the trail is one person wide, so you will need to constantly stop to let others pass if you start late. Carry more water than you think you need because there is no water beyond Trail Camp. We carried 9 liters between two people and finished the entire supply on the 10 miles out and back from Trail Camp to the Summit. Also, make sure you have ibuprofen. I developed mild symptoms of AMS despite acclimatizing for 2 nights, and the ibuprofen helped immensely!

Gorgeous. I went for a trail run and was happy with how runnable it was. Well marked

on Half Dome Trail

hiking
4 days ago

Did this hike on July 13th, weather was amazing and we got very lucky to finish this hike before the fire. Definitely an ass kicker but if you’ve trained for it you’re fine. I took 4 liters of water and was fine but my friends took less and filtered water at the river. Apply and reapply sunscreen because the sun is on you for most of the trail. I recommend getting a harness for the cables because although it doesn’t make it easier going up, you do have a sense of security just in case. Take it slow, it’s a great adventure worth taking your time for.. Take lots of pictures and have fun!

hiking
4 days ago

Amazing hike, did this about 5 years ago. Made it to the top in shorts. It was freezing at the top with some snowpack (June). Beautiful terrain...lakes, forest, granite expanses, wildflowers, switchbacks to the top. Stunning view of the lake on clear days. We met an adorable and extremely friendly chipmunk on the ascent. Fabulous hike, one of the best in Tahoe!

Amazing experience. Trail conditions were very good and the weather cooperated too.

Absolutely must do this hike! Tough but fun, views are amazing!

on Mount Tallac Trail

hiking
6 days ago

I don’t think we were fully prepared for it this time. In the past we’ve started at Lily Lake, but this time we went the more popular route. There is a LOT of rock - most of the trail. We only got to 8665’ and it took us 6 hours. Just shy of the ridge. As soon as we turned back down we realized we were out of water. We did have an apple and some celery in our pack and rationed it out on our 4 1/2 hour trek back down. We were parched and sour when we got back. Fortunately we left some water in the car. The was rather hot for us and there was a smokey haze in the air from several fires, which didn’t help. Couldn’t see the lakes anyway. You gotta know your limits. We know ours. Next time we’ll use Lily Lake trailhead again — and hope for fresh air! Arnie: 73. Shirley: 58.

Summited solo yesterday. Wanted to write this so that everyone can succeed in summiting this thing if they want to! Couple things I noticed. Nutrition is crucial to you having a good day. It doesn’t have to be extremely hard if you have a planned nutrition schedule. This is spoken from experience of doing Ultras and Ironman distances, you need to eat every 30 minutes and consistently sip on liquids, no matter what you feel like.

The majority of people I passed weren’t doing anything until they were tired, and then they’d stop and drink and eat. The rule is, if you’re hungry or thirsty, it’s already too late.

My schedule:
Banana before hitting the trail, and an entire bottle of water
-Every 30 minutes, two cliff shot blocks(the packs have a total of 6)
-Every 90 minutes, skip the shot blocks and have a GU w/caffeine.
-always having a water source available to sip consistently.
-some trail mix right before I hit the switchbacks, still maintaining the gu/blocks schedule.
-trail mix at the summit.
-trail mix after the switchbacks on return.
-on descent, maintain nutrition schedule.

Total for the day, I believe I had 6 packs of cliff shot blocks, and 6 GUs, and about a bag of trail mix, around 2k calories, and most importantly, all easily digestible. A pb&j or turkey sandwich is not! I might have missed a cliff or gu, counted the wrappers when I finished.

WATER
I took 2L up with me, and an empty bottle to hold another L because I didn’t want to carry the unnecessary weight. There are MANY places to fill up, so you will not run out of water with this method. That being said, I would make sure to fill up all 3L before you start the switchbacks because there will be no water after that point, and it’s 8 difficult miles from that point up and back. I chose iodine tablets which made the water process easy and the bag lighter; just remember to plop in two tablets into your L of water and put it back in your bag. It needs about 35 minutes to work. I believe I drank 7 liters on the day, but I should have probably had another.

TRAINING
I’m training for tri’s at the moment, but I believe HIIT cardio workouts(spinning, plyo, etc) will get you a long way. Also, doing some distance running/walking, but I hadn’t done over 16 miles with 3k elevation gain before Whitney, and I felt fine.

ALTITUDE
I think it’s important to get up in the area two nights early. I chose to camp at Horseshoe Meadow(highly recommend!!) the first night because it’s over 10k elevation and I live in Santa Monica, which is at 1:) It’s a great and quiet area with some great hikes to get warmed up like Cottonwood Pass which gets you up over 11k. The second night I camped at Whitney Portal which allowed me to roll out of my tent, pack it up, and get started on the hike. NOTE: bears are very real in his campground. They are not the people eating bears, but they are the bag stealing bears, which almost happened to me right before my hike. Be careful where you leave your food at ALL times. But I felt no AMS symptoms ascending, and had a minimal headache on the descent, but I think it was slight dehydration.

THE HIKE:
I started at 2:45am, and did the trail alone. Others are on the trail too, so you might go for periods of time by yourself, but for the most part you’ll see lights ahead or behind you. I wanted to get to the switchbacks by sunrise. I didn’t really stop much, other than to replace a GU/Block supply for a convenient pocket on the pack. I stopped at the stream just down from the second campsite just before the switchbacks to fill up the water. The switchbacks at dawn were amazing; I think it’s risky to do them in total darkness. I went at a pretty good clip and summited around 8:20 or so and took a 40 minute nap on the summit. Unless you’re trail running, the descent will take longer than 4 hours, and 4 hours is VERY fast. I wasn’t trying to break any speed records and wanted to enjoy the day, but I was also using this as a training workout for other events I’m doing, meaning I kept my HR at a firm 130-140 all of the way up. I think I got down around 1:15pm, so I had about 10 hours of moving time with the nap at the top. I also had plenty in the tank because I followed my nutrition plan very carefully, so if a situation had arrived on the mountain, I would have had the energy to handle It. I recommend getting an early start so you can knock off the 7 miles before the switchbacks in the dark; you’ll see them during the descent anyway!

POST HIKE:
Treat yourself to a Whitney Portal Store burger and a beer. You’ve definitely earned it after 22 miles hiked and over a mile of elevation gain. It’s definitely a bucket list hike, and a 14k peak that is accessible to almost anyone with the right plan. Good luck, and remember, drink your water!!

hiking
6 days ago

This was my favorite hike in Tahoe area, edging out the lake aloha and rubicon trails in my opinion. A very hard 10 miler though my Fitbit said 14. The talus fields are tough going up but tougher on the down trip. Wear full on boots since the rocks are brutal. The false summits tempt you to shortcut but that would be a mistake. Well marked and easy to follow. Would definitely do this hike again!

hiking
7 days ago

Great day hike. The trail is well maintained and easy to follow. Cathedral Lake acts as a good staging point before experiencing an increase in elevation gain traveling towards the mountain summit. The view at the top is worth the effort.

Awesome bucket list hike with my friends Ben and Zach. Our hike was July 22/23rd 2018. We had done a lot of research and wanted a high chance of success so we slept at the Whitney Portal to acclimate then backpacked up to trail camp and spent an exciting afternoon with heavy hail, lightning, freezing rain, etc. It was definitely extreme weather and we were well prepared so we were able to wait it out and enjoy a gorgeous evening. The views were amazing and the trail is in great shape (better than the local 6 pack of trails in Southern California!). The weather pattern on the mountain had been lightning and hail starting around 1pm each day so we left trail camp around 3am and hit the 99 switchbacks. As many folks have noted, they actually were not that difficult. The sunrise was spectacular as we approached trail crest. The last lag on the backside of the mountain was the most treacherous as it was very icy and made for a slow trek to the summit. We enjoyed the view, had a snack, hydrated and after signing the log we were on trail back down. Our goal was to break camp and get down to the tree line before the lightning and hail started. We were partially successful as we made it about a mile down from trail camp before the lightning and hail started. It was a pretty miserable hiking in the hail, rain, sleet, lightning, with heavy packs on (yes we carried way too much!). Overall a huge success- no one got sick or injured and we all made the summit. It was a bucket list hike that we have wanted to do for a few years so we were all very pleased with the accomplishment!

Well maintained trail. Continual uphill but manageable. Use restroom at trailhead and carry water. Hundreds of thousands butterflies, awesome Visited early on a Monday and crowds were thin. I’d have to recommend Trekking poles. Even under smoky conditions views were good.

Really great if youre looking for a challenge for a beginner hiker!

hiking
10 days ago

Nice hike. Easy for the most part. I did this hike on 8/4. it was very smoky that morning but by the time I got up to the start of the hike which was just under 9000 feet the smoke wasn’t really affecting me but it did affect the views.
It does start to incline shortly after the waterfall but no steep parts. its a pretty gradual incline even the switchbacks aren’t very steep. only difficulty really is elevation if your not used to it.
it was super windy at the top. about a half mile before I got to the summit the wind gusts were so strong they nearly knocked me off my feet a few times.
but once you get to the summit there are some rocks you can sit behind which blanket from the wind. if there wasn’t so much smoke it would’ve been a beautiful view. total hike took just under four hours that was with the rest stops to take pictures and lunch at the summit.

hiking
10 days ago

Decided to tackle this hike today for my birthday. My friend and I met at the trail head at 8:30am, and the parking lot was already full. We got to the top around 11:30, had a bite to eat, took a bunch of photos, and made our way back down. The top was pretty crowded, not really the solitary experience I expected. My friend brought her dog, and he did really well, but he is a Tahoe dog and has tough feet and has done this hike before. We stopped at the lakes on the way back so the pup could get lots of water, and made it back to the parking lot just before 4pm. I am pretty fit, and the climb was still a doozy. Be prepared, wear sturdy shoes, bring lots of water and trail snacks, and listen to your body. Definitely made my birthday a memorable one!

10 days ago

Perfect for the hot summer months.

Easy hike to waterfall but not so easy to the summit, beautiful and worth it!

hiking
11 days ago

A great day hike! I went alone starting at 8 am and made a day of it. With frequent stops for photos, it took me just under 3 hours to summit it, and about 2.5 to get down. If you are planning on going around now (August 2018), make sure to check the air quality. It got pretty hazy as I went up (which also really impacted the view, hence 4 stars not 5)! Definitely need a good boot or trail runner with a thick sole for grip and not getting poked by rocks, but I saw people climbing in old sneakers. Nevertheless, if you are a hiker and are in the SLT area, it's definitely worth the climb!

on Mount Rose Trail

hiking
11 days ago

Excellent trail! Easy start to warmup and then kicks up at waterfall around 2.5 mile mark. Last mile is a beast but very rewarding.

It’s very smokey now. Air is dirty and views are limited. Hopefully better very soon.

TLDR: Incredible hike. Train hard. Pay attention to the weather!

Summited Whitney as a day hike on my first attempt. I had been following the weather very closely and chose to hit the trail at 3:30am in order to summit before the thunderstorms began firing off. The climb up took about 6:15 moving time. I got to spend about 30 minutes at the summit and standing on top that mountain it was an incredible feeling. The storms started building and I ended up making back to Trail Crest before the first crack of thunder. It poured (and hailed) all the way back to Lone Pine Lake. I mention all this because I watched ALOT of Whitney attempts get ruined due to the weather. TRAIN HARD so you can summit quickly and watch the weather closely...

Some things to consider. Water is very plentiful all the way to Trail Crest. It is unlikely you will need to carry a ton of water so long as you have your filter. This will allow you to drop several pounds from your pack.

Though the trail looks technical in pictures and video, its actually pretty tame all the way to the ridgeline. There is a tiny bit of scrambling here and there past Trail Crest.

When the trail narrows, its still plenty wide. Don't let those Go Pro lenses on YouTube fool you.

If you are a SoCal hiker, then I highly recommend a few local hikes to use for training. San Gorgonio via Momyer or Vivian Creek, San Jacinto via Deer Creek or Skyline Trail and Baldy via Bear Canyon combine with Three T's Trail. These trails will help build your legs and bolster your cardiovascular endurance. When these trails become somewhat easy, you're ready for a Whitney attempt. Why would I recommend a few trails more difficult in terms of gain and why wait until they're easy? It just goes back to training hard so can have a successful summit. Why waste the time, effort and money for the permit, plus the money to get there and spend the night only to neglect the body that's going to get you there? Safe travels!

Hard but worth it.

hiking
12 days ago

It took me (20) and my dad (60) 3 hours to get up and 2 hours 20 minutes to get down, with about a 40 minute break at summit. We started at 6:35 and met hardly anyone on our way up, whereas when we made the decent we came across almost 100 hikers headed up. I recommend a start no later than 7:30. We both love hiking and are both in decent shape. Once you make it over the rocky part and into the meadow area, you have about 35 more minutes until the summit (if you keep a good pace). This hike was a tremendous amount of fun! The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is that it's awkward to rate the difficulty level. The first half is pretty standard, probably no more than a moderate hike! The second half (when you make it to the rocky area) becomes more of a level hard hike. Gorgeous views though! I drank about 2 liters of water, and my dad went through 3.

It’s a very nice trail, but extremely tough if you don’t hike more that 5 miles. On my GPS it actually ended up being 14 miles because we did climb to the summit. If you are and experienced hiker go for it, for people like that I’m not in terrible shape but also don’t run marathons it was really tough!

Wouldn’t be a bad way to do it if you didn’t have to trespass. All trails should not show this as a route. The beginning location is silly since you shadow the road for 2 miles. I’ve past the private property it is fine primitive trail up to the pass. Then from the pass to the summit it is a well maintained trail.

hiking
14 days ago

Great hike, not worth it to do it in one day. Try and get a wilderness pass.

Load More