Me and a friend of mine are thinking of doing the longer west fork hike, from FR 231 to 89A, I have heard that it is 13 to 14 miles. We are fairly new hikers, not in perfect shape, but athletic, and fairly confident in our abilities. We have not done a hike that long berfore, but we did about a 6 to 7 mile round trip at the pumphouse wash last weekend and it was all boulders and scrambling. We enjoyed it, I don't think it was a beginner's hike, but we handled it well, and we could have hiked for several more hours. We hiked for about 5 and 1/2 to 6 hours. That being sad, I am wondering if anyone could tell me anything about the West Fork hike, any advice? How difficult is the entire hike? What time do we need to start? How much water is necessary to bring? Or any other details that would be helpful, type of shoes, poison ivy, amount of swimming and wading, things to bring, etc. .....things like that? I heard there was a shuttle that will take you to FR 231 after you park. We met a couple at the Pumphouse that told us there was a shuttle, and they said it took them 10 hours to hike, with sufficient breaks. Any other good hikes that anyone could recommend, anything in cooler weather? Anything you could tell me would be very helpful.
Thanks, God bless,