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.  

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Tracking the Sierra Nevada Spring into Summer-Thaw of 2011


Greetings. I'm Alex Wierbinski, and I started up this continuing post in early May so you could both obtain and contribute information that backpackers, hikers, and even you climbers need to track the Spring Thaw of 2011.

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Alex Wierbinski's picture

Free Car Camping near Carson Pass: Intro to the Car Camping Section

Free Car Camping in the Sierra Nevada

My focus in this forum is on free Car Camping opportunities in the National Forests along the Sierra Crest. You're welcome to use this forum to post up your own pages or supplemental information about your own favorite car camping spots in the Sierra, regardless of if it is a free National Forest site, or is in a high-fee state, federal, or national park.

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Alex Wierbinski's picture

Meiss Cabin South to the Carson Gap.

  This is the last Forum-comments page covering the trail up from the South Upper Truckee trail head in Meyers to the Meiss Cabin.  

Alex Wierbinski's picture

The Carson Gap

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The Carson Gap

The Carson Gap is a low point in the mountains along the Southeastern edge of the Lake Tahoe Rim. The Carson Gap makes up the Southern entrance and exit from the Tahoe Basin for Backpackers heading North and South on either the Tahoe to Yosemite or the Pacific Crest Trails.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Meiss Cabin South to the Carson Gap

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Meiss Cabin to Carson Gap

This is the comments, questions, and extra information Forum Page for the trail guide pages between Meiss Cabin and the Carson Gap.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Round Lake to Meiss Meadow Spring backpacking High Sierra

A little over two miles South of Round Lake on the trail we will encounter the Pacific Crest and Tahoe to Yosemite Trails. 

We will wind our way South from Round Lake thorugh meadow and forest along a moderately ascending well maintained trail  to the trail junction with the Tahoe to Yosemite and Pacific Crest Trails within sight of Meiss Cabin and Barn. 

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Showers_Lake_Frozen_Spring 2010

This picture looks from the check dam Southwest across the frozen lake. The top of the checkdam is visible in the snow in the foreground.

A duck was screwing around on the lake, and a chipmunk was scouting us out, and probing us for food at our campsite. I love Spring. Departing the lake the next day I found bear tracks emerging from bear's hibernation spot.

Bear Tracks Departing Hibernation Den

Showers_Lake_Frozen_Spring 2010
Alex Wierbinski's picture

Winter Backpacking Gear Video and Notes: Selection thoughts, Worse Case Scenario, First Aid Kit

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Now that we've checked out our Winter layering options, we now have to tailor our selections to the weather conditions we are anticipating from our route and weather conditions research and balance this with our own personal level of cold tolerance.

Then we have to throw in the extra layer necessary to deal with worse-case scenarios.

Check out the Tahoe to Whitney gear list for layering options, and the discussion about layering.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Test: Inline Images after site upgrade: Becan, Grand Pryramid


 I can upload new pictures successfully, yet the images in all previous posts fail to print.

This means that although all new posts on this site are capable of displaying uploaded images, every earlier post has lost its uploaded pictures, and I can't find them anywhere. such are the trials of backpacking the digital trail.

This project was suspended until this problem was fixed today, April 10 2011. Yeah!!

wallguy's picture

Other Great High Sierra Activities: Hikers-Bikers-Fishermen, Check this Out!

Backpacking is a great thing to do to clear your mind and satisfy your soul . I have been a backpacker for most of my life and have tromped all over the Sierra Nevada mountains (maybe not on the scale that Alex has ).

As we get older it is not possible for all of us to continue with the things we love ( at least in the same capacity ) . For those that are not able to backpack long distances like we used to there is still hope.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Winter Backpacking Survival: Frozen Lake Breakthrough, Self Rescue, and Recovery


This incident happened about eight or nine years ago during a late-Winter snowshoe trip. I recount it now so you can avoid my stupid mistakes and learn from my errors. My experience may give you an extra option for self-rescue after breaking through the ice on a frozen lake.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Hiking Trip Plan: Tahoe to Yosemite Trail from Meeks Bay

This is your page for questions and comments on the Hiking Trip Plan for heading South on the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail out of Meeks Bay.

See the trail guide for basic considerations the underlay a solid hiking plan.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Hiking Trip Plan: Pacific Crest & Tahoe to Yosemite from Meyers

This is your page for questions and comments on the Hiking Trip Plan for heading South out of the South Upper Truckee trailhead in Meyers.
How our hiking plan works out depends on if we are hiking the Pacific Crest Trail or the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail  South once we hike out of the Tahoe Basin through the Carson Gap.

From the Meiss Cabin junction these famous trails are unified for a short distance South, until we reach the Carson Gap. Then they split apart on their respective routes South down the East and West flanks of the Sierra.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Encounter: Bear in Carson Gap, Video and Pictures

Bear encountered heading North into Meiss Meadow through Carson Gap. Video and pictures on Carson Gap page of the trail guide. 

Black Bear heading South into the Lake Tahoe Basin through the Carson Gap towards Meiss Meadow

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Round Lake, Meiss Country: Questions, Comments, Experiences

This is your page for comments, questions, or your experiences at and around Round Lake. If you have pictures, videos, or maps that would highlight your experiences in the Meiss Country Roadless Area, Register.

This place is great for your first High Sierra Backpacking Trip!

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Q&A with your experiences Big Meadow Trail Junction, Meiss Country

This is the place for your questions, comments, and experiences with the trail from Big Meadow that joins our trail .58 of a mile below Round Lake, and .28 of a mile above the Dardanelles Lake trail junction.

Big Meadow trail junction beween the South Upper Truckee trailhead, Round Lake, and the Big Meadow trailhead.


Alex Wierbinski's picture

Dardanelles Lake and Big Meadow trail junctions Meiss Country Roadless Area

Backpacker Comments
Supplemental Information
 Dardanelles Lake and Big Meadow trail junctions in the Meiss Country Roadless Area.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Comments: South Upper Truckee River trailhead through Burnt Area

This is the place for your Questions-Comments-Experiences:
The lower section of the South Upper Truckee Trail South out of Meyers in the Lake Tahoe Basin.
Register to post your own page in this forum about your experiences and advice for other hikers on this trail.

This page is the feedback page for the two trail guide pages between the lower South Upper Truckee trailhead and the Dardanelles trail junction pages on the trail guide. 

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Questions-Comments-Experiences: Locate the South Upper Truckee Trailhead, Meyers

Questions-Comments-Experiences: Locate the South Upper Truckee Trailhead in Meyers. This page is the feedback page for the South Upper Truckee Trailhead page on the trail guide.

Looking up the drainage of the South Upper Truckee River from Echo Summit

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Favorite Campsite in the Meiss Country Roadless Area

Though I call out Showers Lake as the best campsite between Echo Summit and the Carson Gap in the Meiss Country Roadless Area, I want to hear about your favorite places to camp in Meiss Country.

Post up your impressions, opinions, and experiences below. Comments and Questions are welcome too.

Showers Lake Sunset, P.Skaff. 2009.

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