Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail

Posted by: Steve C

Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail - 06/04/10 10:44 AM

This thread is designed to hold posts displaying pictures and describing the current conditions of the Main Mount Whitney Trail (MMWT).  I hope everyone will contribute.

Please feel free to post pictures of your own or from any source (please post a reference to the original location), so that everyone can come here and easily find/read/see the conditions.

Older posts will be moved as conditions change. (As a result, some posts may appear to answer comments that are no longer in the thread.)

Thanks for everyone's help. Your posting trip reports helps untold numbers of hikers following you.

Older posts moved here:   Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2018 (Old)

Note: Sometimes this thread spans a number of pages. You can click through all the pages, or click here to display all in one page.

Posted by: Proxy

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail - 08/13/18 09:05 AM

Nothing particularly remarkable... but my group spent 4 days on the main trail late last week (8/7 - 8/10) with a successful summit and descent originating at Whitney Portal.

The water crossings were easily navigable, no frozen precip anywhere near the trail. Abandoned wag bags were most noticeable near trail camp, where we saw a FS employee gathering them. The employee also requested to see the paper copy of our permit.

Smoke/haze was present, but low. Mosquitoes only between Whitney Portal and Lone Pine Lake. Lots of sun.
Posted by: BGDCPA

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail - 08/14/18 02:15 PM

Can anyone tell me how the water is at Trail camp? Is there plenty of water to pump?
Posted by: WanderingJim

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail - 08/14/18 02:37 PM

Originally Posted By: BGDCPA
Can anyone tell me how the water is at Trail camp? Is there plenty of water to pump?


There will always be water from the Tarn to use at Trail Camp.

Or were you talking about the spring on the switchbacks?
Posted by: BGDCPA

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail - 08/14/18 04:14 PM

Yes the tarn I wasn’t sure if it ever dried up... I know this time last year it was full but that was a heavy snow season
Posted by: Wiff

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail - 08/14/18 04:26 PM

Don't think that water ever dries up. Three weeks ago there was plenty for you and all your elephants. Definitely filter.
Posted by: Desert Sunflower

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail - 08/25/18 10:46 AM

Summited Whitney for the first time on Tuesday, August 21, 2018, with a day hike permit. This was an accomplishment for me since I am about half a century years young and have hiked a lot during my life but not much mountaineering. It was a great experience, (despite the fact I had a cold) hiking with a couple of awesome mountaineering friends who were a perfect encouragement to me along the trail. We camped at Whitney Portal for a couple of nights before the hike and one night after (saw a big bear in camp 2 of the 3 nights, but no interaction with it). Camping at the portal and hiking Mt. Charleston a few times during the last few months helped to climatize, so no real high elevation problems were encountered during the hike. Started at 3:45 am, summited about noon and was back at the portal for a celebration burger at about 6:30 pm. We lucked out with perfect weather on the hike, even though there are a few creek crossings on the trail, my feet were dry the entire hike. I was impressed with the great condition of the trail and that the trail was not very steep at any one place, with the many switchbacks helping to keep the trail steepness to a minimum. So happy I accomplished this goal...and the views, so beautiful...I just might try it again next year! Thanks for the comments on this website, it helps to know a bit what to expect on the trail.
Posted by: Snacking Bear

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail - 09/11/18 03:12 PM

Though I doubt it is, I have to ask; is the spring at switchback 23 still flowing?
Posted by: bruce

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail - 09/11/18 05:08 PM

There was a small flow yesterday around 7:20 am on two of the switchbacks.
Posted by: DUG

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail - 09/11/18 08:19 PM

There was a FANTASTIC flow there at about 3:30 pm that I truly enjoyed since I had been out of water since the JMT junction. I would rate that water as among the best I have ever had. smile.................................DUG
Posted by: bruce

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail - 09/12/18 07:39 AM

I believe it was still flowing due to several days in a row of above normal temps, but that's supposed to change very soon.
Posted by: stone

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail - 09/14/18 06:18 AM

I'm headed to the trail in a few days. I'm wondering if you could share the conditions between high camp and trail crest? Was there any snow or ice at that time? I'm obviously trying to determine what the right footwear (boots, microspikes, crampons) is barring any significant change in weather.

Thanks in advance-
Posted by: bruce

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail - 09/14/18 06:35 AM

No snow but there may be a few patches of ice now that the weather is cooler. I hiked last Monday and I remember only one tiny patch of ice (can't recall if it was on the switchbacks though). But you may want to check to see if there is any snow or precipitation in the forecast.
Posted by: Halfdomer Homer

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail - 09/14/18 05:13 PM

Just got off the phone with Eastern Sierra Interagency and they said Temps from upper 30s to upper 40s and winds of 15-20. No precipitation and they didn't mention ice or snow. I don't expect snow or ice but I am getting ready for cold wind on the west side. I'm going up Sunday 16th and I'm going to leave a bit later so I don't freeze in the early morning on Trail Crest.
Hope this helps!

-Dan
Posted by: ScottWhitneyBoun

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail - 09/18/18 10:45 AM

No water on the Switchbacks. On Sunday, Sep 16th, in the morning, I could not find any water around the 23rd Switchback. Nor is the spring under the rocks near the trail at Trail Camp running. (Some have reported that these sources are there, but they are frozen until late afternoon.) Earlier in the year those are both reliable sources, but not now. If you're going to refill, the highest place you can count on right now is the lake (tarn) near Trail Camp.
Posted by: Snacking Bear

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail - 09/18/18 11:11 PM

Thanks Scott!