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I did this yesterday and it was very enjoyable. First the parking was super packed at 9:30am already. I did I two round in the lots then I was trying to find on the road and there was a nice guy pointing at his car that he’s leaving! Thank you sir!!

Anyway if I didn’t know about the trail, I would be sure to get lost. So you should check where the trail sprit. And like everyone said here it’s not 12 miles. It’s more like 16miles. (My phone die on the way coming down, so there is no accuracy but I was glad that I made it to parking lot) Last couple of miles going up was tough. I kept stopping and looking up when this uphill/switchback end.

I finished my entire 1.5l water going up so make sure you have enough water and snack to refill.
Cosmic cafe save my life on summit.

Going down from summit was confusing. There is no sign going down. I had to walk around the parking lot and observatory gate. There is a trail in the middle of parking lot. But again no sign!

Downhill was easy but sandy and easy to slide so be careful. At the white creek ? Trail sprit and I had no strength to go uphill at the beginning of trail, so I went right to chantry flat for another 3 miles.

Going up and down, there is plenty of gnat and mosquitoes. Be sure to spray bug spray everywhere and I saw a sign that there is a bear so maybe bring a bear bell.

I saw a deer family running by me and looking at me so it was a delightful moment and that it self made my day.

hiking
3 days ago

The views are spectacular and second to none. The parking is limited. The crowds are dangerously overwhelming. Be extra careful when going up there.

The reason this hike only gets 4 stars is the lack supervision from park rangers. I saw a lot of people careless on trail that doesn't give second chances.

Awesome workout. Pretty steep and rocky at times but the views are amazing. Worth the pain

Excellent training hike - I took the loop via Stuyvesant camp to the top and returning on the opposite side.

1st thee+ miles felt great - I started early to avoid the heat (6:00am) and bugs. Once I passed Stuyvesant though the uphill kicked in. There is some serious uphill for 3 miles so be prepared for a long slog.

The observatories, exhibits and cafe were a welcome respite while preparing for the descent. The descent is tough - what goes up steep will come down steep so pace yourself.

My GPS unit had me at 15 miles and I spent a little over 7 hours on the hike (3 hrs up, 2 1/4 hr down and about 1.5 hrs trying to recover at the top and during the steep switchbacks). Key is to pace yourself and just keep moving.

Because of the lower elevation, heat will play a bigger factor so watch out - the downhill was interminable but the last 1/2 mile climb to the parking lot in 93+ degree heat was rough when your tired and ready to be done lol

Leaving early helped minimize the bugs while the afternoon sleep also seemed to have tempered them. I really only saw the gnats and they were less than many other trails

Overall excellent hike that let me know I had done some hiking! Be proud of your accomplishment

Start early in the summer, it gets hot, but everyone says that. I was prepared for the heat and started before 7 and was surprised how windy and cooler it was above Devils Backbone. Never took off the extra long sleeve until I arrived at the ski lodge on the return trip.

Beautiful views with challenging terrain.

no wilderness permit required..I ck at ranger station before heading up..just the pass for the car..6.5 hrs total

This was way to hard for me and I didn’t realize it until I had already started. We did a night hike cause the full moon happing and I didn’t get that far cause the elevation plus the steepness of the hike was way to much for me and totally kicked my butt and I had to turn back around. If you are an experienced hiker and are extremely Athletic you will love this. The view is gorgeous at the summit from what I heard.

Not really a hike but the view is breathtaking

backpacking
22 days ago

I hiked the JMT solo in 2015, but got off the trail in mile 180 (Kearsarge Pass Jct) because of ankle and knee injuries. In 2015, I resupplied twice: Reds Meadow and Muir Trail Ranch (estimated 9 days of food until Whitney Portal). I finished the last 31 miles in 2016 starting from Cottonwood Lakes to Kearsarge Pass (it’s about 72 miles including Mt. Whitney, Lake Charlotte, and Kearsarge Pass Trail). I didn’t resupply for this 7 day hike. Final thoughts about the JMT: challenging, nonetheless it was an amazing experience. Trail easy to navigate in low snow year, plenty of water sources on the trail, mozzies are relentless, beautiful views, mountains and lakes for days, and great people on the trail.

Transportation set up: I left my car in Lone spine and hitched a ride to Yose for my 2015 hike and to Horseshoe Meadows trailhead in 2016. Getting back to my car from Kearsarge Pass, I hired a shuttle service to take me back to Lone Pine. Reasonable rate.

hiking
23 days ago

Awesome views!

hiking
23 days ago

Short climb up to the top for views of the Sierra's and the Valley floor. Gets crowded at sunset. Pro Tip: Go right after the sun goes down - everyone leaves, you still get soft light and usually you have the top of yourself to view the city lights below and stars above. On a full moon, the mountain range behind you really light up!

hiking
23 days ago

Go early in the morning if you can to avoid the high heat. It is a fairly easy hike. The areas through the slot are not very big. Bring lots of water and sunscreen. 4WD is not required to get to the trailhead parking lot, but not sure I would recommend going with a low ground clearance car.

Amazing views! Bring trekking poles :)

Great hike! However, like previous reviews stated it’s more that 12.6 miles. My fitness watch doc’d it as 17. 7 miles. Cafe at observatory was a lifesaver. Note: they close at 5pm.

We will def be back!

One of my favorite hikes to do to prep for major peaks. It’s nearby for anyone living in the LA basin, the lodge at the top of the notch is a great place to relax or snack up if you need to, there’s always lots of people so you are not alone, and has plenty of steep places for a challenge.

nature trips
27 days ago

Grateful to those who crafted this amazing feat with stairs, bars, etc. so that generations can climb and enjoy the beautiful views! A definite must if you're in the Sequioa Forest!

Nice, short hike. The views are awesome.

Awwsome hike in to Spruce Grove CG. The campground has a lot of trees so it's great for hammocking. Overall the CG is clean and the outhouses were pretty clean for what they are. I still prefer just digging a cat hole over any outhouse though. There is water at camp (though the water level is low) and should be treated before drinking. Saw a few deer come through camp along with multiple squirrels as well as a small black bear (hanging your food or a bear canister is a must). Also, make sure that you bring bug spray as all of the biting menaces are out in full force.

Nice and quick hike up with some beautiful views at the top.

The views are just stunning. And the trail is well supported with handrails and rock walls so it’s doable even for someone like myself who’s not great with heights. I’d suggest doing it in the early evening, to avoid the worst of the crowds. We were there about 6pm on a weekday during late June and there were still lots of people on the trail, but not too many.

hiking
1 month ago

not long but amazing views on the way to the top!

Beautiful and worth the effort!

1 month ago

Nice bit of engineering to create a path to the top. But views are meh!

1 month ago

Great hike super easy overnighter but tons of bugs

A little heavy breathing for someone who doesn’t get to hike as often as I’d like. So worth the effort to the top! Despite the height, felt safe with the railing and design of steps with grooves in places for better traction. A little narrow in spots, so need to let groups by when ascending or descending. Created good opportunities to catch your breath though.

hiking
1 month ago

Such a beautiful uphill hike! Not long at all. Highly recommend. The view at the top is worth all the heavy breathing!

hiking
1 month ago

Good hike especially if you’re training for other big climbs (Mt. Whitney, Grand Canyon R2R, etc.). It’s nice to have hikes like this close to where I live. I’m not sure I would travel far to do this hike, but if you live close, it’s worth doing and training on.

This hike was really challenging toward the top. Pretty steep. Worth it though. If you take the trail that runs under the ski lift on the way down it’ll save you a ton of time. Probably best to do it with trekking poles though. Started at like 10 and one other couple and I were up there. Pretty sweet.

Definitely challenging. Gnats, mosquitos, and poison oak are in full effect. Going up thru Sturtevant is particularly steep in last 2-3 miles to the summit; other side is more gradual. But the entire trail was shaded (at least 80%, minus the summit).

All Trails' directions leads you to the summit (DON'T USE IT). Google Maps to Chantry Flats. We clocked the full loop at 14-16 miles, not the 12.6 miles on All Trails.

Cosmic Cafe is a legit place to eat. Apple pie with ice cream was out of this world!

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