Premier Yosemite Hiking Company

Wildland Trekking Phone Number

High Sierra & The Western Divide

Highlights

  • Spectacular High Sierra Trail
  • High mountain peaks and passes
  • Layover day to explore the High Sierra
  • Jagged peaks, mountain lakes & rushing streams
  • Spectacular Giant Sequoia groves
  • Amazing natural & cultural history

Description

Explore the heart of Sequoia National Park along one of the most beautiful and renowned trails in the world...the High Sierra Trail. This trail, built in the 1920’s and 30’s as a relatively moderate path to access the High Sierra, follows the north wall of the vast canyon of the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River into one of the most scenic areas in the Sierra Nevada... the Great Western Divide. There we will camp in two beautiful lake basins surrounded by soaring granite peaks and cliffs, rising over 4000 feet above us and explore this mountain kingdom, appropriately named Valhalla. We will end our adventure near where we began...among the towering sequoias of Giant Forest, the largest and most impressive trees on earth.
Come join us for an extraordinary adventure in Sequoia National Park’s High Sierra! Call 800- 715-HIKE (4453) to learn more.
Click here to have a detailed PDF information packet emailed to you, or request a reservation today. You can also call us at 800-715-HIKE.

 

Sequoia - Kings Canyon Photos

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Hiking Mileage: 6 miles
Elevation Gain/Loss: 2000 feet


We begin our trek at the site of the historic Wolverton Ski Area in a mixed conifer forest at 7200 feet. Making our way alongside murmuring Wolverton Creek, the forest quickly becomes dominated by giant red firs. After a moderate ascent through the shadowy forest, we top out at Panther Gap and catch views of the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River, 3500 feet below, and, our next day’s destination, the dramatic peaks of the Great Western Divide dominating the skyline to the east. After another mile and a half of near level walking, we’ll reach a pleasant forest near flower-filled Merhton Meadow and not far beyond that, Merhten Creek where we'll enjoy the quiet among the fading light of dusk as our guide prepares a delicious well-deserved meal.


Day 2

Hiking Mileage: 9 miles
Elevation Gain/Loss: 2000/3000 feet


After an early rise and a hearty breakfast we pack up camp and prepare for a long day on one of the most amazing trails in the Sierra – the High Sierra Trail! The views along the way are spectacular and ever-changing as we make our way past Castle Rocks, Little Blue Dome and Sugar Bowl Dome before we reach the historic Bearpaw Meadow High Sierra Camp. After a quick break we will continue on into the immense cliffs and peaks of the Great Western Divide, all along enjoying what some consider to be the most scenic area of the Sierra. We muster our energy for a final two mile push up a thousand feet to gorgeous Hamilton Lake where we can soak our tired feet in the brisk waters before setting up camp along its placid shores.


Day 3

Hiking Mileage: 5 miles
Elevation Gain/Loss: 2000/1000 feet


This morning we can relax a little and explore before heading over to Tamarack Lake in a quieter and more secluded area of the park. An easier day than before, this will give us a chance to stretch our legs a little and possibly see marmots, golden eagles or even a black bear sauntering through the brush! Once at the lake there will be time for swimming, reading, relaxing and exploring the beautiful surroundings, including even a hundred foot tall waterfall across the lake. Finally, we can enjoy a backcountry dinner as the Milky Way and the brilliant summer constellations appear overhead in the thin mountain air.


Day 4

Hiking Mileage: 9.8 miles
Elevation Gain/Loss: 1000/2500 feet


Today we retrace our steps a bit as we return down canyon and enjoy a different perspective on the incredible west slope of the Sierra Nevada. We have another long day, but, it is mostly downhill or level, with just a few invigorating uphill sections. Tonight’s camp, alongside beautiful Mehrten Creek will be 1600 feet below our first night’s camp.


Day 5

Hiking Mileage: 5.5 miles
Elevation Gain/Loss: 1000/2000 feet
Shuttle: 2.5 hours


We begin the last day of our trek with a quick breakfast before traversing around the great amphitheater of Panther Creek beneath Panther Peak and Panther Gap. After crossing over several minor tributaries of the stream, the High Sierra Trail reaches Eagle View, where we will say good-bye to the High Sierra before exiting our trailhead at Crescent Meadow. There we will have a final lunch among the Giant Sequoias and explore a few sights, such as Tharp’s Log, before returning to our cars and the rush of civilization.


Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary park restrictions, campsite availability, weather, road closures, guest ability/injury, and natural events like fires and flooding.

Trip Details

What's Included

  • Top-of-the-line tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and technical backpack
  • Use of trekking poles
  • All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
  • A professional, knowledgeable, certified Sierra Nevada hiking guide
  • Bear cannisters for food storage
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-20% of trip cost)
See the Packing Lists page for more information.


Meals: What To Expect

All of our hiking and backpacking tours include a diversity of tasty meals packed full of critical carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We carry foods that travel well in the backcountry – rice, pastas, lentils, beans, couscous, packaged meats, nuts, breads, oatmeal, granola, and more.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables (fresh and dried). In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.


Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:
  • Deuter or Osprey backpacks
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty or Big Agnes tents
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty, Big Agnes and Mountain Hardware sleeping bags
  • Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
  • Leki or Black Diamond trekking poles
  • Cooking stoves and cookware
  • Bear cannisters
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Satellite phone


What Gear To Bring

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter water bottles per person and either a headlamp or flashlight per person. Basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.


What Clothes to Bring

Please refer to the trip packet for a recommended clothing list (we email you a detailed trip packet when you inquire and when you register). All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots (reliable brands include Montrail, Lowa, Merrell, Vasque, and Salomon), rain gear, and non-cotton and cotton clothing layers. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

NOTE: See the Packing Lists page for more detailed information on what clothes and gear to bring on your hiking tour. The trip packet you receive when you contact us will have the most accurate clothing and gear list for the tour you're interested in.

Trip Logistics

How do I Register?

Ready to hike? Simply click here and complete the form to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you're ready to register we'll email you a link to a registration profile. You'll have 48 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit ($500).

Feel free to call us for more info - we're here 7 days a week!


Where Do We Meet?

You'll meet your hiking guide and group at the Lodgepole Visitor Center in Sequoia National Park for an orientation meeting at 5:00 PM the evening before the trip begins. Your guide will be in contact approximately 2 weeks beforehand to coordinate this meeting. The next morning we'll meet and utilize park shuttles to reach our trailhead.

Check out our Travel Resources page for information on flights, shuttles, lodging and more.


Start/End Times

Your guide will inform you of the first day's rendezvous time at the orientation meeting. Generally, you can expect it to be between 6 and 8 am, although the exact time will depend on current weather and road conditions. We will be out of the backcountry normally before 5 PM (this time is not guaranteed, as a variety of circumstances can influence our exact return time) the final day.


Safety Considerations

Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT's, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We've developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and most tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.


Guides

Your tour will be led by a trained, experienced professional with a solid guiding background, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.


Group Size and Age Restrictions

The standard group size on backpacking trips is 5 guests and 1 guide, with a maximum of 10 guests and 2 guides. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 800-715-HIKE (4453) and we'll answer all your questions.

Age restrictions are as follows:
  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 10 and older to join private tours, with final approval on a case by case basis
  • specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis


Weather in the Sierras

Being a high mountain environment, the Sierra Nevada Mountains are prone to sudden temperature and weather shifts. This is an exciting aspect of being in the mountains. On trips in June, snow is a possibility, and the rest of the summer rain is always a possibility on your trip. To be fully prepared, please follow the recommended clothing list closely (this list comes as part of your trip packet when you register). See below for average summer temperatures:
 
Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)
         
 
Month
Valleys
Alpine
 
 
hi
low
hi
low
 
 
January
49°
26°
45°
25°
 
 
February
55°
28°
46°
26°
 
 
March
59°
31°
48°
27°
 
 
April
65°
35°
54°
30°
 
 
May
73°
42°
62°
37°
 
 
June
81°
51°
71°
46°
 
 
July
89°
57°
77°
50°
 
 
August
89°
56°
81°
53°
 
 
September
82°
51°
71°
46°
 
 
October
74°
39°
62°
37°
 
 
November
58°
31°
51°
29°
 
 
December
48°
26°
46°
25°