High Sierra & The Western Divide

Trip Highlights

  • Spectacular High Sierra Trail
  • Layover Day to Explore
  • Spectacular Giant Sequoias
  • High Mountain Peaks & Passes
  • Alpine Peaks, Lakes & Rushing Streams
  • Amazing Natural & Cultural History
  • Mountain Solitude

Description

Please Note: 2022 trip dates for this tour will be available this fall, please check back then or let us know if you’d like to be notified!

xplore 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 at stunning Hamilton Lake 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.


NEED TO KNOW: PERMIT PROCESS

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks issue backcountry permits 6 months in advance. It’s beneficial to register before permits are issued and if you do, we recommend not making concrete travel arrangements until the permit is secured. We have a very good success rate with Sequoia-Kings Canyon permits, but if unsuccessful your deposit is 100% transferrable or refundable.

Read more …
5 Days
$1490 Per Person
Return Guests get a 10% discount on all Trips!
Trip Type: Guided Backpacking Trip
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 4-10 Guests
Trip Length: 5 Days
Distance: 38MI / 61KM

DIFFICULTY LEVEL 4

Our difficulty ratings are based on a scale of 1-5, tours with a rating of 1 being least difficult, tours with a rating of 5 being most difficult

Backpack Weight:
30-40 pounds
Daily Hiking Distances:
6-9 miles
Most Elevation Gain:
2580 feet with light daypacks
Most Elevation Loss:
2580 feet with light daypacks
Quality of Trails:
Well-maintained, rugged in places
Additional:
Beginning in a thick red fir forest, the well-maintained trail consists of mostly soft forest duff with minor stream crossings and few rocky sections before dropping down a few rocky switchbacks to meet up with the High Sierra Trail (HST). The trail, though rocky, is well maintained and designed. Few major ascents or excessively steep sections classify this as a moderate trail. Our day hike to the trip’s high point, Kaweah Gap, is more rugged but we’re hiking with light daypacks.

Participants should:

  1. be very active, healthy people
  2. exercise vigorously several times per week
  3. be comfortable hiking, biking, or running for hours at a time without taking breaks

SOLITUDE LEVEL 4

1 least solitude, 5 most solitude

We rate this Sequoia National Park hike a solitude 4. You can expect to see on average no more than 1 or 2 groups per day once we’re well into the backcountry.

TRAVEL TO FRESNO

All Sequoia-Kings Canyon trips begin and end in Fresno, California. Fresno has an airport served by many major airlines. You will meet your guide and group at the Wyndhyam Garden Fresno Hotel, which is very near the airport and has a free airport shuttle. We recommend staying here for your convenience.

Private Trips

Traveling in perfect company is a wonderful thing! With our private trip offerings you can book a trip exclusively for your group. Whether it’s with family, friends or colleagues, private trips are a fun and enriching way to explore the outdoors.

Private trip pricing is based on a sliding scale, depending on the number of people in your party. Rates are per person and do not include sales tax and national park fees (where applicable) or guide gratuity. Give us a call at 800-715-HIKE to get the ball rolling!

Private Rates FOr This Trip

  • 2 People: Rate x 2
  • 3 People: Rate x 1.3
  • 4 People: Rate x 1.1
  • 5+ People: Rate x 1

*all rates are per person

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ITINERARY

ITINERARY

Day 1

  • Shuttle to trailhead: 2.5 hours
  • Hiking Mileage: 7 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 2305 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 2170 feet

After a short shuttle from our hotel to Sequoia-Kings National Park, we begin our California trek at the site of the historic Wolverton Ski Area in a mixed conifer forest at 7200 feet. Making our way along murmuring Wolverton Creek, we watch as 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 a few mile descent we will reach the famous High Sierra Trail junction and head east.  We’ll make camp at 9-Mile creek and enjoy the quiet among the fading light of dusk as your guide prepares a delicious well-deserved meal.

Day 2

  • Hiking Mileage: 7 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 2970 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 2190 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. Tonight, we will camp at stunning Hamilton lake and enjoy another hearty meal with a lake side view.

Day 3

  • Hiking Mileage: 9.7 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 3880 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 4500 feet

Today is the crown jewel of this trip for many reasons! We will eat breakfast and embark on a short day hike to one of the pinnacle features of this trip: Precipice Lake.  After we take in the view in front of one of the best views in the Sierras we will retrace steps back to camp on the shores of Hamilton Lake, eat lunch and pack up camp.  Tonights destination takes us back to Bear Paw Meadow, where we will make camp and your guide will prepare dinner as the brilliant summer constellations appear overhead in the thin, fresh mountain air.

Day 4

  • Hiking Mileage: 5.2 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1740 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 1830 feet

Today we retrace our steps along the High Sierra Trail to a camp at Mehrten Creek. We have a shorter day and it is mostly downhill or level, with just a few invigorating uphill sections. We settle in to camp as your guide prepares a final, celebratory backcountry dinner.

Day 5

  • Hiking Mileage: 9.8 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 2420 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 2800 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 crosses a junction into the Giant Sequoia Grove. There we will have a final lunch among the General Sherman Tree and explore a few sights before returning back to Wolverton Ski area and our vehicle.  Your guide will transport you back to your hotel or the airport in Fresno.

Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary access restrictions, weather, lodging/campground availability, guest ability/injury, natural events like fires and flooding, and other potential causes.

Trip Dates & Booking

TRIP DATES & BOOKING

Click on a date to register. You can also click here to request new dates or book through customer service.

Available to Book

AVAILABLE TO BOOK

This trip is available and bookable online! Click on the date to register now or contact us online to book through our award-winning customer service team!

Going Fast

GOING FAST

This trip has 1 or 2 spots remaining and is bookable online! Click on the date to book now or contact us online to book through customer service.

Request a Reservation

REQUEST A RESERVATION

This trip is exclusively booked through customer service due to logistics with lodging, permits, staffing, availability, or something else. Please contact us online or call us at 800-715-HIKE (4453) to request a reservation.

Don't see your dates? Call us! We may be able to add new trip dates.

800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Details

Trip Details

What's Included

  • Top-of-the-line tent, backcountry sleeping pad and multi-day backpack
  • High quality, synthetic sleeping bag (professionally laundered after every use) – or bring your own.
  • 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 (Oboz hiking shoes and boots recommended)
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-20% of trip cost)

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about what to pack.

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 synthetic-fill sleeping bags (or bring your own)
  • Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
  • Leki or Black Diamond trekking poles
  • Cooking stoves and cookware
  • Bear cannisters
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Emergency communication device(s)

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.

Additionally, some guests choose to bring their own sleeping bag. We supply high quality, synthetic fill bags that are professionally laundered after every trip. Synthetic fill is non-allergenic, insulates when damp and stands up well to repeated washings, but is heavier and bulkier than down. If you’re able to bring your own down sleeping bag, there are multiple benefits. If not, we’ve got you covered!

What Clothes to Bring

When you register for this tour you’ll receive access to a printable, downloadable trip information packet with detailed guidance about what clothes to pack (click here to see it now.) All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, and our recommended clothing system. 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.

Trip Logistics

Trip Logistics

How do I Register?

Reserve your spot today! In the Trip Dates & Booking section of this page, the green and red dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here 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 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit.

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 Wyndham Garden Hotel in Fresno, California at 5PM the evening before your trip begins for an orientation meeting. We recommend staying at the Wyndham Garden before and after your trip for your convenience. 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.

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about flights, shuttles, recommended 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.

Guide Shifts

Yosemite, Lost Coast, Mount Lassen, Eastern Sierras, Sequioa-Kings Canyon guides work daily shifts from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. During off hours (9 p.m. to 5 a.m.) the guides’ time is their own, and they are free to sleep, rest, take personal time, postpone guest requests until the next morning, and any other legal, reasonable activity people engage in when not working. We ask all guests to respect the guides’ off-duty hours by not waking or asking anything of them unless there is a true emergency. Also, state law requires that employees receive an uninterrupted 10 minute break every four working hours, so guides are required to take four 10 minute breaks between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Group Size and Age Restrictions

The standard group size on backpacking trips is 6 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 1-800-715-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)

MonthValleysAlpine
hilowhilow
January49°26°45°25°
February55°28°46°26°
March59°31°48°27°
April65°35°54°30°
May73°42°62°37°
June81°

51°71°46°
July89°

57°77°50°
August89°

56°81°53°
September82°51°71°46°
October74°39°62°37°
November58°31°51°29°
December48°26°46°25°

Accommodations

Accommodations

Backcountry Sleeping

TENT CAMPING

Sleeping on backpacking trips is in premier 1-person, 2-person or 4-person backcountry tents. Solo travelers, and anyone else who requests it, are issued single tents. Top-of-the-line self-inflating sleeping pads and synthetic-fill sleeping bags (professionally laundered after every trip) are also provided.

Backcountry Cuisine

FRESH & DELICIOUS

Meals from breakfast Day 1 through lunch the last day are fully included and prepared by your guide. We never use dehydrated backpacking meals, instead serving freshly prepared, delicious backcountry cuisine made with a variety of common and specialty ingredients that travel well in the wilderness.

Amazing Campsites

IN THE ACTION

Of course campsites vary tremendously by destination, trip and even by the individual day of a trip. However, you can expect to camp in beautiful areas that put you right in the action to make the most of your backpacking adventure. We carefully design our itineraries with campsites in mind.

Trip Reviews

Trip Reviews

  • Average Customer Ratings:

  • 5.0 (3 reviews)
Andrew S.
5.0

Great Trip!

11 months ago

Great trip with a great group and great guide, Joe! He was the man. Always took care of us well and made some great food to boot.

Marsha C.
5.0

Superb Company

5 years ago

It was a harder trip than I thought it would be. I was warned but did it anyway. Jp was very supportive & patient. He was encouraging & made me feel like I did great. Once I finished & reflected, I was very satisfied with my performance. He obviously loves the outdoors, his job & the park. He shared this love of the outdoors & taught me ways to leave no trace. His cooking skills were excellent & kept me very well fed. Everyone has asked about my trip & I still think your company is superb.

Sabrina O.
5.0

Wonderful Adventure!

5 years ago

This was my 2nd hike with Wildland and once again everything was just fantastic, from the food, our guide and the customer service before the trip. Thank you for a wonderful adventure!

See All Guest Reviews!

Go to our reviews page

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