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High Sierra Backpacker | The Tahoe to Whitney Trail Guide's Magazine & its Backpacker Trails & Topics Forums

Welcome to the High Sierra Backpacker's Magazine, including forums for local and long-distance hikers sharing info about hiking the Sierra between Tahoe and Whitney.

This Magazine covers everything Sierra. Its
Forums cover TYT, PCT, & JMT and alt-route hiker input from the Guide. The Tahoe to Whitney Trail Guide explores the trails  & the necessary skills, fitness, and gear required to hike from Tahoe to Whitney. This evolving Magazine covers Current Conditions, News, the Arts, Sciences, Physicality, Spirituality, Gear, Environment, History, and Cultures of hiking Tahoe to Whitney. 

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. Find info. Ask questions, get feedback, generate self-understanding and terrain awareness. Find killer short routes up and down the High Sierra Crest.

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

for Experts: The information to come 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, and has been, and will be here much longer than any of us.  

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Jumping Spider at 10,000 feet, Big Sam in the Emigrant Wilderness, Tahoe to Yosemite Trail

Heading up the Northern Flank of Big Sam I came upon this unusual looking Spider.

Jumping Spider on Big Sam, High Emigrant Wilderness

Note the granite coloring that matches the granitic environment, the beautiful pattern on its back, and who can miss the massive head. Thanks to Professor John Hafernik, San Francisco State University, for the identification.

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Question & Comments: Hiking South to Peak 8906, Sayles Canyon

Hiking South out of Echo Summit? Post your questions, comments,  and experiences  backpacking out of Echo Summit into the Meiss Country Roadless Area.

After departing our fine overlook- rest break-backpacker meeting place (2.14 miles South of Echo Summit) we continue hiking South from Echo Summit towards Showers Lake.

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Meeks Bay to Echo Summit Miles and Elevations: TYT and PCT

 Meeks Bay to Echo Summit miles and elevations30.71 miles, and a net gain of 1138 feet, Southbound.

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South Lake Tahoe Backpackers Resupply and Resources

Lake Tahoe Backpackers Resupply and Resources

View of South Lake Tahoe from near Showers Lake on the Pacific Crest Trail South of Echo Summit

Lake Tahoe from South of  Echo Summit heading towards Showers Lake


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Trail Friends Rest Spot and View South of Echo Summit

Comments on the Tahoe to Yosemite & Pacific Crest Trail South of Echo Summit? This is the comments and suplemental notes page for the Trail Guide.

Trail Reroute?

2.14 miles, possibly 2.5 miles South of Echo Summit you come to a gap between peaks that offers an excellent place to stop for a break with a great view.

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Roller Coaster Trail between Footbridge Souh of Echo Summit and Showers Lake

Tell us what you like about this fine hike into the Meiss Country. Post your Comments about backpacking this area, or Register to post videos and pictures with your trip notes through here.

Echo Summit Trailhead is generally used to access Showers Lake. How do you do it? What are your impressions of the hike?

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Tahoe Rim Trail

The Tahoe to Whitney Trailguide describes 28.3 miles of the Tahoe Rim Trail from where our TYT route out of Meeks Bay Trailhead joined the Tahoe Rim Trail  and the Pacific Crest Trail just North of Middle Velma Lake.
These three classic trails track South together to the Round Lake junction in Meiss Meadow.

The Tahoe Rim Trail breaks off to the Northeast from Meiss Meadow towards the Big Meadow Trailhead crossing Highway 89 on the way up towards Freel Peak topping the Carson Range above the East shore of the Tahoe Basin.

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Meiss Country Roadless Area Winter-Snow Backpacking

 The Meiss Roadless Area is an excellent Winter Wonderland for the Winter backpacker.

Meiss Country offers a range of difficulties for Winter Travel, from easy day hikes to multi-night navigation challenges.

Thus it makes a good place to transition from a fair weather to a Winter Backpacker. I think it's best to start learning snow skills in late Spring when the chances of harsh Winter storms decrease, temps rise, and the Winter experience is softening.

We move earlier into Spring towards Winter conditions as our skills and experience develope.

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Echo Summit Trailhead

This is your page to add your insight and information about the Echo Summit Trailhead, and to leave your questions or comments about the trail South along the TYT-PCT from Echo Summit past the Adventure Mountain kid's/family ski area  to the Frog Pond Loop.


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High Sierra Backpacking Weather Information, Application, and Resources

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There are three types of High Sierra Backpacking Weather assets: Good Information, Proper application of that information, and your resources and experiences.

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Heading Past Vidette Peak, Fully Loaded

Fully Loaded. Heading up to Forester Pass after cresting Glenn Pass earlier in the day.  Made it from Rae Lakes over Glenn Pass, a short side trip up to the stunning hanging canyon that holds the Lake of the Golden Bear, then hiked up to the big flat shoulder on the North side of Forester Pass that sits below the last monster climb up to the Pass. A delightful day.

Heading Past Vidette Peak, Fully Loaded
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Highway 50 and the Pacific Crest Trail

 Tahoe to Yosemite Trail---Pacific Crest Trail---Tahoe Rim Trail

From Velma Lakes to Meiss Cabin we are hiking three trails

Getting to Echo Summit 

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Echo Lake: Exiting the Desolation Wilderness, through Echo Chalet to Echo Summit

This is the questions, comments, and additional experiences page for the Echo Lake pages of the Tahoe to Whitney backpacker trail guide. Links to the trail guide with maps, mileages, and trail information are at the bottom of this page.

Post up your favorite backpacking trip pushing into the South end of Desolation Wilderness. Do you suggest taking the ferry? Do you hike the trail in and out?

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Desolation Wilderness: 10 trail junctions south of Lake Aloha

The Tamarack Trail junction South of Lake Aloha marks the first of 10 main trail junctions between here and the Boat Taxi Dock on Lower Echo Lake backpacking out of the South end of Desolation Wilderness.

But don't worry too much, as it is fairly clear from the signs, the elevation drop, and the direction which trail is the Southbound Pacific Crest and Tahoe to Yosemite Trail to the Echo Lake trailhead.

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Aloha Lake, Desolation Wilderness, Backpacking Tahoe Yosemite Trail

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This is the questions, comments, and additional experiences page for the Lake Aloha pages of the Tahoe to Whitney backpacker trail guide.

Lake Aloha is a beautiful and popular place. Share your favorite backpacking trips, loops, campsites, and experiences here to inform and direct other backpackers.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Susie and Heather Lakes, Desolation Wilderness, Tahoe to Yosemite Trail

This is the questions, comments, and additional experiences page for the Susie Lake and Heather Lake page of the Tahoe to Whitney Trail guide.

Register to post pictures and videos of your experiences here, or post text comments.

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Trail View: Stony Ridge Lake to Rubicon Lake

This little topic entry is thrown here, outside of the trail sequence order, but a word has to be said about the trails we take to backpack through the High Sierras between Lake Tahoe and Mount Whitney. So here it goes!

With no particular named features to describe, the trail itself  between Stony Ridge Lake and Rubicon Lake on the Desolation trail is notable, nonetheless. As are many of the trails we are going to encounter between here and the Mount Whitney Portal.

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Anatomy of a Snow Trip: 1-10-2010

Going Crazy working on a backpacking guide. Need to Backpack. I made a small amount of money. I have an REI voucher from the refund from all of their equipment I completely trashed this last Summer.

Money and a voucher? It's too much to handle. I can't help but begin to put together a late-January snow shoe backpacking trip out of the Tahoe Basin.

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Tahoe to Yosemite Trail: Desolation Trail from Meeks Bay to Pacific Crest Trail junction near Middle Velma Lake

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The start point of the Tahoe to Yosemite Backpacking Trail is at Meeks Bay.

This is also the Start Point for this Tahoe to Whitney Trail Guide.

Trail Guide Page
Desolation Trail, The Meeks Bay Trailhead.

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The Tahoe to Whitney Trail Guide and Magazine are walked, written, funded, and supported by my efforts, with the help of kindred spirits and my sister.

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