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My fiancé and I went yesterday! It was absolutely breathtaking! We also brought our 3 month old daughter with us in a baby carrier so the hike was a little bit difficult but definitely worth it! Started the hike around 1100 and ended up at the lake around 230 ish and took us a little less the 3 hours to get back down. Beyond beautiful!

Hiked on October 13th with my boyfriend. We are in pretty good shape and it took us 10:38 to do 18.1 miles (that includes around 45 minutes of break time). We drove to snow lake and booked a shuttle to the other trailhead. It was 20 per person and totally worth it (just Google enchantments shuttle it's called the loop) I recorded 18.1 with my GPS but I should note we took some shortcuts

Easily the most beautiful hike I've done! Golden larches, clear skies, and a bit of snow. I'm still in awe.

here are my tips:
- pack light. there's plenty of water on the trail so bring maybe 1 liter and just filter the rest
- download gps map before. there is no signal and some parts of the trail are not obvious
- bring head lamps as daylight is getting shorter and shorter!
- bring microspikes for the ascent of asgard- it was icy!
- if you're in good shape you can afford to take more breaks than we did! we started at 6:30 (in the dark) and ended around 5 ish (still light) we had heard horror stories of ppl wandering back around 10:30pm so we tried to keep a good pace but ultimately found ourselves way ahead of schedule
-enjoy!!!!!

Always a treasure to hike and camp. Remember to check the weather to pack appropriately and always carry a map.

Surreal, breathtaking, incredible hike!!

backpacking
2 days ago

Larch madness is happening in the enchantments! Perfect timing and it happened by accident really. I was planning on camping with a permit but decided halfway through to partner up with two other hikers (made the trip a lot better) there is no cell phone service for ATT on the trail even thought the coverage map extends up to upper snow lake. Started at Stuart lake trailhead (asked for a ride from some hikers who were heading that way, parking my car at snow lake trailhead. Asgard’s pass was amazing plus the views of mount Stuart’s north face, some ice at the top requiring traction devices. The lakes, trees, mountains, absolutely amazing. Never knew something so beautiful existed. You must see it to believe it and you will remember it forever. The hike is great for the first 10 miles but after that, the descent is pretty tough on the knees. I had all my camping gear with me and did the full 20 in 15 hours but it was worth the slow pace, I wanted to enjoy the view and not just rush through it.

Beautiful views and well worth the climb. Lakes are beautiful, and what you see in the pictures is what you see in real life. I want to go back and hike to the glacier one day.

Speechless. Exactly how it left us. Big Pine Lakes is absolutely breathtaking. By far one of the most beautiful places we’ve hiked. The trail is rated moderate but I will be honest when I say that this trail is more on the difficult end. Just my opinion. The hike is mostly incline and over 5-6 miles to the first lake. Completely worth it though. Very doable and many stop areas along the way. We saw deer and the fall leaves. Not to mention the beautiful scenery. We only went to lake two and it took us a total of 6hrs. We also stopped and took pictures in many places so that’s why it took a bit longer.

Wonderful day hike! You get a real mixed bag of views. The lakes and peaks are amazing! The trail is in great shape. It is getting cold (26 at 7:30am) and there is a small amount of ice on the upper switch backs but very doable. And hitting the pass is well worth the work!!

Did this hike on October 6 2018. It snowed before, during, and after. We lucked out and got clear skys at the summit. Summited around 11:00am passed tons of people that turned around because it was too sketchy as it was icy and cold. I didn't have spikes or crampons so was super bummed as I didn't think I had a prayer to make it. The trail was icy and slippery but it wasn't like you were going to fall to your death if you slipped and fell. It was easy to spot the icy areas and I just used the trekking poles and took my time.

We (2 couples) hiked it in early October - it was cold (35F) and mostly windy - dress accordingly.

The way in/out is somewhat boring (Oct - no boat taxi) and long. The trail isn't well marked and it's relatively easy to lose your way (we didn't, thanks to the AllTrail app). The lakes are nice - but we've seen nicer in this area...

hiking
7 days ago

This review is intended to explain why this rating was not 4.5 or 5. So why only three stars? The trail when I took on October 5th had areas that were well marked but in the most dangerous parts (Asgard Pass, the descent to Snow Lakes) it was marked negligently. Cairns haphazardly marked the trail to snow lake and create a danger of following dangerous non-paths towards precipices. What saved me were the multiple groups tracking through the park who able to track the specific path. The difficulty level boarders on mountaineering at various parts of the trail. This review is not intended to deter the hearty but to warn those with less experience that the risk of falling is real.

trail running
7 days ago

7 hours, lots of walking as there was snow on the trail for the middle 10 & Aasgard was bottlenecked & treacherous. Two lake dives & one mountain goat spotting from ~10 feet away. The quintessential alpine lake hike in the Cascades.

hiking
8 days ago

Absolutely amazing hike which lived up to the hype. I did it in a day starting at Snow Lakes TH. It took just over 11 hours, with about an hours worth of breaks maybe longer as I couldnt help taking pictures every few feet. Start time was 6 am. There was a decent amount of waiting in busy areas. It had snowed about 3-4 inches above snow lake which made it amazing. The larches were unreal. It was empty on the trail until the upper enchantment lakes then it got quite busy with traffic coming from Colchuck. Asgard was pretty treacherous. The snow made for very slippery descent, especially since I neglected to bring my microspikes. It all worked out great though and I will do it again. I logged just over 22 miles with just under 7k vert. Nice little hike overall

Although someone said journey matters not destination, in this case the at times strenuous journey was more than made up for by the incredibly beautiful lake! If you’re not acclimated to being around 9000ft above sea level- it’s gonna hurt as you heave up the first mile or so, and not so easy coming down either. But can be done take lotsa water and take it a little slow. Better to acclimatize drink some cocoa leaves tea , or matte is said to work good as well! Enjoy!

A wonder-filled hike with a little bit of everything: 5 lakes in the loop, waterfalls and streams, enough elevation gain to make it challenging and even more interesting, and plenty of places to stop and enjoy. This hike is easily one of my favorites, great for a day or a week. Did it a month ago and had to make sure I reviewed it.

backpacking
8 days ago

This was a great hike- planned on two nights but a snow system was a little heavier than we planned for so called it and headed back down.

Very few people on the trail on Friday- no more than a half a dozen going up and down the entire time. Saturday was a little heavier, but not a problem overall. Co-hiker was not ready for much more than Lake 1, but looking forward to the full loop and Palisade next time.

Hiked 10/03/18-10/05/18. Lottery permitted. Started at Snow Lakes TH. The route finding is terrible on the ascent from Snow Lake to Vivian. Everything else is pretty straight forward, except the trail conditions from Colchuck Lake to the Stuart TH are eroded in the extreme. There are high levels of deeply exposed tree roots all along this section of the trail. I say this with the experience of also coming here in 2017. It’s noticeably much worse than last year. It’s way past time to start limiting day hiker entry or it’s time for the Forest Service to up the game on trail rehab. The current situation is not a long term solution for such a special place.

heading this Friday. and it's going to be our second trip. got to love bishop pass.

Mount Whitney Trail
03 OCT 2018, Wednesday

I hiked from Whitney Portal Trailhead to within three-quarters of a mile of the Summit and back--about 20 miles. I did not reach the Summit, unfortunately. Sound judgement led me to turn back and quickly descend, due to a sudden snow and lightning storm. Lots of wind and falling snow (corn snow?) made footing a challenge, especially between Keeler Needle and Trail Crest.

Started my hike at 3:30am under a clear sky. Lots of stars in the sky, those first three hours. Beautiful sunrise and fantastic views. It was sunny and pleasant when ascending the 97 switchbacks. That morning, the trail was clear of ice most of the way, with some ice present on the highest one-third of the switchbacks. I put yak traks on my boots and found them helpful, especially considering what was to come that afternoon.

Clouds started to build just before noon. By 12:30pm the sky darkened and snow began to fall, so I decided to turn back. By 12;45pm, snow and wind were intense as I descended from Keeler Needle to Trail Crest and then down the 97 switchbacks. Heavy snow continued to fall as I hiked through Trail Camp, through Outpost Camp and halfway to Lone Pine Lake. The wind howled and blew the snow sideways.

Lightning all around. While descending from Trail Crest and through the 97 switchbacks, clearly visible lighting bolts crossed the sky. I hiked through heavy snowfall, instantaneous thunder and much too close views of lightning veins for the hour it took to descend the switchbacks. I dove to the ground a couple of times, out of some kind of instinctive survival reaction. There's no place safe to take shelter from lightning anywhere between the base of the 97 switchbacks and the Summit. Keep in mind, the air is very thin above 13,000 feet and it will take you longer than you think to get from point A then to B and to C.

There were a few hikers ahead of me who were within a half mile or so of the Summit, just prior to the moment I decided to turn around and descend. I hope and pray they each made a safe return home.

Be prepared, if attempting Mt. Whitney during the month of October. I carried a very heavy day-pack containing extra water- and wind-proof clothing, two wool head coverings, extra food and water, an extra headlamp and batteries, etc... My body temperature remained warm, I was hydrated and had the energy to extract myself from a "not good" situation.

Even though I didn't reach the Summit, I'm good with it.

11 days ago

Stunning hike, hardly a dull moment anywhere on this trail. We did the loop clockwise in 4 days camping at Upper Paradise Valley, Middle Rae Lake and Junction Meadow. Would have spent an extra day at the Rae Lakes if we had the time. We went just after the permit season ended and the weather was perfect but did get cold at night. No crossings and very few bugs. Abundant access to water for most of the trail except the Glen pass area. Highly recommend.

Absolutely gorgeous location with the larches turning color, pictures can do no justice. This is the most beautiful place I have ever been to. It looks and is kept pristine.

But you must earn your way to the views! I got lucky and was able to camp so I broke up the trip over a three days. Weight is your enemy on this trail, pack light and smart, but make sure you bring a bivvy bag or some kind of emergency shelter, even if you're just hiking. It got very cold and wet while we were up there, and the weather changes suddenly. The emergency blanket I brought saved us from a miserable night while camping. Water is plentiful and delicious. The area still looks pristine

I may try this as a day hike, but the hiking is extremely steep and long no matter which way you try to get to the core zone. Totally worth it though.

As of this writing, Snow Lake has been mostly drained for the season and I didn't find it attractive enough to warrant the long slog to get there. I would rather go via Colchuck and deal with Asgard pass at this point in time than go anywhere below lake Viviane

beautiful and well worth it.

hiking
11 days ago

heaven on Earth doesn't even begin to describe it. I dayhiked it solo, took me about 12 hours, sore for days but I can't wait to do it again. such a magical place. definitely going to aim to backpack next time.

Oct 2, 2018, windy and snow storm above 3800m.
I lost my way off the trail before 99 switches simply following other two climbers ahead. It is extremely dangerous to climb short-cut of the switches, because the stone slope up to the top is too loosen to fall in a snowy day together with stones! It took me two extra hours to cut back to the switches safely using All Trail map, but fail to the summit before deadline for closed time.
I will come back to Mt Whitney because The Mountain is there!
Thanks a lot to my son and daughter in law, and my wife for their understanding and support.

hiking
13 days ago

Great day. 24.15 miles. 5500 feet elevation gain. Latch are peak as of yesterday.

backpacking
13 days ago

WARNING: this trail is NOT 37 miles. NPS has accurate mileage information: https://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/rae-lakes-loop.htm

Nice long hike star time 7:30am out by 5:40pm. with many stops. Looking for mountain goats but no luck. Perfect weekend. 24.5 miles at the end.

This trail is at high altitude and there is a gain of 3000+ft. But it is gradual which makes it very possible for just about anyone with enough time to enjoy. The trail is exposed to the elements for the first 2 miles so a 6-7am start is recommended. On the trail I saw, 8 yr old kids with backpacking gear hitting it strong, a three legged dog running ahead of his crew, a couple of men over 250lbs, and if I had my babies in my backpack, it wouldn’t have stopped me from enjoying this AMAZING trail. The beauty about this trail is that there is so much to enjoy along the way. The creek provides so many places to enjoy a break, a dip, or whatever. Whether you do the “whole loop” or not, it shouldn’t matter. Don’t ever let anyone tell you what you can or cannot hike period. Walk the whole thing up to Canada or walk up 300ft, at least you got outside. Enjoy my friends. This is an incredible hike. Bring at least 1.5 liters if you don’t drink much like myself but much more if you have littles. Maybe take a hammock too.

hiking
14 days ago

Great hike, clean air clean trail amazing views

My. Whitney, CA
20 September 2018

Success!!!

Our group of 10 met up in Lone Pine, CA on September 18th. We came from Virginia, Texas, Pennslyvania, Kentucky, Tennessee & Arizona. Two were related, some were old friends, some were new friends, and some had never met. Barry from Orange County join our group last, at 2:00am on the 20th, and we were stronger for his company.

I had been invited at the last minute, to fill a vacancy. 53 years old, not a hiker, and certainly not in pristine shape, but the mind was willing. We’d find out if the body could keep up.

Obersvations: 1 - Spectacular scenery and views. 2 - I overestimated my ability, and underestimated the mountain. 3 - The lack of Oxygen is real. 4 - The 99 switchbacks are harsh. 5 - The last 1.9 miles is the longest ever walked. 6 - Coming down is every bit as difficult as going up. Finally, and most importantly 7 - I wouldn’t have made it without the help, support, advice and encouragement of friends, acquaintances and strangers alike.

We left the Portal as a group at 2:00am, drowsy, happy and excited. We summitted independently, as pairs and in small groups, to the cheers of those in our group who had reached before us, as well as people we had never met. I summitted at noon (last of my group) as the final pair with a true friend who waited an hour for me to start his final two miles with me. We were all back at the Portal by 7:55pm, again, with me in the last pair, and the rest of the group cheering on our group achievement. 23.4 miles, 18 hours, 78,000 steps. Almost 6,000 feet up... and then down. A very long day indeed.

Jeff, Cindy, Nicki, Amber, Katie, Amay, Joe, Jenn, Summer, Barry & Scott. 11 started, 11 summitted and 11 finished.

We had no injuries, and only minor setbacks. We are all tremendously thankful for that.

As one of my ‘new’ friends just pointed out, a week ago we were on top of that granite rock. Today we’re all spread out across this great country. I count this as one of the greatest personal accomplishments of my life (children, marriage notwithstanding). Not necessarily summitting, but being a part of an amazing group of people who came together to reach new heights, and left richer for the experience and the friendships gained.

Carpe Diem

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