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I did this hike on September 19th 2018. started at 4:35 am and reached the peak at noon. It's an extremely beautiful hike with lots of streams down lower and several lakes! this is one you must train for and try your luck with the lottery!

hiking
3 days ago

The best hike ever. Very hard. And I if you think San Gorgonio is hard then you shouldn't go to Mt Whitney. I had an early start at 2am end up on summit at 9am. Clear sky a little windy but doable. Sunrise was amazing.Train for this hike,plan it smart.Be ready. Good luck.

Great trail. Went to Trail Camp. No summit due to high winds. This map appears to be wrong, though, as there is no identifiable trail to consultation lake where it shows one. Not sure how one would ever get to the lake from where this map shows

One of the best hikes I’ve done in Mt Tam. You will go though many different types of forest and nature. The lake is really beautiful about halfway through.

We took a couple of detours and made it closer to a 12 mike hike in about 4 hours.

Highly recommend.

Hiked on 7 Sep. Started at Trailhead at 3:05 AM. Finished at Trailhead 7:55 PM. Weather: Low of 45, high of 60, sunny and very little wind (perfect)

Training: I live in Kansas so training at altitude is a bit problematic. I hiked a bit at RMNP a few months before to get a feel for altitude. Other than that I would hike locally but nothing over 10 miles. I used the stair master (3x week) for up to an hour and squatted (2-3x week). I got a pretty bad head cold two weeks out and shut down my training to get fully healed as a headcold at altitude could suck. My group went fairly slowly and I felt fully conditioned. A bit of soreness in my calves the next day but none in my quads or hammies.

Prep: We arrived two days prior and camped at Horseshoe Meadows two nights before. There was plenty of sites available and it helped us get used to altitude. The night before we camped at the trailhead. Again plenty of space in the walk up campground. Parking was tight but as the afternoon wore on and people came off of the mountain there was plenty. The store has any last minute things you need.

Actual Hike: Our group of five hit the trail at 3:05 AM. We took the old trailhead (located at the really big boulder on the far side of the parking lot road past the store). My pack (including poles, water and food) weighed in at 17lbs. Things were easy and we hit trail camp a bit after sunup. We refilled on water here. At trail crest we took a snack break and reached the summit about 11:30. We stayed for an hour. Some of the group was gassed from the way up and we traveled pretty slowly back down arriving back at the trailhead a bit before 8 PM. That means we had to finish by headlamp which was a bit off putting. Overall the trail was very easy to follow, between trail crest and the summit there are some rocky pieces but nothing that you can call scrambling. For hydration I used a 100 oz bladder and actually finished it between trail head and trail camp.

Equipment: Shoes- Garmont approach shoes, they performed like champs and provided great
traction on the rocky sections. Pack- Granite gear Leopard 46. Lightweight and performed as advertised. It was bigger than I needed but since I had to fly in it was my bag on the plane. Clothes- Silky poly pro top as base layer. Due to the warmth/lack of wind it was my only layer almost the entire time. It wicked the sweat well and I felt dry and comfortable. For my bottom layer I wore Prana stretch Zion pants and they were great as always . All the other clothes stayed in the pack. For navigation I used a paper map (1:64k) and a Garmin foretrex 301. The Garmin is old and you can't download maps to it so it sucked for establishing time/distance to travel due to all the switchbacks. As a work around I tracked elevation as my metric which allowed me to compare my real time elevation with upcoming landmarks.

What I would do differently next time: 1) Think out a better water resupply plan/method. Our group (5 people) had one filter. We filled at trail camp both coming and going and to fill five camel backs, put them back in the pack etc. took 30 minutes each time. 2) Rig my camelback on a side pouch on my pack. I saw someone near the end of the hike with that and saw how I could reduce the five minute process of installing and removing the camelback from the inside of my pack to a 30 second process. 3) Not bring poles. This is YMMV, but I am not used to poles and feel I have greater balance and mobility without them on the rocky portions. I dabbled with them on the way down starting at the switchbacks but gave them away to someone we came across who had twisted their ankle. My knees and legs felt fine both on the trail and the next day. Probably if I watch a youtube on how to use them and practice my attitude towards them will change.

Overall a great experience.

Everyone has said it all but an awesome hike, awesome place to camp and incredibly beautiful scenery everywhere along the way!

Wonderful hike, but it’s a beast for sure. Train train train.
Do NOT trust your phone GPS to mark your point by point goals. My GPS read 10 miles while we were still on the switchbacks, which is inaccurate. This app recorded my whole hike as being 26 miles total instead of the generally accepted 22. This does get frustrating.
Overall a once in a lifetime hike for sure.

hiked on September 2nd in one day. we started at 4.30 am, headed the top at 11.15 am, stayed 1h on the top and then finished it at 5.30 pm. It took us 13h with the stop and we were going pretty fast!
You feel the elevation! We didn't acclimated as we had a one day permit but we took some hybropruphen! however, we went through headache and nausea! This hike requires not only a good physical training but also a strong mind control!

Long hard walk uphill for hours in beautiful landscape w beautiful souls. Criticized for high traffic but for me that’s how I made it out. Thx Kim and mike.

It was more of a 17.5 Miles hike on my end from Glacier Lodge. So not sure how people pulled it off with a 15 mile log. Wish I was a bit more forewarn about the mile of steep scrambling on boulders and loose rock at the end to the glacier (so makes for a total of 2 miles of scrambling including the way back). Definitely a beautifully hike with lots of scenic surprises and route challenges. I would recommended it to people with good fitness and comfortable scrambling skills - otherwise you’re forewarned!

What a mountain! What a hike!
Did the 1 day up and back from Whitney Portal, 15 hours round trip. 8.5 up, at an easy pace. 30min at the summit. 6 hours down at a quicker pace.

-Overview and Info (If you’re interested)-

2 days before- camped at Horseshoe Meadow (at over 10k elevation) to acclimate. The next morning we did a warm up hike which ended up being way more than I intended, over 7 miles total.
Afternoon/night before- Camped at portal at the walk-up, 1 night campground. Ate big chili and pasta dinner at about 6pm and was in bed by 7:30. Didn’t sleep much.
Got up at 2am and broke camp, hiking packs were already to go. Ended up starting at the same time as a couple other groups so there was a couple dozen of us on the trail at the same time, which was kinda fun. Got to Trail Camp just after sunrise and that was a sorta magical sight to see- the community of backpackers up there just arising and having coffee/breakfast next to the lake (where we stopped to filter some water), under the peaks of Mt Muir and Whitney...Beautiful! Then it’s the “99 switchbacks”. Getting to the top was very rewarding in that it’s a massive incline/ elevation gain and workout, but also getting to trail crest at the top where you finally get to the views west into the Sierras was amazing! Knowing there’s less than 2 miles to the summit and how much you’ve already endured, you press on. The journey becomes even more challenging from here, the trail gets very rocky, the fatigue and effects of altitude started to kick in. By about 14k feet, I got pretty light headed, feeling like I was somewhere between fainting and dreaming at moments- (which was actually a kinda cool natural high). Again, a slow and easy pace with as many stops as needed, worked. Getting to the summit was a triumph!
But as it’s said, once you hit the summit, you’re only halfway there! You still have to make it all the way back down. I was concerned about what energy I had left to make it another 11 miles, but going down is easier (although there are a few places where you have incline on the trail back- which sucked). By the time we got back to Trail camp I had drank over 4 liters of water, emptying my “bladder”. We filtered a little more water there, enough to keep moving, knowing there were a few more sources to refill along the way back. Getting to see all the spots that we passed in the dark on the way up was a treat. It’s beautiful up there! The scenic beauty was one of the most inspiring parts of the whole hike, which kept me motivated to keep going.

Overall I carried and consumed quite a bit: about 6 bars (cliff bars, macro bars, etc), a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, some almonds and banana chips, 1 apple, 1 orange and 1 banana, plus some sodium/electrolyte/energy gels and some similar powders I added to my water bottle occasionally. Also I popped a Ibuprofen at about 13.5k ft. (and another at the bottom end). I had a 4 liter water bag and a 16oz bottle, which I drank from on the trail. I think I consumed a little more water (and calories) then average for the hike, but I got almost no sleep the 2 nights before and needed to give my body every thing I could to keep pumping. And it worked!

Training helps of course, physically and mentally.
Keep a positive, productive attitude, take one step at a time. You’ll get there.

The hike was awesome!!!
I hike with my dad,and we had fun with great views.
And if you want to go drive to mountain,you need to pay 10 dollar, but hike was that much worth.

Very hot day, hike with my 11year old son. The trail was easy walk with great view. Path was very stable, just fun!

Completed 8/31 and it was a highlight of my hiking adventures. Stayed at Trail Camp, got the headache but nothing worse than that. It was easier than I had expected and read about. I am 47, smoker and about 20 pounds over weight and I flew up the switchbacks. I actually thought the first 6 miles to Trail Camp was harder than the 4.5 to summit. My biggest suggestion for the switchbacks and summit part, is leave before light, put your headlamp on, and some earphones and it seems block out how far it is to the top. Also no matter what the weather is at Trail Camp it is colder and more windy. I used a total of 2 liters of water up and down from Trail Camp to Summit and back to Trail Camp. I read reviews of people carrying 5 liters, so I did only to empty it on the way down. Also I ate about 500 calories before I started and only had about a 200 calorie snack on the way down. The thing that helped me the most was a 5 hour energy drink before starting and another at the summit. I cannot wait to do this again and beat my personal best time. Also, Trail Camp had about 5 other tents set up Thursday the 30th of August, was not busy at all. The summit had more people, most of which came from the West side. Good Luck to all and enjoy!

on Berry Creek Falls Loop

20 days ago

Bring water and look out for banana slugs! Great hike.

Good times. Ditch the heavy pack though. Lots of water.

hiking
23 days ago

Great hike. It was cold at the top and I was happy to have gloves, running tights, and a down puffer jacket to put on at the summit. Training definitely made a difference by doing longer hikes to peaks around where I live. This should be a bucket list hike for any serious hiker.

Epic adventure! 15 hours. Started at Whitney Portal trailhead at 4:30a, finished at 7:36p. We are in very good cardiovascular shape, I’m a runner and hiker, my husband is a cyclist and hiker and sometime runner. I am also moderately afraid of heights. My first hike ever was Mt. Baldy (10,068 elevation) and I had huge shortness of breath but summited, that was 10 years ago! I started running and as an added benefit, Mt. Baldy was easy the second time (2 years ago and 8 years older at that time). I am 53 and my husband is 48 to give you an idea of age. All that being said, we saw a few hikers taking 1 inch steps around Trail Camp (12,000 ft), pretty sure they didn’t make it to the summit. On the flip side, the day before we hiked Whitney we spoke to a young man who RAN to the summit; he started at 4:00a and finished at 11:00a.
Here’s what we did for this hike; camped 2 nights at Whitney Portal campground before the hike. Drove up to do a short hike the day before the hike at Cottonwood Lake area at just over 10,000 ft. Ate a good dinner but not real heavy, took 500mg Naprosyn each. Went to bed at 8:00p, up at 3:00a, coffee, food, 500mg Naprosyn again etc., had to jockey our small motorhome up to the trailhead area to avoid running the generator in a sleepy campground and not add one extra mile to the hike :) We hit the trail at 4:30a.
Take it at a comfortable pace because pacers win the day! We used exactly 3L of water each, ate 2 sandwiches each, Clif bar each, some trail mix, squeeze fruit, 1 GU, 3 gels, and shared an oatmeal/fruit squeeze. There are water sources on the way but it is sunny and exposed most of the way so bring UV radiation protection. The weather was awesome this day (Aug 27, 2018), no wind at the time we summited, no clouds, no thunderstorms. But remember you’re only half done when you summit! Another bonus was there were no mosquitoes, I was shocked. I brought a first aid kit, complete with sutures, ACE wrap, Naprosyn, bandages, etc. I gave out some Naprosyn to a guy who was suffering with AMS on the way up but didn’t see him again.
My advice is to listen to wilderness experts and hydrate, take NSAIDs, and pay attention to your body. Headache, nausea, dizziness, uncoordinated movements, extremity swelling are all signs of AMS. At the FIRST sign of headache, stop and see if you recover, if not, DESCEND. It’s not worth your life to get to the top.

backpacking
25 days ago

Did it 2 years ago, going again

This was a great hike... just strenuous enough but not a total killer for one of medium ability... thanks to previous reviewers... it did take 4 hours when you factor in occasional breaks and lunch and a stop to explore visitor center. Thanks also to this app for helping me navigate... made a few wrong turns but was able to quickly correct thanks to gps. The sometimes mediocre signage is why I am only giving 4 stars. Could be greatly improved upon. Bring plenty of water and plan for a work out. I imagine the view can be spectacular but alas it was too smokey when I did the hike to see all that was there.

Started early and by the time we reached it was around 7:15 am and cold. Very few cars were parked due to the cold I guess. Found initially little confusing where the trail started and took us some time to get on the trail. As per the review I read by lots of hikers we wanted to do the anti clock wise hike but came across a detour sign asking us the go on the clock wise direction. We ended up doing that and did not encounter any one until we reached the falls and decided to try the other side to get back to the parking when saw few people coming from the counter clockwise side of the trail. There was no issue with the trail not sure why they had put a detour sign. Took 5 1/2 hrs for us to finish the trail.

What an amazing accomplishment. we summited whitney June of last year. after a big snow season, the switchback were still not open (completely covered in snow) Had to out on spikes and climb straight up 2,000 ft. Met two gentleman on the summit which were doing the PCT. It was only us 4 up there that early. Coming down the scree was so fun. Glissading down 2,000 was a blast. Not so much for my fiance as she was yelling at me in fear. All in all, not bad at all. as a day hike it would kick anyone's ass, backpacking and staying at trail Camp, the hike was not too bad. Until you come back to your car and your car battery is dead.

Hiked on Aug. 16, 2018.
TIPS/COMMENTS
(I won't go over food or water here since so many reviewers have already stressed the importance of both).
Training: I live in SoCal so I was able to hike at higher elevation about once a week (sometimes twice). I don’t think that I ever got higher than 11,000’ though. If you can, do it. I ran 10 miles/week too. I tried to break it up into three days of high intensity running.

Amazing hike! Absolutely beautiful! Next time, I want to backpack!
Favorite part: Going up the 99 switchbacks as the sun started to rise. Least favorite part: the section from Trail Crest to End of Pinnacles. This part is technical. Lots of slippery rocks.

Definitely rid your vehicle of anything scented. I saw a bear at the trailhead right by a parked car.

Leaving at 12:15 AM was worth it. The night sky was special and it remained dark until the 99 switchbacks. The darkness actually made time go by very fast.

I noted on my map the time it would take us to get from point to point according to a 9 hour ascent time and an 11 hour ascent time. This was so HELPFUL and MOTIVATING. For example, on my map I noted that the segment from Whitney Portal to North Fork Lone Pine Creek should take 30-35 min. Which meant that arrival time should have been between 12:45-12:50 AM. I highly recommend doing this. Breaking this hike into small goals worked!

If you're hiking in the dark like we did, don't wait to fill up on water until Trail Camp. The water isn't easy to find in the dark. Instead, fill up beforehand. Also, just know that the water is cold and your hands will probably get wet.

Finding some privacy to pee wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.

I would recommend wearing pants. At times, I needed all warm layers: long-sleeve, fleece, hat, gloves, etc.

Changing into a fresh pair of socks at the summit felt great.

I popped 600 mg. of ibuprofen at the start of the hike. I heard that it can help to alleviate elevation sickness. As for elevation sickness, I was perfectly fine until I started to descend. Maybe I should have popped more ibuprofen on the way down. I think I might have stayed at the top for too long ( 1 hour and 40 minutes). I got a headache and a tiny bit of nausea that made descending for the first few hours suck. I had to get well past Trail Camp before I started to feel better.

In hindsight, a pack cover wouldn't have been a bad idea. While descending, I got caught in a thunderstorm just after Trail Camp that drenched my pack.

Enjoy the descent. It is going to feel endless, so might as well slow down a bit and take in the fresh mountain air.

So gorgeous! Tough hike but a good one!

hiking
1 month ago

We started at the portal at 11:15 pm on 8/15/18 and reached the permit zone around 12:30 am on 8/16/18. Daylight broke through near the end of the 99 switchbacks. I left my backpack at the trail crest and worked our way to the summit. We reached the summit around 7:45 am. It was beautiful! After 15-20 minutes we decided to head down because it was fairly cold and we wanted to avoid the daily thunderstorms. Since we did the switchbacks in the dark on the ascent the return was very enjoyable - wonderful views. The next four plus miles after the switchbacks although beautiful seemed endless. We finally reached Lone Pine Lake and were down to our final 2.8 miles. Running on fumes we finally reached the portal at 2:45 pm. It took us roughly 15 1/2 hours but it was worth it! After eight months of training we conquered Mt Whitney!

Recommendations: Start early (reach Lone Pine Lake by midnight), don't over-pack (we had too much food & water), take it slow & steady, bring external battery for phone camera, wear a buff for warmth & sun protection... and HAVE FUN!

I took the advice here and went early, parking lot at 8 and also took the trail counter clockwise
I only saw three peoples going down and lots of birds! At the falls it began to seem like a freeway but still very beautiful and cool on a hot day.
Took me a little over 4 1/2 hours - I’m older and moderately fit.
Would totally recommend this hike.
Also bring $10 cash if you get there before the park opens to pay for parking - I didn’t have change so then for $20 from me.

Strenuous but great! Really beautiful waterfalls

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!

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

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