Sierra High Route
- Expert guides with years of experience leading hikers off-trail
- 195-mile trek featuring the John Muir Trail, the Appalachian Trail, the Continental Divide Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail
- Gourmet backcountry cooking
- Mostly off-trail in the most remote regions of Sierra Nevada Mountains
- Breathtaking views rarely seen by others
Chosen by National Geographic Adventure Magazine as one of the Best New Trips of 2010, the Sierra High Route is absolutely jam-packed with expedition-style adventure.
The trek is 195 miles and the terrain is mostly off trail. This means that there will be a lot of route finding and long physical days, but also a lot of reward. The trip will require expedition style team work and you must be in excellent physical shape with extensive backpacking experience a pre-trip requirement. To get you in the right frame of mind, some examples of extensive backpacking experience include the Trans-Sierra Trail, Long Trail, John Muir Trail or longer sections of the Appalachian Trail, Continental Divide Trail or the Pacific Crest Trail.
Along with your expert guides, the SHR will have the typical seamless SYMG logistical support, including food drops, shuttles and accommodations. We will be using modern ultra-light techniques and gear to keep the packs as light as possible. You'll need to feel comfortable in off trail terrain (talus and boulder hopping), and have a certain sense of adventure and positive attitude that breeds success on a long journey of this type.
Thinking about the trip, words like breathtaking, grand, exciting and awe-inspiring come to mind. But be warned: this one is not for the faint of heart. The High Route spans 195 miles along the highest and most remote regions of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and it is mostly off-trail. Backed by SYMG's seamless logistical planning, those up to the challenge will don ultralight backpacking gear and head off on what will surely be the adventure of a lifetime!
Grade: Strenuous: on- and off-trail backpacking on uneven terrain with steep grades. These trips are similar in character to those in the difficult category, but are longer in duration. This significantly compounds both the physical and mental challenges of the trip. Because these types of trips have a required mileage to complete each day, the level of commitment is high. These trips spend significant time at higher elevations. For the SHR specifically, participants should be comfortable rock scrambling with a backpack up to class 3. We travel between 6 and 11 miles daily and rarely drop below 9,000 feet.
Equipment: SYMG can supply all needed personal and group camping equipment (backpacks, sleeping bags, ground pads, tents) if requested on the registration form. There is no additional cost for this service.
Meals: All meals are provided while in the backcountry. We take pride in providing excellent meals even in remote surroundings.
Preparation: Hike, hike and hike some more. The Sierra High Route is a committing trip where you have minimum mileage each day. Endurance is the key to your enjoyment. Participants should have experience on long backpacks such as the John Muir Trail, Trans Sierra Trail or on other significant undertakings. You should be aerobically and cardiovascularly fit, and should train by working out, carrying weight (up to 40 lbs), and hiking stadium bleachers up & down. Examples of getting prepared include: Hiking on and off-trail immediately prior to the trip; participating in longer backpacks along the JMT, TST or along other high country trails. Reading “The Guide to the Sierra High Route” by Steve Roper may also be helpful.
Group Size: 3-6 clients, 2 guides
Shared lodging the first night in Fresno at Piccadilly airport hotel, all meals while in the back country, all camping/backpacking gear, 4 remote food drops, any front country camping, guides, permits, van shuttle from Fresno airport to trailhead at Road's End and Twin Lakes to Fresno airport at the end of the trip.
Meals while in the front country, alcoholic beverages, personal items, tips for guides (10-20% of trip fee). Optional, but highly recommended trip cancellation insurance.
Day by Day Itinerary
About The Operator:
Southern Yosemite Mountain Guides, Inc.
Bass Lake, California
Voted by National Geographic Advenutre Magazine in 2007-2009 "Best Outfitter Earth" and the "Best Adventure Travel Company," Southern Yosemite Mountain Guides has shown thousands of people the beauty of the mountains and wild places in Yosemite National Park, the Ansel Adams and John Muir Wilderness, Sequoia & Kings Canyon Nat'l Parks, and the Eastern Sierra region. SYMG is a leader in the active travel and mountain guiding world, providing carefully planned and operated trips and programs in the most spectacular Wilderness areas ofCalifornia. Programs and courses include hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, and fly fishing; and haven't changed much over the years.
There's a reason for this. The style of trip offered, the locations and times of the year in which the trips or courses run, the types of meals chosen, itineraries, and your guides; all contribute to the quality of your experience. Our trips are highlighted in the following pages. Visit Our Trips for daily itineraries, gear lists, and reviews. Visit Reservations for availability and registration. Or, call our office and talk with us. We look forward to speaking with you, and meeting you soon.
Southern Yosemite Mountain Guides, Inc operates under special use permits in Sierra National Forest, Inyo National Forest, Stanislaus National Forest, Yosemite National Park, and Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Parks and is a bonded and licensed fly fishing guide service with the CA Department of Fish and Game. All SYMG rock courses are instructed by certified PCGI instructors and AMGA trained guides. SYMG is also a proud member of Trout Unlimited, the Worldwide Outfitters and Guides Association, and the Sierra Club.