(GPS: N 36 35.290 W118 14.425)
note: above coords are for Whitney Portal.
Here is another shot of the waterfall zoomed in. One thing to notice is there is a lot of orange in these shots, but the fall colors had not really hit the area at the beginning of October of this year. Only the areas that were closest to the streams had the orange color. The green pine trees still had the pine smell and it still looked like the way I imagine the summer in the Eastern Sierra. I decided to hike the trail. You do not have to have a permit to climb to Lone Pine Lake which is about ¼ of the way up to the top of Whitney. I started around 1pm and just walked at a good pace. Although I had not hiked any serious elevations in about 2 months I did okay on this one. I had two bottles of water and a camera in my backpack.This picture above does a good job of showing what I was explaining about the fall colors. They were there, but as you can see it was still rather green. My legs were feeling the burn, but I was just taking in the air and loving every minute of it. For a few hours I felt like I was at home again in this heavenly area. I had thought my last Sierra hike ended 2 months earlier and it would be a whole year before I felt it again.
More orange. This is about the best it got on the trail for that orange color. One thing I should point out is that the skies had started to turn really gray while I was doing this hike. It never affected me in anyway since my goal was just to get to Lone Pine Lake, but it did feel like it might start raining at any time. You could not see that far into the canyon.
This mini-bridge you see here is right before the lake. It only took me about one hour and ten minutes to get to the lake.
Here is the turnoff of the main trail and I went left here down a few hundred feet to the lake. I believed that the sign was the point I had to turn back without a permit, but I could have continued walking a bit further as the permit sign is a few more minutes hike into an interesting area.