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I am an unfit 26 year old who likes to hike occasionally, but otherwise I am inactive. These reviews definitely made me feel ill prepared for this hike, along with the park ranger who advised we not start the hike as late in the afternoon as we did, but we chose not to listen. I’m glad we went ahead!

We started our hike on 10/14 at 2:20pm, reached the summit at 5:07pm, started our trek back down at 5:35pm, and were back at 7:15pm. Lots of stops on the way up, just a couple on the way down. We each took two liters of water. A third probably would have been good to have.

The weather was PERFECT. The wind kept us cool most of the hike. We started in shorts and tank tops. Brought pants and pullovers that we changed into at the summit, but we didn’t need to because it didn’t cool off until after we left the park. It got chilly at times, but the weather was consistent for our hike up and down. The wind wasn’t 50 miles per hour at the summit for us, but barely blowing while we were there. The views were clear, and we could see everything! So amazing!

Passed maybe 25 people who were coming down the mountain on our way up. Passed two people who were going up on our way day. Very peaceful and quiet trail that we had to ourselves most of the hike, so I’m glad we chose that time to go!

It wasn’t as hard as a lot of these reviews make
It seem, but it was hard. Also, our apple devices said we hiked 10 miles total. We did the hikers only trail, not the horse/hiker trail. Something to keep in mind as well. The trail is well marked, so staying on it is easy. There is a lot of loose gravel/rocks, but it didn’t really seem to be an issue. Just wear hiking shoes.

If you’re planning on doing Carlsbad Caverns and Guadalupe Mountains in the same day, like we did, there’s a time change. Guadalupe is an hour behind Carlsbad.

My group loved this trail! Be prepared for crazy weather changes! we started off hiking in minimal clothing to bundled up on top and wet! Such an adventure and so much fun!

Hard to rate it well b/c the top part of the mountain was covered in clouds (and cold wind!) all day when I hiked it. So I got no view AND the hike up was pretty miserable b/c of the weather. I can imagine w/o that issue, it would have been a spectacular, five-star hike. The trail is hard b/c of the elevation gain, but the trail is really well-maintained with plenty of switchbacks, so no scrambling necessary! I would love to do the hike again if I could be sure it was going to be a clear day at elevation. (The weather forecast for today was all sunny. NOT.)

This is one of my all time favorites! Definitely a two-nighter to enjoy it! Very busy on the weekends! Start the summit very early, thunder and lightning storms come from out of nowhere in the afternoon!

Did this hike on October 6 2018. It snowed before, during, and after. We lucked out and got clear skys at the summit. Summited around 11:00am passed tons of people that turned around because it was too sketchy as it was icy and cold. I didn't have spikes or crampons so was super bummed as I didn't think I had a prayer to make it. The trail was icy and slippery but it wasn't like you were going to fall to your death if you slipped and fell. It was easy to spot the icy areas and I just used the trekking poles and took my time.

Varied terrain, good shoes are advised. My son and I managed to complete the loop in just over an hour which is moving at a pretty good clip. The falls were mostly a trickle but still very pleased with the views along the trail.

Climbed it on September 15. Weather was fantastic. It was more difficult than I anticipated, but definitely worth it.

You work hard for the summit but it's so worth it. The views from the top are breathtaking. The walk down is a lot easier. Take water.

Outstanding hike, the pictures do not do justice. Myself 22M and my father 54M made this hike Friday night and Saturday morning. The hike up is quite challenging unless you are frequently doing this level of hike. Camping on the mountain is very worth it as it gives you a break between hiking up and down, and starting at 10AM the trail gets heavily trafficked which can be annoying. We summoned at 9am and there was no one else around, it was amazing. Only complaint is that the amount of loose rock on this trail makes for very easy trips and rolled ankles. Happy hiking!

We hiked up the the peak campground on Friday and set up camp and then continued on to the peak. It was an amazing and strenuous hike. It was hard on my knees. The views were amazing. Saturday morning we took one more trip to the peak and broke camp. The hike down may be harder in a way then going up. Sadly it was a highly trafficked trail on the way down. We must have passed at least 50-60 people going up. It was very annoying. It seemed that we couldn’t walk 5 minutes without having to move aside. Overall it was worth it.

Great trail with awesome views along the path!

Mount Whitney Trail
03 OCT 2018, Wednesday

I hiked from Whitney Portal Trailhead to within three-quarters of a mile of the Summit and back--about 20 miles. I did not reach the Summit, unfortunately. Sound judgement led me to turn back and quickly descend, due to a sudden snow and lightning storm. Lots of wind and falling snow (corn snow?) made footing a challenge, especially between Keeler Needle and Trail Crest.

Started my hike at 3:30am under a clear sky. Lots of stars in the sky, those first three hours. Beautiful sunrise and fantastic views. It was sunny and pleasant when ascending the 97 switchbacks. That morning, the trail was clear of ice most of the way, with some ice present on the highest one-third of the switchbacks. I put yak traks on my boots and found them helpful, especially considering what was to come that afternoon.

Clouds started to build just before noon. By 12:30pm the sky darkened and snow began to fall, so I decided to turn back. By 12;45pm, snow and wind were intense as I descended from Keeler Needle to Trail Crest and then down the 97 switchbacks. Heavy snow continued to fall as I hiked through Trail Camp, through Outpost Camp and halfway to Lone Pine Lake. The wind howled and blew the snow sideways.

Lightning all around. While descending from Trail Crest and through the 97 switchbacks, clearly visible lighting bolts crossed the sky. I hiked through heavy snowfall, instantaneous thunder and much too close views of lightning veins for the hour it took to descend the switchbacks. I dove to the ground a couple of times, out of some kind of instinctive survival reaction. There's no place safe to take shelter from lightning anywhere between the base of the 97 switchbacks and the Summit. Keep in mind, the air is very thin above 13,000 feet and it will take you longer than you think to get from point A then to B and to C.

There were a few hikers ahead of me who were within a half mile or so of the Summit, just prior to the moment I decided to turn around and descend. I hope and pray they each made a safe return home.

Be prepared, if attempting Mt. Whitney during the month of October. I carried a very heavy day-pack containing extra water- and wind-proof clothing, two wool head coverings, extra food and water, an extra headlamp and batteries, etc... My body temperature remained warm, I was hydrated and had the energy to extract myself from a "not good" situation.

Even though I didn't reach the Summit, I'm good with it.

Oct 2, 2018, windy and snow storm above 3800m.
I lost my way off the trail before 99 switches simply following other two climbers ahead. It is extremely dangerous to climb short-cut of the switches, because the stone slope up to the top is too loosen to fall in a snowy day together with stones! It took me two extra hours to cut back to the switches safely using All Trail map, but fail to the summit before deadline for closed time.
I will come back to Mt Whitney because The Mountain is there!
Thanks a lot to my son and daughter in law, and my wife for their understanding and support.

This trail is pretty hard for me in a sense that its longer than I anticipated, it took us 4 1/2 hours to reach the peak due to high elevation, lots of switchbacks, steep rough terrains. Took us 3 hours to descent due to loose rocks! But I can say it’s so worth it , no pain no gain I guess and I will do it again till the aches and pain resolved lol..the view all the way was awesome and the top view was pretty impressive!.. I highly recommend this hike but suggest to do this early morning , cool weather , bring snacks , maybe some Tylenol lol and lots lots of water !

My. Whitney, CA
20 September 2018

Success!!!

Our group of 10 met up in Lone Pine, CA on September 18th. We came from Virginia, Texas, Pennslyvania, Kentucky, Tennessee & Arizona. Two were related, some were old friends, some were new friends, and some had never met. Barry from Orange County join our group last, at 2:00am on the 20th, and we were stronger for his company.

I had been invited at the last minute, to fill a vacancy. 53 years old, not a hiker, and certainly not in pristine shape, but the mind was willing. We’d find out if the body could keep up.

Obersvations: 1 - Spectacular scenery and views. 2 - I overestimated my ability, and underestimated the mountain. 3 - The lack of Oxygen is real. 4 - The 99 switchbacks are harsh. 5 - The last 1.9 miles is the longest ever walked. 6 - Coming down is every bit as difficult as going up. Finally, and most importantly 7 - I wouldn’t have made it without the help, support, advice and encouragement of friends, acquaintances and strangers alike.

We left the Portal as a group at 2:00am, drowsy, happy and excited. We summitted independently, as pairs and in small groups, to the cheers of those in our group who had reached before us, as well as people we had never met. I summitted at noon (last of my group) as the final pair with a true friend who waited an hour for me to start his final two miles with me. We were all back at the Portal by 7:55pm, again, with me in the last pair, and the rest of the group cheering on our group achievement. 23.4 miles, 18 hours, 78,000 steps. Almost 6,000 feet up... and then down. A very long day indeed.

Jeff, Cindy, Nicki, Amber, Katie, Amay, Joe, Jenn, Summer, Barry & Scott. 11 started, 11 summitted and 11 finished.

We had no injuries, and only minor setbacks. We are all tremendously thankful for that.

As one of my ‘new’ friends just pointed out, a week ago we were on top of that granite rock. Today we’re all spread out across this great country. I count this as one of the greatest personal accomplishments of my life (children, marriage notwithstanding). Not necessarily summitting, but being a part of an amazing group of people who came together to reach new heights, and left richer for the experience and the friendships gained.

Carpe Diem

Absolutely beautiful! Perfect for a day hike, completed within 10hours (12 hours if my chit-chat time at the summit is added). Started at 01:25am and made it up all the switchbacks by 06:08am, saw one of the most beautiful sunrises!!!
Food wise, I carb-loaded the day before (around 2-3pm). I ate a banana and a little of trail mix up the summit and ate a meal after completing the hike. Carb loading the day before and going in a fasted state was probably my best decision, I had a ton of energy and did not feel nauseous. I only needed about 1.5L of water total (but I did hike most of the trail during night).
ALSO, thank you whoever takes care of the trail, during full moon (as it was last night) I did not even need to use the headlamp to find my way up.

My son and I drove out from LA to Lone Pine Friday morning, retrieved passes after 2pm (many were available) and checked into a hotel.

Sat 3am the journey commenced and approx 7 hrs later we hit the summit shortly after 10am. High winds and cold temps up top made clothing options crucial. Glad as well that w had altitude meds (diamox) so as to avoid AMS. (No acclimation)

The descent was fun and enjoyable since anything below the 99 switchbacks was dark on the way up. We watered up at Trail Head camp, cooked a nice “campers stew” about halfway down just past Outpost Camp, then cruised the final 6 mi. We were in the car by 5pm so all in all including stops a 14 hr journey.

The ride home was a breeze. The journey nothing less than epic. We both vow to return - Whitney is a beast but beautiful !

Awesome hike my daughter n I loved it will be camping out on our next visit

The views are nothing to brag about. This hike was more mentally demanding than it is physically. The sad part is that I didn't even get to enjoy getting to the top because my first thought was that I have at least another 6 hours to retrace every step in order to get off this mountain. If you are doing this as a dayhike, make sure to set a schedule to get enough carbs. We set a schedule to eat energy chews or gels every hour, which we were doing well with until we reached Trail Crest. Perhaps it was the lack of oxygen but we couldn't get ourselves to eat after that. On the way back down, I crashed hard at around Trail Crest. Finally forced myself to eat some energy chews and within 10 minutes I was feeling a lot more energetic. We had Clif Bloks with caffeine and Honey Badger Gingsting gels which were both lifesavers.

Cool trail. Falls were dry, but the scenery was great. Must have seen 50 tiny lizards scurrying about!

Hardly anyone on the trail on a weekday in early September. Summited early and it was all clouds, but they cleared while hiking down for those views!

hard ...but amazing

hiking
23 days ago

Cool hike with couple of false peaks with a neat monument on top.

First summited on my 60th birthday, as a dayhike. 22 hours, exhausted but no blisters or other injuries. Made it my annual thing. 2 nights at the portal campground, short hikes to Lone Pine Lake helps keep the altitude sickness at bay. Always an enjoyable trek, hope one day to score an overnight pass. Bucket list item. Beware the marmots!

Experience of a lifetime, thanks to all the people who encourage me to do this, Angel, Dan, Don and my wife. By far the hardest hike I’ve ever done
But we reached the summit, and I’m blessed beyond words

I finally summited this beautiful beast of a peak 9/22. Breathtakingly clear, beautiful weather. Got lucky on an unclaimed permit and ran through the gamut. Well worth the second attempt. From Outpost camp to summit and back - 16 miles, 13 hours. Hiked out the next day.

Go prepared though. If I can impart anything it is this: hope for the best but plan to cover your backside in case things go sideways. She’s popular but she is not safe. I watched someone get airlifted off the summit when he was caught up there with exhaustion and hypothermia. Take extra clothing, a water filter, extra food and electrolytes even if you’re day-hiking.

Wow what a beast. Beautiful. Raw. Unforgiving. Warrior creators. Memory of a lifetime.

This hike is hard BUT well worth it! The incline is what makes this trail difficult along with steep switchbacks but the view along the way is astounding! Once you hit the bridge, you’re very close to the peak! And once you see the view from up there, you will definitely be breath taken.

Group of 7 of us hiked on Sep 15, 2018. Started on the trail at about 1:15am and spent about 21+ hours. It is a challenging hike, both up and down. But it is well marked and you will have your destination (hut at the summit) in sight for a majority of the hike. We encountered strong wind gusts all the way up which made it a bit more challenging. Break the hike into five sections and should be less taxing mentally, section 1: trail head to lone pine lake, section 2: lone pine lake to outpost camp, section 3: outpost camp to trail camp, section 4: trail camp to trail crest and section 5: trail crest to the summit. Section 4 with the 99 switchbacks and Section 5 with the windows were the most challenging parts of the hike. Hiking in the dark with headlamps was no issue.

All in all, an awesome hike and highly recommend it. Happy trails!

My wife and I won an overnight lottery. We camped at Trail Camp and reached the peak on September 21, 2018. Could not have asked for a better weather day. So stunningly beautiful! Definitely train for this hike.

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