Upon arriving at your concluding trailhead, you drive their car, and they yours, to a, predetermined, meetup spot that saves you both a considerable amount of time & driving. Maintained Trail, "Trail:" High Sierra Nevada trails are professionally maintained, generally by the federal Trail Crews out of the National Forests and Parks we are hiking across, with some assistance from the State of California through the California Conservation Corps. Posts. Before reaching the Kern River Canyon, however, hikers will travel past Big Arroyo and onto the Chagoopa Plateau. Overview. The High Sierra Trail (HST) starts in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park (SEKI), travels east and eventually meets up with the John Muir Trail (JMT). The Sierra High Route (SHR) is a 195-mile trekking route that runs north-south across the heart of the Sierra Nevada Range, through Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park, John Muir Wilderness, Ansel Adams Wilderness, and Yosemite National Park. After running up the bottom of the Kern Canyon, it turns east, climbing parallel to Wallace Creek up to the junction with the John Muir Trail, 49 miles (79 km) from the starting point. Trail description of backpack route along the High Sierra Trail in Sequoia National Park. I have a vivid memory of the last time I saw this sign – yet, I don’t have any memory of the surrounding landscape, as I never really saw any of it. Whitney. Most thru-hikers setting out in late July and August, however, are saved from carrying the extra gear weight of snow spikes, or other specialized winter equipment. Fly, take a train or rent a car to get yourself to Visalia, CA. To minimize the impact that snow may have on the route, particularly at the higher elevations seen atop Kaweah Gap and Mt. Well, the shuttle isn't running this year due to COVID, and … Our guide will lay out all you need to know to plan your trip. So, instead of sitting at home wasting away on your couch, try one of these amazing High Sierra hiking trails. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/the-high-sierra-camp-loop Check out our ‘Additional Resources’ section below for a direct link to the NPS permit application. Whitney) may be snow-clogged well into July, depending on snowfall the previous winter. Maintained Trail, "Trail:" High Sierra Nevada trails are professionally maintained, generally by the federal Trail Crews out of the National Forests and Parks we are hiking across, with some assistance from the State of California through the California Conservation Corps. Viewing 2 posts - 1 through 2 (of 2 total) Author. Be sure to snap a photo of the iconic trailhead sign signifying the start of your journey! Due to the vast wilderness, present throughout much of the Sierra-Nevada Mountain Range, hiking the High Sierra Trail is one of the only ways to experience a crossing of the Western Divide. The linear nature of the trail, which leads hikers 72 miles from where they began upon completing the hike, does require extra transportation planning (see below). The High Sierra Trail (HST) is an epic 73 mile trek across the sierras ending with a Mt. Best backpacking trails in Sierra National Forest, California 396 Reviews Explore the most popular backpacking trails in Sierra National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you. This exciting documentary bounces back and forth between the modern experience of hiking the High Sierra Trail, and the early 1900’s when the trail was created. The high country (and this of course includes the climb over Mt. The High Sierra is the high heart of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, which runs south-to-north through much of the length of central and northern California. Many savvy HST hikers will forego carrying a heavy bear canister, which are recommended, or even required, for other areas of Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks and, instead, camp only at sites with food storage boxes. Home › Forums › Trails › High Sierra Trail › Guide to Hiking the High Sierra Trail – Coming Soon. On the eastern side, the mountains rise to elevations of 13,000 and 14,000 feet before plummeting into the dry lowlands of central California. Proper use of the ‘bear boxes’, located at the listed campsites above, has greatly reduced these encounters. I hiked the HST in early August 2012. Notable landmarks along the way include the Crabtree ranger station, Guitar Lake, and the Trail Crest intersection, where hikers make the final push along the 2.4-mile Mt. Solo Hiking Advice and Tips OK, so there's good reasons to go solo, things that might make it not so fun, and some trouble you can get into. Proper planning and, at least, a moderate level of fitness will give you the best chance for an enjoyable adventure. We have permits to do the HST in early September. A commitment to doing so without the use of roads, combined with the focused attention of numerous trail crews, engineers, and the Civilian Conservation Corps resulted in the opening of the High Sierra Trail in 1932. Mt. I could make another attempt at a John Muir Trail thru-hike (211 miles). Notable ascents, paired with towering forests, expansive valleys, and granite peaks at elevations over 13,000ft provide a trek full of diverse sights, sounds, and adventure! From here, you can take free park shuttles to arrive at the Crescent Meadows trailhead. It’s these moments in the outdoors that help re-energize your soul for the following week. Seasonal challenges for hikers depend on month and elevation. But there is no way through that wall. My eyes are searching in the wrong place for a trail. Plan & Go | High Sierra Trail is the ultimate guide to hiking the 72-mile route from the Giant Forest in Sequoia National Park to Whitney Portal at the base of Mt. If you do the entire hike, you’ll have to walk farther than the official length of 49 miles, because the trail ends precisely in the middle of nowhere, when it intersects the John Muir Trail. In addition to gear like tents and backpacks, you can also find some of the best brand hiking clothes for a whole lot less than you might expect. The High Sierra Trail starts in the West in the Giant Forest of the Sequoia National Park, you then hike across the mountain range to Mt. There are many ways to do this, but here are a few popular options: Arrange private shuttle transport from Whitney Portal to Lone Pine, Hire a professional driver to take you, or your car, from one trailhead to the other. Whitney is over 14,500ft. Here is what … Read More Has anyone done the High Sierra Trail in Sequoia National park solo? The linear, traversing nature of the High Sierra Trail creates, only, two main trailheads with which future thru-hikers need to familiarize. It descends into Big Arroyo, then climbs up to the Chagoopa Plateau, and drops down again into the Kern River Canyon. There’s a also a small commercial “tent camp” (really cabin camp) here, which provides bedding and food; reservations required. The High Sierra Lakes and Trails are what dreams are made of if your like hiking in the back-country or discovering some of the most beautiful natural pools of water on the earth. This is where you officially cross the Great Western Divide. Join Chris as he drives his friend John to insanity over 6 days in the Sierra Nevada. Anybody planning to spend a night in the backcountry of Sequoia National Park is required to obtain a permit. Whitney, most High Sierra Trail thru-hikes take place in the months of July and August. High Sierra Trail 2020 logistics. So even in the lower country, where trails may be clear of snow by May or June, the rivers will run high and fast. This hike offers a cross section of what makes the high Sierra so spectacular, from the giant sequoias on the western slope to the highest peaks in the 48 contiguous states. Crescent Meadow Trailhead to Big Hamilton Lake (16.6 miles, +2,000/-1,000 feet). ** From Big Arroyo Junction, excluding the trip to Moraine Lake. Whitney summit, attempt. Gil (GoHiker.com) and I hiked the High Sierra Trail June 17-22. Itinerary suggestions for moderate or strenuous trips, mileages. This is, also, where hikers get their first view of the impressive peaks forming the Western Divide, a powerful reminder of what lies ahead. Whitney in the East and finally ending at Whitney Portal just outside of Lone Pine, CA. The Mineral King area of Sequoia National Park provides access to some of the most spectacular high country in the southern Sierra. Additionally, each of the designated sites is near water and contains a bear box, installed by the park service, which makes for convenient food storage. If the Sierra’s original pathbreaker and solitude lover, John Muir, were alive today, it’s a fair bet he’d hike the Sierra High Route instead of the trail that bears his name. Trip Ideas Four Great Hikes In The High Sierra. Celebrating 30 Years Of Exploring. Upon reaching an intersection in the trail, you must decide whether a trip past Moraine Lake is worth an extra mile of travel. This approach saves you from retrieving a car left at the start. The High Sierra Trail is no less impressive but takes six to 10 days. Whitney over the coming days. Here are a few essential resources that will help make your thru-hike on the High Sierra Trail … Whitney, which is one of my favorite places and the highest summit in the contiguous United States. In the high country (above 10,000 feet), black bears are less of a problem in the early season. Whitney, which is one of my favorite places and the highest summit in the contiguous United States. Then descend the eastern side via Whitney Portal, for a total hike of about 77 miles (including the side-trip to Whitney’s summit). It’s less crowded than the more famous John Muir Trail, especially after the first 10 or 15 miles. How about a few tips and tidbits to help keep you safe when you finally decide to give solo hiking a try: Be realistic about … 5,574 Miles 8,970 Kilometers of Trail 122 Recommended Routes 49 Gems ; 172 Easy Trails ; 584 Intermediate ... 66.5 mi 107.0 km #7 High Sierra Trail. From here, the trail begins its 4,000 ft descent to the Kern River below. The High Sierra Trail is a moderate to strenuous 61.5-mile trail through Sequoia National Park. As mentioned above, the Sierra Nevada has a trail system second to none, and opportunities for Hiking and Backpacking abound. The method for doing so is determined by your expected travel dates. The elevation gain/loss is +15,531/-13,866 feet according to Paul Richins, Jr., author of Mount Whitney (2 nd Ed., The Mountaineers Books). Starting West, in Sequoia National Park and traversing east, over the Sierra’s, the HST terminates upon the highest peak in the lower 48 states, Mt Whitney. In addition to the giant sequoias, which served as the original inspiration for creating a national park, the park now included the highest elevations of the entire Sierra-Nevada Mountain Range. Whitney. The appeal of such a scenic hike, which can be completed with just a single week off from work, makes the High Sierra Trail a popular destination for backpackers. High Sierra Trail hike. Most people complete their High Sierra Trail itinerary in 6-8 days. The Long Trail (272 miles) is too far away; it’s in Vermont and I am in California. You should still know how to react, however, if you do come across one. From there, the best option is to head south another 12 miles on the John Muir Trail to its terminus atop 14,494-foot Mt. Several weeks before the start of my High Sierra trail, even before I left Melbourne for the States, I had a persistent, uncomfortable tightness in my throat. The High Sierra Trail connects the western expanses of Sequoia National Park, home to the world’s largest trees, to Mount Whitney’s impressive summit, found within the eastern Sierra. Stream crossings, narrow paths along steep gorges and avalanche chutes, sections of snow/ice, and significant changes in elevation have forced many prospective thru-hikers to turn around, unsuccessful in their traverse, or Mt. The term High Sierra applies to the alpine region above the main forest (8,000 ft +). Fleece pullover – integrated baklava and ventilation zip preferred, Optional: down-insulated jacket for cold nights, Light or midweight baselayer to sleep in – don’t hike in this or you’ll soak it with sweat, Optional: hat – sun protection can be important at high elevations, Lightweight trail runners or hiking shoes – Check out our, Optional: camp shoes – usually not necessary if you avoid hiking all day in heavy boots, ultralight guide for the benefits of minimalist shoes, Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 is our favorite, Hits the highest point within contiguous U.S. – 14,508 ft. atop Mt. The photo to the right is a perfect example of this. The High Sierra Trail has two great ascents – the first one over Kaweah Gap and the Great Western Divide, and the second over the Eastern Sierra and Trail Crest at Mt. The High Sierra Trail features almost 30 miles of hiking above 10,000 feet, and the summit of Mt. On Sept 3 - 8, I hiked solo from Crescent Meadow in Sequoia National Park to Whitney Portal on the east side of the Sierra Nevada. I followed the High Sierra Trail part of the way, but at Kaweah Gap, where the trail crosses the Great Western Divide, I left the trail and hiked cross-country northeast across Pants Pass. The Tahoe Rim Trail (165 miles) does not intrigue me for some reason. Look for the Kern Hot Springs, located fairly close to the midway point of the High Sierra Trail. Familiarize yourself with the signs, symptoms, and methods of treatment for altitude-related sickness before your hike. Sampling Of What Mountain Biking High Sierra Has To Offer From first-timers to seasoned mountain bikers, these are just a sampling of the best lift-served / shuttle accessed mountain biking High Sierra has to offer. Those 6 days in some of the most remote parts of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park blew me away with everything the Sierra has to offer - snow capped mountain ranges, sheer exposed drop offs and peaks, crystal clear alpine lakes, and lush grassy meadows. Detailed High Sierra Trail route description, provided by National Park Service, Glean transportation advice from previous hikers on this HST forum, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Trail Map, Visit hillmap.com or caltop.com for useful tools to create your own custom topographic map for the area, ‘Plan & Go-High Sierra Trail: All you need to know to complete the Sierra’s best kept secret’, by Zebulon Wallace. Everest. Even better, add an additional night of camping between 8,000-11,000ft, so that your body can acclimate. Best online, digital, and paper High Sierra backpacking topo trail maps. This final section of trail includes over 11,000 feet of elevation change, so make sure you are ready for the challenge! From this point on, the High Sierra Trail, John Muir Trail, and Pacific Crest Trail all share the same path. While the HST is a ‘trail’ in the sense that you will just be following an obvious path, there are still numerous obstacles to overcome. The High Sierra Trail (HST) is an epic 73 mile trek across the sierras ending with a Mt. Distance: 72 miles Total Elevation Gain: around 19,000ft On Sept 3 - 8, I hiked solo from Crescent Meadow in Sequoia National Park to Whitney Portal on the east side of the Sierra Nevada. It’s a steep, albeit short, ascent from the lake to reach the first of two notable crests on the trail, Kaweah Gap. If that doesn’t sound like a worthwhile endeavor, your adventurous spirit may need a serious reboot. You’ll have to arrange transportation back to the other side: A series of small airports in the eastern Sierra (at Bishop, Mammoth Lakes, and Inyokern) offers puddle-jumper flights. This hike was created by the National Park Service and was completed in 1930. This created a dilemma for, then park supervisor, John White: How to connect the two sections? Difficult. Loading ... Solo Backpacking the High Sierras With Creepy Sounds at Night - Duration: 16:50. Our plan was to leave one car at Whitney Portal, and take a one-way rental to Visalia to catch the Sequoia Shuttle into the park. Whitney summit. Backpacking the High Sierra Trail. Whitney summit. High Sierra Hiking. A traverse of the High Sierra Trail begins at Crescent Meadows trailhead, which is less than 5 miles from the General Sherman Tree, largest in the world. Swimming in Precipice Lake on a beautiful sunny day with snow on the banks is not to be missed! The Sierra High Route (SHR) or “Ropers’ High Route” was developed by Steve Roper in the 1970s. Whitney, Toothbrush, toothpaste, biodegradable soap. As a result, the trail receives considerable maintenance, making it easy to follow throughout most of the hike. The drive from San Diego to Sequoia is long. In July and August, bears are ubiquitous, and in the lower camping areas closer to major roads and entry points, tourist season equals bear season: If campers are there, so are bears. The High Sierra Trail is located within California’s Sequoia National Park and extends 72.2 scenic miles, providing the only connection between the eastern and western sections of the park. Whitney ascents. Whitney. Whether you day hike or backpack, you’ll find detailed trail descriptions of top destinations from veteran guidebook author John Soares. From the grandeur of Hamilton Lakes Basin and Precipice Lake, to the awe inspiring Big Arroyo and Kern River Valley, the High Sierra Trail is some of the best that Sequoia National Park has to offer. After summiting Whitney, you will encounter the ‘99 switchbacks’, eventually arriving at the Whitney Portal parking area, which contains a restaurant and other amenities. There’s something special about being on the trail, feeling the cool mountain air against your skin and the warmth of the sun hitting your face as you trek onward. I swam in alpine lakes, hiked through bears and rattlesnakes, dipped in hot springs, shared campsites with gorgeous does, and had one of the best times of my life. Hikers will then explore some of the most iconic sections of the trail as they traverse narrow Hamilton Gorge, soon arriving at one of the country’s most idealistic bodies of water, Precipice Lake. Most will agree that the addition of another scenic, alpine lake is well worth the nominal, mileage addition (approx. 6 Day thru-hike backpacking trip on the High Sierra Trail HST. The Sierra High Route is one of the most spectacular and challenging treks in North America. Check out the list below, provided by the National Park Service, for campsite classifications and distances for your hike: * If you take the side trip to Moraine Lake, add .8 miles (1.3 km) to all subsequent distances. Three Rivers, CA Difficult. Yosemite National Park has 5 High Sierra Camps arranged in a 49-mile loop. September 5, 2016 at 7:27 am #83353. Whitney in the East and finally ending at Whitney Portal just outside of Lone Pine, CA. July 2016. Going into our hike, I had some concerns about mosquitoes, snow, and water sources. The JMT can be followed to the summit of Mt. 23 Great High Sierra Trail Hikes Throughout the Sierra. My friend and I did High Sierra Trail to Kaweah Gap Last October and it was one of the most beautiful and exhilarating hiking and camping trips that I’ve ever done. Whitney, Beautiful, crystal-clear, glacially formed ponds and lakes, Comfortable, scenic campsites with water and food-storage boxes, Popular hike – You will see numerous other people while on the trail, particularly close to Mt. Camps vary in elevation from 7,800’ to 10,300’. Both trailheads provide ample long-term parking and, to the delight of many, The Portal has a small restaurant frequented by exhausted hikers returning from the summit. It was wonderful! In fact, there is not a single road within the entire national park boundary where this feat is accomplished. The weather was perfect, the wildflowers were incredible, the scenery was amazing, and … From Giant Forest to Whitney Portal it took me 4.5 days. Whitney is the tallest mountain in the Continental US, standing at 14,505 ft. . Solo female travel isn't a new trend—in fact, it's been happening for as long as humans have been traveling. It’s not nearly as crowded as the John Muir Trail, but it offers the same jaw-dropping (and leg-busting) mountains. Crescent Meadows parking area, located less than three miles off of Generals highway, contains the High Sierra Trailhead. Last day from Guitar Lake to Mt Whitney Portal, Sequoia National Park. Alex Silgalis. Has anyone done the High Sierra Trail in Sequoia National park solo? I love the High Sierra, but I … Whitney summit trail. The High Sierra Trail features almost 30 miles of hiking above 10,000 feet, and the summit of Mt. Posts about High Sierra Trail written by JimmyJam. Bridges have been built to span small streams and gorges, and there are clear signs posted at trail intersections. There is potential to encounter snow throughout the year, so be sure to study the latest weather patterns, and trail conditions, in the weeks leading up to your hike. The eastern terminus is found at Whitney Portal, known as the launching point for most Mt. Sequoia National Park is home to many black bears, and it is common for HST travelers to encounter one during their hike. Whitney, High elevations present altitude sickness concerns – many have had to turn back, 2 notable mountain ‘passes’ will require steep ascents of several thousand feet of elevation gain, checkCanister or liquid-feed stove – canister will be lighter, but liquid fuel works better at elevation & it will be easier to calculate and carry the exact amount of fuel, Sleeping bag rated to 30* F, or lower – nights can be cold, even in summer, Trowel & toilet paper – wag bags are required once on Mt. Difficult. Stretching approximately 195 miles (314 km) north to south through the Sierra Nevada, it is a largely off-trail affair that stays between 9,000 ft (2,743 m) and 12,000 ft (3658 m) for most of its rugged course. High Sierra Trail hike. Backpacking the High Sierra Trail takes months of planning and preparation, but it’s also a lot of fun. And a first aid kit. The trail will pass Bearpaw meadows, a popular choice for camp on night one, before continuing the push upward. The only way is over. Roadie 1,119,719 views. 1 mile). Each camp is a day’s hike from at least two other camps. Early September can, also, be a great time to experience moderate temperatures, with fewer crowds. The High Sierra Trail begins with a trailhead in Crescent Meadow of Sequoia National Park and ends up 72.2 miles later at Whitney Portal. Great Deals on 114 styles of Hiking Boots at Sierra. The High Sierra Trail (HST) starts in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park (SEKI), travels east and eventually meets up with the John Muir Trail (JMT). This 72 mile trail is stunning, and is an excellent alternative to those who can't get 3 weeks off to do the JMT. So, instead of sitting at home wasting away on your couch, try one of these amazing High Sierra hiking trails. It starts at Crescent Meadow on the western Sierra, and ends on top of Mt Whitney after meeting up with the John Muir Trail. Crystal-clear water within a bowl of ribboned granite creates a wonderful mirror-like landscape for those who find themselves along its shoreline. The trail starts at Crescent Meadow, near Visalia, California, crosses over the Great Western Divide, goes up Kern Canyon, then joins up with the John Muir Trail and Pacific Crest Trail at Wallace Creek. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Sierra High Route July 2008 A rugged 195-mile hike with over 100 miles of off-trail travel, through both idyllic sub-alpine forest and tedious talus fields. This entry will serve as a summary of our trip. For those particularly concerned, carry bear spray for extra protection. Whitney, but getting to Whitney Portal makes the total hike length 72.2 miles. Hiking the High Sierra Trail in California, Mahout for a Day: Learning to Care for and Ride Elephants in Thailand, Hiking the Abel Tasman Coast Track on New Zealand’s South Island. Starting from the western side of the High Sierra, the range gently tilts upward, reaching its highest points at the very eastern edge. The High Sierra Trail begins at Crescent Meadow in Sequoia National Park then heads up the canyon of the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River, past the majestic beauty of Hamilton and Precipice Lakes, and then traverses the Great Western Divide at Kaweah Gap 10,700 feet. Explore the myriad beautiful trails of the rugged Northern Sierra Nevada. Whitney is over 14,500ft. Shortly after beginning the ascent alongside Wallace Creek, you will arrive at an intersection with the, famed, John Muir Trail. Additional route information for all the Minarets can be found in greatest detail in RJ Secor's book, The High Sierra: Peaks, Passes, and Trails. 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