I was wondering which trail/route is recommended for doing this hike? Also since my group and I are all fairly unfamiliar doing big hikes like this one, I have some general questions. What time do you recommended to start the hike? Do you think cramp-ons will be necessary in October? What other essentials do you feel are necessary? How much water do you feel like one should pack? Really any advice would be great! Thank you in advance!
I have found lots of descriptions of various experiences on Pinterest, lots of detail through those posts. It depends so much on people’s abilities/previous hiking. Also, we had permits for Oct but wanted to try to hike earlier in the year. My husband kept checking the website for updates, and yesterday saw two permits for Aug 30th! Just a tip, if you wanted to hike earlier….
Hello again! We have since hiked it – not sure if you’re still looking for advice? But here’s a few thoughts – start as early as you can. It gets very exposed, and the sun can get intense. We started at 6 (stayed in a hotel about an hour away as the kids were hanging out there for the day – but lots of people camped at the trail head). 3-4 litres of water, I saw people stashing water part way. No need for crampons, but poles will be hour friend – for climbing the ash and at the top. Also, we found the lava rocks SLOW GOING – especially going down. And surprisingly tiring. Took us 8 hours, we heard average is 7-12. Having now completed all the hikes, I found this one the hardest/my legs were sorest! We were happy we brought work gloves as the rocks were rough. And the true summit is actually further to your left after getting to the top – we hadn’t realized that, and were super glad to make the extra effort. So spectacular up there!!!!! Have fun!