hiking
15 hours ago

I called the eastern Sierra visitors center in lone pine on Friday and confirmed camping and permit for my hike on 7/20.

Great hike, we camped in the boulders at lake #3 so cool felt like a marmot! Views of the waterfall and Langley were amazing. Hiked up to #5 on 7/4 free fishing day and our group caught 6 nice Golden trout kept a couple to taste- amazing! Hiked out through #1 and #2 what a beautiful valley, cut over to Muir lake for lunch, another great place. Saw a fox on the long drive down the hill-crossed in front of us and climbed a shear cliff . Season opener for us, I’m ready to go again! Make sure your barbs are pinched!!

hiking
19 hours ago

I just received an email from recreation.gov this morning that our Whitney Portal campground reservations (for the first week of August) are CANCELLED. I believe reservations thru July 15th plus or minus are still good. My question is, are the permits to climb Whitney for the first week of August still good? Does anyone know where I can get solid confirmation? Unless I'm not looking in the right place, www.recreation.gov has ZERO information on permit status. A June 2nd article in the LA Times said the trail is closed now; but I see in the blog here that many have made the trip - so it's open now.

backpacking
20 hours ago

Backpacked 4 nights on Lake 3. The conditions were great, sunny days. Occasional high wind gusts. Quite buggy at dusk and dawn. Fishing was relatively slow. Lake 4 and 5 had quality fish. Fairly easy hike in from the trailhead, minimal elevation gain over 6 miles.

Hi. I did Mount Whitney today 07/08/2020. Here's what I can share. I started at 3:00am summit by 1130am with a couple of breaks for food and water. Left the summit by 12pm and arrived at trailhead at 5:15 pm with one break for water and snacks and a quick rest.So 8 1/2 hours up and roughly 5 1/2 hours down. I guess total it was a 14 hour day. It was a long hike but well worth it. The weather was fantastic. Sunny and bright. I'm not really sure what the temperature was. I wore a tshirt and underlayer. I saw many people just wearing a tshirt. It wasn't that cold I guess but there were portions ot the hike with gusts of cold wind. There were lots of people on the trail. Looks like 3am is a good hiking start time. There were people in front and a number of people behind me. At the summit there were about maybe 10 people. I think total on the trail I must have seen at least 30 different people at least. Now about the hike. The hike is a steady climb. There are only a few very steep sections. But Mt. Baldy and Iron Mountain have steeper slopes. I followed a lot of people's advice to just go at a steady pace.By far the hardest part of the hike are the 99 switchbacks. They just go on forever. And then the last 2 miles from the intersection with the John Muir trail is tough. It seems like you are on a trail forever to get to the top. The return down the mountain seems very long because you have been on the road for hours. It's not that hard since it's mostly down hill. There were some really fit people on the trail. They were going through the mountain like nothing. As of 07/08/2020 there are two areas of short snow passage. You have to walk very carefullly. Probably the snow will be gone from the trail in the next week or so. Make sure you bring a water filter to collect water. There are a few places you can collect water. What about altitude? I saw all kinds of different people on the trip. I'm sure not all of them workout. I took a steady approach to the climb because I didn't want to over exert myself and provoke anything. What I did notice after about 11000 feet is that I could not climb for an extended pace without stopping for a breather and catching my breath. As the altitude got higher climbing was harder. I workout so maybe that made a difference. But if I didn't stop to slow down I think I would have provoked something. So I guess as long as you take a steady approach up altitude shouldn't be that big a problem because I saw all kinds of people on the trail. Since I started at 3am this was my first part night hike ever! There are a couple spots on the trail that one can get confused. Especially in the dark. I recommend anyone who hikes this their first time, that they pick a start time where there will be people already on the trail. That way you can just follow people if you start getting confused.

hiking
2 days ago

As others report, the trail is now open again. We did the one day out-and-back on 7/5 (took us 16 hours - 9 up, 7 down). Snow/ice conditions are fine - melting nicely and easily passable without gear. Also very few people there, given the confusing circumstances of covid closures followed by earthquake closure (as of now AllTrails still reports it closed, though it isn’t). Re covid, many people are wearing masks on the trail and covering their faces during close encounters, as currently required by law. And many aren’t. Re earthquake, at the higher elevations where the landscape is all rocks, we saw lots of small-to-medium rockfall still on the trail, we noticed several spots on the traverse from the crest to the summit that seemed damaged, particularly edge guards that had fallen away, and we witnessed one huge rock shift (but not fall), maybe 50 meters above that part of the trail, about a half hour after we had passed. I don’t know the trail well enough to say that these are unusual conditions, but they were notable to us. Nonetheless the hike was amazing - particularly the night section under a full moon - strenuous but doable with preparation. Going now may entail some additional risk, balanced against some additional reward given it is not as crowded as usual.

The trail IS open. We chose mountaineers route, it was pretty slow going at night due to the difficulty in trail-finding however in daylight it was much easier.

WHY DOES ALLTRAILs FALSEY REPORT TRAILS AS CLOSED. THIS IS FLASE INFORMATION ABOUT MANY TRAILS

hiking
3 days ago

Great hike was only two spots of snow left on the trail and they where melting fast, not to busy on the trail but about 20 people at the top around noon. Inclines aren’t to bad as they use switchbacks so you never have a significant incline at any time. Not for beginners but you don’t have to be expert to do this trail if you prepare and take your time. Breaks are your best friend on this hike as the elevation will get to you.

This trail IS open again. I did a guided hike (2.5 days) and glad I did. There are many technical aspects along this route and its a grind!! Summited on 7-4 with perfect conditions. We did not need crampons or ice axes up the slide nor past the notch. Very few people along the route and maybe 30 at the top late morning. Spectacular views and gratifying physical accomplishment. Happy trails!

hiking
3 days ago

Toughest Hike I've ever done. Started at 4am. Summited around 10:30am. residual snow, easy to cross. I picked up lots of trash on the trail, weird items like scarves, and hats. Lets try to keep the area natural. I found it very nonsensical that many people were willing to climb this mountain risking rattlesnakes, bears, cougars, cliffs, yet every time I pass by some people have to put their mask on because god forbid they catch a common cold in the forest? The chances of you dying from the elements are higher than with Covid-19. I feel like if you are that scared of getting sick, you need to stay home and not be out and about doing nonessential trips like climbing mt. Whitney. Also wearing a mask on this trail is not advised because of the altitude.

hiking
3 days ago

Great hike. We got lucky with amazing weather. Cottonwood lakes are amazing. We loved the view from Lake 1 and stayed there. We left at 5:30am via OAP. The trail is decently marked. There was a detour near the top to avoid a snow patch. The last 50 feet has kicked in steps that I found scary. We were wearing snow traction on our boots and made it through. We dropped our back pack on the trail at 13000 ft to lighten our load. We returned using NAP primarily to checkout NAP and secondarily because the ranger discouraged us saying NAP is safer. I found NAP similar to OAP in terms of terrain and climbing required. However, OAP is lot shorter if you are camping at cottonwood and is nicer except for the 50ft of snow. In summary if OAP is clear and doesn’t have snow it is the way to go. If you are experienced navigating snow and have the gear then OAP is an option. The views from NAP are nice and you can just hike 400 ft from OAP to see them then go back down OAP :)

hiking
snow
3 days ago

Gate to trailhead was open this day. Really great trail! Highly recommend. However, going up Old Army Pass was VERY sketchy as the trail was still covered in snow, the reroutes are slippery because it’s melting. I don’t recommend that at this time. An older gentleman at the top (who looked like a well versed hiker) said it should be ok by next week. If there’s snow in the shoot, avoid this area. Otherwise, perfect hike!!! Also, my garmin GPS clocked it at about 17 miles total from the trailhead.

Absolutely stunning views all around the entire time! It is a tough hike so be ready for a long day, even if you’re fit and cousin like we were. The adventure will exhilarate you! We left at 3am and saw a jaw-dropping, neon orange and gold sunrise. And we had clear skies and perfect weather all day. (Ideal weather is not always the case here- check ahead!) Take all altitude sickness precautions seriously! We did two Ibuprofens ever 3-4 hours on the way up. And drank tons of water beforehand. And acclimatized a couple days before (hiked big pines next door), etc etc. Felt great the whole hike praise God! Altitude sickness is a beast you don’t want to fight it up there. Another tip: Make sure you have plenty of water BEFORE the 99 switchbacks. Also, we thought our walking sticks are a huge help! The night before our hike we camped up at the portal family campground (backpackers campground is closed because of the earthquake) so it made for an easy morning wake up and go. They are very serious about not keeping food in your car so take precautions. Easy bear lockers at the trailhead. Also, this was my second year applying for a permit and finally got one (for a day hike). Don’t forget to print it out or pick it up ahead of time. Mt. Whitney Facebook page is super helpful! Have an incredible time!!! Prep well!

We hiked this trail over 3 days. Heading up to Long Lake to camp, then summiting Mt. Langley via New Army Pass, and heading out the last day. From the parking lot to Long Lake you have an easy hike, but the real work begins heading over New Army Pass to Mt. Langley. The last mile to the summit felt like five miles due to the loose rocks and gravel. You lose the trail towards that last mile so you have to keep to the left and follow the cairns, not the all trails map. Scrambling over rocks was sketchy but reaching the top is worth it! If you plan to camp at any of these lakes bring superb insect repellent, these mosquitoes are the worst ones I’ve seen yet.

backpacking
bugs
5 days ago

July 4, 2020. Backpacking recording day 2.

backpacking
bugs
no shade
rocky
snow
5 days ago

July 3, 2020. Backpacked. Started at Cottonwood Lakes Trailhead, New Army Pass to the summit, then down to Soldier Lake where I camped. July 4th, Siberian Pass to the PCT southbound back to the trailhead. 28.4 miles and 5,640 feet of elevation gain for both days. A tiny bit of snow on top of New Army Pass. I heard Old Army has more snow and rockfall from the recent earthquake. Deep Off Woods kept the mosquitoes at bay.

hiking
5 days ago

Beautiful area! The gate was open this past weekend (7/4). Pretty flat until some vigorous switchbacks, landing you in a pristine paradise of alpine meadows and lakes. We couldn't find where the trail continued in between lakes #4 and #5 (it just looked like a vertical wall of granite with ice), so we did this as an out & back. Would love to return for an overnight stay.

I did the loop clockwise as well. Completed 07/01-07/02 2020. Weather was perfect, in the 60s air was pleasantly cool while hiking. Perfect blue Sierra summer skies. Intermittent patches of sandy soil which may seem to be a slog on the way up Cottonwood Pass. This has to be the easiest pass to cross; it offers a great view of Horseshoe Meadow. Beautiful Foxtail Pines everywhere. The two small lakes on the Nat Geo map on the PCT between Chicken Spring Lake and the Siberian Pass Trail aren’t there- at least the southern one isn’t, which is easily seen from the trail. It is turning into meadow. Looks like there is a creek running through it. Water can be found at a spring on the western ‘bump’ of the jog north around said lake/meadow. Trail is easy until the climb up New Army Pass, which seemed way longer than 2.3 miles. Small patch of hard-packed snow is still there on the Cottonwood side. It is easily navigated around, just requires some care and rock scrambling. Very exposed all the way down until Long Lake. On the Sequoia NP side there is very little cover as well. I started at 6a so also was hiking directly into the rising sun. Luckily I made it into the pass’s shadow so had a reprieve for my eyes for a bit. Thoroughly enjoyable; a lovely walk in some high elevation woods.

hiking
great!
icy
rocky
snow
6 days ago

Mt Whitney is open. Went on 7/3 the trail is beautiful. Very few snow patches near the summit. No need for microspikes. A lot of the ice is melting so it can be icy and muddy in certain spots. The switchbacks are very exposed so make sure to wear sunscreen

Recreation.gov confirmed the Whitney Portal Campground is open for the rest of the season.

Thanks for the update. Do you know if they will email the campers who have reserved sites that will be closed?

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