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Day hiked Whitney trail 10/21/2018
#54456 10/23/18 12:23 AM
Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 2
OP Offline
Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 2
(will upload pics)

Day hiked Mt Whitney via the Mt Whitney trail on 10/21/2018

Gpx track:


Distance: 21.15mi
Elevation gain: 6,306ft
Total time: 15h33m (moving time: 13h34m)

1:47am Trailhead (8,256ft)
6:20am Trail camp (Put away headlamp)
8:30am Trail crest. Entering Sequoia National Park
8:45am Junction with Crabtree ranger station
10:50am Summit
11:25am Left summit (Try to descend by noon to avoid the forecasted possible thunder.)
12:55pm Back to the junction
1:05pm Back to trail crest
5:20pm Back to trailhead

9hrs up
6hrs down

Sunrise: 7:05am
Sunset: 6:05pm

Woke up at 1am. Packed food (which we stored in the bear box overnight).

Trailhead -> Trail camp
First 6mi was a moderate incline on a well maintained and marked trail. A few creek crossings where you walk on the logs / hop on big rocks. A few icy spots, easily walk around -able. Just pay attention to your steps. Trail was easy to navigate even in the pitch dark. We went off the trail twice but were able to quickly backtrack and find the trail. I’d recommend loading offline map / gpx to your phone / gps and consulting it every once in a while.

Trail camp -> Trail crest
Trail was a mix of loose sand and screw. Snow free up to about half way up the switchbacks. From there, trail was covered with a thin layer of snow with obvious footprint. Hiking boots were grippy enough. No microspikes needed, although our group agreed that we’d use microspikes on the descend for better gripping. Switchbacks were long, flat and felt like never ending.

Last running water was a pond near Trail camp. Before that, there were multiple stream crossings on the trail, which gave you direct access to plenty of water. Bring a pump / squeeze type filter.

Microspikes was helpful ascending between Trail crest to the summit, and ESSENTIAL descending the same section.

Trail crest -> summit
From Trail crest, the trail became increasingly icy in places, especially sketchy when it’s downhill and cliffy and consequences of falling was high. We saw people butt scooting and decided it’s time to put on microspikes, which offered perfect traction on this type of packed down snow. Some people continued without spikes but it didn’t look enjoyable / safe.

Summit offered a spectacular 360 degree view of the surrounding peaks in the Sierra. There’s summit register you can sign and leave a note. The hut could comfortably sit at least 6 people, and was a warm place to have lunch and meet other hikers. We stayed for half an hour on the summit, aiming to descend before noon and get back to lower altitude (Trail camp) before thunder possibly rolled in.

We totally lucked out with the weather. It was forecasted as ‘A 30% chance of snow showers after 11am. Some thunder is also possible’. It ended up being a bluebird day, snowing only after 3pm, no thunder.

It started snowing / hailing when we passed the Trail camp at 3:15pm, which paved the trail with a frost of snow and created a winter wonderland. Nice briefly chatting with the campers; they asked for beta and congratulated us on the successful summit. Many people started hiking in with overnight packs. Hopefully they would also have a beautiful summit the next day. We knew once we got below 10,000ft, the remainder of the trail would be easy to walk on (less rocky). From there, we got back to the monotonously long and flat switchbacks. If I were to hike this again, I’d prefer the steeper and more direct mountaineering route to the hiking route. The fall foliage here was gorgeous, which we didn’t see earlier since we hiked in in the dark.

Personal gear: headlamp, trekking poles, microspikes, sunscreen, chapstick, sunglasses, 3L water, food, puffy jacket, rain jacket, gloves
Group gear: pump filter, squeeze filter
Group emergency gear (group of 3): a sleeping bag, a Jetboil stove and a fuel canister), InReach

- On google map: Mt. Whitney hike -
- Paved road. Steep incline in the last 20mi from the town (Lone Pine), driving from 3000ft of elevation to 8200ft.
- Confirmed with ranger that no parking pass required. Some hiking guides mentioned some signs saying ‘parking permit required’, which I didn’t see / pay attention to.
- Metal bear proof box (This is a bear active area. You are required to store all your food and scents items, eg: trash and toiletries, in the box. Don’t leave them in your car/tent.)
- Blue bag receptacle
- Toilets
- Picnic tables
- Whitney portal store:

3 campgrounds (1 reservable, 2 walk-in).

More info on the walk-in campgrounds:

Campground Type Cost Access
Whitney portal Reservable, a few walk-in $24 Driving, 2min from trailhead
Unknown name Walk-in $13 Easier walk up from overflow parking, or down from trailhead
Ravine Walk-in $11 Walk down from overflow parking

- Reliable phone reception until ~10 to the trailhead. On and off at the trailhead.

Pick up permit:
- Eastern Sierra Interagency Visitor Center
- Hours and location:
- Restroom, bookstore (books, map, passes, bear canister)

Mount Whitney via Mount Whitney trail (Hiking project app)

NOAA (recommended by ranger) -

Mountain forecast -

Route info:
Mt Whitney hike

Mt Whitney Restaurant
227 S Main St, Lone Pine, CA 93545

Arch loop trail (0.5mi) on Alabama hill

Last edited by mountainbeering; 10/24/18 07:19 PM.
Re: Day hiked Whitney trail 10/21/2018
mountainbeering #54458 10/23/18 08:22 AM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 8,079
Likes: 18
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 8,079
Likes: 18
Thanks for the report!

I love the "relatively flat" description of the first 6 miles. grin It only gains 4000' of elevation. Those relatively flat switchbacks only gain 1000' laugh

Consultation Lake is a bit off the trail. I think you meant the last water was at the pond by Trail Camp.

Re: Day hiked Whitney trail 10/21/2018
Steve C #54459 10/23/18 08:36 AM
Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 2
OP Offline
Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 2
Thanks for the correction of the water source. Will update.

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