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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.

4h up, 3h down. Well kept trail up to chicken out ridge. Not a tough scramble, only 1 section where a fall would be disastrous but totally doable keeping 3 points of contact and taking your time. the snow bridge was almost gone with only a small area requiring you to walk on snow. Following the flattish section the trail becomes hard to follow with very few cairns. This is the most dangerous section as footing is very loose with danger of rock fall. Stick to the ridge crest on your right for a much safer and fun route. This will require some easy bouldering. Enjoy the summit, there is still an American flag there to hoist.

hiking
1 day ago

Amazing views, but definitely physically and mentally testing! I hiked this last week and brought 3 L of water, but was wishing that I had brought more by the end. Hiking poles were very helpful especially on the fairly steep descent. I would highly recommend bringing those as well as some decent hiking shoes. I consider myself to be in decent shape and hike quite frequently, so this trail was a good workout and I would definitely do it again. If you’re going just make sure to be well prepared with equipment, food, and water and make sure to pace yourself. Highly recommend this hike!!

My wife and I made the climb on July 16th. For most of the hike, we couldn't have asked for better weather.

We began our journey at 2:15am after eating a solid breakfast. It was warm at Portal, about 70 degrees so I ditched my top base layer quickly. We made it to the camp in about 4 hours.

The dreaded 99 switchbacks were tough, but taking frequent breaks and taking deep, slow breaths helped us acclimate. I feel taking our time here is what helped us avoid altitude sickness later on.

We felt amazing when we reached trail crest... That was until we began the last 2 miles until summit. It was brutal. But, at last, around 11:20am we made it to the summit! It was amazing up there, not a cloud in the sky.

We stayed about 15 minutes and then headed back down. This is one of the few hikes I have ever taken where going down is almost as hard as going up. We slowly made our way down. All was good until the last 4 miles... Lightning, thunder, rain, and hail all came out to wish us well at the end of our journey. We made it back at 7pm, wet, tired, and elated.

Remember to eat every hour or so, drink water frequently, and pace yourself. Also, we wore trail runners, which we wouldn't recommend... You feel every rock and pebble by the second half of the hike.

Good luck!

Excellently maintained trail considering the traffic and geographic conditions. As long as you are reasonably fit, you should be able to make it to the summit that has very rewarding views of the vast Sierra landscape.

We completed the hike with an overnight stop at Trail Crest. We camped the night before at the Whitney Portal Campground, which is a very convenient spot as long as you make reservations well in advance ($24/night for our campsite). We started from Whitney Portal at 8 am, but would recommend starting earlier as the trail up to Outpost Camp can be pretty hot in the summer. The trail is a series of switchbacks even before you get to the infamous 97 switchbacks, but on the whole, the grade of the switchbacks is generally gentle. Outpost Camp is in a pretty meadow with easy access to water and a beautiful waterfall, but unfortunately, it is just 3 miles in. If you choose to overnight here, the tradeoff is a much longer hike (~19 miles) the next day and poorer acclimatization.

We hiked up to Trail Camp for our overnight stay, which is about 6-6.5 miles in, and at 12k ft elevation. There is easy access to water, but the pond is sort of scummy, so make sure you have good filtration plus iodine tablets. The benefits of sleeping at trail camp are obvious, but on the flip side, it is pretty crowded and a pretty boring spot.

We started hiking out to the summit at 4 am the next morning, but again, I would highly recommend leaving earlier (3 am?). It helps to get through the mind-numbing 97 switchbacks before sunrise, and an early start will help avoid a lot of traffic. Most of the trail is one person wide, so you will need to constantly stop to let others pass if you start late. Carry more water than you think you need because there is no water beyond Trail Camp. We carried 9 liters between two people and finished the entire supply on the 10 miles out and back from Trail Camp to the Summit. Also, make sure you have ibuprofen. I developed mild symptoms of AMS despite acclimatizing for 2 nights, and the ibuprofen helped immensely!

Took the first step at 5:30 a.m. Hit the summit in 3 hours flat, back down in 2.5. Trail was beautifully uncrowded on a Sunday morning. Found myself face to face with a couple good-sized mountain goats, but they were super chill. Pretty wiped out, but a great hike!

hiking
2 days ago

Unbelievable views, and challenging terrain. This hike had many other hikers on the trail. I clocked 5.1 miles in 2 1/2 hours. The Summit sign was just changed (new) earlier today. It was kind of a bummer I couldn’t locate the USGS medallion. The last 2 miles are the most challenging due to the lose rock, false summits (3 of them) and the thin air. Over all a great challenging hike.

This was a nice hike! Overall, it wasn't as hard as we thought it would be, but it was definitely challenging. It had rained a lot the night before we hiked and the trail was extremely muddy and wet, with water running down the trail in a stream at some points. I think we could have done it a bit faster if not for that. The trail surface is definitely rocky and rooty, and I would highly highly advise hiking boots. We started at 6:45am, summited at 10:30am, left the top at 11am, and finished around 2pm. It was cloudy at the top with pretty much no views, oh well. More about the journey for this one. We were the first hikers of the day to summit and encountered about 30 people on the way back down, about half of which were backpacking and half of which were day hiking. Other notes: it's definitely longer than 10.4 miles if you start at the parking lot and end at the top of the observation tower. By our estimates/GPSes, over 11 miles. Also, there are a few switchbacks on the trail that you could miss if you weren't paying attention. We encountered a group of people who were lost on a false trail and we almost went down the wrong one once.

Great hike on family vacation. Amazing views
Great workout

Checked this one off 8/11/18. We left the trailhead at 5:20 and hit the summit at 9:20. The bike race up the Peak was today. I don’t know if they delayed opening the road to vehicle traffic because of that, but when we hit the top, the only folks there were the cyclists (including two unicyclists, you maniacs), and a couple other hikers who got there before us. But the tour busses started showing up while we were milling about the summit house (note: I ate a donut because I think you have to the first time, but it’s kind of a garbage donut). As others have said, you have to understand there are going to be a lot of people in the summit, but it was certainly a lot more pleasant before the Devil’s Playground parking lot filled up. So, I guess I’m saying that if you take off early enough, and move at a decent pace, you can avoid most or all of the crowds. The downshot there is you’ll be waking through a gorgeous pine forest in the dark when you first set out. But you’ll see it on the way back.

I made a mistake regarding the weather. I expected temps to stay steady in the mid-40s all the way up, which is what I dressed for (shorts and a pullover). I would have been fine, except I didn’t account for how long it would take the sun to get over the top of the mountain. We were well above tree line before the sun finally appeared, and I was freezing my ass off. But, I’m a pretty cool moment, the sun topped the mountain, the trail leveled out a little, and the summit came into view, all within seconds of each other. I should note, I had more layers in my bag, but I was being stubborn and didn’t want everyone to stop so I could put some pants on.

It’s an easy route to follow. We had (almost) no trouble with wayfinding. Right before treeline, we somehow started following a social path that switchbacked through some gravelly scree, but it led us right back to the main trail. Probably no more than 3 minutes off trail. We had no trouble with route finding coming down. The steepest sections below Devil’s Playground and above tree line was a bit loose in spots. Trekking poles would have probably come in handy, but it was fine.

All in all, a good hike. Good physical challenge, great views looking west, with the Sawatch at the far end of the horizon.

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.

Saturday Aug 4th. Great trail. Started at 4:30 am. Heard a mountain lion scream around 5 am...super scary but we pressed on. Made it to the summit at 10:30 am...the last section with scrambling was difficult but fun. enjoyed a donut at the top. We took the free shuttle to devils playground and then hiked the rest of the way down. Glad we took the shuttle because we got to the car just in time before it started storming! My tip for others is start early, bring headlamps, proper gear, cash for tips if you take the shuttle down and watch the skys.

Great hike. Day 1 we left Henry Fork trailhead and went in past dollar lake 2 miles to camp (9.5 total). Did this to make our summit shorter. Water was harder to find but it was less crowded. Day 2 we left camp at 7:30 am and hit the top at 11:15. We went the shorter but steeper route over the bolder field to Anderson pass. Back to camp just after 3:00 pm. Then packed up and went to dollar lake to camp to make day 3 shorter. Day 3 we left dollar lake at 8 and we were back to the trailhead at 11:00 am. Overall great hike with amazing views. Bucket list item checked off.

Great hike for training. Doing Mt. Whitney in a couple of weeks and the consistent above 8K ft. helps.

Hiked this trail on 8/4/18. Started around 5:00 am and found very little parking available. We parked on the highway and walked to the trailhead. Hiked in the dark for an hour or so and then had all the spectacular views all the way up. There were so many people coming down from the top looking pretty miserable and tired. Overnight hiking is overrated. 3:40 to the top. and and about 3 hours to the bottom. 3L water. It was a fun day.

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.

Amazing experience. Trail conditions were very good and the weather cooperated too.

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

Summited solo yesterday. Wanted to write this so that everyone can succeed in summiting this thing if they want to! Couple things I noticed. Nutrition is crucial to you having a good day. It doesn’t have to be extremely hard if you have a planned nutrition schedule. This is spoken from experience of doing Ultras and Ironman distances, you need to eat every 30 minutes and consistently sip on liquids, no matter what you feel like.

The majority of people I passed weren’t doing anything until they were tired, and then they’d stop and drink and eat. The rule is, if you’re hungry or thirsty, it’s already too late.

My schedule:
Banana before hitting the trail, and an entire bottle of water
-Every 30 minutes, two cliff shot blocks(the packs have a total of 6)
-Every 90 minutes, skip the shot blocks and have a GU w/caffeine.
-always having a water source available to sip consistently.
-some trail mix right before I hit the switchbacks, still maintaining the gu/blocks schedule.
-trail mix at the summit.
-trail mix after the switchbacks on return.
-on descent, maintain nutrition schedule.

Total for the day, I believe I had 6 packs of cliff shot blocks, and 6 GUs, and about a bag of trail mix, around 2k calories, and most importantly, all easily digestible. A pb&j or turkey sandwich is not! I might have missed a cliff or gu, counted the wrappers when I finished.

WATER
I took 2L up with me, and an empty bottle to hold another L because I didn’t want to carry the unnecessary weight. There are MANY places to fill up, so you will not run out of water with this method. That being said, I would make sure to fill up all 3L before you start the switchbacks because there will be no water after that point, and it’s 8 difficult miles from that point up and back. I chose iodine tablets which made the water process easy and the bag lighter; just remember to plop in two tablets into your L of water and put it back in your bag. It needs about 35 minutes to work. I believe I drank 7 liters on the day, but I should have probably had another.

TRAINING
I’m training for tri’s at the moment, but I believe HIIT cardio workouts(spinning, plyo, etc) will get you a long way. Also, doing some distance running/walking, but I hadn’t done over 16 miles with 3k elevation gain before Whitney, and I felt fine.

ALTITUDE
I think it’s important to get up in the area two nights early. I chose to camp at Horseshoe Meadow(highly recommend!!) the first night because it’s over 10k elevation and I live in Santa Monica, which is at 1:) It’s a great and quiet area with some great hikes to get warmed up like Cottonwood Pass which gets you up over 11k. The second night I camped at Whitney Portal which allowed me to roll out of my tent, pack it up, and get started on the hike. NOTE: bears are very real in his campground. They are not the people eating bears, but they are the bag stealing bears, which almost happened to me right before my hike. Be careful where you leave your food at ALL times. But I felt no AMS symptoms ascending, and had a minimal headache on the descent, but I think it was slight dehydration.

THE HIKE:
I started at 2:45am, and did the trail alone. Others are on the trail too, so you might go for periods of time by yourself, but for the most part you’ll see lights ahead or behind you. I wanted to get to the switchbacks by sunrise. I didn’t really stop much, other than to replace a GU/Block supply for a convenient pocket on the pack. I stopped at the stream just down from the second campsite just before the switchbacks to fill up the water. The switchbacks at dawn were amazing; I think it’s risky to do them in total darkness. I went at a pretty good clip and summited around 8:20 or so and took a 40 minute nap on the summit. Unless you’re trail running, the descent will take longer than 4 hours, and 4 hours is VERY fast. I wasn’t trying to break any speed records and wanted to enjoy the day, but I was also using this as a training workout for other events I’m doing, meaning I kept my HR at a firm 130-140 all of the way up. I think I got down around 1:15pm, so I had about 10 hours of moving time with the nap at the top. I also had plenty in the tank because I followed my nutrition plan very carefully, so if a situation had arrived on the mountain, I would have had the energy to handle It. I recommend getting an early start so you can knock off the 7 miles before the switchbacks in the dark; you’ll see them during the descent anyway!

POST HIKE:
Treat yourself to a Whitney Portal Store burger and a beer. You’ve definitely earned it after 22 miles hiked and over a mile of elevation gain. It’s definitely a bucket list hike, and a 14k peak that is accessible to almost anyone with the right plan. Good luck, and remember, drink your water!!

hiking
5 days ago

How can hikes be better than this? Hard to fathom.

We 'trained' for Humphrey's for a couple of months, knowing that it would be the highest elevation we'd ever climbed, and gave ourselves (staying in Flagstaff) 3 days to acclimate. It's doable if you are in decent shape, bring plenty of water and a snack for the top, and have some patience with all of the other foot traffic. We picked the most gorgeous day - not a cloud in the sky and rain chances (during monsoon season), 0%. Apparently everyone else chose the same Saturday, and with good reason. Our group of 7 was up in 3, down in 3 for a total of 6 hours (left the parking lot at 6:45 am). The trail is really unforgiving in places - lots of rocks, roots and other low-lying obstacles to give your knees and ankles an insane workout. Trekking poles help, but aren't required.

No reason to restate what has been posted. Just put this on your bucket list and check it off. (Sorry to hear Ron's tale, below!)

While we would have liked to take a pic at the summit sign to show our 12,633-foot, 3,300 vertical odyssey was legit, it was vandalized (or whipped off its post from recent monsoons). Regardless, I'll never forget this epic hike!

This was a longggggg hike! Not too hard though. We started at 2:30am and our group ended up splitting up in the meadow. Made it for the sunrise at the summit and it was FREEZING!! But the east side of the mountain warm and nice. So bring a jacket if you go that early. We encountered a moose and it’s baby about an hour in right on the trail. The group right behind us sent their dog to get the moose off of the trail but it ended up charging at us! Super scary and thankfully we were able to slide down the cliff a little bit so we didn’t get trampled. Definitely need headlamps but I liked hiking at night. I didn’t need all the water I brought because it wasn’t too hot. The sun coming back wasn’t too bad but I felt for the people heading up around 10am. That’s a different hike I’m sure! Not sure I’d do it again but it was so beautiful and worth it!

hiking
6 days ago

Deceptively beautiful! Highest peak in the Stansbury Range. Excellent views ! Went to the wrong summit and had to turn around and do the right one. Had to trail run in the moonlight! Great experience. :-)

Amazing Views! Strenous, but well worth it! The tallest mountain in the Wasatch Range! Amazing flowers in August! :-)

backpacking
6 days ago

We backpacked this 3 years ago in August & it was amazing. About 1.5 miles from the base is Lake Morraine (sp?) - campsites are up the hill to the right from the lake. We used a bear bag and I’m glad we did, we definitely heard critters at night and our dog barked a few times due to hearing something.

The hike to the top itself is challenging but doable (we did it in sneakers, although wouldn’t recommend this). About a mile from the top there’s a false peak where you can jump into a glacier to cool off before doing the hardest part of the hike. Pretty much every step you take on the last mile your feet slide back due to the lava rocks & pebbles so I recommend wearing appropriate footwear that helps with stability & covers the ankles so you don’t end up with tons of rocks in your shoes (speaking from experience). If you’re taking your pup, make sure he/she has shoes too, the rocks would shred their paws without them.

The views from the top are breathtaking on a clear day. You can literally see all the way to Mt. Hood. Highly recommend.

Also, on the way down, be careful on the rocks past the false peak - very easy to slip & fall without proper stability.

Awesome bucket list hike with my friends Ben and Zach. Our hike was July 22/23rd 2018. We had done a lot of research and wanted a high chance of success so we slept at the Whitney Portal to acclimate then backpacked up to trail camp and spent an exciting afternoon with heavy hail, lightning, freezing rain, etc. It was definitely extreme weather and we were well prepared so we were able to wait it out and enjoy a gorgeous evening. The views were amazing and the trail is in great shape (better than the local 6 pack of trails in Southern California!). The weather pattern on the mountain had been lightning and hail starting around 1pm each day so we left trail camp around 3am and hit the 99 switchbacks. As many folks have noted, they actually were not that difficult. The sunrise was spectacular as we approached trail crest. The last lag on the backside of the mountain was the most treacherous as it was very icy and made for a slow trek to the summit. We enjoyed the view, had a snack, hydrated and after signing the log we were on trail back down. Our goal was to break camp and get down to the tree line before the lightning and hail started. We were partially successful as we made it about a mile down from trail camp before the lightning and hail started. It was a pretty miserable hiking in the hail, rain, sleet, lightning, with heavy packs on (yes we carried way too much!). Overall a huge success- no one got sick or injured and we all made the summit. It was a bucket list hike that we have wanted to do for a few years so we were all very pleased with the accomplishment!

Well i have climbed Mt Rainer 7 times from all sides and 40 years worth of mountaineering on techinical climbing rock, ice & snow. Take this mountain with a trail to the summit. I tried last year at age 65 and only got to 10,300’. A trail runner fell and broke his ankle. I splinted it and took him down, no one would help. This year age 66 been training on the treadmill for 3 months at 5 times per week with a 30 pound pack and 5 pound ankle weights. I go at 2.5 mph at 15% for 80 minutes. I go today leaving at 02:00 wanted to see a sunrise from high up. Made it to 10,064’ and had to descend. Why, well first a bear 20’ from me off to the side. Then two bears on the trail i made noise and it didn’t phase them so then i go off trail to get around them and they start pacing me. The only way i could go was down. This mountain is turning into a pain, lol.

backpacking
7 days ago

Awesome trail. Make sure you are in shape. Don’t try to do this trail until mid-summer due to the access roads might still be closed from snow-pack up in this area. A must do for sure. And take a fly rod.

Amazing and very challenging hike! Made it to the summit on 5 August, just start early, it will be a lot cooler and try to avoid the thunderstorms by going early. It is colder on top, pack layers. Wear a hat and lots of sunscreen, also trekking poles help. It is a very hard hike but if you take your time, you can complete it. The trail is very rocky, go slow. It is very windy up there. You can see the trail all the way to the summit if you look closely.

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