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I should have added that I was the first one down. No one passed me. Two of the groups that were at the summit while I was there arrived at the trailhead about 20 minutes after I did. I think it's justified to call this a 9-10 hour hike for the majority of us.
And to clarify a potential issue: the difference between my mileage (17.3) and AllTrails (15.1) is 2.2 miles. That's more than an hour at my pace. So if I had relied on AllTrails numbers and started later, I could have been coming down in the dark.
I understand that it's difficult to accurately measure distance, even with a GPS in hand. But a chronic shortfall in reporting trail distances points to some issue.
Hikes in Patagonia are marked not by distance, but by the amount of time the able bodied elders in the community take to make the hike. That's a very useful metric. Not sure how to make that work here, other than honest reports.

Hiked this on Veterans Day. A heartfelt thanks to all who served.
Beautiful weather. A bit of wind but not as bad as predicted. The top was almost calm.
Definitely a workout. The manzanita plateau might have been my favorite part. Then the flats near John's Meadow marked with an ancient wheelbarrow.
Not too crowded, I only saw about 2 dozen people the whole day. Pretty good for a weekend.
My Garmin marked 17.3 miles roundtrip and TripSummit has it at 16.8 miles. The Garmin was spot on for vertical gain at 4600 ft.
Glad to see the previous reviewer post how long it took. Six hours is realistic in my opinion. It took me 5.5 hours to reach the summit, and 9.5 roundtrip. I passed three groups on the way up and kept pace with another. I assume they were the first to reach the summit that morning as I didn't see anyone on their down. I summited about 11:30 about 10 minutes after the first group. This was after a 6:15 start.
Great hike and I recommend doing it, but unless you are an extremely fit individual who is well acclimated to altitude, plan on a 10 hour trip to make sure you don't have to hike it in the dark if making the summit is important to you. Regardless, even a hike part way up is well worth it.
AllTrails, I (and from the reviews, several others) clock every hike you describe at a greater distance than stated. I feel this could cause someone a significant issue sometime. I paid for this service to help me plan. Inaccurate information doesn't fit well with that purpose.
Time to get up from your computers and get feet on the ground!

Incredible hike. DO NOT TAKE OLD ARMY PASS! It is not mainted at all. Take new army pass and then follow the cairns to the summit

hiking
3 days ago

Very hard. My first high summit. I found it very steep and hard to breathe at the top and I am in good shape. The views are not great but worth doing. I liked the views about halfway up the hike better. Overall it took us about 12 hours and 22 miles. Worth doing for sure.

Side note:

Old army pass is safe. Our group mistaked old army pass for the break between the two mountains by the last lake when you reach 3 or 4 lakes in a few minutes. I absolutely do not recommend going up this. Take the real trail on old army pass and you will be safe. I was absolutely terrified. Rocks came sliding down and the sand was unstable on what may seem like a very steep trail but it is not a trail.

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 ;)

Completed this hike 11/10/18, weather was perfect and the views were amazing! Thanks to all who posted helpful tips on this hike. I found the information to be very helpful. Here’s a few additional tips that may help your hiking adventure to SB peak:
I found this incredibly helpful locating the parking lot to the trail head: 34.14612, -116.97826 (thanks to who shared this on this app!!). You’ll need an Adventure Pass for this trail; however, permits are no longer required for day hikes (but recommended) www.sgwa.org. I did call to confirm information was correct. Always check with Ranger Station for changes and current trail updates before you go out.
Dress in layers. We started at 6am and in the shade it was pretty chilly. You may find a hat and gloves helpful. Bring lots of water! I went through my 3L and 16oz Hydroflask before I finished. No snow on this trail and the spring water was frozen. The trail itself is very well maintained and easy to follow.
The time it took my friend and I to summit was six hours. The first two miles’ish in the beginning I found most challenging on this entire hike. You’ll then go through the Manzanita’s which is fairly flat for quite awhile and you’ll end up at Limber Pines. Once you pass Limber Pines you’ll notice a steady gradual incline to the peak. At the peak, the views are beautiful. Very nice panoramic views of the mountain ranges and surrounding cities. Descending took us a little more than three hours.
Of all the Six Pack of Peaks, this a top favorite! Happy hiking!

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.

One of the best hikes I've done since I've lived here. Gorgeous vistas all along the way and pretty isolate. Camped 2 miles from the top, lots of camping spots, just have to go online and get a permit. They gave me mine the same day I applied so its quick, but it was also shoulder season. I would try to nab it at least 2-3 weeks beforehand during peak season to make sure you get a spot.

hiking
5 days ago

Completed as a day hike 10/31/2018. Took about 6 hours up and 4.5 hours down. (avid and fit hiker, filtering breaks only) As the previous review stated, there was no snow on NAP. There was patchy snow on OAP between the last lake and the top of the pass. I had spikes ready to go but didn't use them. While an easier hike overall, the last mile of this trail before the summit is harder than any one single mile of the Mount Whitney Trail. I'll type up a proper review soon.

Amazing... Simply AMAZING

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.

Thinking of doing this tomorrow!Any snow or ice up there? Thanks!

I was fortunate to cross this one off my list. We hiked it on Saturday (10/20/18).

Getting there: for most people it is going to be quite a drive unless you live in this area (obviously) which I do not. It took me about an hour and a half to get there from the Long Beach area since there was no traffic on a Saturday morning at 5 am and about 2 hrs to get home; the dirt road to the trailhead is near the Angelus Oaks Fire Station...the road is narrow and quite bumpy but I saw small cars handle it fine going slowly; the parking lot area was not crowded that early but it was quite crowded when we finished at 2 pm...Adventure Pass is needed

Trail- it is a pretty easy trail to follow and not get lost especially if you are using the ALL TRAILS app which is incredibly useful; the first 3 miles are steep but not too extreme (about 600-700 ft per mile) and then the trail flattens out a bit for the 4th mile and miles 5-8 are moderately steep with elevation gain of about 500-600 ft per mile; the scenery is beautiful and surprisingly green for what you may think San Bernardino to be like...lots of tall green trees and around the halfway part an open area with manzanita; beautiful views along the way in all directions of other nearby mountains, views of the Inland Empire, and a view of Big Bear Lake

Peak- I've read complaints of people complaining of obstructed views at the peak due to tree coverage but I didn't really find the views lacking from up there; there were only a few people at the top while we were there and we had a good time talking to our fellow hikers, enjoyed a Stella Artois celebratory drink, and took our pictures with the wooden sign and added our hiking group sticker to the box at the top; there were some patches of snow and ice along the trail on the final mile to the peak but no special equipment but hiking poles were helpful

My experience: I think we lucked out and had great conditions for our hike with temperatures in the 40's and 50's on a weekend when most cities at lower elevations were experiencing temps in the 80s and 90s; I've been hiking quite a bit in the last few years including longer and longer hikes and more hikes at higher altitudes so I think I was well-prepared to handle this hike without any major difficulties and I found this hike to be hard more for the pure length (my longest hike to date in terms of distance and San Jacinto has been my longest hike in terms of duration); I didn't experience any altitude issues and it wasn't windy or too frigid which I hear it can get this time of year

Details:
Distance- 16.2 miles (I think people who have recorded longer distances usually are tracking it on watches and I have noticed people who use that come up with inaccurate distances)
Difficulty- Strenuous because of distance more than steep incline
Duration- 7.5 hrs (4.5 up, 2.5 down, with a half hour at the top)
Elevation Gain- 4,700 ft
Peak Elevation- 10,649
*a hiking permit is no longer needed for this if you are doing a day hike

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!

hiking
17 days ago

I hiked it in a day on 10/27/2018, taking about 13 hours car to car - I hiked via New Army Pass and saw no snow on the trail - there did not appear to be snow on Old Army Pass either. The hike was long and difficult but the views were beautiful. Make sure to bring plenty of food, water, layers, and willpower.

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/

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

Question....after doing this hike yesterday, our Garmin GPS logged it at 11.2 miles, not 9.2. Does anyone know what the correct mileage is for the loop? Thanks!

Did the loop counterclockwise, going up past the ski hut, and then on to the summit. Back down via Devil’s Backbone, I skipped the ski lift ride down because I didn’t want to cheat, but I would definitely opt to ride the lift down next time because it circumvents the most uninteresting part of the hike. Weather was chilly in the morning, light wind on the summit, got pretty warm on the way down. Dress in layers, it’s essential here.

I definitely think counterclockwise is the way to do Mt. Baldy, it’s absolutely phenomenal going up and around the Baldy Bowl. Every inch of it is breathtaking. It’s quite steep, but I think any fit person could do this hike with a little bit of training. The trail can be tricky to follow after you leave the ski hut, just stay focused and reference the GPS on this app when needed. Traversing the infamous Devil’s Backbone was very scenic and slightly terrifying. Numerous hikers have died on this section in the winter and it’s easy to see why. With zero snow on the trail, like today, the risk factor was marginal. Check conditions with the ranger station, and don’t attempt it if there’s snow, unless you have mountaineering equipment and you know what the hell you’re doing!

Left the car at 8:10a, got to the ski hut 9:45a, summit at 11:15a, back at the car 2:15p. I carried 3 liters of water, probably could’ve gotten by with less. There’s several streams and water sources along the Baldy Bowl side of the hike if you want to collect and filter.

This hike is absolutely incredible, I loved every mile of it and would definitely do it again.

awesome trail. I'm kinda nooby at hiking so it wrecked me. great stuff

Summited 10/22/2018
Most difficult and rewarding hike I’ve ever done! This was my 2nd try. Trail camp was very cold the first night and there was snow up half the 99 switchbacks. Camelback valves froze in the morning. Still not bad for late October. Altitude and grade are the hardest parts of this hike. Best to acclimate yourself as much as you can before hand and try it in 2 or 3 days like I did. Go slow and breath.

I have holes this 1.5 times and loved it. It is a little steep and there is some elevation gain but it's worth it. My first attempt wasn't successful because a thunderstorm rolled in just after sunrise coming from the East. We were just about to trail crest when it hit. The thunder and lighting were almost instantaneous and then it started to hail. It was scary and a great reminder of the power of nature.

I absolutely loved this trail! Frozen stream & some snow at the top! Viewed the big bear lake from summit!

Very beautiful. Very long trail but worth it! There was patches of snow starting a lumber pine. At the peak it was icy but ok to cross.

Anybody who has hiked San B last weekend seen any snow on top ? I am thinking to do this coming weekend.

Hiked: 10/20/18

It was great, at the top of the switch backs is when the altitude starts to set in. Just take it easy, it was freezing the majority of the trail, we started at 2:30 and I summited at 2.

It is a very enjoyable hike up, take your time! I descended in only 5 hours so it came out to about a 16 hour trip. My camel back valve froze so bring some warm water and thermals.

It was really icy, if you do not have micro-spikes then take the infamous switchbacks slow!! Have fun and goodluck!

The hike itself isn’t too crazy it’s the elevation gain. I did a day hike in 16 hours but I would suggest acclimation to make it more enjoyable

I actually did this hike via John's meadow. A little longer but less people. Great scenic areas!!!

Great cool day to go to the summit. The trail Limber Pine Spring had water at the second location at the corner of the switchback. It was covered with Ice, but the water was flowing. There is also packed snow and ice patches about 1/2 a mile to the summit. I ended up using microspikes for the last 100-200 meters due to the ice and steep grade. You might not need them, but I didn't want to risk an injury that far from the trailhead.

Complete 10-19-18. Most challenging and rewarding hike I’ve ever done.

We started at 430am, summited 11 hours later at 330pm, sat up there for 30 min, headed back down at 4pm & got back to the car at 1030pm so it was an awesome 18 hour day on trail.

It was definitely hard to breath once we got to about 10k ft. Luckily neither of us got altitude sickness or vertigo. We were glad we had micro spikes for the descent. Wear as many pairs of gloves you can fit and the warmest ones you can find. Only thing I wish I’d brought was a buff or any other kind of face covering.

Brought 3 liters of water & a filtration system. Only drank 2 liters, never checked to see if my sawyer squeeze froze but I heard other people’s systems did. Mostly brought proteins to eat, wish I’d brought more carbs.

Check out www.whitneyzone.com before you go!

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