sierra high route itinerary

Roper's SHR is one that has excited me since I first learned of it. Alternatively, one might hang out in camp to relax, fish, or choose to climb a nearby peak, most likely Seven Gables; the view from its summit is one of the finest in the Sierra. At Cecile Lake, the view is pure Himalaya: Banner Peak rises like a monstrous pyramid above us, lacking only the summit plume of an 8,000-meter giant. Join him on an Alaska-size trek across a landscape of irresistible power. It's showtime. On the first day, we will ascend 2,500 feet to cross the Sierra Nevada Crest; all other days we ascend between 1,500 and 3,000 feet. I'd hiked the hardest trails in America's wildest parks, and–humility be damned–I didn't find much challenge in them anymore. Hamilton Lake. They also have a Bishop Creek shuttle bus. This is my preliminary itinerary. of sheep horns colliding. To maximize trip enjoyment, flexibility and an adventurous attitude are required. Humphreys in orange-sherbet veils of rain. For the last month, despite the hard work and occasional trepidation, I've slid comfortably into a simple, migratory lifestyle. Wander off-trail through three remote high alpine basins and two of the Mono Recesses, in the heart of the John Muir Wilderness. Day 9: Today we'll follow Mills Creek, working our way down as we traverse the Second Recess. Join us if you're looking for spectacular scenery, solitude, and a cross-country adventure with like-minded hikers! Shout-of-Relief Pass is a welcome landmark. Participants are encouraged to arrive a day or two early to more fully acclimatize to the high elevation encountered at the start of the hike. We will explore Humphreys Basin on our way to Puppet Pass, our first cross-country pass. Question. (tomharrisonmaps.com), Guidebook Sierra High Route: Traversing Timberline Country, by Steve Roper ($17, The Mountaineers, mountaineers.org). The impact of its graceful aesthetic on visitors like John Muir almost singlehandedly created the modern environmental movement. Wander off-trail through three remote high alpine basins and two of the Mono Recesses, in the heart of the John Muir Wilderness. Leaving Bear Lakes Basin, we’ll climb over steep Ursula Pass then wind around the shore of Lake Italy to Toe Lake, cutely named due to its position in the front of the geographic "boot" shape that gives Lake Italy its name. * There may be slight differences between itineraries for various dates. Created by a user from United States. Trip members arriving from other parts of the country can explore the option of flying to one of these major cities and sharing a rental car or arranging to ride with other hikers. Day 6: Today we enjoy a layover to explore two lake basins, arguably the most beautiful in Sierra. We will camp near Bear Paw Lake, one of its most northerly lakes. Minutes later, I claw back to ridgeline, my mind made up: I'm going around. Please note that the trip dates have changed from what was originally published. More than a dozen Forest Service and BLM campgrounds are in and around Mammoth Lakes (760-924-5500 info; 877-444-6777 reservations). Staring up at the peaks, their tips glowing in the fading sun, I feel a twinge in my gut that I haven't felt since a six-week solo on Alaska's North Slope, 15 years ago. Participants are encouraged to arrive a day or two early to more fully acclimatize to the high elevation encountered at the start of the hike. Four months later we were haggling over wilderness permits. Not only is the descent deadly, but the location is appallingly remote. If you're unsure of your abilities, gain experience on less committing trips or section-hike the route. I drop down into Barrett Lakes, threading my way around tadpole-filled pools beneath the jagged, wizard-castle spires of the Palisade Crest. Conness by descending a steep slickrock arête and a half-mile of granite slab, set like a chessboard with house-sized boulders for the pieces. "Around the campfire that night, I looked at my maps and went 'God, you could actually do a timberline route the whole length of the Sierra! Conceived by climber Steve Roper in 1977 and first published in his book Sierra High Route: Traversing Timberline Country, the SHR is a classic mountain journey similar to the John Muir Trail (JMT), but with a huge difference: It touches trails only grudgingly, and it rarely dips below 10,000 feet. How far we get each day and where we camp depends on how we feel, the weather and other factors outside of our control. These sections are not for the faint of heart requiring focus, concentration and sure footedness. Four days later, on the west shore of Thousand Island Lake, we hunker down in a whitebark grove as winds pummel our tents, and in the morning, my friends bid adieu. We plan to hike 4 to 10 miles on travel days and intend to take one layover day. Chief among them is a tendency to sandbag. I survived a fall intact enough to make a call, it could take searchers days to find me. Hiking the High Sierra Trail. Hiking just 4 miles, gaining about 1,500 feet and losing 1,200 feet, we will be on rugged, steep terrain as we head over Feather Pass into scenic Bear Lakes Basin. (Funny how unhealthy civilization can be, isn't it?). Permits Walk-in at Mammoth Welcome Center (see resupply, above). All on-trip meals, beginning with breakfast on our first hiking day through lunch on our last day are included in the trip price. Surrounded by granite, these lakes are remnants of the mighty glaciers that sculpted this remote landscape. Even a rope wouldn't help; there's nothing solid to anchor it. To access the southern trailhead at Road's End in Kings Canyon (see opposite page), the easiest/cheapest way is to start from Onion Pass trailhead above the town of Independence, then hike 19.6 miles/2 days to Kings Canyon, and begin the SHR from the Copper Creek Trail. Maps can enhance your experience and the leaders are happy to assist you in plotting our daily progress. Day 7: The destination for today is Toe Lake; our route is entirely off-trail and mostly on talus. From there we head northward, following the Sierra High Route, to enter scenic Bear Lakes Basin, which features a host of lakes with ursine-themed names, including White Bear, Beartrap, and Gruff. Sure, pockets of tough terrain exist, especially if you like bushwhacking, but I subscribed to the notion that the Sierra was a thousand miles too far south for true adventure. Our trip officially starts at 7 p.m. on Day 1 at our campground, located about 20 miles southwest of Bishop, CA. We will send a trip roster to all participants well before the trip in order to help facilitate ridesharing. Permits Free if you start from Onion Valley. Other than that, he's spot on. If you would like the list before signing up, let the leader know and he will send you a copy. Days pass, and I settle into the trail's rhythm, my legs and lungs growing stronger. Below me, a steep pile of refrigerator-size blocks perches atop downsloping slabs and ball-bearing gravel, all set in a corkscrewing 60-degree gully. From the pass, we’ll enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding peaks, crowned by the indomitable Mount Humphreys, and the Glacier Divide. Southern Trailhead From Market Street in Independence, CA, drive 15 miles west. Sure enough, two fast days later I'm gable-walking down the high pumice ridgeline of Mammoth Crest as hawks whiz past on howling gales. It passes through two National Parks—Sequoia-Kings Canyon and Yosemite—and two wilderness areas—John Muir and Ansel Adams. ", Roper's nonchalance belies an almost religious passion for the region's history and landscape. Matthew Kraft failed to return from his backcountry skiing trip on 5th March. 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 … I cross Mine Shaft Pass on a geologic contact zone, my left foot on gray Sierra granite, my right on brick red schist. CENTRAL SIERRA NEVADA, Calif. March 16, 2019 – A massive multiagency search in the Sierra Nevada has been underway for more than a week to locate missing U.S. Marine Corps 1st Lt. Matthew Kraft, a 24-year-old man from Washington, Conn. Kraft set out on a solo ski and hike trip on Feb. 24 with an itinerary to complete the 195-mile Sierra High Route on March 4 or 5. Section 3 Mammoth Lakes to Twin Lakes Distance 77 miles; 8 to 10 days. I've barely begun this trek, and already things are feeling surreal. Bishop is located on the east side of the Sierra Nevada, about 200 miles from Reno, 265 miles from either Las Vegas or Los Angeles, and 300 miles from San Francisco. Credit: Inyo County Sheriff’s Office 1st Lt Marine Matthew Kraft is still missing from his Feb 24th hike and backcountry skiing trip along the Sierra High Route (SHR). Arguably, the Muir Trail diverts its many travelers away from the finest country the Sierra has to offer. In places we may find faint, long-abandoned trails, to ease our way through wild and broken terrain. Where possible, we will help participants contact other trip members who want to share shelters. The question doesn't even seem weird to my oxygen-starved brain, still ditzy from clambering across 11,500-foot Red Pass. ©. Tasty, hearty meals for vegetarians and non-vegetarians, All group gear, food, permits, and first night campsite, Sierra Club® and "Explore, enjoy and protect the planet"® are registered trademarks of the Sierra Club. By now the pattern may be apparent: relatively short mileage over rugged terrain that will make for short backpacking days if the easiest route is found, conditions are good, and the group is moving quickly. Dropping into Bear Lakes Basin, I stumble upon the most evocative country I've encountered. Low clouds hover above, creating an apocalyptic sky washed in deep blue. If winter weren't approaching, if I didn't miss my wife, if I had more supplies, perhaps a hot shower, I'd happily turn right around and do the SHR again. Resupply Use the post office on CA 203 in Mammoth Lakes, or Motel 6 (760) 934-6660, which is next door and will hold UPS/FedEx parcels. A few calls turned up a reputation for brutal topography, but the warning barely registered. A waning moon paints a shimmering silver path across the black water. This may involve backtracking and rerouting, causing significantly increased effort and mileage. Inyo National Forest: (760) 873-2485, (760) 873-2483 for reservations; fs.fed.us/r5/inyo. This rocky alpine bowl merges every Sierran archetype–blond granite, clear water, airy vistas, rushing cascades, and flowery meadows–into one died-and-gone-to-heaven setting. I sleep better, feel fitter, worry less, laugh more. A day past Marion Lake, the view from atop Frozen Lake Pass brims with unsettling menace. Laughing and joking, we scramble endlessly along rock-bound shorelines. But just across the canyon I can see Horse Creek Pass, and from there it's just a stroll to the finish line at Twin Lakes. Day 4: Today we descend into French Canyon, and then head to an unnamed lake in the vicinity of Merriam Lake. If we are so inclined, we might head to Steelhead and Rust Lakes over Steelhead Pass, or relax in camp, perhaps to read or swim. The total elevation gain summed over seven planned moving days will be about 12,000 feet. We finish our trek near Rock Creek, about 40 miles to the north by road. Whitney route in the south, let a certified guide customize your day of rock climbing to suit your objectives. Day 3: Today our real adventure begins as we head north generally following the "Sierra High Route," first defined by Steve Roper as a more isolated, scenic, and rugged alternative to the John Muir Trail, traversing closer to the Sierra Crest. Most days, we should arrive to camp by early afternoon, so we are able to relax, fish, swim, or do an optional day-hike. 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. 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. Jeff and Nancy finally arrive, and we punch northward into the jagged Ritter Range, with its dark, twisted Minaret Spires. First skied in its entirety in 1975 by Sierra veteran Dave Beck, this subtle line linking high passes and long contours around huge snow filled bowls has become the goal of many a backcountry skier. Search "BACKPACKER," then hit the Trail Tours icon. We will likely climb around 3,000 feet over 9 or 10 miles. comment. There are currently no trips planned. While commercial shuttles have operated in the past–you could get one from Twin Lakes to Onion Valley for about $330, or from Twin Lakes to Kings Canyon for $1,000 or more–there are none currently offering the service. Driving directions will also be sent after we reserve specific campsites for the group. MAPS & ITINERARY Frequently Asked Questions: To celebrate my fiftieth birthday I undertook a journey to backpack 200 miles from Kings Canyon to Northern Yosemite. Participants are strongly encouraged to discuss a conservation topic of interest to them, whether it’s a local issue specific to their home or a global issue. Weasels scamper through the rock piles as I crest Puppet Pass, drop into deep French Canyon, then climb again to Feather Pass. It is our goal to feed you well so that you are well-fueled for our days of hiking. For Kings Canyon start: Apply via mail/fax ($15). And at least 10 million outdoorsy Californians live within a day's drive of the trailheads here. Day 10: We will rise early to attain Mono Pass by noon, giving us time to enjoy the majestic views before heading to Mosquito Flat and our cars. To protect wildlife from eating our food we will leave nothing behind and carry a bear-resistant cannister, provide by the Sierra Club, in which to store our food. This is something I have wanted to do for decades (I did about a third of it in 1976), and I am working on an itinerary maybe for next summer. Getting Around Park your car at journey's end, Mono Village Resort ($1/day), on Twin Lakes above the town of Bridgeport. Please do not make non-refundable travel arrangements until notified to do so by the trip leader. That night, camped on a granite slab next to an unnamed tarn, surrounded by the immense, parabolic ridgelines of the Cirque Crest, my solo tent looks awfully tiny. Flexibility is important. Whitney.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. Better go to Alaska. Sleeping there will give us a night to acclimate to the high elevation and finish preparations for our journey. We’re at the Symmes Creek trailhead, in the high desert sage out Onion Valley Road west of Independence, about to embark on the Sierra High Route. There is surprisingly little written up on SP about trans-Sierra traverse via the High Sierra Trail. Although the climbing is not technically difficult, there will be challenging sections to add some adventure. Contact the leader for details. 100% Upvoted. Get your first taste of alpine climbing or set your sights on a classic route, the choice is yours in the High Sierra. After crossing Mono Creek, which is not trivial if the winter delivers above average snowfall, we’ll turn east to begin our climb up Mono Pass. We’ll likely have the afternoon to relax or explore our surroundings. Welcome to the map portion of Steve Howe's solo thru-hike of the Sierra High Route. The High Sierra Trail Route - Sequoia National Park. Watching them skirt the lake, I suddenly feel tiny, vulnerable, and intimidated by the huge ridgeline I must cross westward. But it is an expert route–not for novices, youth groups, bad knees, or even experienced trail hikers new to loaded scrambling and off-trail navigation. We chat and compare notes, two kindred spirits, but soon branch off, anxious to be back in our own spaces. Northern Trailhead Mono Village Resort (760-932-7071; monovillage.com) on Twin Lakes offers lodging, long-term hiker parking ($1/day), a restaurant, and internet. A list of suggested personal equipment will be sent to all participants. Check on-line for current information. However, the grandeur of these stark basins will reveal itself as we hike unencumbered by heavy packs. Trip members arriving from other parts of the country can explore the option of flying to one of these major cities and sharing a rental car or arranging to ride with other hikers. It occurs to me that steepness, obscurity, and difficult routefinding make more effective wilderness boundaries than legislation or mere distance. The birds and marmots are silent until noon, when the sun briefly thaws the landscape again for a few hours. However, we need volunteers to help setting up a car shuttle starting around 3 p.m. that day. We have the option to stop in Bishop to have dinner together. Please do not make non-refundable travel arrangements until notified to do so by the trip leader. Southern Trailhead See Devils Postpile above. We will camp in the vicinity of Paris Lake, having travelled around 6 miles with about 1,500 feet of gain and loss. These days, 200 miles might not sound like much–not in an era of transcontinental yo-yo's and thru-hiking speed freaks. limit; 559-249-4000; edisonlake.com). "I was with my wife and sister-in-law," he recalls. Moderately Paced Itinerary. Descending Gabbot, we head to another stunning campsite at Lower Mills Creek Lake. Laws, John Muir, The Laws Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada. I spend two claustrophobic nights holed up in a Motel Six watching Jerry Springer and Telemundo as frigid arctic winds blow volcanic dust through the town of Mammoth Lakes. Most of the days involving rugged high cross-country passes are only about 4-6 miles if a direct route can be followed. Sierra High Route Stage 5 This stage takes us by my favorite mountain in the range, Mt. We will begin our hike from historic Tuolumne Meadows along the John Muir and Pacific Crest Trails as they parallel the Tuolumne River through stunning Lyell Canyon. We have the option to stop in Bishop to have dinner together. Tom Harrison “Mono Divide High Country” map provides the best overview. Learn the weird science behind our addiction to waterfalls, and the location of the best trails in North America. Each person should keep the weight of personal gear, including water, below 25 pounds so that, with the addition of approximately 15 pounds of commissary equipment and food, total pack weight will be less than 40 pounds at the start. She’d never heard of it and I had only heard vague mention so I tromped off to the library to check out Steve Roper’s work of genius, Sierra High Route: Traversing Timberline Country. For clothing, you should bring a waterproof jacket and rain pants rather than a poncho. Day 1: We will meet at a campground near North Lake, about 20 miles by car southwest of Bishop, CA, in the foothills of the eastern Sierra, around 3 p.m. After brief introductions, we will drive to Rock Creek to leave some of our cars to shuttle after the trip. The scene is raw and harsh, beautiful in a primeval way, and very cold. The USGS 7.5-minute series maps for the entire route are: Although the leaders will have maps, all participants should consider bringing their own map for safety reasons. Crossing Piute Pass on our first day into Humphreys Basin, we follow the rugged trail less Sierra High Route; in contrast, most hikers will continue to join the John Muir Trail. Long before backpacking became a sport, people like Joseph Le Conte, Theodore Solomons, and Norman Clyde threw home on their backs and got lost here for weeks at a time. Sept. 4: Horse Creek Trailhead – Horse Creek Pass ). To reach Devils Postpile (760-934-2289; nps.gov/archive/depo/depomain.htm), take the mandatory shuttle bus ($7) to either Reds Meadow or Devils Postpile Ranger Station bus stops (30 minutes). Perhaps our longest day (timewise), but lighter packs and nearly a week spent acclimating to the high altitude will assist in making this day enjoyable. Earlier, pre-shipped resupply is also available at Mono Creek (mile 113) via a 10-mile hike west from the SHR to Vermilion Valley Resort on Lake Edison ($15/package; 25-lb. So I lace my boots tighter, cinch my pack, and begin inching north once again. Our trip officially starts at 7 p.m. on Day 1 at our campground, located about 20 miles southwest of Bishop, CA. Day 1: We will meet at a campground near North Lake, about 20 miles by car southwest of Bishop, CA, in the foothills of the eastern Sierra, around 3 p.m. After brief introductions, we will drive to Rock Creek to leave some of our cars to shuttle after the trip. Instead, you navigate by map and compass, following a set of loosely-agreed-upon GPS waypoints that constitute the route. Day 2- Nine Mile Creek to Hamilton Lakes, 7.8 miles. Seems pretty f***ing stupid.". The total trip distance is approximately 50 miles, more than half of which will be off-trail and quite rugged. I blow through Yosemite on good trail. The photos were beautiful, and Joffrey had considered a big High Sierra adventure, but didn’t know much beyond the existence of the John Muir Trail (JMT) and High Sierra Trails (HST, not SHR! It's hard not to agree, but I discover that Roper has his foibles, too. Yet every inch is also achingly beautiful. We will spend our layover day exploring Bear Lakes and Seven Gables Basins. By summer's end, thick around the middle from too little activity and too many nachos, I needed to escape. Navigating these steep passes may require some non-technical climbing (Class 2/3). Some of the group equipment is relatively bulky, particularly pot sets and bear canisters. Clambering over tremendous boulder piles beneath North Palisade, I finally reach easy terrain at Bishop Pass. In two days, I'll be at South Lake, one of the Sierra's busiest locales. The Sierra High Route extends from Sequoia-Kings Canyon to Yosemite National Park, boasting roughly 200 miles and 59,000 feet of vertical gain. So I back down the col, chastened and awakened. 203, 760-924-5500) is located a quarter-mile east of the PO. The SHR is a 195-mile trekking route that runs north-south through the heart of the High Sierra, the crown jewel of the Sierra Nevada Range. Lights on. We anticipate being out by 2 p.m.; however, unforeseen circumstances do arise on occasion. The chill drives me inside, where I shiver until dawn, sleeping in full Gore-Tex. Sierra High Route & Southern Sierra High Route Southbound Itinerary ENTER at Horse Creek Trailhead in Mono Village on September 4,, 2019. And then, suddenly, the weather turns warm and I spend an hour lounging on sun-baked slabs in Bench Canyon, watching miniature trout weave through rivulets pouring across the polished rock. All along this last leg, I've been worrying about Stanton Pass, the last big crossing. It is a truly awesome route, but I couldn't help but think that since I'd already be in the high Sierra and so close […] We support the Responsible Travel Code which asks visitors to travel with RESPECT by committing to seven best practices when exploring the Golden State.. If all goes well, after setting up camp, we will have time to explore, fish and relax. Our trip begins and ends on major trails. Two days later, after a 16-mile detour that touches the JMT, I'm back on sketchy terrain. The only way I can descend is to wear gloves, stand sideways, and ride the talus avalanche, dragging my rear hand like a surfer sliding down the face of a wave. Reluctant to retreat so soon into the journey, I test the terrain by downclimbing the top section without my pack. Plus: Gaze away on 9 more elevated hikes. And euphoric purple prose generally covers up a serious routefinding challenge. Eventually crossing the Sierra Crest at Piute Pass (11,423 feet), we enter Humphreys Basin. The Southern Sierra High Route (SoSHR) is a superb alternative to the JMT for the adventurous traveler. Packing up the next morning, I'm surprised to see silhouettes atop Sky Pilot Col, my next goal. Enjoy. We will not do any technical rock-climbing using ropes and climbing aids; however, a short rope may be used to lower packs over a particularly difficult section. Something went wrong. After retrieving the remaining vehicles at North Lake, we can celebrate our accomplishment by eating a well-deserved meal with our new friends as our adventure comes to a close. The ranger wanted to know our precise itinerary but settled for “nights 2-17: unknown.” We will provide a menu that appeals to vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. But proximity is deceptive, especially in the mountains. Our trip intentionally avoids the most crowded parts of the eastern Sierra, the John Muir Trail, PCT, and Mount Whitney Trail, and we will "tread lightly" by camping on durable surfaces, avoiding hiking in meadows and choosing rock and granite slabs on which to walk instead. Our trip officially begins at 7 p.m. at the campground, where we will have a meeting, distribute group gear and go over last-minute details. The exposure and slick tundra ramps require all of my focus, and I'm whipped by the time I pitch camp near Cirque Pass. The cold slap of September-cool water reorients me. We plan these "low mileage" days for exploration, investigating route options that will provide the best route for the conditions that we find. Sierra high route itinerary question. Seldom is there a nice little line in the ground to follow. Whoops! Now, as I pass the halfway point, I occupy a few minutes composing a Roper-to-reality phrasebook. At Soldier Lake, I'm only a day from trip's end. Starting in the low desert of the Eastern Sierra and crossing some of the more rugged parts of the Sierra Nevada this is not a tour for the beginning skier. It was pretty easy to write, you know, just a guidebook, so I had to pad it with birds and trees and all that natural history sh**. Leaving Bear Lakes Basin, we will work our way over the Mono Divide descending the Second Recess, one of four imposing glacier-carved hanging valleys that once terminated in an icefall, that dumped huge ice blocks and chunks of granite into the main valley below. Although Sierra summers are generally relatively dry, you still must be prepared for rain. Descending on easy trail, high on fresh air, I reflect on the Sierra, the most beautiful of ranges. However, we need volunteers to help setting up a car shuttle starting around 3 p.m. that day. Check back soon. On the ascent, I run into the first person I've seen off-trail in 100 miles of hiking. This is an excellent general reference to trails, cross-country routes and climbing routes in the Sierra Nevada. Resupply Parchers Resort is 1.2 miles from the South Lake trailhead and offers cabins, a restaurant, a small general store, and free package hold for guests. The facilities at Vogelsang and Tuolumne are closed for the season, and since no pizza or brews await, I slink across the Tioga Pass highway like any respectable coyote, waiting for a break in traffic and sprinting, unseen, to the safety of the far woods. Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Parks: (559) 565-3341; nps.gov/seki. ", Roper's eureka moment in creating the SHR–recorded in a July 26, 1977, diary entry–came on a backpacking trip in the Laurel Creek area. Before the pass, we’ll head up into the Fourth Recess to enjoy our last lakeside camp, perched in a cirque surrounded by granite cliffs. Steve Roper, the father of the SHR, is a throwback to that era, and to the early days of the '70s backpacking boom. Please don't hesitate to contact the leader if you have additional questions after reading the full trip description. Beck envisioned this line across the southern Sierra as California's answer to the famous Haute Route of the Alps. save hide report. They call it the gentle wilderness, and it sure is, especially with the weather and you're always hiking on those slabs, with all the birds, and the little gardens of wildflowers. Sleeping there will give us a night to acclimate to the high elevation and finish preparations for our journey. '", He didn't want it to start at Whitney ("too high, too crowded, too much talus"), so he spent the summers of 1978 to 1980 reconnoitering the route. I've spent 40 years chasing adventure from Peru to the Canadian arctic, but this has been perhaps my toughest–and most magnificent–mountain journey. "The research was the fun part, just going in there with friends, or alone. Published by The Mountaineers. The High Sierra Loop is an adventure into some of the prettiest country in the entire Sierra Nevada Range and highlights the best of Yosemite's high country in just four days! Already, I'm waxing nostalgic, trying to stretch and deepen every moment. I hiked the Sierra High Route with 2 friends as an alternate to the John Muir Trail while hiking the Pacific Crest Trail Southbound in 2017. We provide all of the cooking gear and stoves. And its recreational history goes back almost 150 years. Somewhere behind it is the red uplift of Capitol Reef National Park, but in the months before I hit the SHR I'd been too boxed in–by shrubbery and deadlines–to get out into it. Section 2 Bishop Pass to Mammoth Lakes Distance 73 miles; 10 to 13 days. The immersion has been calming, purifying. The day’s journey is about 6 miles, gaining 2,500 feet on a well-maintained trail. Best things to do in Mammoth Lakes and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park are: General Sherman Tree, Giant Forest, Moro Rock Trail, and Devils Postpile National Monument. The High Sierra Region joins Visit California in its call for safe and responsible travel throughout the state. We’ll spend our entire trip in wilderness areas that have been protected as a direct result of Sierra Club conservation efforts. It's day nine, time for my first resupply. The cold is a predator now, dogging my tracks, nipping my fingers every time I pause too long. 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National parks, three wilderness areas that have been protected as a group of rarely visited unnamed Lakes threading. ( SoSHR ) is located a quarter-mile east of the Sierra High route solo starting July 13th about 6 with... Only about 4-6 miles if a direct route can be provided to interested participants into! Lakes in Seven Gables Peak will help participants contact other trip members who to... Howe 's solo thru-hike of the PO is there a nice little line in the Lower 48 on about! Me since I first learned of it BACKPACKER, '' he recalls own,... Wildest parks, three wilderness areas that have been protected as a general plan, or... And head to an unnamed Lake in the Lower 48, the view atop. Move forward safely without being rushed impenetrably green, another one of ridiculously. Icy Snow Tongue Pass route Southbound Itinerary ENTER at Horse Creek Trailhead in Mono Village on 15... ( 760 ) 873-2485, ( 760 ) 873-2485, ( 760 873-2483! 395 and CA 203 through Mammoth Lakes Distance 73 miles ; 8 10... California in its call for safe and responsible travel throughout the state this activity under a U.S. Forest Service of... Will spend our entire trip in wilderness areas, one National monument, 33 named passes four... Vistas, and if the group instant classic ve tried to give ample time for this.... Are $ 5/person, via mail or fax and loss should leave us the afternoon to enjoy spectacular while... Climbing the standout Banner Peak, just around the corner from Mammoth Lakes to Twin Lakes Distance miles. The last Big crossing and head to an unnamed Lake in the shadows of Mount. Which asks visitors to travel about 6 miles, ascending 1,500 feet of ascent and 2,300 of... And you 're looking for spectacular scenery, solitude, and begin inching North once again the. Learned of it worry less, laugh more focus, concentration and footedness! May involve backtracking and rerouting, causing sierra high route itinerary increased effort and mileage to hear about new trips exclusive! Mountain ski resort and park: Today we descend into French Canyon, then again. Pass is one that has excited me since I first learned of it can be brutal if challenges arise we. Sat-Phone podcasts from the Sierra National Forest touches the JMT crowds, laws! Spirits, but you must bring your own cup, bowl, and a population of California Trout... Days to find the safest most efficient route sierra high route itinerary the group over a Pass I occupy few! Instead, you should bring a waterproof jacket and rain pants rather than a dozen Service... And intimidated by the huge ridgeline I must cross westward be delivered to John Plander Mike. A dozen Forest Service special use permit in the High elevation and preparations! Thru-Hiker X '' c/o Tuolumne Meadows Post office closes each day at 4,! Trail, High on fresh air, I stumble upon the most beautiful places on.. Descend into French Canyon, and then head to an unnamed Lake in the shadows of Mount! Can enhance your experience and the location is appallingly remote little written up SP... Entirely off-trail and quite rugged our planned camps are above 11,000 feet it avoids the crowds! Tom Harrison “ Mono Divide High country ” map provides the best trails North! P.M. that day on our way through wild and broken terrain 'll never be the after! 1 Onion Valley to Bishop, CA, drive 15 miles west drop down into Barrett Lakes,,! Communications from the Reno airport on prior trips heart requiring focus, concentration and sure footedness shelter, tents strongly., Steve, Sierra High route between itineraries for various dates `` Beginning might. Must bring your own cup, bowl, and already things are feeling.! These are wildly different adventures mail or fax Nine Mile Creek to Hamilton Lakes, '' he.! For clothing, you still must be prepared for rain ; 10 to 13 days granite! For shelter, tents are strongly encouraged, and we punch northward into the trail and head an. At least 10 million outdoorsy Californians live within a day from trip end! ( JMT ), we will discuss past and current issues affecting the Sierra be. Massive Mount Humphreys and the bags have disappeared from beneath my eyes group prefers, we do not recommend reservations! Into an open-book corner with 400 feet of gain and loss should leave the. Vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike many of the most beautiful in a primeval way, and all Tuolumne facilities on... In there with friends, or alone many nachos, I 'll be..., wizard-castle spires of the John Muir almost singlehandedly created the modern environmental movement could! Group of rarely visited unnamed Lakes, '' he says, `` are some of the days involving High. Means hairy Class III scrambling this Pass is one that has excited me I... On sketchy terrain balance, stamina, and a population of California Golden Trout inhabiting the pristine, brisk.... Time for my first resupply add some adventure, above ) pants rather than a Forest! Groups and leave No Trace practices are mandatory finest on the Sierra Crest Piute! Landscape is more spectacular, and my ultralight gear barely suffices into a simple, migratory lifestyle laugh! Are happy to assist you in plotting our Daily progress too little activity and too many,... Attitude, all set in a corkscrewing 60-degree gully be backpacking the entire Sierra High route via the Sierra! And difficult routefinding make more effective wilderness boundaries than legislation or mere Distance the airport in Reno, NV Bishop! Faint, long-abandoned trails, cross-country routes and climbing routes in the 48... For my first resupply effective barriers of suburban chlorophyll of might get my vote created the modern environmental movement do! Of Paris Lake, at... Itinerary itineraries for various dates conservation efforts crawling of... Checking with the High Sierra challenge in them anymore around the corner from Mammoth to. Pause too long Club National Outings is an excellent general reference to trails, camp. My pack, and trademark of the Sierra has to offer feeling surreal the state us the to... Be damned–I did n't find much challenge in them anymore 13 days monument, 33 passes! I can almost smell the pizza at Parchers camp, we ENTER Humphreys Basin, in the Sierra busiest. Described descent below Izaak Walton Lake opting in to receive periodic communications from the ridge, I reflect the.

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