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FIve of us did this as a backpacking trip over 3 nights on 7/2/18. Melissa K review is spot on. A few things to add
-Road to the trailhead is paved until 2 miles of dirt road. The rocks on the road made driving slower but not too difficult for a sedan.
-Mosquitoes may be few on the trail but near the lakes or staying overnight, they are LOTS. Be prepared with deet.
- This is not an easy hike and more difficult with a heavy backpack.
- The trail along the eastside side of Saddlebag seems really long but is much easier hiking than the rocky path on the west side of the lake.
-The trail shown behind Steelhead lake leads up the mountain to an abandoned mine. There isn't much of a trail, good luck finding the mine.
- Fishing is decent at Steelhead, Shamrock, and Helen lake. We didnt get a chance to fish Hummingbird or Odell but they looked great. Didnt catch anything over 12"' but saw some larger ones lurking, especially at Helen Lake.
- Couldnt find any suitable camping spots at Odell lake and only a few scattered sites at Hummingbird.
-HIghly recommend camping near Shamrock lakes and hiking the small mountain in the middle of the basin for sunrise. Spectacular views as the sun rises from up from Helen Lake

Flat but difficult hike, some parts a bit technical and scary with a pack. Views are well worth it! Great experience

This challenging, yet doable trail left me and my girlfriend feeling accomplished and well worked! We started at 6:50am, summitted 3.5 hours later, took an hour at the top, and took 2.5 hours to get down. Bring 3 liters per person for hot day hikes, sunscreen, and some bug spray. The best part was relaxing in the lake afterwards staring up at the mountain and thinking, “we hiked that!”

Challenging but invigorating hike, with an incredible reward at the top! I took my 9 and 13 year old kids with me and they did very well. Loved all the other hikers cheering them along the way. We got up to the summit in four hours (including one 30 minute break at Cathedral Lake). The trail was clear the whole way. There were also enough people on the trails so you never felt isolated—but it also didn’t feel crowded. It was a test in endurance as the climbing rarely lets up. But hearing how incredible the summit is from all the hikers coming down was motivating. As others said, the right equipment helps. We took polls with us (very helpful), enough water and we all wore boots. We left the summit at 12:30 and I never felt we were boiling on the way down even though it was an 80 degree day. It took a lot longer to get down then I thought due to the rocks. My feet would’ve been stumps without the boots! Definitely a challenging hike but don’t be afraid to try it. Its not that it is unusually steep or anything, it’s just that you are climbing with no let up on a lot of rocks. Start early—tons of cars in the parking lot already by 7:30am on a Thursday. I think many. people start this hike even earlier.

hiking
2 days ago

An absolutely gorgeous trail that has magnificent views of Tahoe and Eagle Lakes and neat seeing Cali and Nevada from here. From the parking lot to the peak is more like 12 miles, but don't let that stop you. Prepare for it to last the whole day, definitely took my two friends and I longer than we expected, and pack more food than you think you'll need. And once you get to the top of the rock piles, you have about an hour left, don't listen to the lies.

Bring plenty of water. Leave very early in the day. Pack light. Know that the cables are very challenging should you get that far!

FANTASTIC trail. Rating is accurate at difficult. Would recommend for backpackers to leave early in the morning because there are countless breathtaking panoramics of the Minarets and mountain range around each corner, so taking your time to stop and appreciate it was really something that I'm glad we did. The total hike time was over 6 hours, with a heavy backpack, and we actually had to camp about .5 mile from Thousand Island due to a late start, it getting dark, and being EXHAUSTED! Would have been much quicker without the backpack full and ready for a weekend of camping with a heavy tent. We passed a handful of people doing this trail as a day trail who were making great time if that's the route you're hoping to go. Again, would recommend to leave early even then! Luckily summer days are long and offer sunlight until late in the evening.
There is a parking lot at the trailhead with Agnew Meadows Campsite just up the road. You can also reach the trail head via shuttle ($9 round-trip) and walk a bit. I would recommend to drive your car down to save time and money. The line for the shuttle was long, the shuttle was crowded, and we were itching to get started much sooner than the shuttle allowed us to.
There is a bathroom at the trailhead. The High Trail via the PCT almost immediately starts at an incline, and then is primarily uphill for majority of the trail. There is a long, open (Sunny) stretch that is relatively flat, and about .5 mile that is slightly downhill, but that meant heading back uphill. Two sets of switchbacks. Both are a short distance, one near the beginning and the other almost at the end.
This was difficult but very rewarding. One of the prettiest trails with everything still in bloom. A lot of butterflies, and A LOT of mosquitos. Treat your clothes, take deet and a bug net. Even with deet and a bug net we were still eaten alive and spent most of our time in the tent. There was a bit of wind at the lake itself which meant relief from the mosquitos which was very welcome. Lots of fish jumping, and other travelers fishing!
Again, tough trail, but very worth it! Met a lot of nice PCTers. You definitely earn your views!

backpacking
3 days ago

FANTASTIC trail. Rating is accurate at difficult. Would recommend for backpackers to leave early in the morning because there are countless breathtaking panoramics of the Minarets and mountain range around each corner, so taking your time to stop and appreciate it was really something that I'm glad we did. The total hike time was over 6 hours, with a heavy backpack, and we actually had to camp about .5 mile from Thousand Island due to a late start, it getting dark, and being EXHAUSTED!
There is a parking lot at the trailhead with Agnew Meadows Campsite just up the road. You can also reach the trail head via shuttle ($9 round-trip) and walk a bit. I would recommend to drive your car down to save time and money. The line for the shuttle was long, the shuttle was crowded, and we were itching to get started much sooner than the shuttle allowed us to.
There is a bathroom at the trailhead. The High Trail via the PCT almost immediately starts at an incline, and then is primarily uphill for majority of the trail. There is a long, open (Sunny) stretch that is relatively flat, and about .5 mile that is slightly downhill, but that meant heading back uphill. Two sets of switchbacks. Both are a short distance, one near the beginning and the other almost at the end.
This was difficult but very rewarding. One of the prettiest trails with everything still in bloom. A lot of butterflies, and A LOT of mosquitos. Treat your clothes, take deet and a bug net. Even with deet and a bug net we were still eaten alive and spent most of our time in the tent. There was a bit of wind at the lake itself which meant relief from the mosquitos which was very welcome. Lots of fish jumping, and other travelers fishing!
Again, tough trail, but very worth it! Met a lot of nice PCTers. You definitely earn your views!

hiking
3 days ago

Great hike! Worth the hype for the sense of accomplishment and views. I was nervous about it (weekend warrior type, decently in shape mid-20s) and I’m glad I went. The hike took 7 hours. Left at 6:50am, arrived at summit by 10:00, spent an hour there and then returned to the car by 1:50. Get an early start, because the sun is hot and the summit would be crowded about 1-1.5 hours after I was there. I drank 2.5L of water and could have had another L more. The rock face after the second lake is tough! Good boots with ankle support are important here, though we passed someone doing the hike in Vans. Save some gas in the tank for the trek down! There are lots of rocks and it would be easy to slip if exhausted.

Mt Dana has been on our list of hikes to tackle for a few years and I kept putting it off to “prepare”. We went ahead and did it last week and *ahem* lets just say I was not quite prepared. Lol It’s no joke, for the average hiker. I made it to the top in a little over 3 hours so not too bad, but I was sore for dayyyysss. The views were AMAZING.

The trail in the beginning is pleasant then turns to steep steps/rocks and parts where you may scramble over boulders and such. In my opinion, coming down was harder, I’m 43 and my knees were not happy.

I was grateful for my trekking poles!

I had a crew of 6 teens with me who did great. Overall we had an amazing time.

Yosemite disappoints and this hike is no exception! We went up via the JMT and came back via the Mist Trail. Subdome and the cables are an adrenalin rush that lasts for days! love love love. ❤

This hike was insane! The view from the top was completely worth the steep trek. Be careful if you bring dogs on this trail because the granite can blister their paws(happened to my pup). Took us about seven hours with almost an hour break at the summit. Definitely recommend this hike!

4 days ago

My 13 year old daughter and I started at 5 am. It took us 11 hours and 15 minutes with about 45 minutes at the top. We didn't bring enough water and ran out at about 10 hours. It is hot coming down. If I did it again, I would start even earlier. Definitely bring gloves.

Great hike

Started our hike around 6:40 this morning. Only a few cars already there. Glad we started early because the sun was brutal on our way down. Took us about 3 hours going up, 20-30 minutes taking in the amazing views at the top, and a little over 2 hours coming down. Difficult hike, but worth the experience and views. Bring lots of water and sunscreen.

backpacking
5 days ago

Best hike I’ve ever done! Going to the top was worth it. Watch your footing and don’t be afraid to get on all fours especially when hauling you and your stuff up those tiny rock trail/cliff near to the cables. Make sure you bring good boots, a lotta water, and gloves!

hiking
5 days ago

This trail took my mother, son (8 years old) and I about 10 hours to complete. We started at 8:45 mainly because we wanted to be around people as we hiked (for safety reasons) and we took about an hour worth of breaks in all. My mother exercises moderately and I exercise 5 days a week with weights, high intensity work outs, and long distance running. Still, it was difficult because of the terrain.

I recommend hiking boots with ankle support. I hiked up in Solomon running hike shoes which usually do well over gravel but for this trail in particular I would bring some with ankle support. I would also bring more than 2 liters per person as some people recommended prior. We were down to our last bottle going down. We didn’t run out of water but got close!

It was a wonderful hike with spectacular views. Well worth it! I only wish we could have stayed at the peak longer!

July 6th and 7th, 2018.

Awesome backpacking trip! Camped at Flower Lake the first night, summit Kearsarge Pass the next morning, made it back down to Onion Valley trailhead by noon. Very buggy, so don’t forget to bring your bug balm!

Hard hike but breathtaking views. Strongly recommend good hiking boots with angle support.

Mt Dana Summit was amazing! We summited last Saturday 07.07.18. This is a 7 miler r/t hike not 4.8miles. Endless inclined all the way up and scramble rocks terrain. This hike is hard but worth the views! The first mile trail wasn't too bad and covered with the trees but keep in mind you are starting at 10000ft elevation.
Make sure u start early. It's open area after a mile hike.
We started at 6am and we summited at 1130, we took our time and enjoy the views!

on Mount Tallac Trail

hiking
6 days ago

Amazing views! Start early to beat the heat and crowds. Bring 2-3 liters of water and lots of sunscreen! Poles def helped!

hiking
6 days ago

Epic views from the top!

hiking
6 days ago

Very challenging hike with fantastic views. Take losts of water because you will need it! When I got to the top my water was almost gone even though I took a whole gallon with me. The water falls were nice and the view of the Yosemite Valley from up above was the best.

Tough hike but well worth the effort.

Really great hike! Came in with a lot of fear/excitement after my brother who summited last year around this time said he did so in 85°,had to trudge through snow to get to the top, and ran out of the 120 ounces of water he brought. So taking his advice, I began at 5:15am with 200 (yes, 200!) ounces of water. Halfway to the top and having only drank 20 ounces, I ended up dumping 100 ounces so I wasn’t carrying as much weight. With ample breaks, I made it to the top in 3 hours, and took a 30 minute break at the top before beginning my descent. It took 6 hours and 15 minutes total. For a 21 year old female who is active with running and yoga, it wasn’t bad at all!

trail running
6 days ago

I have run this trail many times in the past,but today was the first time for this year.It was a great run-hike up to the 'false summit'
and back down.Incredible views along the whole trail,great wild life,and many friendly people on the trail.I left the parking lot at 6:30 and made it back at 9:45.To any trail runners who haven't ran this before I would highly recommend it,you just have to keep in mind before you get on the trail that there is many sections that are runnable,and a couple sections especially the last rocky hill portion that is not.Its a technical trail I would rate it as hard because of how technical it is with the rocks,but very very fun!Take it easy,enjoy the beauty ,start early as parking is limited at the trail head.As for hydration I wore a 2 liter pack and it was more than enough,I probably could have carried 1 liter and would have been fine.Keep in mind I started early and finished early so if you start latter when it's hotter 2 liter would be a safer bet. ENJOY!!!

This hike was incredible. Tough, but doable (I went slow and took a lot of breaks). I recommend hitting the trail early; I started at 6:15 am. This way you can avoid the heat and some of the crowds. It took me about 4 hours to get up and 3 to get down (it was very rocky). I brought a lot of water and snacks. And my hiking poles! But the views on the way up are incredible and the summit is breathtaking. I definitely would like to do this again.

hiking
7 days ago

As you will read in most reviews, this is hard hike and not be taken lightly. If you desire to reach the peak, you better be ready to bear crawl up boulders and navigate rocky terrain. Back to the beginning; yes the start of the trail is hard to find but I will try to put it in my own words. Just as you enter the passing lane the 50 E. Bound, you will see the overhead chain control signs with a small dirt lot between Strawberry and Twin Bridges and that's where you will need to park. Cross the street at this point and walk about 500 yards traveling East on the 50. Keep looking for the trail marker, I have a picture of it loaded. You will notice one trail marker at the start and another slightly higher where begin you ascend. The Trail: Hard and steep, from the very beginning you are put to an approximate 1,500ft gain over the first mile. After that; there are parts where you get relief but you will still be gradually gaining elevation. The home stretch gets difficult again as you are taking a single track straight up to the pyramid. The pyramid: is no joke as it will require you to negotiate boulders as you climb, hope, and bear claw your way up a very, very windy summit. If you put in all the work to this point...enjoy the view. The reward is worth every step. We started our hike around 7am and I am glad we did because I would not want to fight the climb and the sun. I recommend carrying no less than 6L of water, but if you have a water purifying system, then you can refill at about the halfway point and only have to carry 3L at a time. Hiking sticks would be a good idea as long as you can strap them to your pack when climbing the pyramid. The only reason I rated this 4 stars is that they call out 6.3 miles; however I recorded 9.9miles on my Garmin watch (watch stopped recording the first hour which was an additional 2hrs) and my buddy recorded 11miles on his Fit-bit. I think this distance needs to re-evaluated. Still a great hike and worth the challenge.

hiking
7 days ago

Gorgeous view. Round trip about 5 hours. Took me about 2 liters water

backpacking
7 days ago

Nice and easy backpacking. But to many mosquitoes. Need more insect repellents.

hiking
7 days ago

Gorgeous views, wild flowers. Definitely worth the time. And it doesn't take a lot of time.

8 days ago

Completed the hike 7/6 with my sister. This was not an easy hike!!

First, no water taxi - the resort is closed - didn’t see any repair work being done and I believe the place is for sale. You have to hike around saddlebag lake to get to the trailhead.

We did the trail counter clockwise. Yes, many of the sections are flat and there are a few kind of steep sections...but what makes it hard are the jutting rocks (very rocky trail!), the loose scree and talus and the snow crossings and the major amount of areas where the trail is not marked.

As of 7/6, there are two snowfields you need to cross. One is fairly easy and the other is quite steep...as we were going counterclockwise, we needed to climb up the steep snow. My sister had a very tough time with this and got stuck. She was clinging to the side of the snow on the steep hill. She made it but not without bruises and cuts (see pics)

After the 2 snow crossings, the rest of the trail was pretty easy but again, parts were very rocky. There is also a snow cave before reaching lake Helen, but you don’t cross it on the trail. Mosquitos were nearly non existent.

I want to reiterate that this trail is not well marked!!! We had the AllTrails pro with offline maps, which saved us from getting lost. Very few people were on this trail (only saw 3 groups of hikers during our hike). Do not do this hike without some sort of gps map! There are a lot of side trails as well, and you can and will get turned around!

I also wouldn’t bring a dog on this trail - too much loose scree and talus, especially near Lake Helen.

Yes, it’s beautiful and probably one of the most scenic hikes in the area but prepare for a tough, rocky hike. And those snow crossings aren’t going away anytime soon! (The steep one is easier going down so if you go clockwise, it might be easier, but after Lake Helen, you have a steep uphill field of talus to deal with. Pick your poison, I guess)

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