I would have a different recommendation, https://andrewskurka.com/backpacking-topographical-maps-types-sources-formats/. All of us have mountaineering and backcountry hiking experience; are all in very good physical shape; have spent time together on multiple trips in the past; and have no reservations about bailing out. Question though: I can hold my own navigation wise but am definitely not a pro. In fact, I’d say it may be the ugliest part of it — industrial backcountry tourism. The use of bear canisters and bear boxes has greatly reduced the problem of bears invading campsites in search of food. Cheers, There is a lottery process for reservations at the High Sierra Camps due to high demand. If you do not wish to hike the entire SHR, it is possible to do it in sections, though because the trail is so remote and because vehicle access is so limited, this is logistically difficult and often involves hiking long distances from nearby trailheads before the SHR is even reached. Do you have the cumulative elevation gain loss? I have studied your site, tips, and comments about the SHR for what seems like an eternity now. We went ultra-light with our gear, but still struggled with bear canisters and up to eight days of food. Someone recently asked me what was my favourite holiday. I come from france starting from Yosemite valley, tuolume medows and then the shr. Wow, the hike seems amazing! It’s a lot like the Wolverton Cutoff loop, but with more and better high country scenery. Hey Andrew, GAFFL can potentially save you 70-90% tour costs in Appalachian Trail. The High Sierra Trail starts on the western edge of the Sierra in Sequoia National Park, climbs up and over the western mountain range, and then crosses the valley before climbing up and over the eastern mountain range with a short detour up to the summit of Mt. The southern terminus is at Road’s End in the South Fork of the Kings River, about 90 miles east of Fresno. This may be a novice question but on your routes that can take up to 10-14 days to complete, how do you recommend resupplying? The High Sierra Loop with its five camps spaced six to ten miles apart are clearly intended to ease one’s journey so that it is as comfortable as it is memorable. Pacific Crest Trail: Best Month - High Sierra, CA. Learn more about the Druid Stones Trail Hike. Unless you live in Lee Vining or Bishop, I would never recommend a point-to-point itinerary of just 50-ish miles. thru-hike it. Thanks. I have two questions, hopefully not too much to ask. It is not labeled on any maps and there is no signage for it on the ground. It gives SHR hikers the option of coming up with their own exact Sierra High Routes which increases the sense of adventure and exploration. We planned the High Sierra Trail for a year. I am having a tough time visualizing the connections and the start and ending points to know if this is possible. There may be more or less, but—whatever the exact number may be—it’s small. Virginia Peak Falls at Virginia Lakes, Yosemite National Park, Hoover Wilderness, , including pictures, maps, directions, description, hiking trail routes - CA waterfalls by waterfallswest.com SHR hikers are rewarded with pristine alpine settings, uninterrupted stretches of solitude, and a sense of true adventure. I used it on my SHR thru-hikes in 2007 and 2009. We saw maybe 10 other people in the route sections of our hike, and the scenery every moment was spectacular. Appreciate you ! I estimate that I have walked only about thirty miles of the SHR thus far, used to access summit tops. Whitney. I wanted to share some of the images and video I created while on the route, take a look! Lowest point (midway): Kern River Canyon 6,705 feet My writings on backpacking gear, supplies, and skills, and sometimes about running, hunting, and life events. My “Thanks” goes out to you for your efforts on listing the details of a committed hike, and what to expect. Hamilton Lake to Big Arroyo Junction – 7.9 miles, 2,570′ ascent. Difficulty: Challenging. Watch for marmots sunning on the rocks as you approach Mt. The side compression straps are adjustable to secure your items down and the adjustable bottom webbing straps are perfect for carrying items like a sleeping bag or tent. If I exit out of Whitney Portal to resupply do I need a permit to legally re-enter? Whitney and Sonora Pass. Short highlight – https://youtu.be/1k2qq_bKlTk. High Sierra Trail to Hamilton Lakes is a 32.2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Sequoia National Park, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. It’s estimated that about 10 people hike the entire SHR each year, i.e. DAY 1 on the High Sierra Trail. See our Bear Canister Reviews to find the best canister for your trip. for errors or changes that may have occurred since publication. You would definitely want to hike from TM to Devil’s Postpile. Anyway, I will charge your mapset hoping to get the permit to use it. Plus, loops allow you to shorten or extend your itinerary without consequence based on how you’re doing, whereas with a point-to-point you’re committed to that distance. For the latest information about fishing and hunting regulations that may affect this area, consult. I knew immediately that he was doing the SHR! I am very confused about permits. The info on this site has really made planning digestible. The off-trail portions will be limited by the vertical. Travel as light as possible while still being prepared for contingencies such as inclement weather. It may have gained in popularity. My route was more ambitious than the norm: I was scouting the Yosemite High Route, which has monstrous vertical change and extensive off-trail and alpine travel.I tried to avoid popular trails like the John Muir Trail/Pacific Crest Trail and the High Sierra Camp Loop… 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. Maybe the Forest Service is actually doing you a favor in not giving you a permit. Are you the French trail runner/Montreal student we met on the JMT last summer and later shared the bus from Mammoth to the Valley? But otherwise the trails—and the experiences they provide—are markedly different. 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. 1. Hey Dogwood, glad you finished the Hayduke. The High Sierra Loop. Two friends and myself are planning on doing a hybrid sections of the SHR starting at Devil’s Postpile and going to Thousand Island Lake (on the SHR) and then looping back via the JMT. Traditional tour companies may charge thousands of dollars for a two week tour in Appalachian Trail. This famous hike crosses some of the most rugged country in the Sierra, following the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River to its headwaters at Kaweah Gap and then dropping into the Kern River Canyon before swinging east again toward Mt. My second question is: I’ve done 100’s of sierra miles on trail, and a few shorter 2 day trips XC in lower country, but this will be my first trip which requires this much navigating and if i can’t get permits for the area mentioned above i’m open to others.. are there any sections of the SHR you particularly recommend that might be good intros to this level of navigation? Re direction, read this: https://andrewskurka.com/adventures/sierra-high-route/logistical-considerations/, Marcus, But, in that sense, portions of the SHR can easily be integrated into loop hikes. Photos – https://www.flickr.com/gp/jknepp/6XnqC3 My son and 2 friends are planning on doing a 100 mile section of the SHR. When creating an itinerary for these high routes, the most useful variable is vertical gain and loss. It’s not simple to organize a trail from outside and happily people like you are very helpful. When I travel off-trail, I try to create a consistent story with the data I have — dead reckoning, altimeter, topographic map, GPS. Thanks a lot, Whitney. The only hike I have done in the Sierra was on my thru-hike of the PCT. The route was developed by climber Steve Roper back in the late-1970’s. The mapset was also easy to print out. To hike from Yosemite Valley to Tuolumne Meadows you will need a wilderness permit out of Happy Isles — unless you can cover that distance in a day, in which case you can get a permit out of TM. Having visited the Himalaya five times (Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan), plus Kilimanjaro, Patagonia, NZ and lots of Tasmania, I can happily hand on heart say the Sierra Nevada for 31 days was the highlight of my hiking life! Located 2,000 feet above the… Total elevation gain: ~15,000 feet I’m set to start on July 19th.. do you have a recommendation for the most reliable online information about snow for this year ? Total elevation loss: ~13,000 feet The SHR and JMT are of similar distance (195 for SHR, 218 for JMT) and both go north-south through the High Sierra. The permit part is so confusing for me. The northern terminus is at Mono Village, at Twin Lakes, just outside of the northwest boundary of Yosemite National Park, about 13 miles southwest of Bridgeport. Sunrise. Our next was refilling back in Mammoth before heading south for a longer stretch. It was well worth carrying my professional camera to capture some of the incredible wilderness. As with all Sierra thru-hikes, the first challenge is figuring out transportation. Have fun! You finish at Whitney Portal. It may take a month, but it's a trivial sacrifice to make for the most unrelenting wilderness eye-candy you'll ever feast on. Starting in the south: The SHR and KCHBR intersect in LeConte Canyon on the JMT, and overlap with the JMT to just below Muir Pass. I just wish his mapset for the Hayduke Trail was available when I hiked that trail. I know it varies on each trail but this is one thing that is a head scratcher to me. Highest point: Mt. A bargain in my mind! Had a great time and really appreciated your detailed terrain maps. High Sierra Trail 5/28 - Many scattered snow fields above Hamilton on approach to Gap, possibly avoidable. Walk-up. Whether you are hiking a new trail or heading to class, the High Sierra Loop is the perfect travel companion. So if there is 50k vertical for the remaining 100 miles, and you can do about 5k vertical per day, that’s another 10 days. Compression straps are designed to cinch down and secure gear while carrying. Whitney. A less popular trail head that might link up? Just wrapped up Steve Roper’s book as well, based on your Rec. And, as he says, if one was attempting to piece together and purchase all of the maps needed to cover the route it could not only be time consuming but also substantially more expensive than what he charges for his SHR mapset. Here are a few essential resources that will help make your thru-hike on the High Sierra Trail a success. Alas, I had zero luck obtaining a permits. I’m a climber and a runner and love 3rd and 4th class exposed fun. Each camp is a day’s hike from at least two other camps. Backpacking the High Sierra Trail takes months of planning and preparation, but it’s also a lot of fun. There is trail and use trail a lot of the way for that section – it’s pretty darn hard to get lost! I don’t know the exact vertical on the SHR, but I’ll estimate it at 500-550 vertical feet of change per mile. Yes and no. There were other folks on every one of the 5 cross-country passes that we crossed. Maybe I need to check out the Northern Rockies to be alone? Our members are highly experienced in backpacking, hiking, peak bagging, bouldering, mountaineering, photography and fishing in and around the John Muir Trail (JMT), Sierra High … He was dropping down off of Napsack Pass. Just a heads up to other mountain travelers… When you show up at a lake that has other campers on it, don’t start running around and shouting at each other around the lake. This is standard operating procedure on the JMT; in other areas where resupplies are less common, you might have more explaining to do. I would break the route up into two categories: on trail and off-trail. The High Sierra Trail, Sequoia National Park 71 trans-Sierra miles from Crescent Meadow to Mount Whitney; Paradise Valley, Kings Canyon National Park A wonderful weekend trip out of Cedar Grove; Rae Lakes, Kings Canyon National Park A multi-day trip to fabulous lakes, part of the Rae Lakes Loop Whitney, 14,508 feet I have planned to do some parts of the SHR, Vogelsang to Red Meadows, Red Meadows to Duck lake, Tully Hole to Darwin Bench and Bishop Pass to palissade Bassin but I need this few days more to be able to do it and also the permits. Do you need a new permit every time you exit to resupply. Best of luck. The High Sierra Trail is a strenuous trip, worthy of thorough preparation. Any professional experienced guidance would be helpful. Seeing that these are remote areas, is carrying all of your food the answer? While this trail was on our radar, we thought the High Sierra Trail would be a good way to ease into the behemoth JMT. Rattlesnakes have been sighted along the early part of the trail from Crescent Meadow to Bearpaw Meadow and again in the Kern River Canyon. Rob Harlan. A circumnavigation of the remote upper headwaters of the Tuolumne…, The Ultimate Hiker's Gear Guide (Second Edition): Tools & Techniques to Hit the Trail, Free download: My 12 go-to breakfasts & dinners, https://andrewskurka.com/adventures/sierra-high-route/logistical-considerations/, https://andrewskurka.com/backpacking-topographical-maps-types-sources-formats/, http://www.little-package.com/blog/2015/09/sierra-high-route-reds-meadow-tuolumne-meadow, https://andrewskurka.com/adventures/yosemite-high-route/links-pct-jmt-shr/. Location: Sequoia National Park It’s a gray area. To follow the SHR out of TM, you’ll need a permit for Rafferty Creek to Vogelsang Pass. I would switch your route so that you’re doing the SHR with lighter packs, and when you’re more acclimatized. Without more info about you and your experience, it would be very irresponsible to try to give a yes/no on whether you are qualified for the SHR. High Sierra Loop. Whitney. It’s public space and open to all of us, but I’m used to having it to myself over the past couple of decades. Use Nelson Lake entry. Find great deals on Hiking backpack in Ashburn, VA on OfferUp. Carry plenty of water from the Guitar Lake area. Alain. I am trying to bring a group of 10 Candian hikers (myself +9) on a through hike of the JMT. The varied environments makes this an especially rewarding hike. 2020 © Andrew Skurka. Most rangers would probably consider it kosher if you get off a trail to resupply and get back on at the same place. Like all long-distance trails, it receives more traffic from section hikers (and, perhaps in the most accessible portions of the route, day hikers). So starting from Tuolumne Meadows, you can complete the circuit in 6 days’ hiking. 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. Met you at Tanner beach in GC, hope you remember, my buddy asked you if you were “cool”. The logistics rarely make it worthwhile, relative to the ease of a loop itinerary. Whitney. Plan to camp or lodge in the Lodgepole Village area for a couple of nights prior to your departure to allow your body to adjust to the elevation. The on-trail portions will go about as fast as you normally hike on-trail (in the Sierra). I can’t see carrying 14 days of food… I don’t even think my pack would fit it! High route guides, a free food e-book, and signed copies of The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide. Here is an official ove… I was the one with the Petzl eLite headlamp. Learn to research conditions, select gear, plan meals, make maps, and more. We were up before our alarm went off at 3 am, but we all sat in our tents waiting to hear it. Hey Andrew, Hey Andrew, I’d recommend following the YHR to Tuolumne Meadows, not the SHR — the route is multitudes better. Thanks so much for the feedback. The mapset is very well organized and designed, which is what I would expect from someone who has been as innovative as Andrew in creating new routes and connecting segments of different trails. Post Corral Lakes (September 2013, 4 days, 35 miles, 1 pass / 11 photos, 1480 words, map) The High Sierra Trail leads from Crescent Meadow up the canyon of the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River, crossing the Great Western Divide by the 10,700' (3261 meters) pass known as Kaweah Gap. You can make your own with SHR (for example: South Lakes to LeConte to Palisade Lakes, then SHR back to Bishop Pass Tr), or you can use guidebooks for the Kings Canyon High Basin Route and Yosemite High Route, both of which included recommended section-hikes. It may take a month, but it's a trivial sacrifice to make for the most unrelenting wilderness eye-candy you'll ever feast on. Is there any alternative that you’re familiar with, that will get me to the Route considering the section i want to do? It was a … With the High Sierra Trail, you start at Crescent Meadow on the Western edge of Sequoia National Park in the giant tree grove. I do plan on throwing you some $ for your guide but just trying to figure out some preliminary info. You can the… Please check your entries and try again. Last year I was able to follow the route in that section without relying too much on my map & compass, because the landmarks (peaks) are all so distinct, and again, the route is beat in. Every effort is made to provide accurate and up to date information, but we cannot be responsible Hello and thanks! I am currently looking at combining the KCHBR with the High Sierra trail. Deer are used to seeing people along the trail. This hike was created by the National Park Service and was completed in 1930. The hike starts with the first six miles of the High Sierra Trail, a long-distance backcountry trail that leads to Mount Whitney. Length: 5.1 miles. You should assume it is a six to eight day hike, from start to finish, not including any transportation time, for most average hikers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until September. It descends into Big Arroyo, then climbs up to the Chagoopa Plateau, and drops down again into the Kern River Canyon. Hey Andrew ! Hiking Distance: 71 miles Pacific Crest Trail: Best Month - High Sierra, CA Every hiker's life list should include the 270 miles between Mt. The SHR and YHR intersect shortly after the SHR enters the park via Blue Lakes Pass. So 15 total. When one of these pieces of data is inconsistent with the others, stop and figure it out. Hi Rob, So finally, after having left my own business/company/career after 26 years of service, and having been granted the “go-ahead” from my ‘boss’ the wife, I am committed to a late summer 2015 SHR threw-hike! So if there are 100 miles and you normally do 20 miles/day, that’s 5 days. They really helped us find our way (most of the time! High Sierra Camp Lottery Process. The shorter, 72-mile High Sierra Trail runs west to east across the Sierras and can be done in six to ten days. I don’t know if I’ll ever top it, but to be honest, I don’t need to! Something went wrong. I’ve done JMT in 12 days and it was scenic, but yes, not too serene with the “crowds”. Reviewing the maps, planning your itinerary, plotting your campsites and filling out your gear helps build the anticipation. I am trying to put together a hike. Came across your blog and wanted to say great info for those looking to hike the SHR. 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! (Entries are required.) High Sierra Topix (HST) is a not-for-profit Sierra Nevada adventure community resource created by its members, for its members. We met for a short moment, and that is all it took. I bought the kit for the SHR and KCHBR. Thank you, really appreciate your work, impact, and your materials! SHR versus the John Muir Trail. Last month I went on a 9-day/8-night backpacking trip in Yosemite National Park. Hate to break it to you, but if you want to get into deep wilderness and stay there, you need to carry a lot of food. I would highy recommend using Andrew”s SHR mapset on a SHR thru-hike. It was a tedious and somewhat expenisve task accumulating all the maps. Keep your eyes peeled for use trail, and there are some cairns coming down from the Minarets. Yosemite National Park has 5 High Sierra Camps arranged in a 49-mile loop. We live in the Southeast and none of them have any High Sierra experience. The JMT is hardly the only worthy thing in the High Sierra. – we got stuck on one map edge…) Of course, once leaving the SHR, didn’t really need such detailed maps (though we still found some diversions on the way south, Cardinal Lake, Striped Mtn, Sixty Lakes Basin, Kern Circuit Trail, Army Pass). http://cdec.water.ca.gov/snowapp/swcchart.action. I was just on the SHR last week from Humphrey’s Basin-Merriam Lake-Italy Lake and came across several groups each day. Yosemite reserves 40 percent of the quota for walk-up. Crazy to think of these mega-remote spots getting over-run. I should have given my 2015 blog link for that particular section, Rob. Whitney The 71-mile High Sierra Trailtraverses the Sierra Nevada from Crescent Meadow in Sequoia National Park to … It was the “highlight”, “ultimate experience” of my life! A true admirer here! My wife and I did 31 days of SHR north (Mammoth to Mono) and south (Mammoth to Mather Pass) then continued on to Mt Whitney and exited via Cottonwood Lakes. Post your items for free. I went on a section hike of it last summer with a few friends and it was the most incredible experience I’ve had in the backcountry so far. Yes, the SHR is much less traveled than JMT but more and more people every year are on the SHR. Plans are set to do another section next summer! After many early season trips, and trails that disappear under the snow, I have always found ‘off-trail route finding’ my true passion. Length 32.2 miElevation gain 6896 ftRoute type Out & back Very few people know about it, and even fewer hike it. Ten people per year? Email, and that is all it took 2020 snow in this area, consult Fork of the corridor! Options and is best used from April until September week from Humphrey ’ s gear.. 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