Welcome to the backpacking trails and topics forums for local and long-distance hikers along the Sierra Crest between Lake Tahoe and Mount Whitney.

These
Forums cover the TYT, PCT, & JMT and their associated and alternative routes. We explore the necessary backpacking skills, fitness, and gear required. All backpacking information posted here is linked to our related Tahoe to Whitney Trail Guide. These forums are the "backend" of the Guide and Magazine. 

Purposes: Expand Knowledge, Explore Potential

for Beginners: To get you off the couch, gear you up, get you into Sierra Shape, and onto the High Sierra Trails. Ask questions, get feedback, generate self-understanding and terrain awareness. Find killer short routes up and down the High Sierra Crest to get you started.

for Backpackers: To get you in longer, deeper, and higher. Train for the long trails. Find your next-steps trips. Hit the Long Trails. Find and explore side trails, alternative, and cross-country routes until you hike your skills into Winter compentency. Find your potential.

for Experts: All the information to bring yourself from anywhere in the US or world and backpack from Tahoe to Whitney. The Sierra Nevada is the ultimate wonderland for expert backpackers in top shape. But don't get cocky! The Sierra is bigger, stronger, has been, and will be here much longer than any of us. 


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Spring 2015 Shocking Research

We have disturbing climate news from the top and bottom of the planet.

Warming climate may release vast amounts of carbon from long-frozen Arctic soils, University of Georgia, April 25, 2015

And

Gravity data show that Antarctic ice sheet is melting increasingly faster, Princton, April 30, 2015.

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Ticks on the Move

May 7, 2015 
TICK RESEARCH
National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Good News and Bad News.

The Good News:

BOULDER--New research has identified correlations between weather conditions and the occurrence of West Nile virus disease in the United States, raising the possibility of being able to better predict outbreaks.

The Bad News:

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2015 WEATHER NEWS: California Drought, Fire, El Nino and Floods?

Updated

                       December 30, 2015 

What  
This is the collection point tracking the profound changes in seasonal weather patterns and the resulting chaos in the webs of life that we are experiencing through 2015.

See 2016 Climate Tracking

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Tollermom tops Mount Whitney on a very Long Day Hike

Tahoe to Whitney just received this excellent account of Tollermom's careful approach to hiking Mount Whitney in a day, her planning and preperation, and successful execution of this daring hike.

Mount Whitney in a Day

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APRIL 2015 Trip Report: Glacier Point Road to Grouse Lake, Yosemite

P, of M & P who publish BackpacktheSierra, sent in this fantastic trip report of their recent very early Spring backpacking trip off the recently opened (March 28 2015) Glacier Point Road above Yosemite Valley.

Here's M's report on these very unusual Spring conditions:

HI Alex,

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Dave Bewley completes Pacific Crest Trail at 72

Over the years hiking South from Tahoe to Whitney I've had the pleasure to meet a lot of Northbound PCT hikers.

Though many of these encounters are fleeting, they can be deeply rewarding and satisfying. I've met a whole lot of amazing folks over the years.

One of those folks is Dave Bewley, a section hiker out of Florida. Well, let's let Dave tell us about it.

 

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Melika carries pack across the unmaintained TYT from Carson Pass to Lake Alpine

Scott Turner, his pal Rich, and Scott's dog Melika hiked the unmaintained section of the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail in the Spring of 2014. Check out  Scott's Trail Report

Trail Guide References:

Map

Carson Pass Region Hiking Map

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Peter finds Excellent Cheap Backpacking Boots: Interceptor Tactical Footwear

Peter is an excellent highly experienced solo cross-country backpacker. His engagement, analysis, observation and decision making skills are reliable and accurate in my estimation.

 Peter found an excellent cheap high quality boot suited for heavy backpacking, cross country scrambling, and even suitable for marginal Spring snow conditions.  

Let's let Peter tell it:

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Vermilion Valley to Muir Ranch Backpacker Forum

Vermilion Valley to Muir Ranch Backpacker Forum

 This is the comments, questions, and supplemental information catch-all page for the  Vermilion Valley to Muir Ranch Backpacker Forum.

Post up your information or your need for information.

Here's some information:

Trail Section Index

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Muir Ranch to Whitney Portal Backpacker Forum

This is the supplemental information, references, and comments page for the Muir Ranch to Whitney Portal section of the Tahoe to Whitney Trails.

In this same forum we will explore the loops and alternative routes along this section of the trail, such as the North-South and Rae Lakes Loops.

This forum and the South end of the guide below Tuolumne Meadows are under construction. The trails above are in draft form.

Tral Guide Index

Miles and Elevations

Maps

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Whitney Portal and Lone Pine Backpacker Resources

I have hit the Whitney Portal four times at the end of John Muir Trail hikes at 2;30 pm, had a Portal Burger at Doug's, then caught a ride down to Lone Pine with Doug three of the four times.

I am going to eat some more in Lone Pine, then either hitch-hike up to the Hot Springs just South of Bishop if I can't get a ride up to spend a night in the Tuolumne Meadows backpacker's camp.

Next time through the Whitney Portal I'm going to spend a night at Doug's Hostel specialized for long-distance backpackers down in Lone Pine.

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Muir Ranch Backpacker Resupply

Muir Ranch is one of my favorite resupply spots. This is in large part due to the low-key hospitality of Pat Gray.

Pat runs the backpacker resupply service. In the last ten years Muir Ranch has built a new shed to store the resupply packages, and completely turned around their previously backpacker-unfriendly attitude. 

Pat was not unfriendly prior to this time, but the attitude at Muir was clear:

In past years their policy was, "get your resupply and get the hell out."

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Yosemite Valley to John Muir Trail in Lyell Canyon via Vogelsang High Sierra Camp

Alternative Route
hiking to
Tuolumne Meadows
and the
Southbound John Muir Trail

I call it 25.94 miles.

That is 25.94 miles starting out of Happy Isles Trailhead in Yosemite Valley to the point 5.6 miles South of Tuolumne Meadows where the end of this alternative route tees-out on the John Muir Trail.

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Trail Index: Reds Meadow to Vermilion Valley Resort

We will find there are more ways to hike the JMT than skin a cat. South of Reds Meadow we can follow the standard JMT to the VVR ferry at Lake Thomas Edison, or we can hike an alternative route down Fish Valley to the great beauties of Iva Bell Hot Springs.

Iva Bell Hot Springs are the Hilton Hotels of High Sierra Hot Springs. Its set up campsites climbing up the end of the Fish Valley to accompany the series of hot springs climbing the mountain are splendid.

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Index of, and Forum for John Muir Trail Backpacking Information

South into the Ansel Adams WildernessCrossing Doonhue Pass South out of Yosemite and into the amazing beauty of the Ansel Adams Wilderness.
This is the forum for supplemental information for the JMT and PCT from Tuolumne Meadows to Reds Meadow, where we will pick up our next resupply.

Resupply Information

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Hiking Notes on the Backwards John Muir Trail to Yosemite Valley

My first, and possibly most important suggestion is to time out this section of trail down to Yosemite Valley from Tuolumne Meadows during the week and not near any mid-Summer holiday weekends.

Otherwise the traffic climbing the JMT, not to mention the vast crowds around Happy Isles Trailhead in the Valley will be thick. Try to time your descent into the Valley during low-traffic times. 

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INDEX: The Golden Triangle

This is the comments and basic information page for our Golden Triangle alternative route off the main crestline route of our Tahoe to Whitney backpacking trip. I want to hear how you weave in the more famous parts of Yosemite into your Tahoe to Whitney backpacking trip. Or, how you figured out the best way to hike a huge loop around the entirety of Yosemite National Park, which would be the next best thing.

 

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Tilden and Wilmer Lakes Route History

Research reveals that the current PCT route around Wilmer Lake was not built until sometime after 1931 and before 1939, as indicated by the Yosemite Park Maps of 1931 and 1939.

The 1931 map shows the current route of the TYT around Tilden Lake as being the main route across the North Yosemite Backcountry with no route around Wilmer Lake.

1931 map of Yosemite National Park

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Changing Seasons Doom Traditional Sierra Forests

Independent of the amazing drought of 2011-?, the slow and steady changes in the seasons over the Sierra Nevada have already doomed their forests to a rapid transition between species by fire.

I discuss this in context of the changing times we get changing temps and weather in the Sierra. This information is almost as important for backpackers as the forests and animals within them.

Notes on backpacking weather, changing (changed) seasons and the fate of High Sierra trees:

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