Killer Sunset at The Sisters near Carson Pass
Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney: Crown Jewel of the Pacific Crest Trail
Need a Map? Lost Al near Lost Keys Lake
Emigrant Wilderness under Tropical Thunderstorm, September.
Round Top Lake
Whitebarks and Grizzly Peak in Emigrant Wilderness under Tropical Clouds during September 2013
Lost Keys Lake
 

Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney
Trail Guide, Magazine, & High Sierra Backpacker's Trails and Topics Forums


HIGH SIERRA BACKPACKER'S
Calendar

 

August
2018

 

Important Seasonal Happenings, Transitions, Events, & Dates
for
High Sierra Backpackers

 

Road Conditions, Resupply, Seasonal Transition Concerns, Permit Dates, Weather, Water, and Mosquitoes

 

 

 

Last Year
2017

 

THIS YEAR
News, Views, & Issues
AUGUST
2018
High Sierra
News
AUGUST
2018
Backpacker
Alerts
2018
Natural Meltdown
High Sierra
Backpacking
TOPICS
High Sierra
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TRAILS
High Sierra
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FITNESS
High Sierra
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SKILLS

High Sierra
RESUPPLY
High Sierra
PERMITS
High Sierra
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High Sierra
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GUIDE
INDEX
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INDEX
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MILES
INDEX
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2018
High Sierra
Backpacking Calendar

January         February         March         April         May         June

July         August         September         October         November         December

 

 

August
2018

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

TRAILHEAD

Last Year

 

August 2018
View down Tuolumne River from Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp

East Carson River just below PCT under April Snow.
View down the Tuolumne River while hiking across the footbridge just South of Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp at morning sunlight lighting up the canyon.

Trail Guide           Map           Miles and Elevations

August 2018

Top of Page

January       February       March       April       May       June     July     August     September       October       November       December
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

Prime Time Backpacking
Mosquitoes diminishing to irrelevance.
Hot Temps moderate into cool backpacking.
Lowering Sun brings increasing contrasts to terrain.
Hiker Traffic Decreasing.

MONTH OF FIRE

30

 

FIRE-SMOKE-HEAT
-WARNINGS-

Until Further Notice

Yosemite Valley Closed

 

FERGUSON-CARR-CRANSTON FIRES NEWS & INFORMATION

 

Weather Warnings

 

Lightening Hazard
Predictions & Forecasts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAST MONTH

NEXT WEEK

31

Yosemite Valley Closed

 

FERGUSON FIRE:
Yosemite Foothills

Valley Opening Delayed to 8-5

 

ROAD NEWS
June Lake Loop Closed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAST MONTH

NEXT WEEK

1

Yosemite Valley Closed

 

 

 

THINK AHEAD

CCC
Backcountry Trail Crew
Applications due

EARLY FEB 2019

2

Yosemite Valley Closed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017

HEAT WAVE BUILDING

T-Strom Warnings

Storm Warnings

yet:

Heavy snow at high altitudes mostly in the South Sierra preserves the:

SNOW TRAVEL HAZARD,
but now mostly limited to higher up the flanks & crest of the South Sierra.

Still lots of snow on South Sierra & protected parts of North Sierra Crest, less on others.

Protected areas full of snow in N & S Sierra.

High Altitude Trips are STILL SNOW TRIPS

 

Date-Adjustable High Sierra Snowpack Status

 

Amazing Sat Views of Sierra Snowpack

 

Continuing high runoff flows maintain the
FORDING HAZARD.

HOT TEMPS PERSIST,
ARE GROWING,

and must be monitored. Big Heat Building.

FIRE & SMOKE
hazards are present & increasing.

MOSQUITOES are a HUGE THREAT.

 

Lightening Hazard

 

Water & Snow Hazards are gradually narrowing as this unique season progresses, while Heat, Fire, and Skeeter threats are HIGH & rapidly rising.

 

Trail News
August, 2017

 

 

2017
HIGH SIERRA

SNOWPACK
Below: Watershed Snow Water Content Charts followed by individual reporting station's Snow Depth and 24 hour high-low temps.

Last: July 31

Tahoe Basin
Watershed

N Sierra Reporting Stations On a Map
Scroll over stations for snow & temps. Click for
full report.

American-Yuba Watersheds

Carson-Walker
Watershed
s

Carson Pass 00" Snow
8388 feet
(75.1" H2O)
77 & 52

Ebbetts Pass 00"
8660 feet
Snow
(99.7" H2O)
79 & 58

Leavitt Lake
9602 feet, East Flank
00" Snow
(105.6" H20) Suspect
74 & 57

Marine Base
6748 feet East Flank
FULL REPORT
VIS-CHIL-WEA-MB-WIND
91 & 46

Mokelumne-Stanislaus Watersheds

Deadman Creek
9250 feet, West Flank
000.0 Snow (BAD)
(53.4" H20)

77 & 48

Tuolumne-Merced
Watersheds

Tuolumne Meadows
8600 feet, West Flank
x.xx"
(SNO " Depth & H2O BAD: Use Chart Above)
79 & 44

Tioga Pass/Dana
9798 feet
.7" Snow
(Temps BAD)

Mammoth Mountain Ski

Mono Lake-Owens Basin

Gem Pass
10750 feet
SNO " Depth Suspect
(28.25" H2O) Suspect
temps suspect

Mammoth Pass
9500 feet
3.2" Snow
(83.48" H2O)
81 & 58

South Lake Cabin
9580 feet, East Flank
(BAD" & H2O) BAD
76 & 51



Big Pine Sawmill
10200 feet, East Flank
.30" Snow
70 & 46

Kings River

Bishop Pass
11972 feet
BAD-
BAD

Charlotte Lake
10398 feet, West Flank
TEMPS ONLY

63 & 38

Kern Watershed

Upr Tyndall Creek
4.47"
71 & 50
(station reporting again!)

 

 

3

Yosemite Valley Closed

Fire Enters Yosemite Valley, Threatens Merced Grove, El Portal, Yosemite West, Wawona, and is entering the mouth of Yosemite Valley between El Portal & Yosemite West.

 

Fire Information

 

 

 

 

2017

HEAT WAVE
&
A Vast Tropical Plume...

Weak Low a couple hundred miles off San Francisco is dragging a vast plume of tropical moisture Northwest, up across the whole length of S. CA & across S Arizona from Central Mexico.

It is a plume of fully moisture-charged TROPICAL AIR.

This plume is generating some serious electricity. Lightening & lightening-caused fires should be watched for and expected.

It's serious blowback from this interesting tropical weather trend/activity.

Lightening Probs

This current Sat View of West US shows the Low & its Plume to you, if you click it this morning.

This sat shows current conditions, so you will see what's up at the time you click it...

All Sat Views

HAZARDS
Inspect the current hazard reports and the National Hazard Map:

NWS
High Sierra Hazard
WARNINGS
&
National Hazard Map

 

Check Heat Intensity:

Real Time
Reporting Stations

Scroll-Over stations for Temps

Forecast Graphical Interface

 

Fire & Smoke

CalFire

Inciweb Fed

Smoke

 

4

 

FIRE-SMOKE-HEAT
-WARNINGS-

Until Further Notice

 

FERGUSON-CARR-CRANSTON FIRES NEWS & INFORMATION

SMOKE OBSERVATION, INFORMATION, & RESOURCES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAST MONTH

NEXT WEEK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAST MONTH

NEXT WEEK

 

TOP

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

5

Yosemite Valley Closed

 

DONNELL FIRE
THREATENS CARSON ICEBERG & EMIGRANT WILDERNESS

 

Yosemite Valley
Closed Indefiently

6

PCT CLOSED

DONNELL FIRE CLOSES PCT
Between
Ebbetts and Sonora Passes

 

SMOKEY TIMES
Heavy Smoke was covering the whole Sierra from Susanville in the far North all the way South to and past Mount Whitney.

 

Note

PCT from Sonora to Ebbetts Passes, and most of the Carson Iceberg Wilderness closed from Today until
September 8

7

FIRE-SMOKE-HEAT
-WARNINGS-

Until Further Notice

Donnell Fire
Whole West Flank of Sierra along Hwy 108 Closed

 

FERGUSON-CARR-CRANSTON FIRES NEWS & INFORMATION

 

 

 

 

SMOKE OBSERVATION, INFORMATION, & RESOURCES

8

FIRE-SMOKE-HEAT
-WARNINGS-

CLOSED

Yosemite Valley & Wawona
CLOSED

PCT CLOSED:
Sonora to Ebbetts Passes

W Flank Carson Iceberg Wilderness
CLOSED

Highland Lakes
CLOSED

 

DONNELL FIRE REPORT

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT WEEK

9

FIRE-SMOKE-HEAT
-WARNINGS-

DARDANELLES STORE
BURNS

KENNEDY MEADOWS
THREATENED

DONNELL FIRE
Dardanelles Resort Burns

Donnell Fire
Highland Lakes Road Closed

 

 

 

Fire Containment Stats

10

FIRE-SMOKE-HEAT
-WARNINGS-

WHOLE CARSON ICEBERG
CLOSED

DONNELL FIRE
Carson Iceberg Wilderness
CLOSED

 

 

DONNELL FIRE
Information

KENNEDY MEADOWS
THREATENED

 

 

 

 

 

 

SMOKE OBSERVATION, INFORMATION, & RESOURCES

11

FIRE-SMOKE-HEAT
-WARNINGS-

HEAT DECLINING
SMOKE
&
FIRE WARNINGS

Still in Effect

FERGUSON FIRE
82% Contained

Yos Valley to Open 14th

DONNELL FIRE
Kennedy Meadows Stands!

South Flank of Wilderness off Hwy 108 Opens

Hwy 108 to Open on the 19th

 

The Weather Page
NWS
High Sierra Hazard
WARNINGS
&
National Hazard Map

 

 

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT WEEK

 

 

TOP

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

12

FIRE-SMOKE-HEAT
-WARNINGS-

CLOSED

Yosemite Valley & Wawona
CLOSED

PCT CLOSED:
Sonora to Ebbetts Passes

W Flank Carson Iceberg Wilderness
CLOSED

Highland Lakes
CLOSED

 

13

Mariposa Grove Opened

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017

Backpacker Alert Update
Almost Normal Conditons:
Still Snow on Crest

Fords Higher than Normal

 

14

Yosemite Valley
Opened

Yosemite Valley Opens

 

Thunderstorms
Lightening Hazard

 

DONNELL FIRE
25% Contained

KENNEDY MEADOWS
THREATENED

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOP

15

Fire-Smoke-Heat
Warnings Continue

 

Thunderstorms
Lightening Hazard

 

 

Heat Picking Up
Caution

 

 

Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes die as terrain dries.
August 15 is the drop-dead date during “normal” Years

2018
IS A
DRIER THAN NORMAL YEAR
(About 50%)

 

 

 

2017 IS NOT
A
NORMAL YEAR: WET

 

HIGH SIERRA
Mosquito News


16

Fire-Smoke-Heat
Warnings Continue

 

Contained
FERGUSON-CARR-CRANSTON FIRES NEWS & INFORMATION

 

Not Contained
30%
DONNELL FIRE

 

 

The Weather Page
NWS
High Sierra Hazard
WARNINGS
&
National Hazard Map

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17

Fire-Smoke-Heat
Warnings Continue

DONNELL FIRE
Road to Highland Lakes Opened to Tyron Meadow.

18

CLOSED

PCT CLOSED:
Sonora to Ebbetts Passes

W Flank Carson Iceberg Wilderness
CLOSED

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT WEEK

 

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

19

Fire-&-Smoke
Warnings Continue

COOLING-
Widespread Smoke

 

DONNELL FIRE
Half Contained
49%

HIGHWAY 108

Highway 108 Opened to through, non-stop traffic.

KENNEDY MEADOWS
THREATENED

20

Fire-&-Smoke
Warnings Continue


21

Fire-&-Smoke
Warnings Continue


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOP

22

COOL-
Widespread Smoke

 

DONNELL FIRE
PCT between Sonora and Ebbetts Passes still closed.

Carson Iceberg Wilderness Still Closed.

Highland Lakes still closed, though the road is open to Tyron Meadow

 

Kennedy Meadows finally out of Risk?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017

Season-Long
April 1 to Aug 22
BACKPACKER ALERT
TERMINATED

"Season-Normal" Hazards Continue.

Original Alert,
April 1, 2017

 

Current Potential Hazards

Heat Waves

Fording Danger

Lightening Danger

Fire & Smoke

Mosquitoes

 

Mountain Safety Page

 

23

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Weather Page
NWS
High Sierra Hazard
WARNINGS
&
National Hazard Map

24

Fire-&-Smoke
Warnings Continue

 

 

ALL
SMOKE RESOURCES

 

CURRENT FIRES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT WEEK

 


25

COOL-
Widespread Smoke

 

DONNELL FIRE
PCT between Sonora and Ebbetts Passes still closed.

CLOSED
Carson Iceberg Wilderness Still Closed.

Highland Lakes still closed, though the road is open to Tyron Meadow

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review
the
August 2017
Trail News

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

26

COOL-
Fires coming under Containment,
Smoke Diminishing,
yet...

Fire-&-Smoke
Warnings Continue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017

HEAT WARNING
Next 3 Days

Excessive Heat

National Hazard Map

 

 

2016-17
High Sierra
Season Review

27

Fire-&-Smoke
Warnings Continue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017

HEAT WARNING
Next 2 Days

Excessive Heat

 

28

Fire-&-Smoke
Warnings Continue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017

HEAT WARNING
Last Day?

NO!

Excessive Heat

 

National Hazard Map

 

Resource
All High Sierra Forest & Park
Fire, Fire Restrictions, and Alert Status
.

29

DONNELL FIRE
Containment
63%

Last
Ferguson Fire Report
Status of the Sierra

 

 

High Sierra
Weather Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017

HEAT WARNING
Extended through Labor Day Weekend.

Excessive Heat

 

National Hazard Map

 

All High Sierra Forecasts

High Sierra Hazards

30

COOL-
Fires coming under Containment,
Smoke Diminishing

Donnell Fire
Trails South of 108 Corridor Opened

Kennedy Meadows Pack Station in full Operations

 

ALL
SMOKE RESOURCES

 

CURRENT FIRES

 

 

TOP

 

 

 

 

 

2017

LABOR DAY HAZARDS

HEAT WARNING
Extended through Labor Day Weekend.


Excessive Heat

 

All
High Sierra
FORECASTS

 

Potential
Labor Day
Hazards

HEAT WAVE

NWS
High Sierra Weather Hazard
WARNINGS
&
National Hazard Map

 

FORDING

Fording Hazards in the High Sierra

All River Flow and Stage Information

 

LIGHTENING

Lightening Information

Lightening Probs

 

FIRE & SMOKE
hazards are present & increasing.

CalFire

Inciweb Fed

Smoke

 

Mosquitoes

 

 

31

Fire-&-Smoke
Warnings Continue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017

RISING RECORD-LEVEL HEAT

INTENSE FIRES
(Western US Burning)

DENSE, WIDESPREAD SMOKE

 

 


1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT MONTH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT MONTH

 

2018

Typical Year : Wet years extends the mosquitoes’ reign past the 15th, Dry years shorten it.
Wet basins and lakes that hold water on vast sheets of solid granite below their green-grass coverings feed the mosquitoes later into the season than terrain that drains.

Thus we will find “holdout zones” where local mosquito populations remain high long after the surrounding terrain has dried out. My advice when you encounter one of these zones: RUN!

2015: Drought. Weird tropical weather through July. August to typical conditions, but under extreme drought context. Thus August began running up into one of the worse fire seasons ever. September's weather will decide. Massive El Nino Conditions are boiling the Central Pacific. Somebody is going to get flooded.

 

2014 Calendar          2015 Calendar          2016 Calendar          2017 Calendar

 

The
Bookends

of
High Sierra Experience

JULY
2015

RECORD MINIMAL SNOW PACK

 

JULY
2017

MASSIVE, RECORD MAX SNOW PACK

 

 

Permits
Yosemite National Park and Desolation Wilderness accept reservations six months in advance for Summer backpacking dates.

June 2016 reservations are available in January, July in February, and so on.

Yosemite Permits

Desolation Wilderness

Hoover Wilderness

 

DANGERS
Monitor weather for afternoon Thunderstorms

Beware of dangerous fording conditions

Mosquito conditions are typically going Hog Wild during this time of year.
Not during 2015!
Mosquito Populations are still being depressed by the drought conditions, despite the Spring and Summer tropical rains.


2014 Calendar          2015 Calendar  

2016 Calendar

Mountain Safety

Thunderstorms?

As snow travel and fording dangers receede on the High Sierra terrain, the next danger grows in the skies.

July brings the peak of the Summer Thunderstorm Season in the High Sierra.
These are typically local weather, caused by heat waves in the San Joaquin Valley swept up the West Sierra Flank.

Hot wet air on a fast ride up the West Sierra flank to high elevations squeezes out what can be substantial daily rain and lightening activity lasting between 2 pm and sunset.

Don’t cross open ground under one of these storms. They are deadly. Lightening and Fording are the leading causes of High Sierra backpacker deaths.

More Lightening Information                  Lightening Prediction Tools

Typical Scene: Video

Story
Caught Out with Bubba & Dave

 

2015 HISTORY
This year's constant series of thunderstorms are tropically born, not local. These thunderstorms are the product of distant moisture-rich tropical air being driven North by air currents generated by the intense tropical thunderstorm activity that generated them in the first place. These moisture rich airs are then sucked across the Sierra by an aberrant series of stubborn unstable low pressure zones over California and the West Coast of the U.S.

Tahoe to Whitney

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Top of Page

2018
High Sierra
Backpacking Calendar

January         February         March         April         May         June

July         August         September         October

 November         December

 

2014 Calendar          2015 Calendar

2016 Calendar          2017 Calendar

Trailhead
 
Contact
Alex Wierbinski

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Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney

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

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© 2017 Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney: Crown Jewel of the Pacific Crest Trail