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Sierras, CA: Sierra High Route

On this burly, 200-plus-mile traverse, which
crosses 33 passes and barely touches
established trails, you can find Alaska-size
scenery, complete solitude, and just
enough risk to keep things interesting.

Rating

This 210- to 220-mile, 20- to 30-day cross-country journey could be the premier mountain trek in the Lower 48. But it is an expert route—not for novices, youth groups, bad knees, or even experienced trail hikers new to loaded scrambling and off-trail navigation.You’ll hop boulders for 40 miles, and cross a sawtoothed succession of steep passes and deep gorges. You’ll traverse two national parks, three wilderness areas, one national monument, 33 named passes, and 11 major divides. If you’re unsure of your abilities, gain experience on less committing trips or section-hike the route. Since this trek crosses much fragile alpine tundra, smallgroups and Leave No Trace practices are mandatory.

To Trailhead

Start: From Kings Canyon Visitor Center, head west on Cedar Trail/Mother Nature Trail. Turn left onto CA-180 and continue 2 miles to trail junction. End: From Bridgeport, head west on Main St./US 395. Turn left at Twin Lakes Rd and continue until the road ends. Park in dirt lot and head southeast to the trailhead.

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