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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White-Gold Fungus, Smedberg Lake, West Shore, Yosemite

Fungus on tree at campsites on West shore of Smedberg Lake.

Fungus at Smedberg Lake campsites, Yosemite National Park.

Trail Guide Page: Seavy Pass to Bensen Pass

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North Yosemite Backcountry Trail Crew, Bensen Lake, 2001

Erin Anders North Yosemite Backcountry Trail Crew, September 2001 at Bensen Lake.

Erin Anders North Yosemite Backcountry Trail Crew, September 2001 at Bensen Lake.

Date: September 27 2001.

Location: Bensen Lake.


Some of the Folks

Ben Herbert



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North Yosemite Trail Crew, 2012, Tilden Lake Trail

HIking South down Jack Main Canyon during August of 2012 I noticed the trail washouts were recently repaired and cleaned out, a sure sign of trail crew.

Hiking further down I percieved the subtle tinking of hammer on stone bouncing off nearby rock, and dancing on the breeze. Another sign trail crew is very close.

Hiking the Tahoe to Yosemite route up the Switchbacks to  Tilden Lake I knew I would encounter some Yosemite Trail Crew.

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Orange and Black Butterfly, Field Crescent, High Sierra, Yosemite

High Sierra Butterflies

Field Crescent (?)

Backpacking the North Yosemite Backcountry

The combined Pacific Crest & Tahoe to Yosemite Trail route.

Field Crescent Butterfly encounterd backpacking North Yosemite on Pacific Crest Trail.

Location: Orange and Black butterfly on a Sandy Flat in temperate zone below South side of the Seavy Pass Bowl.

Elevation: 8200 feet.

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Hibernating Snake in North Yosemite Backcountry

High Sierra Snake hibernating on the Pacific Crest Trail in the North Yosemite Backcountry.

Snake hibernating on the Pacific Crest Trail in the North Yosemite Backcountry.


Location: Climbing South out of Stubblefield Canyon along combined Tahoe to Yosemite and Pacific Crest Trail.

Elevation: About 8400 feet.

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Massive Tree Fungus Yosemite Backcountry on PCT-TYT

High Sierra Fungus

Late 2000, hiking up from Stubblefield Canyon to the gap in the ridge over to Kerrick Canyon, I came upon this massive specimen.

Massive Fungus on tree in North Yosemite Backcountry along the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail route.


Date: 2000

Location: North Yosemite Backcountry

Elevation: Around 8400 feet

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Wilmer Lake to Stubblefield Canyon Trails Forum

This forum is for comments, additions, corrections, and questions about the section of the Pacific Crest and Tahoe to Yosemite Trails backpacking South from Wilmer Lake to Stubblefield Canyon. 

This page covers our climb South from Wilmer Lake through a flat on Bailey Ridge bringing us past a series of stunning venal and green ponds wedged between the granite domes and mountaintops making up Bailey Ridge to the South junction of the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail route variation around Tilden Lake.

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Standard Backpacking Water System and Camp Shower: "The Alex"

Complete Camp and Trail Backpacking Water System

backpacking water system in break mode.

Above: Taking a break and lesiurely enjoying filtering water as needed while cooking up some food and coffee. No sitting by the creekside filtering water I'm just going to boil anyway.

Second Use: Fire Suppression

Backpacking Water System

Video embed 2: 
See video
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Grizzly Meadow: High Sierra, Millipede, Backpacking Emigrant Wilderness

Centipede at Grizzly Lake, Emigrant Wilderness. 

Millipede marches through camp after backpacking the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail route from Kennedy Meadows Pack Station to Grizzly Meadow near Grizzly Lake. Emigrant Wilderness, Stanislaus National Forest.

9620 feet. August 26, 2012.

Trail Guide: Brown Bear Pass to Bond Pass, High Emigrant Wilderness

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Frog at Grizzly Lake, Emigrant Wilerness, Stanislaus National Forest

Frog at Grizzly Lake in Grizzly Meadow, Emigrant Wilderness.

High Sierra Frog at Grizzly Peak Lake, Grizzly Meadow, Emigrant Wilderness, Stanislaus National Forest. August 23, 2012.

Fast moving little dude kept me moving. He was amazingly adept at blending in, moving very quickly, and then blending in again.

9617 feet.

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Kennedy Meadows Pack Station Kids & Adult Horse Camps, Summer 2013 & 2014

Kennedy Meadows Pack Station has a Kid's Horse Camp?

2014 brings Kid and Adult horsepacking Schools

I can't think of a better way to show kids the balance of responsibility, fun, trail skills, camp skills, horses, and mules than Kennedy Meadows Pack Station putting on a Kid's Horse Camp. Apparently science agrees too...

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Clampers at Kennedy Meadows: Emigrants of 1852-53 and Jewels of the High Country

I found these two Historical Monuments at Kennedy Meadows Pack Station by the Clampers quite interesting.

The first tells the story of the Clark Skidmore party of 1852, which was the first to successfully cross the High Sierra with a wagon.

(Full Text)

The theme of this monument was the sixty days of work required to blaze a road between the Walker River and Sonora, which exhausted the emigrants, according to this monument. 

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Bull Run Lake and Bull Run Peak with George and Sue, Carson Iceberg Wilderness, Stanislaus National Forest

George and Sue backpacked up to Bull Run Lake from Pacific Grade Summit on Highway 4 West of Ebbetts Pass,  and scrambled around the nearby peaks, including Bull Run Peak.

Pacific Grade Summit is a wonderful flat with a beautiful lake, Mosquito Lake, with some cabins, a campground and nearby trailheads, of which Sue and George hiked the trail on across Highway 4 from the South side of Mosquito Lake South to Bull Run Lake.

Road Map: Highway 4

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Highland Lake to Summit Lake, Backpacking with Sue and George in the Carson Iceberg Wilderness

Highland Lakes to Summit Lake via Highland Creek

Backpacking the Carson Iceberg Wilderness with George and Sue. Highway 4 trailheads at Summit Lake near Union Reservoir, and Highland Lakes to the West of Ebbetts Pass and East of Lake Alpine.

Trip: Hike Highland Lakes Trailhead down to Summit Lake off the Northeast end of Union Reservoir.


Dirt roads lead from Highway 4 to both lakes, 

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Backpacking Emigrant Wilderness: Waterhouse Lake to Pinecrest Lake

George and Sue drove out to Waterhouse Lake, then hiked a rough cross country route down to Pinecrest Lake.

Pinecrest Lake is found off the road at the Pinecrest Ranger Station on Highway 108 a couple of miles West of the tiny town of Strawberry, which is where the South fork of the Stanislaus crosses Highway 108.

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Dinkey Lake Wilderness Fine Arts 5: High Sierra Nevada Watercolor by David Maxim

Dinkey Lakes Wilderness

Fine backpacking captured by fine art watercolors of David Maxim.

 Dinkey Lakes Wilderness 5


David Maxim Studio A multimedia exploration of the artist's life and work.  

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Dinkey Lakes Wilderness 4, High Sierra Watercolor by David Maxim

 Dinkey Lakes Wilderness

Dinkey Lakes Wilderness High Sierra Nevada Watercolor by artist David Maxim.

Dinkey Lakes Wilderness 4


David Maxim Studio

David Maxim Artist

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