Whitney is basically between Las Vegas and Los Angeles outside the Mojave Desert in the Inyo National Forest. While you can make the trek from base camp at 8,360 ft to the summit at 14,505 ft in a single day, we got an overnight permit to break up the trip.
I actually wonder if it would have been easier to do the day trip as if you do the overnight trip, you must carry an entire day’s and night’s worth of materials up with you, which was the hardest part. You essentially climb with your overnight bag 5.5 miles the first day, then sleep at trail camp, leave your stuff, take a day pack to the remaining 5.5 miles to the summit, pack up the rest of your stuff at trail camp, and hike back down again. If you just do the day hike, you only bring what you need for that single day.
Both days were pretty tough and it’s something I can say I did, but . . . never again! On that second day, it was grueling where every step felt like a mile long. I wanted nothing more than to get to the bottom of that trail. And when I did, I could hardly walk.
After the hike, my Dad and I spent a few days in Los Angeles as I had only ever been there once, and only for a few hours. We stayed in downtown, which, while it is being revitalized, still has a ways to go. It obviously speaks to the development of the city, being so spread out, but you can tell it was neglected until recently. Still, there were definitely stretches that had a ways to go. And, I know I knew this, but it is just not a city that you could really do anything in without a car.
A few photos are below and the reaminig are on Flickr.