This hike is something I’ve wanted to do for a while, and I figured was a good Mt Whitney milestone hike.
The wife and I took all this week off, it’s her birthday week and we both needed a break. We took a few day trips and just relaxed! We saw Arcosanti, Montezuma’s Castle, Tombstone, and cruised around Phoenix.
I had Wednesday morning free so it seemed like a good time to tick off this hike. Woke up a little after 5am, grabbed the gear and headed out. After a quick stop for coffee I was on the road. It’s about an hour to get there from my house, pulled into Picacho State Park about 6:45, a few cars in the lot, but pretty quiet other than that!
The hike starts off uphill and really doesn’t ease up much at all until you get to the saddle, where the first of the cable sections begins. From the saddle, where some nice people have stashed extra gloves (make sure you bring gloves), you descend a steep rocky section, taking you around to the west side and meeting up with the Sunset Vista Trail for the climb to the peak.
There are 3 main sections of cables from here to the peak, it’s a pretty cool section of a hike. The exposure isn’t too bad but I was definitely glad to have the cables in a number of places! After the last cable section it is a few minutes hike to the top and a great view. As you make your way down you might be even more glad to have the protection the cables provide, I know I was!
When you reach the saddle again the work is done and you can cruise on downhill to the parking lot, there’s some cool rock formations to check out, and they’re easier to enjoy on the way down!
Overall it took me just over 2 hours, I felt good the whole time, can’t wait for some more time hiking up big hills!
I was ready Saturday morning right at 7am when they release the Mt Whitney permits that weren’t purchased by lottery winners, and I scored an overnight permit! I’ve got a July 20th entry date, and because of last summers issues with altitude I’m going to take my time up the mountain. This should give me a good chance to acclimate, so I can enjoy the upper sections of the mountain! I got a campsite at the Lone Pine Campground the night before, probably do the quick Mobius Arch hike and then crash out to get ready for a big couple of days!
July 21st: Hike to Trail Camp or Constellation Lake for the night
July 22nd: Up early for the summit attempt and back to Trail Camp. Depending what time I get back to camp I’ll either sleep there or start to hike out. I think I’ll probably want to chill out after summit day, and enjoy being high in the mountains one more night!
July 23rd: Hike out
So that’s the plan. I’m kicking it into gear to get fit as possible, hoping to get in a few other big hikes to get ready!
Any tips from people who have done the hike are always appreciated!
Hopefully the world gets a little more back to order and I’m able to get in some more outdoor adventures this year! While I was able to get in some cools things last year, overall it did not go as planned. Big surprise, right?!
Main Adventure Goal; Mt. Whitney!
I got in the lottery for a Mt Whitney permit, something I’ve wanted to do for a while. I choose 6 dates for an overnight permit, if I don’t get one of those I’ll try and pick up a day permit after the lottery.
Really hoping for an overnight permit! If I get one of those my plan will be to hike to the Trail camp and spent the night, wake up early the next morning to summit and then back to trail camp. At that point I figure I can stay there another night, or hike down to Outpost Camp and camp there, or just hike out. I want to enjoy myself on this trip and not make it a mad rush for the summit and back.
If I end up with a day permit it’ll be a whole different story! Day permits allow you on the trail from midnight to midnight, so I’d start just a bit after midnight and try and get it done in 12-13 hours.
If I don’t get either permit I’ll just have to find some other cool place to go, hiking Mt Langley via the Cottonwood Lakes looks pretty sweet, or there’s always the old stand by, the Colorado mountains!
Especially if I get a Mt Whitney permit I want to be super fit to enjoy the hike! So there will be some other shorter weekend type adventures. I definitely would like to do another day hike of Grand Canyon this spring and hopefully at least one trip up Mt. Humphreys in Flagstaff for a little altitude training! Other than that I plan on doing some serious hiking and trail running around the house.