In about a mile, the trail will open up with a wide slope of forest ferns to the right and a gentle stream on your left. The next 2,000 feet of ascent are significantly steeper than anything so far, and it all takes place above 9,300 feet. The trail to the left leads to the peak, while the main trail continues east to Alta Meadow. Photo by Cade Castle. No music, no narration, no photo slideshows -- just … Incredible views. Clouds on Eagle Scout Peak. From here, the trail gets difficult. ... Day 6: Adieu Dusty Gaiter Guild. There will be a sign that designates the junction for the Alta Peak/Alta Meadow trails. The trail climbs 4000 vertical feet in 7 miles before descending into the beautiful Alta Meadow. View of Alta Meadow from Alta Peak One of the most striking views, which is only visible from the peak, is the stark, bare granite wasteland to the northwest. The views facing south toward Castle Rocks and the Kaweah Canyon are amazing, so have your camera ready. January 6, 2017 January 6, 2018 Leave a comment. share. Sequoia National Park is as diverse as they come, in terms of plant life. This past weekend we were craving a mountain, so we headed to Sequoia National Park to meet our match. It’s about protecting what sustains us. To your right, Wolverton Creek babbles enthusiastically as the trail opens up here and there to small meadows dappled with sunlight and full of striking wildflowers. The park spans over four different vegetation zones, from foothills/chaparral to the alpine zone. The plan was to form a loop that would include Alta Meadow, Moose Lake, Pear Lake, Emerald Lake, The Watchtower, and the rest of the Lakes Trail by connecting two, 6–8 mile, out-and-back trails in Sequoia National Park with about 7 miles of unmarked, rocky backcountry between them, also known as The Tablelands. It’s about more than standing on the mountain top. We believe good things come from people spending time outside. Photo by Cade Castle. Look out for overly-friendly marmots trying to steal your snacks! Where: Sequoia National Park Mileage: 18 miles Elevation gain/loss: +4500ft/-4500ft More photos: here. All rights reserved. When you reach a fork, the trail to Alta Peak will veer to the right as signs indicate. Backpacking Alta Peak to Alta Meadow is a Sequoia National Park classic and the kind of hike that digs into your heart and makes you understand what John Muir meant when he first wrote, “The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness.”, Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. save hide report. The scenery also shifts rather suddenly from alpine forest to barren and rocky, with only a few hearty plants dotting the landscape. If you look closely, you might even see Mount Whitney peeking up from a gap in the range. Photo: Eeekster , CC BY 3.0 . Scattered around are a few level areas where you could drop a tent, if you’re inclined to summit Alta with a lighter load. CA. Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment? Permits cost $10 each, plus $5 per person. CA. Bears and deer are a common sight in this area, so keep your eyes peeled. The trailhead begins at the Wolverton parking lot, which has ample parking for this area’s many visitors. Crescent Meadow Loop -- The meadow is a large, picturesque clearing dotted with high grass and wildflowers, encircled by a forest of firs and sequoias.The park's oldest cabin (Tharp's Log) is along this paved route as well. 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Photo by Cade Castle. Alta Meadow/Alta Peak, Sequoia National Park Alta Vista, Mount Rainier National Park Angels Landing, Zion National Park Annie Creek, Crater Lake National Park Apikuni Falls, Glacier National Park Appleton Pass via Sol Duc River, Olympic National Park Arch Canyon, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument Sequoia National Park. The … Sequoia National Park. Monte Bello Open Space Preserve, California. Thank You for Signing up for Wildland Wires! It’s about building relationships with the outdoors and each other. It was established on September 25, 1890. Their gnarled, windswept bodies are a great reminder of the harsh conditions that cycle through these slopes each winter. At the 5-mile mark you’ll come upon a towering rock face looming 2,000 feet above to your left. Two minutes of tranquility at beautiful Alta Meadow (elev. January 6, 2017 December 29, 2017 Leave a comment. We will meet at the Lodgepole campground in Sequoia National Park, located on the west side of the Sierra Nevada, about 80 miles from Fresno or 250 miles from either San Francisco or Los Angeles. By 1903 it was generally known by its current name and Alta Peak appears on the Tehipite quadrangle, USGS 30 minute topographic map of 1905, and was officially recognized by the Board on Geographic Names in 1928. Great Western Divide viewed from Alta Meadow. There you will find the world's largest tree, General Sherman, and many of the world's other largest trees. Photo by Cade Castle. Here are some tools to help you plan your trip: Our digital Park Atlas allows you to create and print custom maps of your route. 4025 East Huntington, Suite 150 Ancientf foxtail pines (a relative of the bristlecone pine) line the final bit of trail as you make your summit push. Alta Peak is one of the best spots in Sequoia if you want a dynamic view of over half the park. ; Printed maps are available at park visitor centers and through the Sequoia Parks Conservancy Bookstore. This is a special place, and one of the best spots to overnight backpack in the entire Sierra. There are numerous boulders here that you could scramble up to heighten the view, and this area makes an excellent lunch or snack break. High in the Sierra Nevada nestled deep inside Sequoia National Park lies a stunning backcountry adventure for anyone interested in high-elevation peak bagging and alpine meadows. This weekend getaway traverses the Alta Peak Trail into the high country of the park, climbing up to 11,207 feet before descending into the breathtaking Alta Meadow. From here, you can see a panoramic view of Emerald and Pear Lakes, with much of the Sierra high country extending beyond them. Alta Peak is in Sequoia National Park not far from Giant Forest.Before 1896, the mountain was known as Tharps Peak. Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter packed with the best adventure guides, travel ideas, news, and articles. Lakes Trail in Sequoia National Park: Summiting Alta Peak - an awesome and strenuous hike - See 158 traveler reviews, 109 candid photos, and great deals for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, CA, at Tripadvisor. 2 miles/1-3 hr. Pace yourself and remember that you are at high altitude. Once you reach the end of the trail, a simple Class 2 scramble to your right will reach the true summit. Easy. Bearpaw Meadow High Sierra Camp is situated 2 miles southeast of Alta Meadow. Sunset over Alta Meadow. The Best Winter Adventures in North America. Outdoor Project may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers. It features breathtaking sunrises and sunsets, easy access to water, and the kind of awe-inspiring views that make you never want to go home. How to Hike the Virgin River Narrows in Zion. When you’ve had enough of the summit’s thin air, make your way down the way you came and, in 2 miles, take a left at the trail junction if you’re continuing on to Alta Meadow. Reaching these amazing views involves a long, strenuous climb gaining almost 4,000-ft. in 6.9 miles. Once you make your way down the summit block, you might want to stop off at a large outcropping of boulders on your right. We promise not to annoy you, but if you wish, you may unsubscribe at any time. The beautiful Sequoia National Park features the tallest peak in the continental United States and the largest trees on the planet. Photo by Cade Castle. Big elevation gains can be difficult for some hikers. Many hikers choose to stash their full packs behind a bush in this area and carry up only water, a snack and a light layer. The trail begins with a moderate incline leading out of Wolverton and through a heavily-wooded fir and pine forest. Because it sits above 9,000 feet, no campfires are allowed at Alta Meadow, which makes for a more peaceful, relaxed vibe. Great Western Divide viewed from Little Baldy. Bearpaw Meadow High Sierra Camp is a full-service tent campground in Sequoia National Park. The full-length POV video of my hike to Alta Meadow (elevation 9300 feet), in Sequoia National Park, in California. Meanwhile, beginner and intermediate hikers have the option to set up camp and spend the night at Alta Meadow. Start in Sequoia National Park at the Crescent Meadow Trailhead, winding through a grove of towering sequoia trees before being spit out onto a narrow ledge with a killer view of the Great Western Divide. CA. Male bear in meadow. Lakes Trail in Sequoia National Park: Lakes Trail...Panther Gap...Alta Peak - See 159 traveler reviews, 109 candid photos, and great deals for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, CA, at Tripadvisor. To Mehrten Meadow, dayhike Alta Meadow: 8 miles. Wolverton to Moose Lake via Alta Meadow 6 miles on trail, 3 miles cross-country, +3900ft/-600ft After picking up our permit from Lodgepole, we drove over to the Wolverton trailhead and began hiking around 10am. If you do wish to stow your bag, be mindful that bears and marmots run rampant in this area, so carefully protect your food with a bear canister (available for rent at the ranger station for $5). As you start to climb, you’ll encounter better and better views of the Great Divide. Sequoia National Park. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure. Continue straight ahead and through the forest, eventually gaining the switchbacks up to your first panoramic vista — Panther Gap. Covering an impressive 404,063 acres, there is so much to explore including the Giant Forest. sequoia national park. You can make out prominent peaks in the Great Divide such as the Kaweah Range, Moint Eisen and Eagle Scout Peak. Alta Meadow and the Great Western Divide, Sequoia National Park Kings Canyon (the canyon itself, not the whole park) is another major attraction. The trail going to Alta Peak is similar to Lakes Trail for the first 1.8 miles. In late spring and summer, rapid snowmelt brings streams to life, and here and there along the path you’ll see bursts of Indian paintbrush, columbines, lupines and aster. To the south is the richly green Middle Fork valley surmounted by the jagged peaks of the Great Western Divide. It’s a challenging and rewarding leg-buster of a trek, full of true alpine scenery, wildflowers and the opportunity to view large wildlife. 0 comments. Ignore the junction for the summit and head straight back through the forest, crossing several small streams along the way. The summit is gained via a fairly steep, nearly 2-mile long, 2,000-foot high climb. At 1.8 miles into the hike you’ll come across a junction with the Lakes Trail. Maps and Trail Guides. I decided to test out CloudLine’s compression socks on a trail I had done before that obliterated my calves – Alta Peak in Sequoia National Park. Sequoia National Park is a national park in the southern Sierra Nevada east of Visalia, California, in the United States. The trail dips back into the fir forest for a moment, and you might notice a few clear spaces to your right. This is great news for flower-seeking tourists, because it means the peak bloom period is long and vibrant, depending on what area you visit. There are several great places to set up camp along the way, including those at Panther Gap and Mehrten Meadow, but the hike to Alta Meadow is well worth the extra distance. Backpacking Alta Peak to Alta Meadow is a Sequoia National Park classic and the kind of hike that digs into your heart and makes you understand what John Muirmeant when he first wrote, “The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness.” 100% Upvoted. The park's oldest cabin (Tharp's Log) is along this paved route as well. Up about 1700'. Alta Meadow in Sequoia National Park, California. Location: From Wolverton parking lot begin the hike and follow the Lakes Trail. The first few miles of the trail … The trail to Alta Peak is the same as the Lakes Trail for the first 1.8 miles. Giant forest, Sequoia National Park. Sequoia National Park is in the southern Sierra Nevada. Walter E. Kenney, Madera, Cal., has a license to maintain a camp and to furnish meals and lodging. Easy access to water. Soak in the scenery and watch the sun go down over some of the country’s tallest mountains. There are three different options along the trail for backcountry camping — Panther Gap, Mehrten Meadow and Alta Meadow. Mist Falls, Kings Canyon National Park. Sign up to receive our exclusive Wildland Wire emails and stay up to date with Wildland Trekking's promotions, discounts, contests, outdoor tips and tricks, trip reports and more! Permits required for overnight trips. The park was established on September 25, 1890 to protect 404,064 acres (631 sq mi; 163,519 ha; 1,635 km2) of forested mountainous terrain. At the Giant Forest there is a general store, telephone station, feed yard, photograph gallery, and post office; the name of the post office is Giant Forest, Cal. Start at the General Sherman Tree, just off the Generals Hwy., 2 miles northeast of Giant Forest Museum. When you’re ready to make your way home, follow the trail 6 miles back the way you came. Explore the heart of Sequoia National Park’s spectacular high country with this outstanding loop through some of the most beautiful areas in the Sierra Nevada. © 2020 Outdoor Project. If you’re going to be hiking Alta Peak as an overnight backpacking trip, you’ll need to secure a permit by emailing the park’s wilderness office. Unbelievably full of life. It’s about nourishment and learning. These are the Mehrten Meadow backcountry campsites, and they are a great option if you want easy access to water and the trail before ascending up to Alta Peak. I was scheduled to give a colloquium talk at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, CA on Monday, June 16, so I decided to bookend the drive down from the bay area with trips to the Sierra. Wildflower Fireworks. Alta Meadow Alta Peak (S Mullen) The day dawned clear and bright without a cloud in the sky, but after spending a few days in the park we knew that didn’t mean much and that nasty squalls tended to move through the area by mid-afternoon. Ancient trees. Crescent Meadow Loop -- The meadow is a large, picturesque clearing dotted with high grass and wildflowers, encircled by a forest of firs and sequoias. The park spans 404,064 acres (631.35 sq mi; 163,518.90 ha; 1,635.19 km2). From the Wolverton parking lot, follow the Lakes Trail to begin the hike. ... Alta Meadow: A few steps on the trail and we were already surrounded by rich colors and lush woods known to be the most scenic in the entire park. Camp @ 9050'. A stunning panorama, encompassing the Great Western Divide, the Kaweah Peaks, the Tablelands, the Middle Fork of the Kaweah Valley and beyond, awaits hikers at the summit of Alta Peak (11,204-ft.). ; For shorter hikes, check our information on day hiking trails. Log in or sign up to leave a comment log in sign up. From here, the trail continues to a less-steep ascent, making its way along a ridge cut into a slope with sweeping views of the Great Western Divide. The House Group, Sequoia National Park. 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