A hiking odyssey across the Sierra Nevada along the famed High Sierra Trail to the highest peak in the lower 48 states - Mount Whitney. An 83-mile trek through spectacular and little-seen mountain terrain across Sequoia National Park including high passes, deep canyons and even hot springs. For backpackers and trekkers with some previous experience, this can be a trek of a lifetime. We begin our adventure on the west side of the Sierra near the Giant Sequoia's of Sequoia National Park and finish on the east side of the Sierra after a summit of Mt. Whitney (14,495 ft). We exit out the Golden Trout Wilderness and spend our last night in the Eastern Sierra town of Lone Pine.
A van shuttle returns us around the southern "horn" of the Sierra Nevada back to our original meeting point in Fresno. Along the way you'll enjoy delicious backcountry cuisine prepared by your guide and explore the isolated interior of the Sierra. Here are some trip details:
- Location: We meet near the Fresno airport the night of the first day and return to Fresno on the last day.
- Lodging: One nights lodging is provided the first night in Fresno and the last night in Lone Pine.
- Food: We strive to provide healthy and delicious meals. Breakfast and dinner as well as hot drinks are provided by your guide / backcountry chef while in the field. Special diets can be accommodated.
- Level: Good physical conditioning is required. Some previous backpacking experience is required with the ability to hike 10 to 12 miles a day with an overnight pack.
Day 0: We meet in the late afternoon at our campsite at near Lodgepole on the West Side of Sequoia National Park to discuss the itinerary and do a gear check. Afterwards, we enjoy a fine camp dinner and campfire.
Day 1: We hike out of the Wolverton trailhead along the High Sierra Trail with spectacular views of the Kaweah River Canyon. We will establish a camp for the evening at Bearpaw Meadows. To help with acclimating, we will use horses to carry our overnight gear and food to Bearpaw and will hike in with only a light day pack (12 miles).
Day 2: Donning our overnight packs, we leave Bearpaw Meadows and make our way towards the famed "Valhalla" cirque and Hamilton Lakes. The views are stunning as we travel along an amazing trail under Angel Wings, the largest rock wall in Sequoia NP. We will establish camp at amazing Precipice Lake in the upper part of the Valhalla Cirque. (6.5 miles)
Day 3: Today we make our way over Kaweah Gap with spectacular views of The Black Kaweah and other peaks in the Great Western Divide. We travel down the Big Arroyo to make camp near Moraine Lake. (11.5 miles)
Day 4: Today is a short hiking day as we travel down into the Kern River canyon arriving at Kern Hot Springs in the early afternoon. We spend the afternoon resting and relaxing in these natural hot springs along the Kern River (6 miles, all downhill).
Day 5: We make our way up the glacier-carved Kern River canyon to establish a camp in the upper reaches near the confluence of Wallace Creek. A gentle elevation rise (8 miles).
Day 6: Climbing out of the Kern River canyon, we make our way towards Crabtree Meadows and on to Guitar Lake, under the West Face of Mount Whitney. We will establish a 2-night base camp here for our summit of Mt Whitney, the highest point in the lower 48 states (10.5 miles).
Day 7: Summit day of Mount Whitney. Carrying only light day packs, we will make our way up the John Muir Trail to Trail Crest and along the Eastern escarpment of the Whitney Massif to the summit. After photos and lunch on the summit we retrace our steps back to our basecamp (11 miles roundtrip).
Day 8: We break our Whitney basecamp and have a pleasant hike along the Pacific Crest Trail towards Rock Creek where we will make camp for the evening, our last on the trail (11 miles).
Day 9: Our final day on the trail, we make our way through the beautiful Golden Trout Wilderness over Cottonwood Pass and onto the Horse Shoe Meadows trailhead on the Eastern Side of the Sierra Nevada, completing our trarverse. We are picked up by van and taken to a hotel in the nearby town of Lone Pine for a well-deserved shower and celebratory meal (11.8 miles).
Day 10: We are shuttled by van back to the Wolverton Trailhead and our vehicles, arriving in the afternoon.
Note: The itinerary is subject to change.
Cost: $1895 per person
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USA California Outdoor: Land Rambler Hiking & Trekking