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fishing
20 hours ago

Great trail if you want to fish away from the crowds. Incredible views from the ridge above duck lake. A long day hike but gradual inclines make it doable. Bugs weren’t that bad but wear the juice for sure. Not much shade so dress accordingly and bring 3 liters of water or a way to sterilize the creek water.

it's a beautiful hike into God's country.

just love this place . it's a beautiful hike into God's country.

We hiked up to trail crest on 7/15 (13,400 feet), and didn't get to summit. There was no snow on the trails and conditions were completely clear that day. No bear sightings, but there were a couple marmots after the 97 switchbacks.

Easy hike to a beautiful lake.

7/16 Love this hike but only made it to the creek. The trail is washed out in many areas. Some hikers have left stacked rocks as markers but it can get confusing. Be prepared to traverse rocks and climb up and down large washed out sections. Lots of loose rocks. It took us double the time because of this. It makes the trail very difficult. Be prepared.

We summit on 7/9 starting at 2am and we were able to summit by 7am, beautiful view and beautiful sunrise and great group to do this hike with. This is my 2nd time I summited Mt Whitney. The first time I did it in 2004 and it’s as beautiful as I remember. 14 years later, I’m glad I can still do this hike.

This trail was worth every minute of the 7 hours we spent on it! The views were phenomenal and nothing else compared to the beauty we saw here. The following day I went to Devil’s Postpile and Rainbow falls and found them to be less impressive because I went on this hike the day before. We took beautiful pictures at each of the stops we saw on the trail so if you plan on stopping to take in the sights, it will more than likely take you about 7 hours as well.

A word of warning, we went on 7/8/18 and the mosquitos were absolutely terrible even though we were using Off Deep Woods spray. Consider covering up more or using a bug repellent that’s more lotion based.

The wildflowers along the trail were spectacular and swimming in second lake was very, very wonderful.

Loved this hike! We went to the second lake and back from big pine campground- was about 5 miles there and 5 back. It was a hot day but that glacial lake was WORTH IT. The second lake is a 5 minute walk from the first- make sure you go to at least that:)

Hiked it on Sunday 7/8. Beautiful views. Harder than expected. There is still a long section to go after the 97 switchbacks. Started at 3:20am, took us about 16 hours total. Got to summit at 12:45pm. We got stuck in some rain and hail coming down around 1:30 or so. Some of the river crossings got a little hairy with the added water from the rain. Snow/ice wasn’t an issue going up.

Great hike! Pictures don’t do the view justice at all! It was hot and there were a ton of mosquitoes past the waterfall so be prepared! Definitely would recommend!!

backpacking
9 days ago

This place was perfect for us, the first day we backpacked to pika lake then crossed the stream that runs along the main trail to enter the apex of the 4 lakes in the valley. The second day we just explored the valley and would return to our site periodically for meals and lounging. This place is paradise, treat it gently!

Hiked with a group of 7 on 7/5/18. We left at 2:45am and arrived at the summit shortly before noon. Trail was in great shape and no snow remaining across the trail itself, though a few places on the switchbacks that have water runoff were icy on the way up due to the morning timing. No ice on the way down as it was around 60 degrees by then.
We stayed at the top for about 40 minutes to enjoy the spectacular view and pleasant weather plus get some rest. Started back down around 12:40 and arrived back to Whitney Portal around 7:30pm.
Our group had 2 people in their 60’s, 3 in their 50’s and 2 under 30. Everyone made it. We were surprised to see dozens of people still climbing when we were on our way down even passed Trail Crest. Would have been very late arrival for those groups back at Whitney Portal.

Probably better for backpackers, but we hiked it in one day. Went all the way to the third lake and it was incredible. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.

hiking
10 days ago

Beautiful breathtaking views! It was great to hike next to the creek in order for us and the dogs to stay cool. Only reason I’m giving only 4 stars is because there are several mini detour trails that do no have proper signs and we got lost towards the end. Took us an extra 3.5-4 miles to get out.

Hiked on 7/5/18. Set off at 3am with my GF and at her pace reached Trail Crest until Noon. Trail Crest to the summit is about 1.9miles but this also took longer than expected due to her fear of heights and some sketchy rock areas. She pushed through and we reached the summit. Absolutely perfect conditions. No wind at the summit and a nice warm air. We hiked back in the dark 45mins after passing Trail Camp. Headlamps are a must for this hike. Pack enough food as your body will certainly need it. Grueling yet very rewarding experience as a day hike. It’s beautiful at the higher elevations so the allure of camping overnight is definitely justified. There are several points to refill before Trail Camp, 3-4L should get you by if you refill. Take more if you’re like me and like to avoid stopping for water. Never experienced AMS but our pace was very manageable. If you’re day hiking, you can camp at the sites next to the Portal trailhead for one night and just leave your stuff in your car and bear boxes in the parking lot. Truly amazing experience!!

beautiful and easy walk

hiking
14 days ago

Only went as far as Heart Lake. Very scenic stroll without any drastic elevation climbs. Great trail to do with the kids. There is a lot more traffic than the trail to Ruby Lake/Mono Pass but not oppressive by any means.

Fished for an hour at Heart Lake but was unsuccessful. Was worth it for the views alone though.

Twice attempted to summit and didn’t because of members of the group getting AMS. Got to the saddle, which was beautiful.

Fabulous view of the first and second lakes with temple Craig in the backdrop. Highly recommending Take a detour between lake 1 and 2 to find the perfect spot for lunch break right by the waterfall before heading back down!

backpacking
15 days ago

Beautiful views along the string of lakes from the Coldwater Campgrounds at the base of Lake Mary. Great options for overnight permit camping at skeleton lake, Pika lake, duck lake or purple lake! The rocky Duck Pass is long and exposed so best to get here before the heat of midday. The view from the top looking back towards Lake Mary is gorgeous, but as soon as you cross the saddle and drop in to Duck Lake, wow. Totally worth it. Can be done as a day hike or add on for the overnight. Mosquitoes were viscious (typical at this time of year) so don't forget protective clothing or bug spray!

The beast of all beast. This trail is a rollercoaster of emotions. Awesome views, alpine lakes, abundant forest critters, relaxing meadows, killer switchbacks and lastly high chance of AMS.

This is and will rank as such a incredible hike to hike to the tallest mountain in the contiguous USA is wonderful it’s also the variety and it’s a opportunity to camp if you get a permit if not get your day hike permit it’s such a wonderful day meeting people all over the world. The trail on 7/1/18 was in excellent shape switch backs are open and the views are stunning.. pacers win the day and it’s awesome it’s a uphill hike.. it’s a real treat

Awesome trail. Did it in 2 days by camping overnight at trail camp. Met many people from all over the world. Make sure you are in decent shape and acclimated to such altitudes.

hiking
16 days ago

Hiked 7/1/18.

Duck Lake Trail is a moderately challenging hike that leads to Arrowhead Lake, Emerald Lake, Skelton Lake, and Duck Lake. The trail is beautiful, quiet, and moderately shaded with several types of wildflowers along the way. Just don’t stand in one place too long, as the mosquitoes are out in full force. We were fully covered but wished we would’ve worn mosquito repellant.

backpacking
17 days ago

Nice hike, but is very hot this time of year. It is approximately 5.5 miles to the third lake. Also, mosquitos are brutal right now so hiking in the early AM is a must! Overall, great views and nice trail.

I completed the full Whitney Portal Trail as a solo day hike on Thursday, June 28th, 2018. I started at the trail head at 3:15am and reached the summit at 9:30am. To acclimate I arrived at Whitney Portal Campground two days prior, on Tuesday 6/26/18. After setting up camp I drove up to Cottonwood Lake Trail - since it has an elevation of just over 10,000 feet - and spent a few hours exploring the trails there. I chose to do that rather than hike up to Lone Pine Lake at the recommendation of Doug from the Whitney Portal Store. His advice was that if you're about to run a marathon, you don't go out and run 10 miles the day before... instead you hydrate and eat to build up energy reserves. That advice and other suggestions from someone who has reached the summit more times than I can imagine was invaluable. He also recommended that I take it slow and easy up through to Trail Crest, if I'm then inclined I can pick up the pace from there to the summit (small steps are still steps forward). Better to do that than possibly burn out by going too quickly up to Trail Crest. A third suggestion required a conscious change of behavior... deep breathing. Shallow breathing does not get enough oxygen into the system. I tried to maintain deep breathing throughout the hike, but at various times I reverted back to my usual shallower breathing... I quickly felt the difference. For example, toward the summit I reverted to shallow breathing - likely due to fatigue and drop in temperatures, it was very very cold once past Trail Crest, with the temps dropping as I got closer to the summit - with the shallower breathing I began to lose coordination and balance. At one point I was literally stumbling along like a drunk in a B-movie. I stopped, ate something to get some energy, and changed my breathing from shallow to deep breaths. The stumbling did not resume and I made it the final 1/2 mile or so to the summit. Second note on temperature, I recommend that you be prepared with at least another outer layer and head cover, possibly even gloves (the latter as my fingers went from numb, to feeling like plastic, to stiff and no feeling at all).

In regard to trail conditions... having been in camp for two days and talking with others who were returning to Whitney Portal from their own hikes, I opted to leave my microspikes and ice axe in camp. I only used my trekking poles. They were sufficient for the icy sections of trail. I only encountered intermittent sections of ice along the switchbacks as the water that flows across or down those switchbacks freezes overnight into layers of ice. However there are rocks and gravel to either or both sides so it is relatively easy to pick a creative path and get past the ice without trouble (trekking poles were very helpful on those occasions when I did slip). The section of trail with the poles and cable was a bit challenging early in the morning but I was able to break ice off of the narrow stone pathway between the snow bank and the poles/cable. Note that just a few hours later this section of trail was much different, the snow bank was pushed back by nearly 2 feet (someone may have done so manually with their ice axe for the benefit of all). Also all ice along the switchbacks was melted by that time, those areas were just shallow flows of water.

Last bit of advice... watch for falling rock. As I was making my way down the switchbacks a large boulder came hurtling down from above and smashed into the trail between myself and a lady who was about 20 feet ahead of me. She, her hiking partner, and myself immediately made haste to get out of that area.

My total hike time was just under 13 hours (finished at 4:11pm), I took a bit longer coming down than going up for the mere fact that I know that I can be clumsy. I wanted to finish without injury, it wasn't a race for time, for me it was a major test of self and a significant bucket list achievement.

An excellent way to spend the day with my son. Leaving @ 3:00am was a good decision. Starting our hike under the light of a full moon was awesome! I highly recommend it.

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