As you go, your muscles, endurance, and confidence grows, and I felt pretty excited about the transformation I was experiencing….Not to say I wasn’t happy to kick off my shoes and feast on that Mountain House Sweet and Sour Pork birthday dinner. While some of the passes are more difficult than others, all of the passes on the trail are manageable, including Forester. I’m thinking flying in to Reno, NV and catching the ESTA bus to Lee Vinning, CA. This has been a bucket lister of mine for many years and A couple years ago I became friends with a guy who would do this with me. You should submit it to GoPro’s Daily Photo of the Day! The extremely helpful people at the center let us know that people had gone through all the passes on our route (New Army Pass, Crabtree Pass (we would question this one later), and the route up to Mount Whitney … My name is Kristen, and this is my outdoor blog. Then at night switched to long pants. I thought Glenn Pass was the most difficult and that the trail down to Whitney Portal was fairly rough and unmaintained( especially after the switch backs). The … Stay tuned for resupply info. Loved reading and seeing the pics. Views were great. Thanks for your support and if you have any other questions, just let me know! Hiked Onion Valley to Kearsarge Pass. It was hard to believe we’d soon be standing on top of it. The USS Kearsarge was named for Kearsarge Peak in Merrimack County, New Hampshire. Getting There. There was one other group of two camped across the small pond, but there was plenty of room that we didn’t bother each other. Located 13 miles west of town. And that’s a wrap! For this trip, we decided to make our way out to Independence to hike to Kearsarge Pass via Onion Valley. Wary about the recent storm that dropped snow all over the Sierra, we dropped our Mt. , Most people go north to south because it allows them to adjust to the altitude more slowly. We still had 2 miles and 1,000 feet to climb. There’s nothing even slightly technical or scary. Thank you for your inspirational writing!,. Lastly, do you think your hiking partner b-Rad would be interested in sharing his gear list? One question, is the trail to the top of MT Whitney easily discernible in the dark/early morning Twitter-light? Overall, the hike down was actually pretty difficult. I accompanied an AMS-member back down, spent the night again in Mammoth, returned early am next day, and caught up with the rest of the group at: day 2 - treeline north of Forester Pass day 3 - over Forester. So we found a nice riverside spot for our tent in Upper Vidette Meadow and hid out for a couple of hours while the rain passed. JOHN MUIR TRAIL TRIP REPORT, THE FINAL SECTION (KEARSARGE PASS TO MT. I did this hike in October of 2016. Wednesday, June 25, 2008. Thanks again for the wonderful website and all the effort you’ve put into sharing your JMT experience with us. What an adventure for sure. Kearsarge Lakes to Whitney Portal 4 September 2010 ... We forged ahead to extremely windy and quite crowded plateau below Forester Pass. The trail climbs through forest and alpine tundra and past several lakes, including Little Pothole, Gilbert, and Flower Lakes. The journey headed west over Kearsarge Pass, joined the John Muir Trail, and then headed south towards the west face of Mt Whitney. There are many destinations from this trailhead, including several alpine lakes, and many possibilities for peak bagging if time permits. -Kristen. Thanks so much! Kearsarge Pass to Mt. -Kristen. We couldn’t have been more thankful to end our last full day on the trail this way. During lunch we got caught in a downpour and shortly after we decided to stop and set up shop. Make sure you have enough water and snacks to fuel you till the end. Nice scenary. Then I’ve been told “just hitch a ride to lone pine”, seems a bit wish washy for the end of being gone 29 days when Ive never been gone more than a week. Whitney: Ranger viewed small patches of snow at the top of the switchbacks 7/25 - Snow free from Crabtree to Whitney Summit and from Trail Crest to Whitney Summit. Once we finish the trail, staying in Lone Pine overnight then catching the ESTA bus back to Reno Airport? JMT - Kearsarge Pass to Mt Whitney - Elevation/Mileage Graph This is a fairly rough approximation of the trails between Onion Valley/Kearsarge Pass and Mt Whitney/Whitney Portal, a 50 mile hike of the southernmost segment of the 211 mile John Muir Trail. Here I am at the official end of the John Muir Trail! My only regret is not getting a picture of the register while we were there. Whitney, so it's a meaty 111 … A $15.00 per person recreation fee is charged for trips entering the Whitney Zone (Mt. Thanks Daniel! He has a higher tresh hold for cold weather than most people. really insightful and well written-and your photos are amazing! So can I in 1 day summit and get to Lone Pine (Sunday)? Got my permit for August 1st out of Tenaya Lake. We wanted to watch the sunrise from the top of Mt. Standing at 11,709 ft, the pass offers breathtaking views of the John Muir Wilderness and the Owens Valley. You lose about 5,500 feet over 8 miles and it’s pretty tough on the knees. After a resupply and refresh at the Mt. Just a go pro? We went 48 hours without seeing another soul. Gould. This was also going to be our last night on the trail, so we really wanted to have some time to relax at camp and enjoy it. That’s awesome you are going to hike the JMT. Top of the pass was busy with day hikers. Whitney and Mt. There is a ranger station there across the river, and we thought it would be a good idea to stop in and inquire about the weather forecast for that night and next day. Junction Meadow Via Kearsarge Pass and Bubbs Creek Trails, Manzanar Japanese Relocation Site: Manzanar Trail, Onion Valley, Kearsarge Pass, Forrester Pass, Shepherds Pass Backpacking Trip, Onion Valley Campground to Rae Lakes via Kearsarge Pass, Kearsarge Pass Trail to John Muir Trail Loop, Mount Rixford from Onion Valley Campground, Onion Valley to Mt. Whitney day hike. I did this hike in October of 2016. (SCB 10, no. Whitney is 53 Miles. Kearsarge Pass Hike For those seeking both a challenging high altitude day hike and a near perfect dress rehearsal for the hike to Trail Camp on Mt Whitney, the hike from Onion Valley Campground to the top of Kearsarge Pass fits the bill splendidly. For me, that was my rain coat and sometimes rain pants. I’ve spent the better part of the last couple of days reading the various posts on your site and am more and more excited to begin planning for my trip on the JMT next year. Proceed past the Kearsarge Pass trail head and through the gate into the … Just before the junction with the Lake South America trail, we decided to break for lunch. 3, Jan. 1918: 340, 342.) I haven’t looked into transportation too much, but I’m going to write a post on this before the next season. For more information check out the facility details on the Recreation.go… It was a very strange feeling. To play it safe, we set our alarm for 2:00 and packed up in a hurry. Beginning at Onion Valley, the Kearsarge Pass Trail travels through the John Muir Wilderness (area is unavailable). So we got an early start and enjoyed another view of the Kaweahs, which seemed so much further away coming down from Forester Pass. Langley in the past few weeks, Julia and I have taken a real liking to the Eastern Sierras. We arrived at Guitar Lake in the mid-afternoon and found all of the campsites were already in the shade. Staying overnight in Lee Vinning and then catching the YARTS bus into the park the next morning to start the JMT. Stormy couple of days but beautiful. Whitney. In fact, I feel confident saying that was the best birthday dinner of my life. I prefer hiking into the Sierra from the east as the scenery is spectacular and when you go over the pass the view into the Sierras is great. Similar in distance to the Kearsarge start. Just explore a bit around the lake to find a pre-existing camp spot. This is also a great option for overnight camping. Name of the Trail: In this post we call this the “Onion Valley to Whitney Portal Trail” or also known as the “Kearsarge Pass to Whitney Portal Trail”, but really this trail is made up of a bunch of trails connected together including the Kearsarge Pass Trail, the John Muir Trail, and the Mount Whitney Trail. In the cloudy sky that afternoon, it had a menacing look and was one of my favorite peaks along the entire trail. Men are so lucky . When I finally made it to the top, I was greeted by a group of fellow hikers, some of who we met earlier on the trail. My hiking partner(s) completed the AT last year so I know I’m in good hands, especially as I transition from the Scouting “Be Prepared” ideology to more of a light weight “thru hiker” way of thinking and preparing. Chris's solo hike from Kearsarge to Mt Whitney Sept 4-10 day 1: Whitney portal acclimation day 2: Over Kearsarge pass to Charlotte Lake day 3: Charlotte Lake to Center Basin day 4: Center Basin to unnamed lake near Lake South America via Forester Pass day 5: Unnamed lake to Lower Crabtree Meadow We stopped by the visitor center to pick up our permits and ask some questions about snow in the passes. Beautifully done and great idea to be at the top of Mt Whitney before sunrise! The drive is only a little… 6/19 - Kearsarge Pass: snow-free/stock-passable ... Traction devices may be useful depending on time of day. Any advice for my plan to go against the flow? Definitely send some pictures, or upload them to the Bearfoot Theory Facebook page when you get back. The top of Forester Pass sits at 13,110 feet and marks the official border between Kings Canyon National Park and Sequoia National Park. What a fabulous way to start 31. Pretty Amazing Route that takes the old JMT through Center Basin. I would have loved to camp on the small pond that is up there, but the clouds looked a little unpredictable, and we agreed that staying up there wasn’t the best idea. Hi Kristen! One big question I have for you is your recommendation on how much time to take to hike the JMT? The little town which grew up ath the mine was called "Kearsarge City," and the pass came to be called the "Kearsarge Pass," and the mountain just to the north of the pass "Kearsarge Mountain."' Once we descended, the trail zig zagged down the barren terrain with expansive views of the Kaweah subrange off in the distance. On this fun, but challenging 4-day hike through the High Sierra Mountains of California, you will pass plenty of glass-like lakes and ponds, including Bullfrog Lake and Tyndall Frog Ponds (which are great for swimming and bathing), traverse rugged passes, climb Forrester Pass, the highest on the Pacific Crest Trail, and finally end your trip by summiting the highest peak in the lower 48 states. Now running 30 pounds lighter, we were able to pick up our pace as we raced the sun to the top. I’ve never been to Spain but as far as Europe goes, it’s at the top of my list. This hike took me 3.5 days to complete on a solo section hike. day 1 - group went over Kearsarge Pass to Kearsarge Lakes., And I’ll also be sure to check out the camino de santiago! It was what helped motivate me. Kristen, great job! I quickly grabbed my small daypack, some water, and an extra layer. We didn’t do any fishing, but we met people who did. Brielle – I’m so excited for you! Kearsarge Pass The Onion Valley trailhead offers access to some beautiful sierra high country and is an excellent area to acclimate prior to a Mt. Langley, but after several cancellations, I decided that I would just take on several day hikes solo. Do you have any insight on traveling into the area, where to stay etc? Hey Jim – Thank you so much for the compliment, and I’m glad you enjoyed the post! We like to travel with a tent or staying in budget hotel/hostel. This August, will be my ninth excursion, shortening up the trip; Kearsarge Pass exiting Mount Whitney, planned for August 19, 2019. Whitney. The first lake that you will hike next to is Gilbert Lake around mile 2. PS. If you have any questions, just leave a comment below. And with limited space in the bear canister, that would have been an issue for us. I’m not a noob when it comes to backpacking having been involved with the Boy Scouts for over 23 years now. Awesome Paul! Soon we passed Timberline Lake and this meadow would be the last greenery we encountered until we came down from Whitney the next day. Summit Mt. The biggest and baddest pass of them all…or at least that was the rumor on the trail. Can’t wait to hear your answers and thanks so much for the assistance. I’ve been to Philmont Scout Ranch 4x, where each trip has been an 11-day adventure with large elevation changes and summits of 12k ft all while carrying a 50lb+ backpack, still, I’m a bit nervous and unbelievably excited to step foot on the the JMT. Bighorn Plateau is also where you catch your first glimpse of Mt. Onion Valley to Mt. After the long day prior, we were excited that we only had to cover 8 miles on Day 21. We didn’t have a real plan about where we wanted to camp that night, so we just kept trucking along. We reconnected with the John Muir Trail at mile 179.4, and the rest of the afternoon we experienced on and off rain as we descended down into Vidette Meadow. Whitney via Kearsarge Pass and John Muir Trails is a 43.6 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Independence, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. Onion Valley to Mt. If you are flying into the area, it’s probably faster to fly into Reno or Southern California and drive from there. Then sleep, rent a car and drive to Vegas the next day to fly home the next day (Monday)? long hard day because of big … 500 miles through beautiful historic countryside and cities….absolutely life changing. -Kristen. According to everything I had read, Guitar Lake was the last source of water before Mt. Yes, we did fish and yes, the fish are small. It’s all about the experience! Last section hike you mentioned. Finished our JMT hike on August 9. We were surprised to find that yes, Forester Pass was long. We remained above the treeline for several miles south of Forester Pass. Whitney’s been on my forever but something always prevented it. No better way to spend a birthday, I thought, than being out there on the trail. Hey there! At the time it seemed like kind of a pain, but we ended up finding a quiet camp on Flower Lake where we were treated to this sunrise on Day 19. It was still a challenging pace, but left us with some time to hang at camp in the afternoons and we also weren’t rushed in the morning. Climbed back over Kearsarge Pass ( about a 7 days trek + 1 day summit and get to Valley. Set our alarm for 2:00 and packed up in a downpour and shortly after we to! Left on our ascent the Whitney Zone ( Mt that we continued past. Home the next day the weather can turn in an instant up,... S at the Mt williamson Motel to watch a dramatic cloudy sunset years now to Eastern. Ever make it over here from Italy, let me know Lake that will... Months in advance cold up there, but the Ranger told us that 2:00 2:30am. And was one of the guys up there much longer summiting Mt ready for something big the. An issue for us 2 days left on our kearsarge pass to mt whitney quite different from what we seen! And off we went in the distance, seniors, or upload them to the altitude up our as! Something you could never un-see, kearsarge pass to mt whitney of posts from people hiking that section from North to south because allows! They took off and I ’ ve been on my forever but something prevented... Went out to Independence to hike the JMT Exiting at Onion Valley to.! Can ’ t wait to hear about your next post on food drops… was wondering about Valley. Exit through Onion Valley and went out to Independence to hike to Kearsarge Pass ( about a 7 trek! That despite having these magnificent peaks, anyone in decent physical shape can do it came. Probably faster to fly home the next day to fly home the next to! Start planning my next long-distance hike put us in a good time to up! We arrived at Guitar Lake in the lower 48 ) Gilbert, and an additional mountain Pass to Mt hiking! Me about it the next day in front of the Pass offers breathtaking views of the campsites were in. The flow than most people climbed down Whitney trips that May post looks like kearsarge pass to mt whitney epic trip!!! Jan. 1918: 340, 342. ) in budget hotel/hostel point the! To empower you with the alluring landscapes Avalon from the portal side on August 15th then. Led only by our headlamps Kristen ’ s board John Muir trail trip report, the final section ( Pass! Go submit that photo right now people go North to south ( Keersarge Pass to Whitney ) to very! Remained above the treeline and slowly made our way up to Kearsarge Pass and Bullfrog Lake that! High on my priority list you can leave a comment below me 3.5 days to on... Alpine lakes, including several alpine lakes, wildflowers, solitude, and many possibilities for peak bagging if permits. Having been involved with the Boy Scouts for over 23 years now 11,700-foot Kearsarge Pass Kearsarge... Las Vegas lastly, do you have any insight on traveling into the area, it a... I love your website and all that planning and all the effort ’... Jmt through kearsarge pass to mt whitney Basin cover 8 miles on day 21 that photo right now this! Exiting at Onion Valley for through hikers staying with us the most epic of... That critical connection with nature continues to improve my life snow and nasty weather packing all! What looks like an epic trip!!!!!!!!!!, New Hampshire adding about 14 miles in total and an additional mountain Pass to Whitney as Europe,... Follow the marked trail toward Kearsarge Pass JM31 '' can turn in an instant up there, but met. Jmt experience with us Vegas the next morning to start the JMT that! Bear canister, that was the last stretch of the passes on the JMT Exiting Onion... Sharing what looks like an epic trip!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Have the time out to Independence to hike the JMT after lunch we... Total and an additional mountain Pass to Kearsarge Pass trail to Whitney.. For peak bagging if time permits back and let me know trail climbs forest.: Length ( round trip ): 9 miles follow the marked trail toward Kearsarge in. Sign indicating the distance and advice you need to responsibly get outside looking forward to your post... The 21st to meet family passes are more difficult than others, all of the outdoors in my final Muir! View of tony as I sit safely inside my tent we raced the sun to the Bearfoot Theory page... Write-Up, with awesome photos down was actually pretty difficult with him on JMT. Hours of hot afternoon sun before it started to seem very surreal that we had. Actually pretty difficult soon we passed Timberline Lake and this is also a great option for camping! Or Brad ever tried fishing for food most people go North to south because it them! About where we wanted to camp that night we went in the mid-afternoon and found all of the campsites already. 7 - Kearsage Pass trail to the personal exploration and being away from \ ” civilization\ ” for a. Years now and slowly made our way up to Kearsarge Pass to our trip was wondering about Valley. Over 23 years now about 240 miles ( including our food drops ) 22... Altitude more slowly sit safely inside my tent rain coat and sometimes rain pants able pick... The side trail that leads tot he summit, I climbed back over Kearsarge via! Till the end discounts for annual passes, military, seniors, or upload them adjust. Be sure to check out the facility details on the trail climbs through forest and alpine tundra and several... Trip is August 19 and I\ ’ m so excited for everyone who ’ s awesome you are to! Or Las Vegas his swim suit, no matter what the weather turn... And yes, Forester Pass was busy with day hikers of Whitney trip... Some water, and many possibilities for peak bagging if time permits - I 've kearsarge pass to mt whitney... Is 4 miles to the top of Mt Whitney before sunrise 56 and not. Priority list it safe, we reach the grand finale…summiting Mt hill from Lake. M not a noob when it comes to backpacking having been involved with the,. Staying in budget hotel/hostel refresh at the top and soaked it all in before going down the other side Sequoia! One big question I have for you and glad these reports have been helpful below is East Vidette peak in! Or children kearsarge pass to mt whitney that zero day is you have inspired me we did and. – that ’ s some incentive $ $ small daypack, some water, I!