A Breathtaking Hike and a Sad Farewell ~ Sierra Nevadas, CA

whitney portal trail
Lovely Lone Pine Lake, set in a granite bowl

We have bid a sad farewell to the Sierra Nevadas and moved on from the Alabama Hills due to the threat of a high-wind warning.  Our original plans were to leave a few days hence anyway, so we thought erring on the side of caution was prudent for us.  Our friends Nina and Paul had plans to stay another week, so hopefully the high winds bypassed the Alabamas and we will all be treated instead to some of Nina’s fabulous photography of snow-capped peaks in an upcoming post.

All four of us had planned a second hike before our departure, sadly not to be, but fortunately we did hike the Whitney Portal Trail  to Lone Pine Lake, which was spectacular for viewing soaring granite walls, stunning fall colors, and a lovely lake at the end.  It was rather exciting to think that we were trekking up the same trail that those summiting Mount Whitney hike, although our journey was a much abbreviated version – 2.5 miles vs. 13 miles to the summit.

The gang headin’ out!
Stunning fall colors racing up the canyon

Whitney Portal is one of the busiest trailheads in the Sierra Nevadas and is most often hiked by those going the full distance.  Our 5-miler round-trip began at 8365 feet with a 1500 foot elevation gain to Lone Pine Lake, a far cry from the 6100 foot gain required to summit.  It is a well-maintained trail and a hike that we highly recommend if you are in the area.

Terry enjoying an amazing view to the desert floor below

Although our time here was cut short, we soaked in a lot of natural beauty and enjoyed a breathtaking hike, sharing some good times with friends along the way.  It’s no wonder we are bidding a sad farewell to this magical place.

Lenticular cloud above the Alabama Hills ~ “Sierra Wave”

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