Mt. Barnard, California Here’s alpine proof that biggest isn’t always best.
This southern Sierra peak was initially designated an official Fourteener, but the USGS later downgraded it to 13,990. That, plus a long-haul approach, pushed it way off the radar screen of most climbers. Start at the Shepherd Pass trailhead and hike 11 miles to the pass.
Descend to the west and follow the John Muir Trail south for 4.7 miles, then hike cross-country along the north side of Wallace Creek for four miles to a campsite near Wallace Lake–24 miles from the car. From here, it’s an easy half-day hike up scree slopes on the southwest ridge to Barnard, a peak so isolated that, until recently, you could sign a summit register that contained signatures from Norman Clyde and other 1930s Sierra Clubbers (it has since disappeared).
Maps USGS topos Mt. Williamson, Mt. Whitney, Mt. Brewer, and Mt. Kaweah
Permits Required (free)