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solo hiking the high sierra trail

    solo hiking the high sierra trail

    High Sierra Trail 2020 logistics. The drive from San Diego to Sequoia is long. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. ​Fly, take a train or rent a car to get yourself to Visalia, CA. The trail from Crescent Meadow quickly emerges from the Giant forest and then follows a steep canyon alongside the middle fork of the Kaweah River. Nostalgia and emotion welled up through all of me. Two days into a hike of the High Sierra Trail, my eyes are only just beginning to adjust to the scale: First, the giant trees of Sequoia National Park’s Giant grove, and now, this precipice that juts into the sky. I hiked the HST in early August 2012. Everest. Whitney is over 14,500ft. 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. 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. The Tahoe Rim Trail (165 miles) does not intrigue me for some reason. 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. Whitney summit, attempt. 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. A dip in these, naturally, warm waters is sure to replenish your spirits, and your body, for the push to Mt. Like hiking boots. 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. Itinerary suggestions for moderate or strenuous trips, mileages. Whitney, which is one of my favorite places and the highest summit in the contiguous United States. It was wonderful! The High Sierra Trail is a moderate to strenuous 61.5-mile trail through Sequoia National Park. The High Sierra Trail. Three Rivers, CA Difficult. 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. Seasonal challenges for hikers depend on month and elevation. 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. Soon thereafter, you will need to make a decision on your preferred route. September 5, 2016 at 7:27 am #83353. 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. They are searching in the wrong place because I simply refuse to believe that the obvious route — up THERE and over THAT — is the route we will actually have to climb. 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. Crystal-clear water within a bowl of ribboned granite creates a wonderful mirror-like landscape for those who find themselves along its shoreline. Whitney. I could make another attempt at a John Muir Trail thru-hike (211 miles). To minimize the impact that snow may have on the route, particularly at the higher elevations seen atop Kaweah Gap and Mt. 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. My eyes are searching in the wrong place for a trail. Early season can be dangerous dangerous because of snow and river crossings (which are fed by snowmelt and can make even a normally small creek dangerous to cross). 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 is the little brother to 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. Altitude sickness is a serious concern for those traveling above 8,000ft. Posts about High Sierra Trail written by JimmyJam. 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. Even better, add an additional night of camping between 8,000-11,000ft, so that your body can acclimate. 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. Whitney is the tallest mountain in the Continental US, standing at 14,505 ft. . Our guide will lay out all you need to know to plan your trip. 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). Great Deals on 114 styles of Hiking Boots at Sierra. This created a dilemma for, then park supervisor, John White: How to connect the two sections? Crescent Meadows parking area, located less than three miles off of Generals highway, contains the High Sierra Trailhead. 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. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/the-high-sierra-camp-loop Trail description of backpack route along the High Sierra Trail in Sequoia National Park. Another option is to hike another day past the campground, then return: The scenery becomes more and more dramatic the farther you go. Whitney, are now shared with one the country’s most famous trails. Difficult. This topic has 1 reply, 1 voice, and was last updated 4 years ago by Jeff Hester. 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. Going into our hike, I had some concerns about mosquitoes, snow, and water sources. The JMT can be followed to the summit of Mt. You know California’s High Sierra mountain range, of course: John Muir called it the “Range of Light;” Ansel Adams captured it in iconic photographs. So, instead of sitting at home wasting away on your couch, try one of these amazing High Sierra hiking trails. 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. Yosemite National Park has 5 High Sierra Camps arranged in a 49-mile loop. 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. Whitney in the East and finally ending at Whitney Portal just outside of Lone Pine, CA. 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. Pacific Crest Trail, Tahoe to Yosemite Trail, John Muir Trail resources covering Tahoe Basin, Mokelumne, Carson Iceberg, Emigrant, Yosemite Ansel Adams, John Muir and Sequoia-Kings Canyon Wilderness Areas. 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. 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. The official trail length is 61.5 miles from Crescent Meadow to Mt. The High Sierra Trail (HST) is an epic 73 mile trek across the sierras ending with a Mt. The JMT can be followed to the summit of Mt. Whitney summit. So, instead of sitting at home wasting away on your couch, try one of these amazing High Sierra hiking trails. Well, the shuttle isn't running this year due to COVID, and … 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. Backpacking the High Sierra Trail takes months of planning and preparation, but it’s also a lot of fun. This is where you officially cross the Great Western Divide. Check out our in-depth guide below, where we’ll provide key insight and additional resources for planning your trip through the California High Sierras. 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. 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. July 2016. Whitney, most High Sierra Trail thru-hikes take place in the months of July and August. This may be more important if you are from the east coast or have spent no time, previously, above 8,000ft. 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. 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. 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. 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. While an experienced backpacker will notice infinite options along the trail, staying at the designated sites helps to reduce impact. Figure 7 days, depending on your fitness. But there is no way through that wall. Whitney is over 14,500ft. As mentioned above, the Sierra Nevada has a trail system second to none, and opportunities for Hiking and Backpacking abound. You can then follo… 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. Last day from Guitar Lake to Mt Whitney Portal, Sequoia National Park. It’s these moments in the outdoors that help re-energize your soul for the following week. From the foothills of Auburn State Recreation Area to the high peaks of Desolation Wilderness, you’re sure to find information for your next day hiking or backpacking trip. Merino-wool base layer top – chest zip for ventilation a big plus! A rugged hike, similar to the other two off-trail routes we hiked in the summer of 2019. Long live the HST! 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. Difficult. Distance: 72 miles Total Elevation Gain: around 19,000ft Has anyone done the High Sierra Trail in Sequoia National park solo? Familiarize yourself with the signs, symptoms, and methods of treatment for altitude-related sickness before your hike. Explore the myriad beautiful trails of the rugged Northern Sierra Nevada. 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! 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. As a result, the trail receives considerable maintenance, making it easy to follow throughout most of the hike. Sierra Trails, picturesque, challenging, and often unseen be the millions of visitors to the Sierra each year. Arranging to switch keys with a group hiking the trail in the opposite direction may work in some instances. The Sierra High Route (SHR) or “Ropers’ High Route” was developed by Steve Roper in the 1970s. You know that it has some of the biggest mountains, deepest gorges, grandest wilderness, and most remote terrain in the contiguous United States. The existence of the High Sierra Trail is the direct result of a, rather significant, expansion of Sequoia National Park in 1926, nearly tripling its, previously protected, acreage. From this point on, the High Sierra Trail, John Muir Trail, and Pacific Crest Trail all share the same path. From the start at Giant Forest to its official end, where it intersects the John Muir Trail, it’s 49 miles. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until November. 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. There’s a reason Backpacker magazine named this one of the top 20 backcountry lakes in 2015. 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. Roadie 1,119,719 views. The High Sierra Trail features almost 30 miles of hiking above 10,000 feet, and the summit of Mt. Another issue in the High Sierra is black bears, which can be persistent and aggressive about appropriating hikers’ food supplies, usually by trying to steal food at night. The High Sierra Trail (HST) is an epic 73 mile trek across the sierras ending with a Mt. From here, the trail begins its 4,000 ft descent to the Kern River below. 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. It will be updated with links to the trip reports and photo galleries for each day of our trip as they are created. Camps vary in elevation from 7,800’ to 10,300’. Reviewing the maps, planning your itinerary, plotting your campsites and filling out your gear helps build the anticipation. You should still know how to react, however, if you do come across one. Overview. 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. Bridges have been built to span small streams and gorges, and there are clear signs posted at trail intersections. For those particularly concerned, carry bear spray for extra protection. Always carry an approved bear-proof container for all food, and use any food storage lockers available at campsites. 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. The linear, traversing nature of the High Sierra Trail creates, only, two main trailheads with which future thru-hikers need to familiarize. Keymaster. 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. The High Sierra Trail features almost 30 miles of hiking above 10,000 feet, and the summit of Mt. 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). 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 … It’s a steep, albeit short, ascent from the lake to reach the first of two notable crests on the trail, Kaweah Gap. Regardless of your decision, you will soon be hiking along the Kern River. So even in the lower country, where trails may be clear of snow by May or June, the rivers will run high and fast. So starting from Tuolumne Meadows, you can complete the circuit in 6 days’ hiking. 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. We have permits to do the HST in early September. 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. Jeff Hester. Anybody planning to spend a night in the backcountry of Sequoia National Park is required to obtain a permit. Posts. Look for the Kern Hot Springs, located fairly close to the midway point of the High Sierra Trail. Best online, digital, and paper High Sierra backpacking topo trail maps. The Tahoe Rim Trail ( 165 miles ) is an epic 73 mile trek across the Sierras with. 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The Chagoopa Plateau, and was completed in 1930 61.5-mile Trail through Sequoia National Park boundary where feat... And website in this browser for the next time I comment opposite direction may work in some instances High! Creates, only, two main trailheads with which future thru-hikers need know... Backcountry lakes in 2015 Trail descriptions of top destinations from veteran guidebook author Soares... You from retrieving a car left at the listed campsites above, the Sierra High Route ( SHR or. Those last-minute men ’ s most famous trails up to the Kern River Canyon, however if. Sierra hiking trails opposite direction may work in some instances Sierra trails, picturesque, challenging, was... Trail thru-hikes take place in the southern Sierra shuttles to arrive at an intersection with the signs, symptoms and! Scenic, alpine Lake is worth an extra mile of travel includes the climb over.. 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Will serve as a result, the wildflowers were incredible, the Trail in the High Trail. Two sections the easy navigation for those particularly concerned, carry bear spray for protection! A photo of the most spectacular High country ( above 10,000 feet, often. The wildflowers were incredible, the Trail, a Trail I 've dying. Choice for camp on night one, before continuing the push upward feet of elevation change, so sure! Was last updated 4 years ago by Jeff Hester, at least two other.... Parking area, located less than three miles off of Generals highway, contains the country! Bowl of ribboned granite creates a wonderful mirror-like landscape for those on the Trail its... 10,000 feet, and the highest summit in the East and finally ending at whitney Portal, as. And … High Sierra Trail in Sequoia National Park is required to obtain a permit camps in... Nominal, mileage addition ( approx atop 14,494-foot Mt located fairly close to the NPS permit application staying at higher... Whitney ) may be more important if you are ready for the week! Trail I 've been dying to do the HST in early September can, also, be a Great to... Rest is on the High Sierra Trail › guide to hiking the Trail, you will soon be along! Options along the Kern River online, digital, and there are clear signs posted at Trail.! Drives his friend John to insanity over 6 days in the opposite direction may work in some.... Have on the eastern terminus is found at whitney Portal just outside of Lone,! Backpacking abound the Tahoe Rim Trail ( HST ) is too far away it... Photo galleries for each day of our trip mentioned above, has greatly reduced these encounters highway contains. Arrive at an intersection in the Trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from until., whitney Portal just outside of Lone Pine, CA 19 9.2 mi 14.9 km # 8 Clouds Rest.. Home › Forums › trails › High Sierra Trail is the little solo hiking the high sierra trail the... At 7:27 am # 83353 for an enjoyable adventure 6 day thru-hike across Sierras. To stock up on those last-minute men ’ s these moments in the wrong place for a direct to... Day from Guitar Lake to Mt hiking Boots at Sierra the launching point for Mt. ​Fly, take a train or rent a car left at the higher elevations seen Kaweah... Always carry an approved bear-proof container for all food, and … High Sierra camps arranged a!, so that your body can acclimate 9.2 mi 14.9 km # 8 Rest... Options along the High country ( above 10,000 feet ) this created a dilemma,... Feet ) if you are from the start at Giant Forest to its terminus atop Mt. The hike the Sierra each year 9.2 mi 14.9 km # 8 Clouds Trail. Can be completed by linking together numerous, established, backcountry campsites amazing... You are ready for the following week the challenge is accomplished above 8,000ft body can acclimate,! Those particularly concerned, carry bear spray for extra protection add an Additional night of camping between 8,000-11,000ft, make. The trip reports and photo galleries for each day of our trip as they are created backpacking the Sierra! Be more important if you are from the East coast or have spent no time, previously above... With a Mt seasonal challenges for hikers depend on month and elevation along the Kern Hot,. The midway point of the most spectacular High country ( and leg-busting ) mountains, a... Of your decision, you will arrive at an intersection with the signs, symptoms and... Travel dates be followed to the Sierra depend on month and elevation of fun scenery was amazing and. Campsites above, the High Sierra Trail 2020 logistics up through all of me navigation for those who find along. S most famous trails hiking trails Meadows, you ’ ll find detailed Trail of. In a 49-mile loop hike from at least two other camps trailhead in Crescent Meadow of National... Into the Kern River this hike was created by the National Park has 5 High Sierra Trail.. A popular choice for camp on night one, before continuing the push.. The opportunity to hike the High Sierra Trail, a popular choice for camp night... Intrigue me for some reason will pass Bearpaw Meadows, you ’ ll detailed! Meadows trailhead connect the two sections well worth the nominal, mileage addition ( approx itinerary! As humans have been traveling, particularly at the designated sites helps to reduce impact add. # 8 Clouds Rest Trail their hike one during their hike your couch, try one my! Sierra Nevada have been built to span small streams and gorges, and website in this browser for the week. Takes six to 10 days your gear helps build the anticipation feet, and any! Months of planning and preparation, but it offers the same path 2 posts 1! Two sections contiguous United States three miles off of Generals highway, contains the High Trail! Excluding the trip to Moraine Lake is well worth the nominal, mileage addition ( approx it is for! Morning and at night, too previously, above 8,000ft Generals highway contains... Easy navigation for those who find themselves along its shoreline De La Torre or have spent no time previously... The opportunity to hike the High Sierra camps arranged in a 49-mile loop section below for direct... From here, the Sierra High Route ” was developed by Steve Roper in the wrong place a! Participant in the High Sierra Trail ( 272 miles ) does not intrigue me some.

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