Meeks Bay Trailhead of the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail. Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney: Your Backpacking Guide to the High Sierras Phipps Pass.
Banner: Backpacking Maps Meeks Bay to Echo Summit, Desolation Wilderness, Tahoe to Yosemite Trail, Mad Squirrel in the tree, very mad at me.
Meeks Bay
This Mad Squirrel was very upset with me
Phipps Pass

 

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Meeks Bay to Echo Summit

DESOLATION WILDERNESS
Backpacking Topo Maps Index

Starting
the
Tahoe to Yosemite Trail

Hiking the Length of the Desolation Wilderness

 

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ALL
MAPS

MAP
INDEX

MAP
INDEX

North
PCT

NONE
Tahoe
to
Whitney
STARTS
HERE

MAP
INDEX

South
TYT-PCT

ECHO
SUMMIT
to
CARSON
PASS

REGION
MAP

TYT-PCT

DESOLATION
WILDERNESS

LOCAL
MAPS

SOUTH
TYT-PCT

MEEKS BAY
to
DICKS PASS

DICKS PASS
to
LOWER ECHO
LAKE

MILES
&
ELEVATIONS

TYT-PCT

Meeks Bay
to
Echo Summit

TRAIL
GUIDE
INDEX

TYT-PCT

Meeks Bay
to
Highway
4

TRAIL
GUIDE

TRAILS
INDEX

PERMITS
LTBMU

SIERRA
WEATHER

TAHOE
WEATHER


Backpacking Topo Maps

The
Tahoe to Yosemite Trail
through
Desolation Wilderness

Meeks Bay Trailhead to Echo Summit Trailhead
30.71 miles

11.5 miles South from the Tahoe to Yosemite Trailhead at Meek Bay we join the Pacific Crest
and Tahoe Rim Trails for the rest of our hike South through the Desolation Wilderness.
7.5 minute
USGS Backpacking Maps

1:24 000
  30 minute
USGS Backpacking Maps

1:100 000

The 7.5 minute series are detailed Topo maps of each segment of the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail between Meeks Bay and Echo Summit down the length of Desolation Wilderness.

 

North Desolation Wilderness

Sugar Pine, General Creek and Meeks Bay

Meeks Bay to Dicks Pass

 

Central Desolation Wilderness

Phipps Pass to Lake Aloha

 

South Desolation Wilderness

South Desolation Wilderness

 

Hiking South out of Desolation Wilderness

Echo Lake to Echo Summit detail

 

This collection of 7.5 and 30 minute maps, along with a couple of 1 X 2 degree maps thrown in, are designed to give us levels of resolution to understand these trails in the context of the surrounding terrain.

The big maps provide an overall perspective of the surrounding terrain highlighting local trailheads and the potential for loops and in-and-out trips into Desolation Wilderdenss along the TYT and PCT routes.

The 7.5 maps give us a detailed look at each segment of the trails.

 

Below we have a series of large-scale 30 minute maps to put our trail routes within the overall context of the terrain.

First we start with the raw 30 minute map
of Desolation Wilderness:

FULL
DESOLATION WILDERNESS
unmodified 30 minute maps

Scroll over the map above to find the detailed maps of our TYT-PCT-TRT routes.

The next map below is a huge 30 min map with the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail marked out between Meeks Bay and Echo Summit above the West Shore of Lake Tahoe.

It's black-dotted trail route is linked to detailed maps of each section of trail:

ALL TYT-PCT-TRT TRAILS
DESOLATION WILDERNESS

WEST SHORE LAKE TAHOE
Meeks Bay Trailhead
to Echo Lake Trailhead

Clicking Red Dots brings us to the
guide entry for that location.

 

Below are smaller 30 min map segments. They give us an idea of the overall terrain beyond the trail than the narrower scope of the 7.5 min maps.

NORTH DESOLATION WILDERNESS
Meeks Bay
to Middle Velma Lake
USGS 30 Minute Map

 

SOUTH DESOLATION WILDERNESS
Phipps Pass
through Echo Summit
USGS 30 Minute Map

Mouse-over these maps to locate the underlaying detailed maps.

Maps North: NONE                   Maps South: Echo Summit to Carson Pass

What's Up?

The TYT, PCT, and TRT in the Lake Tahoe Basin

Starting from Meeks Bay our Tahoe to Yosemite Trail hikes the next 41.32 miles down the Sierra Crestline wrapping around the Western and Southwestern Shore of the Lake Tahoe Basin.

11.5 miles South out of the Meeks Bay Trailhead our Tahoe to Yosemite Trail intersects with the Pacific Crest and Tahoe Rim Trails. These trails hike together South through Desolation Wilderness above the West Shore of Tahoe down into the Meiss Country Roadless Area wedged into the Southwestern corner of the Tahoe Basin.

The TYT and PCT continue South together to exit the Tahoe Basin through the Carson Gap. The TRT turns Northeast at Meiss Cabin, remaining in the Tahoe Basin to hike up into the Carson Range along the Eastern Shore of the Tahoe Basin via the Big Meadow Trailhead.

Note the red dots scattered along the black-dotted marked trail route on all the maps. These dots are links to the trail guide page entries for those locations. The black dots marking the trail routes on the 30 minute maps link to the detailed 7.5 minute maps for that area. Check out the labels on the maps for links to the maps North and South, as well as for more information about the trails.

There are also links to the forum, where you can add your comments and experiences to the trail guide citation for each location marked by a red dot on the topo hiking maps.

Each trail Guide page provides specific information about that particular location, including mileage and elevation information, nearby features, lots of pictures, some videos, a written description, and a link to the Trails Forum for that location.
That is for you to add your input, hiking ideas, comments, questions and favorite hiking plans and places in that area.

The goal of the trail guide is to give you a basic familiarity with Sierra Terrain that you can build on as you hike, and allow you to share the information and experiences, the insights you develop, as well as gaining some insights from this backpacking trail guide.

When you "find yourself" in the mountains you can make note of this wonderful transition on the guide and forum.

Many perspectives and experiences about a trail builds much better understanding that a singular perspective. The comments links on each page lead to the forum for that specific location. Add your perspective.

Your addition of side trips, loops, scrambles, and just basic advice and shared experience about the places you are familiar makes for a better trail guide.


Lake Tahoe to Carson Pass
Map Index

Maps Index
South
Echo Summit
to
Carson Pass

 

Map Credit

U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior
The
USGS

USGS MAP LOCATOR

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 over our heads in the sky. These are the basics.
In that spirit, let's set ourselves up with the USGS maps sufficient to plan and execute our High Sierra Backpacking Trip with our own set of custom backpacking maps.

In fact, we can use the USGS to set us up to plan and hike anywhere in the US of A. First, go to the

USGS MAP LOCATOR

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. Zoom in a bit until the grid pattern appears.

The list of available maps appears for that square are listed
within each grid square.

Select the maps 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.

Printing
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 long-use maps.

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

Map Information Map Symbols

Online and Trail Maps

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


High Sierra Backpacking Map
Information and Assets

 

Backpacking Map Information and Instruction

USGS Map Information USGS Map Symbols

Online and Trail
Backpacking Maps
Decimal-Degree
Conversion Tool

USGS MAP LOCATOR
Free USGS Maps for Downloading

Navigation Page Astronomical Information

Navigation Videos Map Tools Tutorials
(excellent map tools too)

MAP NOTE
Those squares breaking the USGS maps up into grids are the Universal Transverse Mercator / Military Grid Reference System, otherwise commonly known as UTM.

What's important for our general reference purpose is that each side of a square is 1000 meters, or a Kilometer.

From my point of view that is 1093 yards or .62 of a mile.

Diagonal: 1414.22 meters, if my trig is correct.

That converts the diagonal distance across a grid square
into 4,639.8 feet or .88 of a mile.

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Backpacker Forums

Have a great Sierra Nevada trip or story to relate? A fine piece of gear? Or gear that failed?

Post it on
TahoetoWhitney.Org

Above we come to the Front Page of the High Backpacking Trails and Topics Forums. Below we break the forums down into categories:

High Sierra Trails High Sierra Topics

The Trails Forum acts as your place to put up input, comments, relate your experiences, or ask questions about each segment and spot along the length of our combined TYT-PCT-JMT trails.

The Forum is your place to supplement the trail guide.

Anyone can post text comments in the existing forums, but only members can post up new topics, along with images, maps, and formatting.

Become a Member

If you have experiences, comments, questions you can post up here as an unknown hiker. If you want to post up pictures and embed videos of the Tahoe to Yosemite and Pacific Crest Trails across Desolation Wilderness, you would have to be a member.

Section
Meeks Bay to Echo Summit
Segment
Meeks Bay
to Echo Summit Maps

Maps North: NONE                                               Maps South: Echo Summit to Carson Pass
Trailhead
Contact
Alex Wierbinski

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Frosted Backpack

Backpacking Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney

Your guide to the High Sierra Crest, including the Tahoe to Yosemite, Pacific Crest, and John Muir Trails

Bear at Silver King Creek, Carson-Iceberg Wilderness
© Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney: Crown Jewel of the Pacific Crest Trail