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Itinerary for 2015 day hike
#42370 04/30/15 05:43 AM
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eje67 Offline OP
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Planning an itinerary for a day hike on Tuesday, July 7th...one year to the day from my first-time day hike in 2014...was hoping to get some feedback from the board to fine tune it! Here is the current plan:

Sunday:

-Leave L.A. before 6:00
-Pick up permit at visitor center
-Late breakfast in Lone Pine
-Mosquito Flat by noon
-Acclimation hike to Mono Pass
-Spend the night at Rock Creek Lodge

Monday:

-Relax at Rock Creek Lodge until noon check out
-Hang out somewhere at elevation in the afternoon: where?
-Drive to Whitney Portal late afternoon/early evening
-Camp at the Portal family camp (I have a reservation), or secret ravine campground

Tuesday:
-Wake up at 2, on the trail by 3

What I'm perseverating about is what to do on Monday afternoon, and where to spend Monday night. I want to maximize my time at elevation before the hike and am open to spending another night at Rock Creek Lodge or Onion Valley (where I camped 2 nights before my hike last year). Sleeping in a bed at Rock Creek Lodge would be nice, but a 2 hour drive to the Portal early Tuesday morning would kind of suck. Onion Valley is at 9200 feet, but is there a benefit that would justify camping there over Whitney Portal at 8000 feet? A 45-60 minute drive from Onion Valley to the trailhead would be more doable, but ideally I'd like to avoid any driving at all the morning of the hike!

Anyway, let me know what you think and if you have any tips on where to eat, etc. No burgers, pizza or beer the night before the hike haha.

Re: Itinerary for 2015 day hike
eje67 #42372 04/30/15 07:42 AM
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Just an idea...
Take a book and drive back up to the Mosquito Flat parking lot, hang out by the stream in the shade and read. The 10k elevation there is perfect for more acclimation.

Re: Itinerary for 2015 day hike
Steve C #42406 05/03/15 10:58 AM
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...or walk out to Gem Lake and read a book.

Re: Itinerary for 2015 day hike
eje67 #42434 05/07/15 02:37 PM
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On the trail at 3? Holy crap!

Re: Itinerary for 2015 day hike
wbtravis #42440 05/07/15 06:31 PM
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can you get to Gem Lake and Mosquito Flat without the permit?

Re: Itinerary for 2015 day hike
trichick71 #42441 05/07/15 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted By: trichick71
can you get to Gem Lake and Mosquito Flat without the permit?

Everywhere but the Whitney Zone and the Half Dome cables in Yosemite is accessible for day hikes without a permit.

Re: Itinerary for 2015 day hike
Wilderness_Hike #42442 05/07/15 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted By: Wilderness_Hike
On the trail at 3? Holy crap!


Last year I started at 4:00...plenty of other hikers on the trail. This year I'd like to be further along on the trail when the sun comes up!

Re: Itinerary for 2015 day hike
Wilderness_Hike #42444 05/08/15 08:19 AM
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I'm in the habit of waking up at 11pm and beginning at Midnight. This puts us at or near the top by sunrise

It's a superb way to do things...


@jjoshuagregory (Twitter & Instagram) for mainly landscape and mountain photos
Re: Itinerary for 2015 day hike
Snacking Bear #42445 05/08/15 08:44 AM
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There is road construction on Rock Creek Road. Be prepared for 30 minute traffic delays, or better yet, enjoy staying high and read your book until after the road crew calls it a day.
Rock Creek Road- Inyo National Forest

Last edited by 1962; 05/08/15 08:47 AM.

1962
Re: Itinerary for 2015 day hike
1962 #42447 05/08/15 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted By: 1962
There is road construction on Rock Creek Road. Be prepared for 30 minute traffic delays, or better yet, enjoy staying high and read your book until after the road crew calls it a day.
Rock Creek Road- Inyo National Forest


Thanks 1962...I knew about the road construction but did not have that link!

Re: Itinerary for 2015 day hike
eje67 #42451 05/10/15 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted By: eje67
Sleeping in a bed at Rock Creek Lodge would be nice, but a 2 hour drive to the Portal early Tuesday morning would kind of suck.

I agree it would suck to leave that Rock Creek Lodge bed at 1am and drive a couple hours to get on the trail by 3am. I think your current plan is the best - stick with the camp reservation at the Portal for rest and convenience. As for other possible alternatives, have you considered camping or acclimation hiking at Horseshoe Meadows/Cottonwood trailhead ~10,000 ft. It's higher elevation than the Portal (if you really want that) with a short drive to the trailhead. This would be preferable to Onion Valley IMHO, but you might get the best rest staying at the Portal. Some people don't sleep so well at 10,000.

Re: Itinerary for 2015 day hike
SierraNevada #42531 05/17/15 01:16 PM
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I can second that sleeping thingy over 10K'. I rarely get a good night's sleep at the always busy Portal.

Re: Itinerary for 2015 day hike
wbtravis #42545 05/18/15 10:57 AM
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eje67 Offline OP
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Thanks for all the suggestions!

I think that if I'm going to be doing any driving to the trailhead, I might as well spend another night at Rock Creek Lodge and drive a couple hours to the portal. If I camp anywhere other than Whitney Portal, I'm looking at about an hour plus of driving plus breaking camp, loading gear into the car, etc. There would be more drive time from Rock Creek but more efficiency with everything else (no need to bring camping gear, can just wake up after sleeping in a bed, cook a quick breakfast, and get on the road). So if I'm going to camp I think the Portal is the best bet and the question then would be, family campground or secret ravine campground? With a sleep mask and some ear plugs I should be ok at either one but I'm leaning towards the family campground so I can just stuff my gear into the car and drive to the day use parking lot.

Re: Itinerary for 2015 day hike
eje67 #42547 05/18/15 11:22 AM
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Use the walk-in backpacker camp sites. Then you won't even need to move the car.


Re: Itinerary for 2015 day hike
Steve C #42548 05/18/15 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted By: Steve C
Use the walk-in backpacker camp sites. Then you won't even need to move the car.


That's even better, thanks! Do you park in the day use parking area or overflow for the backpacker campground? Nevermind...the map answered the question!


Last edited by eje67; 05/18/15 11:54 AM.
Re: Itinerary for 2015 day hike
eje67 #42553 05/18/15 05:57 PM
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There are also several parking spaces in a turn out on the main road directly adjacent to the walk-in sites.


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