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Seeking Input on The High Sierra Trail

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Re: Seeking Input on The High Sierra Trail

Postby quentinc » Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:56 pm

The year we did it, they were doing "controlled burns" in Sequoia, and the views along that stretch reminded me of downtown Los Angeles. Hopefully you'll have better luck!



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Re: Seeking Input on The High Sierra Trail

Postby mshields » Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:40 pm

Wildhiker - would my permit need to be modified to take your suggested route?

Quentinc - Hopefully I will be able to grab a few views that top downtown LA :crybaby:
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Re: Seeking Input on The High Sierra Trail

Postby cahiker » Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:14 pm

I agree that the trail from Wolverton to Panther Gap is much more scenic than the first part of the HST. The HST is pleasant, though, and gives you enough glimpses of the scenery to come to keep it interesting. I've camped near the bear box at Mehrten Creek and there is a nice view from there and it's also enjoyable to sit near the cascades. Crowded, though.

I didn't find Big Arroyo Junction, Junction Meadow or Crabtree Meadow particularly interesting. We camped before Big Arroyo, along the river which was very nice. Junction Meadow is just a large, flat spot in the forest with a bunch of established campsites. It's a long climb from there up to the JMT, so could be a convenient stopping spot.

Moraine Lake is nice, but has a bear box and designated sites and one communal fire ring where you will likely camp near others.

One thing to consider is camping the last night at Guitar Lake and hiking up to Whitney and out the next day. It's very scenic (if you like above treeline landscapes) with decent campsites. Trail camp is hot and crowded, and likely a letdown at the end of your trip. By camping at Guitar you can start hiking before dawn. The views of the sun rising and the light hitting the mountains as you hike up Whitney are magical.
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Re: Seeking Input on The High Sierra Trail

Postby AvFan » Sun Jul 08, 2012 9:45 am

I did the HST the last two years and the itinerary below is my suggestion but there are lots of options.

Day 1 Merhten (if leaving the TH in the afternoon) or Buck Creek (if leaving early morning)
Day 2 Hamilton
Day 3 Just east of crest of the climb out of Big Arroyo or push on to Moraine Lake
Day 4 Kern Hot Springs (a soak or two makes it worth camping here!)
Day 5 Junction Meadow (leisurely day and sets up an early am climb up Wallace Creek)
Day 6 Guitar Lake or the tarns above it
Day 7 Whitney and exit at Whitney Portal (big day but leave early and cheeseburgers will motivate you)

I'd avoid Bearpaw; pretty nasty IMHO. I highly recommend climbing out of Hamilton Lake early in the morning to avoid the heat during the 2500' climb to Kaweah Gap. I expect Big Arroyo Junction will have a lot of skeeters so if you want to keep going you can camp after climbing up out of Big Arroyo. There is a stream 1/4 to 1/2 mile after starting the decent on the Chagoopa Plateau towards Moraine Lake that I camped at last year. The last day is about 16 miles but I didn't like the camping options on the east side of Whitney. Lastly, if you add a day to this itinerary I'd stay at Moraine Lake; its beautiful and good for swimming.

Enjoy your trip!!
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Re: Seeking Input on The High Sierra Trail

Postby mshields » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:49 pm

Thanks Everybody; Just Got Back Yesterday.

Took the following itinerary; it was great!

Day 1 - Buck Creek
Day 2 - Hamilton Lake
Day 3 - Moraine Lake
Day 4 - Kern Hot Springs
Day 5 - Wallace Creek Junction
Day 6 - Guitar Lake
Day 7 - Outpost

Will Be Posting A Trip Report Soon
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