The High Sierra Trail runs approximately 70 miles from its western end at Crescent Meadow in Sequoia National Park to Whitney Portal... more » on the east side of the Sierra Nevada. The trail passes through breathtakingly scenic terrain that varies from wide sweeping vistas of peaky mountains and high alpine lakes to shaded forests and rushing rivers. As the trail wanders up and over ridges and through valleys, there are no roads or signs of civilization - one must carry everything they need for the hike on his or her back.
The trail wiggles up and over the Great Western Divide and descends as low as 6800 feet in Kern Canyon before climbing up to its high point at the summit of Mount Whitney (14,508 ft by the latest measurements).
The High Sierra Trail takes approximately a week to hike from end to end (not including shuttle time), so this guide is broken down into seven segments. While seven days is a normal amount of time to hike the HST, a large portion of the Trail is spent above 10,000 feet with steep climbs and descents, so when planning this trip make sure to take your backpacking experience and fitness level into account. Possible camp locations throughout each segment are described in each of the guides so you can plan accordingly.
Snow covers the trail most of the year, and on an average year one can expect the trail to be clear of snow from mid-July through September. As always, conditions vary from year to year so it is wise to research current conditions and the forecast before heading out - it can snow every month of the year in the Sierra! less «