Tahoe to Whitney Trail Guide Banner.

Grizzly Peak sunset, High Emigrant Wilderness, 2013.
Sunset lights up tropical clouds climbing Eastern flank of Sierra beyond Grizzly Peak, Emigrant Wilderness, June 28 2013.


Winter 2015
Backpacking Season


Backpacking Trail Guide Under Construction

Status Report

Feb 12 2015

The North Section of this trail guide has been completed in "draft" status from the Lake Tahoe Basin to Tuolumne Meadows covering the TYT, PCT, and the main trails connecting them, and leading to them.

This North Sierra draft guide, its indexes, and this home page are all being edited up to finish form before beginning the South end of the guide.

The South end of the guide will cover the JMT & PCT South from Tuolumne Meadows to the Whitney Portal.

Stay tuned for new features, resources, and information as editing transitions this mess into all new content.

We will be beginning the South end of the Guide soon!




see the
High Sierra

Right Now

Feb 2015

Right now we should be figuring out our Summer trip plans and which ones we should be making reservations for:

Yosemite Permits

Desolation Wilderness

Hoover Wilderness

We should be breaking in boots and repairing our backpacking gear.

We should be breaking in our bodies and fixing up our physical conditioning.

Finally, we should be tracking the weather to determine the trajectory & timing of this year's Winter to Spring to Summer transition.

Latest News

Above Normal Temperatures Melts 'Dismal' Sierra Nevada Snowpack

On the Trail Guide
Trail Guide Backpacking Maps Distances Administration
Trail Crest, Mount Whitney. High Sierra backpacking maps. High Sierra miles and elevations. High Sierra Backpacking Permits.
Text, Images and Videos 30 and 15 min USGS maps TYT and PCT High Sierra National Forests

Trail Guide

Detailed descriptions, maps, miles and elevations information helps us plan our trip and obtain our permit.

Trail Support

Resupply information, trail skills, four season gear and food tips to help keep us healthy and happy down the trail.

High Sierra Resupply Tips for Camp and Trail Four Season Gear List Food Plan
High Sierra Backpacking Resupply. Backpacking Skills and Knowledge. High Sierra Backpacking Gear. High Sierra Backpacking Food.
How, Where, and When Campsite Comfort Be Ready Be Well Nourished

High Sierra Backpacking Maps
Dicks and Fontanillis Lakes Meiss Cabin Round Top Lake Summit City Canyon
Desolation Wilderness backpacking map. Meiss Country Roadless Area backpacking map. Carson Pass Management Area map. Mokelumne Wilderness backpacking map.

East Carson Canyon North face Leavitt Massif High Emigrant Meadow Mountains above Glen Aulin
Carson Iceberg Wilderness backpacking map. Sonora Pass region backpacking map. Emigrant Wilderness backpacking map. North Yosemite backpacking map.

High Sierra
at our

Black-Dotted trail routes on 30 minute maps of North Sierra click to detailed maps.

All red dots on the maps click to that location on the trail guide.

Central Yosemite and the Southern Sierra along the JMT and PCT Coming Soon!

On the Forum

Trails and Topics

Accompanying the trail guide is a comprehensive Trails & Topics Forum.

Each High Sierra trail and every backpacking topic is open to wide interpretation.

Share your unique perspective and experiences!

No or little experience?
Good Questions educate everyone!

All Trails It's Alive! Gear is Life Warm and Dry
High Sierra Backpacking Trails Forum. Living things forum. Backpacking Gear Forum. Mountain Safety Forum.
Questions-Comments-Info Record of Encounters Share your life Experiences Think! Then Think Again!

Context and Meaning Echos of the Past Many ways to Love the Sierra Endless Reflections of Beauty
High Sierra Navigation. High Sierra Nevada History. High Sierra Nevada trail culture forum. High Sierra Nevada Arts and Letters Forum.
Finding Ourselves A Long Trail Enjoy them All Eye of the Beholder


for the

Video Playlists
Meeks Bay to Pacific Crest Trail
Desolation Wilderness


Pacific Crest Trail to Echo Lake
PCT & TYT Desolation Wilderness


Echo Summit to Carson Gap
PCT & TYT Meiss Country Roadless Area


Carson Gap to Lake Alpine
TYT Mokelumne Wilderness


Carson Pass to Ebbetts Pass
PCT Mokelumne Wilderness

Check out the Tahoe to Whitney

2015 High Sierra
Backpacking Calendar

2014 Calendar

Tahoe to Whitney

See the complete collection of North Sierra videos through the link above.

I've hundreds of South Sierra Videos yet to come, after I finish editing the North Sierra guide. Then I'll begin building the guide South to Mount Whitney!

The videos are made to compliment the guide.

The first time I hiked South to the Whitney Portal was in 1998. I started shooting digital during 2009.

Honestly, I can't wait to begin the guide South from Tuolumne Meadows! I've shot hundreds of hours of film, and thousands of photos, and written endless notes and journals.

Video Playlists
Lake Alpine to Saint Marys Pass
TYT Carson Iceberg Wilderness


Ebbetts Pass to Sonora Pass
PCT Carson Iceberg Wilderness


Kennedy Meadows to Bond Pass
TYT Carson Iceberg Wilderness


Sonora Pass to Dorothy Lake Pass
PCT Carson Iceberg Wilderness


Jack Main Canyon to Tuolumne Meadows
TYT &PCT Carson Iceberg Wilderness

Seasonal Notes


Early March 2014 Update


Comprehensive Fire and Smoke Information

Last: North Sierra hiking clear of smoke from the Rim Fire, Heavy Smoke Conditions that made hiking hazardous have cleared. Full outdoor activity in Sierra areas affected again possible.


Early October 2013 Update


CalFire Incidents

Rim Fire

YubaNet Fire Reports

Today huge chunks of forest and habitat used by nature and man are at risk and much already burned. Much econ damage to North Sierra folks who rely on Summer backpackers-visitors as well as threatening their homes and animals.


High Sierra Backpacking Forums


A Vortex of Backpacking Experience and Knowledge

Why Join?
To Share your Knowledge, Insight, and Love of the High Sierra Nevada Mountains

Love you guys... Only Members can view Members Profiles and Post...

Information, Insight, Wilderness Delights, and Intelligence
Engaged with Nature and Man

Yesterday is Tomorrow
But it's you on the trail!

2013 Trail Culture
PCT Hiker Sample
(2010 report)

Tahoe to Yosemite Trail Conditions
Summit City Creek               Saint Marys Pass



The Two Main EARLY 2014
Stories-Questions ANSWERED
June 5

How are the early season weather and temp conditions progressing into Spring Conditions along the High Trails between Lake Tahoe and Mount Whitney in early 2014?

ANSWER (June 5): Incredibly early Summer Conditions.

Second, and related to the above question, is "when can PCTers expect to depart Mexico to arrive at the South Sierra with open trails?"

ANSWER: (June 5): I believe the highest percentage of PCT hikers ever will complete it. I don't know the date, but average PCT hikers can hit the South Sierra during mid May and expect to pass the South Sierra.

As Spring progress we will monitor evolving weather conditions to answer these questions.

Never have I seen such early and dry conditions.

High Sierra Conditions Reports

Summer is Here!

All Sierra Weather
Forecasts, Satellites, Radar, snowpack, real-time temps.

Issues and Situation

We Need a New Environmentalism

"It is later than you think."

The Situation has gone too far to maintain the status-quo lies...

February 2015
Impending Ecological Disaster of Historical Proportions
Current weather conditions and new research indicates we on the West Coast of the US are facing expanding drought and fire conditions unprecedented in the human and natural historical records. Extreme weather is tormenting the whole country.

I am curious about what we are going to do with the vast population our "leaders" have so wisely stuffed/snuck into the Southwest-West Coast of the US, when we run out of water?

You have any ideas?

I know why it happened.

Environmentally, our greedy motivations created a program of endless irresponsible growth that has severely damaged the web of life around the world.
Specifically, the rapid swelling of our population matched with spreading our irresponsible industrial growth program around the world ("globalism"-moving our manufacturing to China) has transformed seasonal weather patterns around the whole world.
In our part of the world our behavior has dispelled the North Pacific weather pattern that traditionally fed the Sierra snow pack every Winter.
The weather pattern feeding the Sierra snow pack is gone. Our traditional Winter weather pattern out of the Northwest has slowly faded away over the last 20 years to be replaced by weaker Winter weather patterns out of the West and Southwest Pacific.
This is a serious problem.

California will not support its current very irresponsible level of population without the weather supporting the annual Sierra Snow Pack each Winter. Period.

I know how it happened.

Our corporate program of endless growth powered by endless greedy self-interest perpetuated through institutionalized political bribery has succeeded in sweeping away the political and social values necessary to maintain our democracy-our security-against greed and self-interest.
That's a mouthful.
We lost the battle between our mutual democratic rights and social liberties against the profits of the greedy, and the self-gratifications of power-seekers. We lost the battle between democratic ethics and the base desire to get rich, to dominate and rule over other folks.
We are in the situation we are in because the cheaters have won, making greed and the lust for power the ascendant motivations tying the players in our polity together.

We replaced our exceptional political values with greed, and called it "exceptional."

The fates of man and nature are doomed as long as greed rules our hearts, minds, and politics. If we cannot clean up this central quagmire of corruption to make our democratic values operational we will not preserve the last remnants of our traditional ecology.

The greed-based political policies of endless irresponsible growth have stripped our country's social, human, and natural resources naked, while pushing all of our wealth and political power to the very top of society.

"Mission Accomplished!"

I am very angry about the corruptions and greed that have powered and allowed this massive irresponsible growth and associated transfer of wealth and power to continue.
This "feeding frenzy" of greed will not end well environmentally or economically.
A recognizable set of corrupt behaviors have fueled a shift in power and wealth that has ravaged the social, political, and environmental infrastructures in the State of California, across our whole country, and around the world.

Allow me to clarify some basic principals of being an American.

Shared greed and corruption are not American political ethics, and they do not produce ethical bonds between politicians and their bribers. They produce conspiracies between political criminals. Bribery is not democracy. Money is not free speech. Breaking our laws and borders is not the basis of citizenship. Imposing yourself and your values on others is un-American. Cheating is wrong, no matter how well it serves your self-interest.
Many claim the above as "American" rights!
Barry Bonds, Lance Armstrong, Mexicans, Bush, Obama, and their political parties come instantly to mind when considering those who put themselves above our laws, rules, and political values.

We have become a nation of cheaters, and this must end to save our environment, let alone our country!

None of these corrupt practices are compatible with citizens running a self-regulating American democracy. They are compatible with American Corporate Fascism ruling over "consumers."
Our current practices are antithetical to our Constitutional values or to creating or maintaining healthy social or natural environments, to raise children in, let alone to maintain our democratic republic.

How can your children not be cheaters, when raised in a society based on cheating?

We have in fact already lost our democratic republic, and our Constitutional rights. We are now consumers in a corporate state, not citizens in a democratic republic. And as a result we are losing the last remnants of our traditional weather patterns around the world.

"Si Se Puede?"

Really? You want to join an empire? Really?

Yes, we can stop the cheaters at the top and at the bottom of society who've joined forces to rob our country of its political, economic, and environmental wealth.
Unless you are supporting the American legacy of irresponsible growth via cheating and greed that has driven the destruction of our democracy and our environment in the first place.
There are a lot of American Fascists and foreigners who put their own material wealth, their own self-interest, and imposing their own values on others before their duty to defend our shared political principals.

That would be the dark side of American history and the American personality. This must be subjugated to our "Higher Angels," our eternal mutual democratic values.

The Mantra of Death
Personally, I reject the mantra of endless greed, endless growth, and endless profits that our corporate fascists leaders have deluded and drained America with, and I reject those who pursue greed. I choose the Constitutional values of our democratic republic as the basis of our social and political relationship, not shared greed. I choose balance over growth.

We the people regulate wealth, political power, markets, and immigration, not they us, as is happening today.

If we want to save the last bits of our environmental and political legacies we've got to get back to our own honest standards, and cast these greedy cheaters and their corrupt practices aside.

If we don't stop the greed and corruption, if we don't stop the cheaters that have corrupted our government and driven this irresponsible growth and destruction, nature will. Nature is.
Nature is now undergoing powerful changes that are going to stop our corrupt practices in their tracks!

On a Biblical Scale.

Karma is a bitch when you are bad, and we have been very bad, by our own Constitutional and ethical standards, and by any interpretation of ethical behavior.

The need for a New "American" Environmentalism that actually recognizes the sources of these damages and addresses its true causes is profound.

The political status-quo of bribery, corruption, and cheating is insufficient for the scale of the ecological, economic, and political crisis we face.
Our favorite backpacking spots in the Sierra will be radically changed-destroyed- if we don't take up a new vision and new political direction that outlaws political bribery, removes the bribed leadership, and abandons their failed growth policies of the past in favor of a balanced future.

January 2015
The critical issue is the serious persisting drought conditions. Nature is cooking us up a disastrous Spring and Summer for life on the West Coast.

Again, conditions are looking like they could again develop into historical early openings of the High Sierra roads and trails. I figure the Sierra will be burning by July, so watch the fire reports...

My personal situation is embroiled deep in injury recovery and editing up the completed North Sierra parts of the Tahoe to Whitney Guide.
I've got to bring the finished Lake Tahoe to Tuolumne Meadows part of the guide from draft to finished form.

So I'm turned mostly inward, even as our modern Rome burns ever so slowly around us.

I believe the seasonal reports from recent years are informative as to the hot and dry trajectory our future weather holds in store for us.

2015 High Sierra Snow Backpackers & Skiers:
You're Screwed --&-- No Snow in the Sierra

A little bit of High Sierra Backpacking Heaven on the Web


Trail Skills


History Forum

Historical Monuments

Mark Twain


Five Day Food Supply

Trip Planning Considerations

More information



Who is doing this and what it's about.


About the Guide

Status of the Guide

About Me, Alex.


Backpackers, Day Hikers, Trail Crew, Peak Baggers, Cowboys, Runners, Hunters, and Fisherfolk of all ages, sexes, and backgrounds ALL




As longer days and incredibly hot conditions bring Spring temps up, it's time for Summertime backpackers to check the gear, terrain, and weather for the upcoming backpacking season.

Summer and PCT hikers are also monitoring weather, trail, and fording conditions, but to determine when conditions will permit Summer hiking.

It's ON!

Above we find links to help High Sierra Summer hikers, JMT hikers, and PCT Section hikers monitor evolving conditions, and below we have much information to help backpackers plan Summer backpacking trips in the High Sierra.

Map Credit

U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior


I love the USGS, as you can see from the Tahoe to Whitney Maps.

I also dig the NWS, as you can see from our Weather Page.

We gotta know the terrain under our feet, and the weather in the sky. These are the basics. In that spirit, let's set you up with the USGS maps sufficient to plan and execute your High Sierra Backpacking Trip with a set of custom backpacking maps.

In fact, we can use the USGS to set us up with planning and hiking maps for anywhere in the US of A.

Move the Map to the Sierras. Or your favorite backpacking spot in the US of A. Navigate the map to the area you wish to locate maps. Click "Mark Point" in the options to see the USGS map grid of the various scaled maps.

Select the grid square and the maps within it that will help you plan and execute your backpacking trip, set up a directory on your computer named for the trip or location of the maps, and begin downloading those suckers.

Open your USGS maps with Adobe Reader.

But first, we have to "unzip" the maps.

I use 7zip.

Custom Maps
Once we get the maps downloaded, unzipped, and running on Adobe Reader we can cut and paste the pieces of the maps we need together, and mark our selected hiking routes to create our own customized maps using MS Paint, Photoshop, or some other image software.

If we want to print up our maps for field use we need some printer technology and knowledge. I understand Inkjet printers, special inks, and the proper paper are necessary to print up serviceable maps.

At least one reader of Tahoe to Whitney has copied and printed out Tahoe to Whitney Maps with success.

Map Information Map Symbols

That is totally cool for personal and non-profit uses.

High Sierra


All Sierra Weather
Forecasts, Satellites, Radar, snowpack, real-time temps.

When will the Sierra Trails Open in 2013?

Trail Guide Weather
Local Weather resources for each hiking area.

Backpacker's News and Notes


July 2013

Hwy 4 Ebbetts Pass Open

Hwy 108 Sonora Pass Open

Hwy 120 Tioga Pass Open

(Historic early pass openings)

July Conditions On the Trails

Passes Clear

Fords at Knee Level and running slow

All News: See the Forum

Incident Information

August 2013
Rim fire burning Northwest Yosemite and Stanislaus National Forest

August 2013
American Fire
burning 17 miles West of West shore of Lake Tahoe

Tahoe to Yosemite Trail


First Note:
This Trail Guide is Under ACTIVE Construction.


Read the Site Use Terms and Safety Disclaimer.

Nature Freaking Out

Land O' Lakes: Melting Glaciers Transform Alpine Landscape, Spiegel, April 26 2013

2013 Wintertime Arctic Sea Ice Maximum Fifth Lowest on Record, Nasa, Videos+article, 4-3-13

Arctic goes green because of global warming, Daily Mail, 3-11-2013




on the

Backpacker's Forum
The Forum organizes High Sierra Backpacking by TOPIC.



Trip Ideas

Trailhead to Trailhead

Resupply Points

North Sierra Nevada


Two Routes
Lake Tahoe to Tuolumne Meadows

The Pacific Crest Trail
Tahoe to Yosemite Trail


West Lake Tahoe Basin

Desolation Wilderness

BIG Desolation MAP

Meeks Bay

Echo Lake


28.71 miles

Hike 11 miles SW to PCT from Meeks Bay to follow unified PCT-TYT trail South through the heart of Desolation Wilderness.

West Shore trailheads between Meeks, South to Fallen Leaf Lake, creates lots of short sweet backpacking trips out of either Meeks Bay or Echo Lake.
Busiest Wilderness in America.

Highway 89 Trailhead to Highway 50.




South of Desolation Wilderness,
still in the
Tahoe Basin:



Southwest Lake Tahoe Basin

Meiss Country

Meiss Country Roadless Area



Echo Summit

Carson Pass

12 miles

TYT and PCT remain unified across MCRA until we exit the Lake Tahoe Basin.

For local hikers, trailheads ring this small triangular area located in the SW corner of the Tahoe Basin.

Trailheads on Highways 50, 89, and 88.


Pacific Crest Trail

Mokelumne Wilderness

BIG Mokelumne MAP

Carson Pass
Ebbetts Pass


Mokelumne Wilderness

27.88 miles

At Carson Pass the PCT and TYT split, with the PCT following the East flank of the Sierra Nevada South.

We have one trail connecting the PCT and TYT South of the trail to Summit City Creek from Forrestdale Divide (South of Carson Pass), South to Ebbetts Pass.

But the trail from Blue Lakes to Summit City Creek does not offer a substantially different route connecting the PCT to the TYT than the trail from Forestdale Divide.

Highway 88 Trailhead to Highway 4.



Tahoe to Yosemite Trail Backpacking
Mokelumne Wilderness

Carson Gap
Lake Alpine


Mokelumne Wilderness

21.15 miles

The TYT swings into the remote West Sierra Flank and across a lengthy section of unmaintained trail.

No optional trails run around this rough section of the TYT, short of hiking the PCT route.

No trails connect the PCT and TYT South of the Summit City Creek trail junction below Fourth of July Lake.

Crosses Highway 88 W of Carson Pass to Highway 4.


Pacific Crest Trail
Carson Iceberg Wilderness

BIG Carson Iceberg MAP

Ebbetts Pass
Sonora Pass


Carson Iceberg Wilderness

29.44 miles

The PCT remains (mostly) on the East flank, above or along the stunning terrain of the East Carson River for a significant length of this section.

The PCT and TYT routes are connected by four trails across the Carson Iceberg.

This creates optimal conditions for great hiking loops around the Carson Iceberg Wilderness.

Highway 4 Trailhead to Highway 108.





Tahoe to Yosemite Trail
Carson Iceberg Wilderness

Lake Alpine
Saint Marys Pass


Carson Iceberg Wilderness

34.28 miles

The TYT traces its way across West flank canyons, climbing through another lengthy unmaintained section of trail approaching Saint Marys Pass.

We have many trail options bringing us up to the PCT to hike around this unmaintained section of the TYT.

Highway 4 Trailhead to Highway 108.

More information Coming Soon
As soon as I build more trail guide !!


Pacific Crest Trail
Emigrant Wilderness

BIG Emigrant MAP

Sonora Pass
South Bond Pass Trail Junction


Eastern Boundary
Emigrant Wilderness

19.22 miles

Though we stay on the Eastern Sierra Flank, our trip options really open up in the High Emigrant Wilderness.

Highway 108

Tahoe to Yosemite Trail
Emigrant Wilderness

Kennedy Meadows Pack Station
South Bond Pass Trail Junction

Emigrant Wilderness

16.91 miles

Hiking up West Flank to hub of trails at Grizzly Peak opens up trails in all directions.

Yosemite to SE, great granite canyons of Emigrant rolling to our SW, KM back to the NW, Sonora Pass directly to our North, and the West Walker in the Toiyabe to our NE. Wow.

Highway 108

North Yosemite Backcountry

Pacific Crest and Tahoe to Yosemite Trails

South Bond Pass Trail Junction
Tuolumne Meadows

54.58 miles

The PCT finally crosses onto the Western Sierra Flank at the top of Jack Main Canyon to join the TYT for the rest of the hike to Tuolumne, with the short exception of the TYT route variation past Tilden Lake.

The PCT will stay on the West Flank until we pop over to the East side crossing Southbound out of Yosemite through Donohue Pass.

Highways 108, 395, and 120






Tahoe to Whitney Backpacking Videos

Currently there are 159 videos supplementing the trail guide arranged in 8 playlists covering each completed section of the trail guide.

Backpacking Video
North Yosemite Backcountry: Into Kerrick Canyon


Tahoe to Whitney trail sections by Video


All Backpacking Videos



Seasonal Information

2013 Report




Five Day Food Supply

Trip Planning Considerations





Tahoe to Whitney is proud to feature
David Maxim High Sierra Watercolors

Dinkey Lakes High Sierra Watercolor by David Maxim.

David's works capture the both the spirit of the Sierra and its hikers.

David Maxim Backpacker                David Maxim Artist



Camp Comfort

Water System Innovation

TW Members George and Sue evolved the efficient jug water system into a new role as a fine camp shower.

Backpacking water system with shower.

G & S have brought me to a new level of Sanitation and Luxury on the Trail.

Check out the Video





Love you guys...

A Vortex of Backpacking Experience and Knowledge.

Information, Insight, and Intelligence
Engaged with Nature and Man


As you can see, I am rolling out a new home page design.


Have patience, it will be done soon.


Contact: Alex Wierbinski

Spring Snow Camping
Spring is in full swing

See the
High Sierra Snow Camping Forum

And the
Four Season Gear List






Hiking the North Yosemite Backcountry on the combined TYT-PCT routes.


Trail Guide Under Construction

Tahoe to Whitney on YouTube

Trail Guide Construction Information

The Trail Guide currently covers the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail from Meeks Bay along with the Pacific Crest Trail route from the North end of Desolation Wilderness at Lake Tahoe Southbound down to the Kerrick Canyon ford in the North Yosemite Backcountry.

To the Left and Right are a couple of the latest videos of this area, and below links to the relevant maps, miles, and trail guide pages on the leading edge of site construction.

Stubblefield Canyon to Seavy Pass

Sonora Pass to Tuolumne Meadows miles

Sonora Pass to Bensen Lake map
Click Red and Black dots on map for more information.

The short but steep drop into Kerrick Canyon.


Stubblefield Canyon climbing South to top of ridge.

South from top of ridge between Stubblefield and Kerrick Canyons down to the Kerrick Canyon ford.




Site Resources



Music to our Ears

Steve Scheppers

Tahoe to Whitney Backpacking Music Created, Performed and Produced by
Steve Scheppers

Need some Fine Tunes to chill you out?

Need some Sounds for your media work?

I rely on Steve for both !

Listen to Steve's
New Album
on his Website

and check out

Steve's YouTube Channel

and Steve Scheppers on myspace



Analytical Survival

Analytical Survival

Building your capacity to be a self-contained individual across time and space is the point of this backpacking website.

Analytical Survival takes this a step further, and demonstrates how to be a self-contained individual in control of time and space.

Analytical Survival's approach translates your backpacking gear and skills into an emergency setup within a framework of intelligent emergency planning and preparation.

Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney

Your Guide to the Pacific Crest, Tahoe to Yosemite, and John Muir Trails across the High Sierra Nevada Mountains