Sunday, October 13, 2013

Hiking In A Winter Wonderland



Our goal was Lone Pine Lake, a three mile hike along the Mt. Whitney Trail. Beyond the lake you need a permit, even for day hiking. That is if there was anyone checking for permits. From the Alabama Hills it appeared that much of the snow from a few days ago had melted except for the higher elevations, but as we drove up Whitney Portal Road we were surprised at how much remained. The parking lot doesn’t get much sun.

Mt. Whitney Trail to Lone Pine Lake

Whitney Portal: A mere 11 mile hike to the summit of Mt. Whitney.


Debbie, Dave, Mary and Jim, hoping we can make it just three miles with all the snow.


Luckily, the sunny, exposed parts of the trail were dry.


But as we climbed higher and higher and got deeper into the forest the trail was covered in snow, slush, and ice. We were all glad to have hiking poles to help keep us upright.




The scenery on this trail was great last week when Jim and I were here, but with the snow it was simply spectacular. It took us a few hours to get to the lake since we did lots of stopping for photos.

The only wildlife we saw were many Clark’s nutcrackers gathering seeds from pinecones for the long winter ahead. I read that each bird buries thousands of seeds and remembers most of the locations where they stashed them.






We’ve hiked to some outstanding lakes these past few months in the Eastern Sierra, but with the snow, this had to be one of the most scenic.



We found a sunny spot across the lake on the rocks for lunch.


Then walked up behind the lake to a higher point at 9985’. We started at just under 8,300’ at the trail head so it was a pretty good climb.


Reflections in the lake from above.


We were losing our sun to the mountains and it was getting quite cold, so it was time to head back.

Lone Pine, Alabama Hills, CA

We capped off the day with a big night out on the town in Lone Pine: Dinner at Pizza Factory and dessert at McDonalds! It was a great day with friends.

Please check back later on David’s blog Marking Our Place, and Mary’s blog Marygardners Weblog, for photos of our hike from the pros.


  1. Don't sell yourself short, your photos are stunning! I continue to follow you guys daily. Love your Blog!

    1. Thanks Joan. We continue to be impressed with your bicycling adventures.


  2. WOW!! What a fantastic hike. The scenery is awesome.

    Not sure I can hike in the snow, but what a wonderful opportunity to see the area in an entire new season.

  3. Your photos are amazing. Makes us want to be there!

  4. Hello! We just arrived in Alabama Hills today. I found your site but no one was around. We'll try to stop by later to say hello!

    1. We went downtown for the big parade.


    2. So sorry we missed you. I was hoping to stop by again today, but we ended up deciding to leave this morning. We're trying to get to Memphis in time for my college reunion at the end of next week, so we decided to get some miles behind us. Hopefully we'll have another chance to meet somewhere else along the road!

  5. I don't need the pros for better photos! Wow! Those are amazing pictures. That little lake was well worth all the tries. I agree that the snow sure adds to the beauty. We loved hiking in the snow in Rocky Mountain NP in June. It adds to the adventure:)

    Boy, I am so missing the west. So glad you are having such a wonderful time hiking. Keep those pictures coming!! Thanks for sharing:)

  6. This is beautiful. Thank you for a wonderful summer of pictures.

  7. That's awesome you made it to the lake with the snow! Wonderful photos of the stunning scenery!

  8. You guys are starting to get the hang of this hiking thing when snow no longer deters :)) You are candidates for a nice little house in Lovely Ouray :)
    Stunning photos!!!!
    Box Canyon Mark

  9. Beautiful photos. The lake sure adds to the scenic beauty of the area. This is something we will never see with our own eyes so really enjoyed seeing it through yours.