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The High Sierra Trail: Segment 1 of 7

Crescent Meadow/Wolverton to 9-Mile Creek

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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 8.4 miles
Duration: Full day

Overview :  This is the first of a series of Guides to the High Sierra Trail, an approximately 70 mile trail that runs from Crescent Meadow on the... more »

Tips:  Campsites
You must camp a minimum of 2 miles from the nearest trailhead. There is a dry campsite near Panther Gap (dry = no water).... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Crescent Meadow

This is the official Starting Point of the High Sierra Trail! The Crescent Meadow Parking area is beyond the Moro Rock trail and also features a picnic area (and the accompanying crowds).

No camping is allowed until you get at least 2 miles beyond the trailhead, but finding a campsite sooner than the 9-mile mark is difficult.

2. Wolverton Trailhead

This trailhead is an optional starting point for the High Sierra Trail. Fewer people at this trailhead means better permit availability.

... More

There is a restroom with running water and a large parking area here but very little else so the crowds are sparse. The trail starts from the northern side of the large parking lot. Bear boxes and garbage bins are provided.


3. Panther Gap

Once advantage to starting at Wolverton over Crescent Meadow is the visit to Panther Gap. From here, you get a great view into the Great Western Divide and the terrain you'll be crossing over the next few days. It also roughly marks the end of the climb from the trailhead - the next stretch will take you down to meet the official High Sierra Trail... More

There is a dry campsite here at Panther Gap (no water).


4. Mehrten Creek (water)

On the way to meet the official High Sierra Trail, the trail switchbacks across Mehrten Creek a few times so there are opportunities to fill up the bottles when the creek is running. Note that this could be dry later in the season. In August, a large variety of wildflowers bloom through here.

5. High Sierra Trail Junction

If you are coming in from Wolverton, this is where the trail meets the official High Sierra Trail.

There is a water source about 100 feet down the trail to the east (likely dry later in the season).

For the next few miles the trail offers some amazing views towards the Great Western Divide as it wiggles in an out of creek drainages.

6. 9-Mile Creek

This is the first established camping area along the High Sierra Trail. There are a couple of places to pitch a tent, but platforms are mostly slanted. Expect a crowd.

There is a bear box here, but you should also be carrying a bear canister - bears are very active at this site!