High Sierra Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"The High Sierra Trail (HST) is one of the better known trails in the park, taking backpackers from the Big Trees (giant sequoias) to the big mountain (Mt. Whitney). Dayhikers can enjoy the initial segment of the HST from Crescent Meadow to Panther Creek, with grand views of the Great Western Divide, Middle Fork Kaweah River, and surrounding landmarks along the way. Built by the NPS between 1927 and 1932, the HST has a quite pleasant grade, and this section’s southern exposure makes it an excellent spring or fall trip. Summer hikers will want to get an early start to beat the heat."
--Mike White, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks: Your Complete Hiking Guide (Wilderness Press).
"Although not nearly as famous as the John Muir Trail, the High Sierra Trail is the second most noteworthy long-distance path in the High Sierra, traveling from the big trees (Giant Forest) to the big mountain (Mount Whitney).Snow generally leaves the trails sometime in May in this part of Giant Forest, permitting snow-free hiking until the first snowfall of the season, usually in late October or early November. Late spring, when the azalea flowers are in bloom, is a particularly fine time for a visit, as is early fall, when the azalea leaves are cloaked in autumn splendor. Colorful wildflowers put on a showy display in early summer."
--Mike White, Top Trails Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks: 64 Must-do Hikes for Everyone (Wilderness Press).
"This dramatic trans-Sierra route follows the renowned High Sierra Trail from Crescent Meadow to Whitney Portal, visiting many classic Sierra points and crossing the Great Western Divide at Kaweah Gap and the Sierra Crest at Trail Crest, the Sierra’s highest on-trail pass. From a junction near there, bagging Mt. Whitney’s summit is an integral part of this trip along the way. The High Sierra Trail is the quintessential Sierra crossing— and there’s plenty of fine fishing along the way."
--Kathy Morey & Mike White with Stacy Corless, Analise Elliot, Chris Tirrell & Thomas Winnett, Sierra South: Backcountry Trips in California's Sierra Nevada (Wilderness Press).
"This trip takes you along the High Sierra Trail, up the scenic Middle Fork Canyon, to a large campground across from the Bearpaw Meadow High Sierra Camp.You begin by following a very short portion of the paved Crescent Meadow Trail. After you pass the second footbridge and a part of the Sugar Pine Trail (Hike 9) on your right (west), you come to the signed High Sierra Trail. Follow this path uphill, through shady woods, passing another segment of the Sugar Pine Trail."
--Laurel Scheidt, Hiking Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks (Falcon Guides).
"The High Sierra Trail is a trans-Sierra back-packing route. It leads 34 miles to the Kern River Canyon and 71 miles to the summit of Mount Whitney at 14,495 feet, the highest peak in the contiguous United States. This hike takes the first 0.75 miles of the High Sierra Trail from Crescent Meadow to Eagle View. The trail follows the northern rim of the Middle Fork Kaweah River canyon. From Eagle View are expansive 180-degree views of the 3,000-foot deep canyon. The vistas include Moro Rock, Castle Rocks and the pointed summits of the Great Western Divide."
--Robert Stone, Day Hikes in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks (Day Hike Books).
"Although less celebrated than the John Muir Trail (JMT), the High Sierra Trail (HST) is another significant jewel in the long-distance backpacker’s crown. Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the early 1930s, the trail was the grand scheme of Park Superintendent Colonel John White."
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