High Sierra and 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


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 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.

Come join us for an extraordinary adventure in Sequoia National Park’s High Sierra! Call 800- 715-HIKE (4453) to learn more.


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.

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From USD
$1775 Per Person
Trip Type: Guided Backpacking Trip
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 1-10 Guests
Trip Length: 5 Days
Distance: 38MI / 61KM


Scale of 1-5. 1 is least difficult; 5 is most difficult

This trip follows well maintained trails. Some concerns include loose dirt, large stepping stones and tree roots. Two days of this trip have 9+ mile days as well as over 3500 feet of gain/loss in elevation. Its a short trip but involves high mileage and intense gain/loss over moderate terrain.

Hiking Distances:

5-10 miles

Backpack Weight:

35-45 lbs


Moderately Rugged

Max Daily Elev. ↑↓:

3880 feet

Heights Exposure:


Please Note: Terrain, Elevation Gain and Heights Exposure ratings reflect the section or day of the trip with the maximum difficulty of each. Much of the trip is at easier levels. See the trip itinerary for more detailed information. Backpack Weight ratings are estimates that account for Wildland-provided gear, guest clothing, personal items and a share of group food. By packing light it’s often possible to stay on the lower end of the weight range. Pack weights also decrease during the trip.


  • Hiking uphill or downhill with a 35-45 lb backpack for 6-10 hours
  • Maintaining balance and footing on moderately rugged terrain
  • Hiking with moderate heights exposure
* For an official and complete list of physical requirements, please see our Essential Eligibility Criteria.


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.

Private Trips

Travel in perfect company by booking a private trip exclusively for your group!

Our sliding scale for private trips is based on the final number of guests in your group. Rates are per person and do not include sales tax, national park fees or guide gratuity. The final rate is based on the actual number of guests on the trip and may adjust based on cancellations or additions.

Please Note: you can also enjoy a private trip at our normal scheduled rates by filling any empty tour to capacity. However, if group members drop from the tour those spots will automatically become available on our website for instant booking. By purchasing a private trip at the rates listed below, your trip will remain exclusive to your group regardless of cancellations. 

Private Rates FOr This Trip

  • 2 People: Rate x 2.5
  • 3 People: Rate x 1.75
  • 4 People: Rate x 1.25
  • 5+ People: Rate x 1.15

*all rates are per person

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Day 1

  • Shuttle to trailhead: 2.5 hours
  • Hiking Mileage: 7 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1815 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 1190 feet

After a short shuttle from our hotel to Sequoia-Kings National Park, we begin our California trek at beautiful Crescent Meadow.  We will throw on our packs and begin our trek along the famous High Sierra Trail.  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: 6.7 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 2195 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 1577 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 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: 9.2 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 4325 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 4620 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: 4.9 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1039 feet
  • Elevation Loss:  1183 feet

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

Day 5

  • Hiking Mileage: 5.7 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 697 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 1680 feet
  • Shuttle: 2.5 hours

We begin the last day of our trek with a quick breakfast before  doubling back along the High Sierra trail toward Crescent Meadow.  Along the way we will pass several tributaries of Panther Creek as well as aptly named Eagle View.  After a last lunch together, 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. Normal terms and conditions apply to trips with itinerary changes.

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


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


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


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
  • Trained hiking guide(s) with years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. See Guide Bios.
  • Bear cannisters for food storage
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and communication device (InReach Explorer or satellite phone)

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear (see recommendations)
  • 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, Big Agnes and Mountain Hardware synthetic-fill sleeping bags (or bring your own)
  • Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
  • Leki trekking poles
  • Cooking stoves and cookware
  • Bear cannisters
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Emergency communication device(s)

Guest Packing List

When you register for this tour you’ll receive access to a printable, downloadable trip information packet with a detailed packing list specific to this trip (click here to see it now.) All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, a recommended clothing system, a headlamp or flashlight, a hydration system (water bottles and/or bladder) and other items specific to each trip.

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!

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.

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.

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 Precautions

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. Guides adhere to standardized risk management protocols in case of any potential or actual incident, and all tours carry an emergency communication device and comprehensive first-aid kit. Additionally we have a “24/7” system through which guides or guests can reach Wildland support personnel at any time.

If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.

Essential Eligibility Criteria

Essential Eligibility Criteria (“EEC”) have been specifically identified to help you understand the skills and abilities necessary to participate on each Wildland trip, and they apply uniformly to all potential trip participants, irrespective of the presence or absence of any disability.

Once you identify a trip in which you may be interested, please carefully review the EEC and itinerary details. If after reviewing the EEC that apply to your desired trip, you determine you need an accommodation in order to meet the EEC, please contact us prior to registering to discuss your requested accommodation.

The EEC exist for your own safety and the safety and enjoyment of all participants. If you are unable to meet the EEC for the trip, with or without an accommodation, you are not eligible for that trip. If you register and arrive for a trip for which you do not meet the EEC, you will be disqualified from participation on the trip and will be dismissed or evacuated from the trip without a refund.

Guide Shifts

The guide(s) on this trip 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.

Age Restrictions

Age restrictions on this trip 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)







Backcountry Sleeping


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


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


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 (6 reviews)
Elizabeth G


10 months ago

Fantastic hike with a challenging but not excessively difficult itinerary. The scenery was so gorgeous, especially lower Precipice Lake still surrounded by snow and filled with ice. The camp at Hamilton Lake was idyllic. Carm was a fantastic guide, from scouting the trail the week prior, to great conversations and of course delicious meals, she is definitely top-notch.

Jay H


10 months ago

I went on the High Sierra and Great Western Divide with a great group of hikers who I did not know prior to the hike. Michael, our guide, was outstanding. Amazing meals, hand prepared daily, were a constant surprise. I would highly recommend Wildland Trekking for your next adventure.

Jennifer D

Wonderful and Memorable Experience

3 years ago

Dylan McFarlane did an absolutely excellent job on the trip. He made the backpacking trip a wonderful and memorable experience. He did a great job cooking, which is very important because I have celiac disease and cannot eat any gluten. I am grateful to him for making this trip so special.

See All Guest Reviews!

Go to our reviews page

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