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Banner Peak (2009)
Big Margaret Lake (2009)
Dinkey Lakes (2009)
Graveyard Lakes (2009)
Kaiser Wilderness (2007)
Darwin Canyon (2006)
Upper Twin Lake (2006)
Redwood Canyon/Big Springs (2006)
Upper Twin Lake (2005)
Mt Whitney (2005)
Dinkey Lakes Wilderness (2005)
Cliff Lake/Dinkey Wilderness (2005)
Kaiser Wilderness (2004)
Blaney Meadows (2004)
High Sierra Trail (Mt. Whitney) (2003)
Mt Whitney Day Hike (2002)
Hell for Sure Pass(2000)
Marie Lake/Selden Pass (1999)
Sandbeach Lake (1994)
Big Spring (1994)
Graveyard Lakes
Hidden Lake and Kaiser Peak
Darwin Canyon via Lamarck Col
Redwood Canyon/Big Spring
Twin Lakes
Dinkey Lakes
Cliff Lake
Kaiser Peak
Blaney Meadows
High Sierra Trail
Mt Whitney Trail
Hell for Sure Pass
Sandbeach Lake
Selden Pass

High Sierra Trail

2003 Trip

Trail Location and info: I believe you can take highway 180 to Giant Forest in Sequoia National. The trailhead starts from Crescent Meadow in the Giant Forest. I also suggest you take a small trip to Moro Rock and see some great views of the Great Western Divide (GWD). But you don't have to because you will see plenty of the GWD along the trail. You start off on the trail going along the edge of a pretty big drop down to Panther Creek below and stays along the edge for quite awhile. So you will get some pretty good views of the GWD along the trail up until you go over the GWD. The trail pretty much stays along the edge until you get close to the end of the canyon. Toward the end of the canyon you come to some drop offs and some pretty good views down the canyon you just came up. You soon come to a bridge crossing a narrow canyon. The canyon is probably about 20 feet wide and maybe 40 ft down. After that you continue to gain elevation as you begin crossing over the GWD. After awhile come to the first of the Hamilton lakes and shortly after that, Big Hamilton Lake. Big Hamilton Lake is a beautiful lake surrounded by peaks and high ridges. After Big Hamilton Lake you go up some steep switchbacks and quickly get above the lake. You soon come to a bend in the trail and go through a tunnel. There used to be a bridge across the gorge that you go around, you can still see the cement blocks and some cable. Not sure exactly how deep the gorge is, but it seemed pretty for down. A short ways after that you get above the timberline and come upon Upper Hamilton Lake. Upper Hamilton is a small lake, probably a good place to rest. The trail still continues up quite a bit until you get over Kaweah Gap. After Upper Hamilton you walk through the Sierra alpine and soon come to Precipice Lake, another beautiful lake along the way. The far side of the lake is against a wall of granite below Eagle Scout Peak. Shortly after the lake you go through a few meadows and along some small glacial ponds and soon get to Kaweah Gap. From there you can see Nine Lakes Basin and some lakes to the north. The valley below the gap is very shallow and open. After you descend from Kaweah Gap the trail becomes much easier and faster. You quickly come to some small trees, which quickly get bigger and then into different types of trees. You soon come to Big Arroyo Junction and after that you go back up to Moraine Lake. The hike up is pretty easy going up and you start to get some good views of the canyon below. After awhile you get to Moraine Lake. This is a great place to stop. Its in the trees, but still has some good views of distant peaks. After Moraine Lake you hike across somewhat of a plateau for awhile, you might be able to see Whitney from here, but you have to know what you are looking for. Then you start your steep descent down to the Kern River in Kern Canyon. After you get down there, you start a gradual up, which doesn't seem so gradual after awhile. You soon come to Kern Hot Springs. This is a good place to rest and let your legs soak in the hot water. Quite a ways after the hot spring you finally come to Junction Meadow. Another good place to stop after a long hike up the canyon. After Junction Meadow you go up and out of the canyon. after awhile you start coming into some meadows and views to the west. You start to see some peaks where you are going also. You soon come to Crabtree Meadow which is a beautiful meadow shortly before Whitney. Then after Crabtree Meadow you start getting above timberline again at Timberline Lake. A short ways after Timber Line Lake you come to Guitar Lake, right below Mt Whitney. It's another good place to camp and have peaks all around you. After Guitar Lake you begin ascending Whitney. The trail becomes pretty steep and many switchbacks, but it is fairly short and you get to the junction pretty fast. This is where you can leave your packs and head up to the peak. The trail will probably become quite a bit busier because of all the day hikers coming from Whitney Portal. After you drop your packs, it isn't very steep the rest of the way up, but the altitude might get to you. Along the trail are some windows that drop down a thousand (or more) feet on both sides. At the top is the hut and the registry. Sign the registry and stay awhile to enjoy the view. Then you go back down to your packs and head down toward Whitney Portal. You will hike along the back of the ridge some more until you come to Trail Crest. This will be where you start your steep climb down. There will be the infamous 99 switchbacks and then you will reach Trail Camp. You will then continue down passing some nice lakes along the way. You soon get back into the trees and then after a long steep hike down you will get to Whitney Portal. Click here to see my previous day hike to Mt Whitney. The National Park website below has a lot more information about the trail.

Links: National Park's High Sierra Trail Website, My BSA Troop's Pictures

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