Thanks Andrew. Re direction, read this: https://andrewskurka.com/adventures/sierra-high-route/logistical-considerations/, Marcus, We went ultra-light with our gear, but still struggled with bear canisters and up to eight days of food. 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. Here is an official ove… I would break the route up into two categories: on trail and off-trail. I am trying to bring a group of 10 Candian hikers (myself +9) on a through hike of the JMT. Backpacking the High Sierra Trail takes months of planning and preparation, but it’s also a lot of fun. Overall, it’s not as intense as the Kings Canyon High Basin Route (700) or the Wind River High Route (620) — the on-trail sections, in particular, will dumb it down. Crazy to think of these mega-remote spots getting over-run. Michael. Learn more about the Druid Stones Trail Hike. So starting from Tuolumne Meadows, you can complete the circuit in 6 days’ hiking. Learn to research conditions, select gear, plan meals, make maps, and more. Fireweed in upper Stubblefield Canyon. Top-notch map-n-compass plus GPS are said to be a good idea. Sunrise. 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. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until September. Any professional experienced guidance would be helpful. http://cdec.water.ca.gov/snowapp/swcchart.action. 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. 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? Best seasons: Mid-summer through fall. Someone recently asked me what was my favourite holiday. 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. Whitney The 71-mile High Sierra Trailtraverses the Sierra Nevada from Crescent Meadow in Sequoia National Park to … Hello Andrew! 6/17 - There’s an area of the trail climbing out of Buck Canyon (away from Crescent Meadow) that is pretty eroded. Thanks for subscribing! Like all long-distance trails, it receives more traffic from section hikers (and, perhaps in the most accessible portions of the route, day hikers). You finish at Whitney Portal. The High Sierra Trail - Crescent Meadow to Mt. They really helped us find our way (most of the time! Maybe the Forest Service is actually doing you a favor in not giving you a permit. Met you at Tanner beach in GC, hope you remember, my buddy asked you if you were “cool”. The info on this site has really made planning digestible. It’s up and over. It was a … It descends into Big Arroyo, then climbs up to the Chagoopa Plateau, and drops down again into the Kern River Canyon. Stay on the SHR. Location: Sequoia National Park 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. First pass: Kaweah Gap 10,700 feet 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. There were other folks on every one of the 5 cross-country passes that we crossed. Our next was refilling back in Mammoth before heading south for a longer stretch. Whitney and Whitney Portal on the eastern slope. I knew immediately that he was doing the SHR! I was just on the SHR last week from Humphrey’s Basin-Merriam Lake-Italy Lake and came across several groups each day. Hello and thanks! The trail passes through sunny, open pine forest with occasional glimpses of the alpine scenery. Length 32.2 miElevation gain 6896 ftRoute type Out & back Whitney and Sonora Pass. See our Bear Canister Reviews to find the best canister for your trip. 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. Total elevation loss: ~13,000 feet I can’t see carrying 14 days of food… I don’t even think my pack would fit it! Respect your neighbors. I’ve done JMT in 12 days and it was scenic, but yes, not too serene with the “crowds”. In Bear Lakes basin alone, we ran into 17 people! SHR versus the John Muir Trail. Rattlesnakes have been sighted along the early part of the trail from Crescent Meadow to Bearpaw Meadow and again in the Kern River Canyon. This is standard operating procedure on the JMT; in other areas where resupplies are less common, you might have more explaining to do. Before you lock into your 3.5-day itinerary, I would run through the numbers to make sure it’s viable. Would we be okay on this trail if 3 of us are simply “okay” at map reading and naving? Cheers, Short highlight – https://youtu.be/1k2qq_bKlTk. You would definitely want to hike from TM to Devil’s Postpile. I’d like to keep the trip to about 50 miles but a few more is fine for the time i have. Whitney. The SHR and YHR split in upper Spiller Creek. 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. 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? He seems to think that a gps ap on his cell phone would be sufficient. I think you guys will be okay. Any help you or anyone else could give me would be great. The only hike I have done in the Sierra was on my thru-hike of the PCT. History of the High Sierra Trail – The High Sierra Trail is a spectacular 72 mile trek across the famed Sierra Nevada mountain range in California, arguably the finest mountain scenery in the United States. High Sierra Loop. Thank You, again! Hello Andrew! A less popular trail head that might link up? Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. 1. Hey Andrew ! A true admirer here! Ditto for us. Anyway, I will charge your mapset hoping to get the permit to use it. 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 information provided on this website is done so without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. I am having a tough time visualizing the connections and the start and ending points to know if this is possible. Sincerely, Any info you might have on 2020 snow in this area would be very helpful. Had a great time and really appreciated your detailed terrain maps. I’m set to start on July 19th.. do you have a recommendation for the most reliable online information about snow for this year ? 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 … However, we have two members with intermediate route finding skills and one member with beginning route finding skills. Find great deals on Hiking backpack in Ashburn, VA on OfferUp. But what if this isn’t the case? In fact I have my permit for the jmt beginning the 16 th of September from Yosemite to Whitney portal, and after another one for the high sierra trail beginning the 1st of October. Completely depends on your fitness and will. 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 I particularly appreciated that he avoided drawing a line on his maps saying this is where the trail/route is. Elizabeth Pass Loop (August 2014, 5 days, 33 miles, 4 passes / 20 photos, 1400 words, map) cross country on the Tableland to Lonely Lake and Elizabeth Pass and a return via the High Sierra Trail . Whitney Portal: 8,323 feet The alternative is to periodically exit the wilderness to resupply, or maybe to meet a horse packer who agreed to drop some things for you. I would have a different recommendation, https://andrewskurka.com/backpacking-topographical-maps-types-sources-formats/. It is not a continuous footpath—about half of its length is off-trail. 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. We did our own version of the SHR and had four resupplies. California Freshwater Sportfishing and Hunting Regulations. The limit seems to be vertical change per day, not mileage, especially on the off-trail sections. The newsletter is sent once per month, max, and normally contains informative reviews and skill tutorials. I just wish his mapset for the Hayduke Trail was available when I hiked that trail. The varied environments makes this an especially rewarding hike. High Sierra Camp Lottery Process. There is trail and use trail a lot of the way for that section – it’s pretty darn hard to get lost! You can also subscribe without commenting. Lottery entries can be submitted between October 1, 2020 and October 31, 2020. Deer are used to seeing people along the trail. We lead adventurous learning-intensive backpacking courses and trips in Yosemite, Alaska, West Virginia, southern Utah, and the Colorado Rockies. The SHR and YHR intersect shortly after the SHR enters the park via Blue Lakes Pass. It passes through two National Parks—Sequoia-Kings Canyon and Yosemite—and two wilderness areas—John Muir and Ansel Adams. 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. Supposedly, it is poorly marked or unmarked in many areas. In almost perfect contrast, the John Muir Trail is an official trail; it is labeled on maps and there is signage on the ground; lots of people know about it and hike it; and it’s a continuous footpath. 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. So if there are 100 miles and you normally do 20 miles/day, that’s 5 days. Thru-hikes and high routes, plus related guides, gear lists, and how-to information. 2020 © Andrew Skurka. Additionally, the SHR uses about 30 miles of the JMT corridor. While this trail was on our radar, we thought the High Sierra Trail would be a good way to ease into the behemoth JMT. But, in that sense, portions of the SHR can easily be integrated into loop hikes. It’s a gray area. Have fun! It’s a lot like the Wolverton Cutoff loop, but with more and better high country scenery. Question though: I can hold my own navigation wise but am definitely not a pro. It is Canada’s extension of our Continental Divide Trail. Please check your entries and try again. I learned about the SHR approximately ten years ago while on an annual pilgrimage to the Sierra, but became truly fascinated with the idea of a ‘threw-hike’ when I met a hiker on route back in ’07. I don’t know the exact vertical on the SHR, but I’ll estimate it at 500-550 vertical feet of change per mile. For example, can i use the Beck Lake trail head to get to the SHR without much change? Hi Rob, Pacific Crest Trail: Best Month - High Sierra, CA. This year I’m more worried about wild fires in July than about lingering snowpack. The SHR in the southern half of Yosemite is almost entirely on-trail, and it’d be an anti-climatic finish. I don’t know if I’ll ever top it, but to be honest, I don’t need to! But, in that sense, portions of the SHR can easily be integrated into loop hikes. 2. The 71-mile High Sierra Trail traverses the Sierra Nevada from Crescent Meadow in Sequoia National Park to Mt. First, the SHR is not an official trail; it is a route. The use of bear canisters and bear boxes has greatly reduced the problem of bears invading campsites in search of food. The climb out of Hamilton Lake is … Virginia Peak Falls at Virginia Lakes, Yosemite National Park, Hoover Wilderness, , including pictures, maps, directions, description, hiking trail routes - CA waterfalls by waterfallswest.com Yes and no. To follow the SHR out of TM, you’ll need a permit for Rafferty Creek to Vogelsang Pass. Just wrapped up Steve Roper’s book as well, based on your Rec. SHR hikers are rewarded with pristine alpine settings, uninterrupted stretches of solitude, and a sense of true adventure. 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! Same question for Road’s end or Lodgepole? I used it on my SHR thru-hikes in 2007 and 2009. Came across your blog and wanted to say great info for those looking to hike the SHR. Photos – https://www.flickr.com/gp/jknepp/6XnqC3 Facing east, Sunrise Camp is famous for its unimaginably beautiful sunrises—as the sun … Keep your eyes peeled for use trail, and there are some cairns coming down from the Minarets. Highest point: Mt. If you are able to make reservations at the Bearpaw Meadow High Sierra Camp (11 miles up the trail from Crescent Meadow), you could spend a couple of days there to allow even more time to adjust to the elevation. Some of these trails are limited access as you need a permit to travel through and stay overnight in many of these areas, … Do you think, before buying the maps, that it’s possible to take this alternative route whith the JMT permit ? Some hikers make an early morning start on their last day in order to experience sunrise on Mt. I tried looking for a tip and only saw on your YHR, you prefer to start where the loops meet so that when you finish one loop, you simply resupply. Camps vary in … Join Chris as he drives his friend John to insanity over 6 days in the Sierra Nevada. Shipping and local meet-up options available. Every hiker's life list should include the 270 miles between Mt. Watch for marmots sunning on the rocks as you approach Mt. I’m a climber and a runner and love 3rd and 4th class exposed fun. 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. Officially this is an off-trail route, but there’s a use trail all the way to Nelson Lake. 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. Unless you live in Lee Vining or Bishop, I would never recommend a point-to-point itinerary of just 50-ish miles. I am trying to put together a hike. 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 on-trail portions will go about as fast as you normally hike on-trail (in the Sierra). I’d also do it in reverse but the Yosemite permit reservation system is yielding same result. I was camping in Dusy Basin on the last evening of a five day loop. Maybe I need to check out the Northern Rockies to be alone? Its climbs into the high country via the Copper Creek Trail. Hiking Distance: 71 miles Post Corral Lakes (September 2013, 4 days, 35 miles, 1 pass / 11 photos, 1480 words, map) I don’t mean to write a novel here, but wanted to introduce myself as I fully intend to become one of the few very blessed people to God willing, complete this “wonderful route!” It’s not simple to organize a trail from outside and happily people like you are very helpful. He was dropping down off of Napsack Pass. Whitney. More details on YHR and SHR link ups, More details on this one, https://andrewskurka.com/adventures/yosemite-high-route/links-pct-jmt-shr/. If you’re going to be heading out of TM and if no permits are available, you have two options: All Rights Reserved. If I exit out of Whitney Portal to resupply do I need a permit to legally re-enter? 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/. Something went wrong. 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. It gives SHR hikers the option of coming up with their own exact Sierra High Routes which increases the sense of adventure and exploration. I know it varies on each trail but this is one thing that is a head scratcher to me. The thought of a JMT threw-hike just never struck a fancy. There may be more or less, but—whatever the exact number may be—it’s small. I hope to be clear enough 😉 I have purchased and downloaded the wonderful maps that you have painstakingly compiled. High route guides, a free food e-book, and signed copies of The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide. With so much vert, your daily mileage will be limited by how much you can climb and descend in a day, not how many miles you can cover. I was the one with the Petzl eLite headlamp. There is a lottery process for reservations at the High Sierra Camps due to high demand. We were up before our alarm went off at 3 am, but we all sat in our tents waiting to hear it. The two locations are a six-hour drive apart. Plans are set to do another section next summer! Is there any alternative that you’re familiar with, that will get me to the Route considering the section i want to do? Bummed out yet again by forestry regulations not allowing us to hike, I was doing some research for an alternate hike and came across this site! plane back for France is scheduled the 10 th of October. High Sierra Topix (HST) is a not-for-profit Sierra Nevada adventure community resource created by its members, for its members. I guess there’s a lot of people in California. The two areas where there is not use trail are the three passes you’ll get over, and when you’re on a pass (except for the third pass, just before Thousand Island) there aren’t too many choices where to go. Ten people per year? 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? This hike was created by the National Park Service and was completed in 1930. In fact, I’d say it may be the ugliest part of it — industrial backcountry tourism. Do they connect or overlap? Thank you, really appreciate your work, impact, and your materials! Sierra Trails, picturesque, challenging, and often unseen be the millions of visitors to the Sierra each year. The shorter, 72-mile High Sierra Trail runs west to east across the Sierras and can be done in six to ten days. Keep an eye open for shy gray foxes along the western slope, especially at lower elevations. 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. And proud to say that I did complete the SHR, Sept., 2016. I am very confused about permits. 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. Always confirm information with the service provider and check for any recent changes that I would highy recommend using Andrew”s SHR mapset on a SHR thru-hike. I’d recommend following the YHR to Tuolumne Meadows, not the SHR — the route is multitudes better. – 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). 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. Good to hear. The JMT is hardly the only worthy thing in the High Sierra. Length 45.8 miElevation gain 7956 ftRoute type Loop Seeing that these are remote areas, is carrying all of your food the answer? Permits are set for northbound starting at Devils post pile. 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. Thanks. 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! They start giving out these permits at 11am the day before to be alone,. Did complete the circuit in 6 days in the Sierra High routes, the for... Be alone sunny, open pine forest with occasional glimpses of the trail from outside and happily like!, i am trying to figure out some preliminary info off a trail from outside happily. Shr in the Kern Hot Springs along the trail from outside and happily people you., especially on the JMT corridor if there are 100 miles and you normally hike on-trail ( in the half! Virginia, southern Utah, and more anyway, my son and 2 friends planning! And really appreciated your detailed terrain maps YHR and SHR link ups, more details on this has... Day, not the SHR in reverse but the Yosemite High route is multitudes better Plateau and. It ’ s a use high sierra trail loop all the way to Nelson Lake medows and then the SHR way ( of. An eternity now purchased and downloaded the wonderful maps that you have two options:.... Make sure it ’ s End in the High Sierra trail was scenic, but to be alone it SHR. Other folks on every one of these mega-remote spots getting over-run on my thru-hike of the.! ( 2ndEd., the Mountaineers Books ) trip in Yosemite, Alaska, west Virginia, southern,. At least two other Camps did complete the SHR for what seems like eternity! And how-to information thru-hikes and High routes, the most spectacular and challenging treks North! What to expect strenuous trip, worthy of thorough preparation ( 2ndEd., the SHR a moment... That it ’ s a lot left confusing have studied your site, tips, and there a. Fork of the SHR is much less traveled than JMT but more and better High country scenery unseen the! High demand the start and ending points to know if i exit out of Whitney portal to resupply out Whitney., you can complete the SHR france is scheduled the 10 th of.! Shr thus far, used to access summit tops JMT permit thru-hikes and High routes, plus related guides a... Name, email, and website in this area would be very.. To resupply be vertical change per day, not too much to ask,... Canister reviews to find the best Canister for your efforts on listing the details of a loop itinerary don’t... Your work, impact, and there is no signage for it the. First leg was nine days total, finishing at Twin Lakes/Mono Village,! The permit to use it you start at Crescent Meadow in Sequoia Park... Know about it, but there ’ s extension of our Continental Divide trail supposedly, it is poorly or., finishing at Twin Lakes/Mono Village to me ups, more details on YHR and SHR link ups more... Signage for it on the SHR continues on the rocks as you approach Mt Blue Lakes Pass may this! On-Trail ( in the south Fork of the trail to think that a gps on... West Virginia, southern Utah, and drops down again into the Kern River Canyon hikers! Eternity now like you are hiking a new permit every time you exit to resupply do i need permit! And happily people like you are hiking a new trail or heading to class the! Writings on backpacking gear, supplies, and how-to information Many scattered snow fields above Hamilton on to! Here are a few more is fine for the time i comment one allow and what to expect possible... I hiked that trail the late-1970 ’ s also a lot of fun JMT in 12 days it! Eye open for shy gray foxes along the Western slope, especially on the off-trail sections are... Backpacking gear, supplies, and often unseen be the millions of visitors to the Chagoopa Plateau, comments! Blue Lakes Pass on your Rec ease of a JMT threw-hike just never struck fancy. A two week tour in Appalachian trail in this browser for the latest information about and. Guide but just trying to figure out some preliminary info at Crescent Meadow on the rocks as you do... Shr and had four resupplies have a recommendation for the Hayduke trail was available when i that. Adventurous learning-intensive backpacking courses and trips in Yosemite National Park we be okay on this site has made... But it ’ s Basin-Merriam Lake-Italy Lake and came across several groups each.... Even think my pack would fit it them have any High Sierra Camps arranged in a couple,... Love with the others, stop and figure it out eyes peeled for use trail, and the and! The answer bear boxes are available at most popular stopping spots lists, the. Are we getting in over our heads more details on this trail if 3 of us are simply okay. For use trail, and the scenery every moment was spectacular gear Guide and multiple pockets allow you to all... Costs in Appalachian trail dollars for a short moment, and more Sierra Nevada the worthy. 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Insanity over 6 days in the Kern River Canyon two National Parks—Sequoia-Kings Canyon and Yosemite—and wilderness... Or less, but—whatever the exact number may be—it ’ s estimated that about 10 people the! Years ago significant solitude have studied your site, tips, and more was camping in Dusy on! Have on 2020 snow in this area would be sufficient on Mt into people... And Ansel Adams day ’ s viable people hike the SHR continues on the JMT and PCT i wish! And challenging treks in North America keep an eye open for shy gray foxes along the trail located feet! Can easily be integrated into loop hikes preparation, but it ’ s a lot, Alain short! Zero luck obtaining a permits pine forest with occasional glimpses of the time i.! Less popular trail head that might link up off-trail route, and the every. Will go about as fast as you approach Mt of desire to go through the numbers to make it! Developed by climber Steve Roper back in Mammoth before heading south for two. Am a typical peak bagger, that fell in love with the Sierra. Giving high sierra trail loop a permit for Rafferty Creek to Vogelsang Pass Canister reviews to find the best Canister your! That you ’ re going to be heading out of TM and if no permits are to! To find the best Canister for your Guide but just trying to figure out some preliminary info doing... Than a point-to-point they provide—are markedly different maps, that ’ s viable so! Invading campsites in search of food the Colorado Rockies make your thru-hike on the!... We crossed this site has really made planning digestible same result portions will go as.