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I did this with two friends on October 26, 2018. We are all in our mid thirties. It was a bluebird day with not a cloud in the sky, and I think it was probably averaged around 40-45 degrees for the entire day. The summit was above freezing for sure when we summited at noon.

Timing:
We stayed at the Comfort Inn in Lone Pine the night before and the night after the hike. We got on the trail at 3 a.m. and summited right around noon. We started our decent at 1 p.m. and got back to the trailhead at 8 p.m. So that’s 9 hours up and 7 hours down.

Dealing with Altitude:
I live in Salt Lake City, so I have access to some elevation and did a bunch of training hikes to 11,000 feet on the weekends to get used to the altitude. The two other guys live at sea level but did their best to hike as much as they could before our attempt. We all ended up getting prescriptions for acetazolamide and starting cycling on that and 400-600 milligrams of ibuprofen every six hours starting about 12 hours before we started out. For two of us, we really had no symptoms of altitude sickness beyond very mild headaches at the top. The other guy got a pretty decent headache that subsided during our decent.

Food:
I think we all ate much less food than I thought we would. I ate two sleeves of Clif Bar Shot Bloks and took a caffeine pill on the way up (which might have contributed to an upset stomach). And I also ate 4-5 Clif Bars, some beef jerky, a pretty good-sized bag of gummy bears, and some nuts. I brought I peanut butter and jelly sandwich that I never even ate, but the other two guys ate their PB & J at the summit.

Water:
I brought four liters of liquid with me. Three liters of water and one liter of Gatorade. My doctor told me to drink a sports drink with the acetazolamide. I ended up drinking 2 liters of the water and the Gatorade and gave the rest of the water to my hiking buddies on the way down. We actually got back to the parking lot with nothing to drink between us all, which is probably not the smartest play. I did bring a filter with me though just in case things got real out there.

Gear:
We all used adjustable hiking poles. We have backup batteries for our headlamps since a good amount of the hike was in the dark. Sun lotion. I had a wide-brimmed hat for the sun. I had four layers on the top and three on my legs and was overdressed for most of the day. I was prepared for the day to be 10 degrees colder than it was. We all had microspikes, but I think I was the only one who used them.

Overall:
The 99 switchbacks might get you down, but once you top out after those, you are pretty golden. That where the trail gets super interesting and the views are ridiculous. The only thing I might do different if I did this again was to try to move a bit faster to get down before dark since spirits were running low for the last couple miles of the decent. Reach out to me if you have any questions about the hike. I’d be happy to talk about it.

Love everything about this hike.

35 degrees at the summit. The Devil’s Backbone was the easier trail coming down.

If you can break this up into two days do it. We day hiked it, left at 2am and back by 6pm. Super long day. Camped at Alabama Hills on the way out.

Beautiful hike, many river crossings and scenic sights. Bring lots of water and keep track of your steps because it’s easy to get lost since there’s almost not a single sign

Beautiful hike!

Not very much shade, but an amazing view at the top with the railway ruins! Bring yo’ sunscreen.

Beautiful hike, many river crossings and scenic sights. Bring lots of water and keep track of your steps because it’s easy to get lost since there’s almost not a single sign

Beautiful hike, many river crossings and scenic sights. Bring lots of water and keep track of your steps because it’s easy to get lost since there’s almost not a single sign

I underestimated this hike a bit. It is definitely harder than I thought. But depending on the trail you take it could be easier. Landslides have removed part of the old trail so you have to travel on the dried up river bed which is fine. A lot of shade. Towards the end there was a clearing for sun but it is overall shady. Lots of river crossings. Bring some good boots or waterproof shoes. Some extra socks would be good too. Lots of fun! Very beautiful. Chances to see mountain goats which I saw none. Bungee jumping at the end. Expensive! $120. Wear some good pants. Wasn’t a lot of people there. There are some camp sites there as well. Next to a shooting range too.

Great hike with good LA history at the top. It’s all up hill with very little shade so plan accordingly with water and a hat. Also it’s street parking and it can get busy. Dog friendly

Beautiful hike. Difficult but worth it! Start early park closes gates strictly 5pm

enjoyed this climb a lot! An plan on doing it again soon for better time now that I know the trail. pretty well beaten path, and when I went there was a good bit of water on the trail, early August, but totally with it 12hr up an down ... I can get that into the single digits though ;)

Perfect to test our skills

This hike is amazing. Completed back in August, make sure to leave early, because thunderstorms, snow, etc are big issues. Hiked in a group of 6, and we had such a blast. 7.5 hours up, 5.5 hours down. Beautiful trail, and so many good photo moments. Sunrise, etc.

5/5 stars, great views of the park, some cool boulders and the oasis at the end was cherry on top! Definitely worth the trek. We had to start from the campgrounds and do the loop behind the Cottonwood Springs campground due to the road being washed out. Added an extra 2 or 2.5 miles, making the hike about 4 hours total.

Did this hike two days ago. Cottonwood Trail, the main trail to Lost Palms, and the road to it, are closed due to being washed out from floods. If you want to hike to Lost Palms you can park at Campground A-B and take the trail toward Mastodon Peak. Once you pass the gold mine and Mastodon Peak go down the hill to Lost Palms Oasis Trail and take a left. Then it’s the Trail as normal to List Palms. This way adds about 1.5-2 miles to the normal hike. Great views as always.

Amazing... Simply AMAZING

About 90% of this hike is shaded which is very nice for comfort but limits the view points. I guess it was nice to change it up from the dessertous terrain of SoCal. It was also nice because I got a late start but didn’t get caught in the worst of the sun. Btw parking is rough if you get there late, I parked 0.8 miles from the trailhead.

Started out this hike with what felt like a million other people, I was not excited and kept weaving around them. Around mile 4 where it splits off to summit Wilson, just past sturtevant camp, everyone disappeared. Yay. But I was immediate joined by eight million mosquitos. Luckily I had some bug spray, if I do this hike again, I’ll bring a head net. As others have said, the summit left much to be desired. No log book, signage, etc plus people can drive there so it doesn’t give you the same sense of accomplishment.

Worth mentioning, when you get to the burned area just before the peak, there is load of poison oak? I’m terrible at IDing plants but someone told me it was poisonous and what it looked like, it was scary especially with my dog but I think we made it out unscathed.

Made it up in 4 hours and down in 2.5. Overall not a bad day but def not my fav hike in SoCal.

This hike should be rated easy. It’s pretty much a strain hike with a little here and there incline. An excellent hike to take a dog. Lots of water through out the whole hike. It’s just long but not hard. However the drive to get there is a different story. It’s about 5 miles through winding rounds that you have to share with a lot of bicyclists. It’s only a two lane road. Which feels like forever when your trying to leave.

Great hike on the main trail into Sandstone Peak- gradual ascent, some minor scrambling, not too many rocks. Wonderful views across to Channel Islands from Sandstone, but a lot of scrambling and sharp rocks to get there- great for the experience, but not something to repeat often.

This is great training hike for those wanting to do bigger peaks. SoCal has several extreme hikes that reach the tallest summits that are way more demanding. So this is a great hike to dial your gear and strategy for success.

Distance:
5 miles to Echo Mountain (2.5 up and 2.5 down)
10 miles to Inspiration Point (5 miles and 5 miles down)

Hike through some unique LA history as you churn those legs upward to the Echo Mountain resort ruins. The trail has constant elevation and is a really solid workout. Once you get to the ruins (2.5 miles), take a break, explore the remains, and eat your lunch or snacks here. It is quite enjoyable yelling into the echo phone and hearing your voice reverberate through the mountains - it really carries through clearly!

Now if you want to make this hike special, I HIGHLY recommend going from the ruins and trekking all the way up to Inspiration Point via the Sam Merrill trail or the Castle Canyon (both these entrances are marked with plaques that look identical). This is where the trail gets more isolated, rugged, narrow, and is much steeper! The Sam Merrill trail once you get towards the top, brings you through the backside of mountain where you venture into the shaded wilderness of the woods - really loved this change in the landscape. The Castle Canyon trail ascends up much faster and steeper than its counterpart and is a major workout where you will be huffing and puffing until you get to the top. Be aware of potential mountain bikers trekking down these trails, I was pretty shocked to have 3 of them go by us as the trails were narrow, quite impressive honestly. Once at Inspiration point, soak in the views and lay down before heading back to the trailhead. They have these cool, hollow telescope tubes that are labeled by LA's neighborhoods (silverlake, venice, etc). These aren't actual telescopes but if you had one this would be the perfect time to use it. There are also a good amount of hawks or ravens up here so make sure to gaze and be amazed as they soar around you, I even saw one doing some tricks in the air!

A beautiful mountain hike that is not too far from the city!

Parking: There is free parking at the base of the trailhead.

Dayhike: 10/27/2018

This was such a huge accomplishment. We had beautiful weather and I was able to hike in a long sleeve and long pants the entire time. I would recommend a brimmed hat and something to cover your mouth and nose for the occasional winds. Once we got to the summit, I put on my down jacket. Going down I was really glad I packed microspikes. It gave me piece of mind sailing down the icy patches, otherwise, it would have been slow moving on those parts due to safety concerns.

We started at 4:30am and summited at 2pm. Made it back to the car by 7pm. The last 1.9 miles to the summit was torturous with many thoughts on what I’m doing with my life, why am I doing this to myself and just turning back around. But once you get closer to the skyline and you see the top of the shelter/building, it’s all worth it! You made it to the top!

Final notes:
- I only drank 1.5 liters of the 3 liters packed.
- Walking poles really helped my knees and I’m not as sore as I was expecting after 2 days.
- Trail is very well defined and maintained.
- Better to have an early start so you’re not rushed on time. We had a few people not able to summit due to the late start time and it would have been dangerous for them to go down the icy areas without microspikes in the dark.
- Lastly have fun and be safe! It’s such an great experience!

I really tried to like this hike, but it just didn’t do it for me. I’ve hiked quite a few trails in the Angeles Forest and this was one of my least favorite. Not much variety in scenery, many water crossings, trail not well marked, and the bridge itself was interesting, but a bit underwhelming. If you’re looking for a longer hike, I found the Zion Loop very enjoyable with lots of shade.

10/24/2018 -- Day Hike Summited 9:15 , departed 3am from Whitney Portal, Summit 9:15am, returned to portal 3:45pm.

WEATHER AND CONDITIONS
Base weather low 40s, no wind, bright full moon; Summit weather low 40s, sunny, no wind. Trail camp was coldest at dawn in low 30s, slight wind. Packed snow on the 97 switchbacks. A few patches of ice around trail crest. Yaktrax were used only on the descent starting at the snowy section of the 97 switchbacks.

GEAR
Pack was about 12lbs with 48 oz of water, about 2.5 lbs of food. Hiking poles & boots were used. I wore pants, long sleeve, base layer, wind breaker plus a buff and a sun hat. I brought a down jacket and full gloves for emergency--neither were used. Navigation was mostly using BackCountry Navigator app, also had paper map and compass (which helped when I missed a turn on the ascent)

WATER
Started with 48oz in 2 bike bottles. Refilled water upon descent at Trail Pond using a squeeze filter. In hindsight I should have also refilled during the ascent.

HIGHLIGHTS
The full moon made the hike up clear and majestic. Sunrise at Trail Camp was breathtaking. The ascent of the 97 switchbacks was pleasant due to the snow leveling the grade--it felt like walking up a treadmill. The ascent felt quick and painless, but the descent mentally dragged on -- mostly due to foot pain and sun exposure. Nothing unbearable, just less pleasant than the ascent. The sign at the bottom warning that "the summit is only half way" is right on.

OTHER TIPS
* Bring spare socks and rotate every 3 hours. Hang the sweaty ones on your pack to dry and disinfect while hiking. No blisters! Dry socks also improve morale.
* 3/4 of this hike is exposed. Sun protection is a must -- wide-brimmed or desert hat will help both with sunburn and improve morale.
* Buff helps you manage quick temp fluctuations -- cold ears, lips, nose etc
* Hiking with a red lamp will preserve your night vision and let you see farther at night
* 80g / hr is a good rough estimate for food quantity.

Also want to give a shout out to hikingguy.com -- his guide made the trek up really predictable -- every thing you need including trail features and turns are there.

https://hikingguy.com/hiking-trails/best-la-hikes/mt-whitney-hike/

New to Southern California and couldn't seem to find a hike comparable to those in Oregon. However, this trail changed everything. I did the whole loop and took the detour out to Tri peaks (which i'd highly recommend). The trail is diverse and has the most amazing views almost the entire time. Loved every second of this trail and I'd HIGHLY recommend it to anyone looking to get out on a good hike.

Enjoy this hiking 10/27/18 was moderated to heavy, the weather was nice, a lot of people hiking, start going up as soon as we hit the trail. Love it planning on going back soon

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