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Definitely strenuous, recommend being in very good shape. Totally worth every second! Extraordinary views at every point. Truly stunning. Highly recommend

Gorgeous views, nice trail, fairly gentle elevation gain overall, challenging though not crushing. Not on a level with Sierra passes, but great training for it, especially if you bring your pack. Get to the parking lot early, it was full by sunrise (slightly after 6:00am), though it was Saturday. Happy hiking!

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This is a very unique and rewarding hike! We started at 7am sharp from the parking area just above Manaker Flats campground. The trail was pretty quiet being on a Thursday. After 3 hours and 15 minutes, we reached the summit. On the way up, we took the service road to the top of the chair lift and followed Devils Backbone Trail to the summit. Our descent was via the Baldy Bowl Trail, which was very steep and included many areas of loose sand and gravel. The terrain and surroundings are very unique and I would definitely recommend this hike to any experienced hiker!
Ascent: 3 hours 15 minutes via Devils Backbone
Descent: 2 hours and 30 minutes

love this place. Good amount of people but still feels like the wilderness. Be sure to bring at least 3 liters of water. This trail can be deceiving. The view from the top makes it wwwweeeellllll worth it though

2 days ago

Very nice trail . Not as challenging but very good for acclinatizing and conditioning if you intend to hike other 14ers . The multi colored mountain and the 360 views are awesome. The bristlecone pine trees ... the oldest living thing in the world is found on the way up

Amazing hike! Like the others - it was definitely tough (made harder by hauling up a pack) and totally worth it. You really get the bang for your buck on this hike - every part is beautiful. We started later than we had initially wanted (4pm) and got to the summit in 3.5 hours. Since we came that late in the day there was plenty of parking in the lot.

There is a stream a couple miles in that comes right out of the side of the mountain that many folks filled their water at - had I known I would have carried less water the first couple miles and filled up there to make better time (I think it's about 2 miles in?). When we got to the summit there were about 10 other tents scattered around. We were still able to get a spectacular spot overlooking the valley and although we were camped among a bunch of other folks, it still felt pretty remote. I would definitely do this hike again. I don't normally hike with trekking poles (I wear patellar supports), but am considering purchasing some as the downhill was a bit intense with a pack.

This hike is definitely intense. Hiked up on baldy trail and back down on devils backbone. Going up is tough is 4000 ft of just straight elevation imagine stair master x10. When you hit the green cabin (there is a little outhouse) you’re about halfway. It’s gets harder after this. The summit is really cool. Great view. Down devils backbone is VERY narrow be extra careful but it’s totally doable. I think this is the best way down opposed to baldy trail its not as intense. Long but not as intense. Plus there is the Mt baldy lodge where you can relax possibly take the ski lift back down if you wish.

Tips: bring at least 2 liters of water. Must wear hiking shoes. Trekking poles are very helpful.

Great hike with some awesome views

hiking
6 days ago

Had so many pretty views!! A lot of incline but I enjoyed it. At the summit there was a cool notepad you can write notes to people in or sign your name with a little Saying.

This is the best hike I’ve ever been on! It was so beautiful, you see everything from a stream, huge rocks, wildlife (we saw a huge snake on the trail) AND there’s a bunch of shade. Not to mention, we only saw about 4 different groups the whole time we were on it, which was a Saturday. It was a little hard to find at first but man, id recommend this trail to anyone!

Fun hike.... Holy Fire was really affecting the air quaility, made it a little bit harder.... last mile is killer. Met an awesome group of hikers at the summit as well

Didn’t notice any smoke today. Seems to be one of the few places unaffected by the fires.

Hiked this yesterday. Very low traffic, which was nice. Hazy at the top, got some weather for a few minutes. You can see smoke, but didn't interfere with the hike. It was a great day in the 70's, cooler at the top.

The hike shown here is actually from Barcroft Station, not the locked gate where you will likely have to start. From the locked gate, it is actually seven miles each way for a total of 14 miles. If you wish to do the shorter hike from Barcroft Station, you must wait for one of the ‘Open Gate Days’. There are usually two open gate days each summer - one in July and one around Labor Day Weekend. And on these days, you can drive all the way to Barcroft for the shorter hike shown here. Check the Barcroft Station website (www.wmrs.edu) for the dates of these open gate days if you are interested.

Regardless, as you likely know, White Mountain Peak is the third highest peak and easiest 14er in California. Altitude aside, the trail itself is actually VERY easy. Much of it is quite level. And the relatively modest amount climbing that you DO do is fairly gentle. Furthermore, the Jeep Trail that you hike on is relatively easy terrain-wise. No outlandishly rough rocky trails or foot high stone steps here! The only challenge for some is going to be the fact that almost ALL of the trail is above 12000ft. This makes White Mountain Peak PERFECT for acclimation if you plan to climb other high stuff.

It seems like reviews of the scenic beauty of the area tend to be mixed. And that’s to be expected of an area like the White Mountains. Many people don’t like the area and/or consider it boring due to its lack of classic hiking features like deep forests, lakes, streams, and waterfalls. But others (like myself) LOVE this area for what it DOES offer. Lower down (while still driving), you have the Bristlecone Pines - the oldest trees known. Their wind-twisted forms simply add to the exotic appearance of the area. The stark, rather barren terrain and multicolored rocky peaks gives the area an otherworldly look. And when you combine this with the deep blue high altitude skies and sunshine that is brighter than ANYTHING you will see at sea level, this area just SCREAMS ‘La La Land’. Oh, and let’s not forget the SPECTACULAR views of the Eastern Sierra and surrounding countryside. These views only get better the higher you go.

If you come to the White Mountains, bring PLENTY of water. Unless you come early in the season and can melt snow, there is NONE in the area. Also, at these kinds of altitudes, it is generally always chilly. So bring a jacket any time of the year. You may not need it at times due to the strong sun, which can make it feel FAR warmer than it really is here. Speaking of the sun, also bring sunscreen. The sun up here at 12000+ft is BRUTAL compared to sea level, and will COOK unprotected skin in short order. Long sleeves and a hat or bandana can also help protect you from the sun.

Can anyone comment on the smoke at the top? I did Bighorn on Wednesday and the conditions weren't the best.

Virtual Hike: https://youtu.be/pZEPeV_vT2w

we met up slightly after the sunrise for a relatively cool hike, despite the season. The beginning of the trail is paved, but quickly hits dirt. The trail eventually finds sanctuary from the sun as the canyon narrows. It’s a pretty easy trail, and I recommend it for any beginner looking to lengthen their hike. the area by the mine is nice and shaded. The hike to the mine is relatively short, extend it for the full sunset loop trail.

Hope you enjoy!

Playlist for the trail:
https://sptfy.com/1xV9

love it up here. be advised, 2 bear sightings a mile apart. 8-5-2018. 10:30pm Mt baldy Rd. first was at the Mt baldy rest area.


August 8, 2018

wish I could post a picture. looks horrible. the lake Elsinore area fire has peaks covered in smoke. check out 10064ft.com cam footage.

Awesome hike! Started at sunrise to beat some of the heat. The parking lot was already 3/4th full. Get there early! Loved the trail and the sound of the wind through the trees. I recommend Trekking Poles especially for parts going down hill. Parts are rocky and have some loose gravel. If you are steady on your feet you will be fine. Take lots of water and suncreen. Awesome views at the top! I will hike this again!

Great trail, although a little overgrown. The atmosphere shifts several times throughout the hike, keeping it surprising and interesting. BRING: bug spray, the mostly-fired river bed is a mosquito haven. Also, perhaps booties for your dog too - as the asphalts the summer (it was 96 out) on the way back will burn their paws.

As others have mentioned, the road to the trailhead is very rough, and getting a flat all the way up there would suck (plus it would cost a fortune). It took me about an hour and a half to get to the trailhead where I slept overnight. Sleeping overnight at elevation is essential to get acclimated. The trail from the closed gate is actually 14 miles, not 11.1. I got a bit of altitude sickness a bit at about the research station so I chilled at the station for about 20 minutes and then for another half hour at the observatory just a little ways further. I was fine after that with regard to altitude (that was after spending most of the last 4 days between 7k-12k elevation in Death Valley and Kings Canyon). The best way to prevent/combat altitude sickness is lots of water and snacking. There should be enough of your urine on that mountain for an entire weeks worth of German dungeon porn.

It was quite cold even late July, so I recommend hat and gloves for sure. Part of the trail was snowy and I got pretty bad sunburn on my face and lips from the reflection. I'm generally speaking in good shape - 29yo man, 155ln reasonably fit, and it took me 11 hours. 6am to about 5pm. I'm a slow hiker though, and take lots of breaks. Part of that is necessity but part of that is because everyone is running around like a goddamn chicken with their head cut off in the city, and then they come out here to nature where they keep running around like a goddamn chicken with its head cut off just the same, except this time in nature. You trying to make it back in time for a haircut appointment or something? Slow down, chill, and enjoy - you got nowhere to be.

This did a number on my knee and calves, coming back down. I could barely walk after I got the car and took a break. It may be the easiest 14er, but that doesn't mean it's easy!

Good tough hike, just make sure to bring poles. Most importantly, save your water for your way down, the temperature at the summit is much cooler and shaded compared to below Icehouse Saddle.

Nice hike and will definitely do it again. Unfortunately it was a bit too crowded up to the first view point but it does clear up after as you work your way to the top/midway loop point.

Had issues finding the entry point to the Rabbit Hole Trail (going up) but will give it another go next time I’m back.

Amazing trail. This was my first coastal hiking, and as the other reviewers said here, it is important to download a tide chart and understand how to read it as there are two 4-mile stretches of impassible zones.

I found low tide easier to hike because the sand was more packed, and I could avoid more of the cobblestone type rocks. The northern impassible zone would likely be truly impassible in my experience (I travelled at full moon and very light surf and winds) - I hit that part at receding tide and even then some areas were iffy.

The impassible zone south of Miller flat may be doable in high tide with calm conditions, but I wouldn’t risk it.

The views, solitude and wildlife make this trail one of my all time favorites. I bought a map, rented a bear canister and got a free tide chart from the lost coast adventures shuttle.

Please note that there is no cell service in Settlers Cove and anywhere along the coast - so plan in advance.

Trail is closed indefinitely due to a fire in the area. Also the road up to the trailhead is very rocky like off roading, beware if you don’t drive an SUV. Get there early as parking is extremely limited.

Haven’t actually hiked it, just wanted others to know as it’s not posted anywhere!

Very challenging, I felt it was harder than Baldy, but it could have just been my mood that day. Dont forget your hiking poles for this be one and expect a full day. Start early as usual, but generally low traffic as compared to Baldy.

I loved this hike. I do some pretty brutal hikes this one is a good one! I will be going again. I suggest a good amout of fluids to keep hydrated and sunblock. I did go on a very warm day but the temps up there were significantly lower than down at the ground level and the breeze through the mountains was perfect!

What an amazing, day. We completed and hiked Mt. Baldy’s Icehouse Canyon to ‘Cucamonga Peak’ at 8859ft in 6hrs. I love hiking with my friends. Let’s hike another, one. This was an amazing up coming Bday, with a hike. Now, Let’s eat... ❤️

Cons:
- 5+ hour drive to Bay Area
- $80 shuttle ride not including tip
- Walking long stretches on wet, unstable rocks
- Lots of poison ivy
- Had to climb portions of rock that are very dangerous where tide came in too high
- Walking at an angle in sand that is not packed down at all, caused foot injury for me
- Lot of people backpacking the trail
- Tides coming in and out very stressful, reaching and finishing impassable zones challenging
- Zero marking on trail
- Bear footprints on beach
- Very difficult to be rescued in this area and is dangerous enough to be a concern
- no cell service
Pros:
- Beautiful scenery
- Some private campsites

My boyfriend and I are avid backpackers and completed this trail in 2 nights/3 days in mid July.
I did not enjoy it and found myself looking down for a lot of the trail trying to stay balanced on the rocks. I personally do not find walking on rocks to be enjoyable when backpacking. My boyfriend liked the trail because of the challenge. For me, it was too difficult to enjoy. I thought this trail would be mostly walking on sand and did not factor in the rock aspect or stress with the impassable tide zones. There were a lot of people hiking the trail and I was hoping to be a little more isolated than that. There was one very sketchy portion of the trail we encountered on the first day where the water on the beach was too high so we had to climb up and over a portion of rocks that was very dangerous with some other people who took the same shuttle as us. (note: this was not at high tide) The one upside was that the scenery was beautiful. However, I advise really knowing what you are getting into, this is not an easy or moderate trail by any means.

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