Arnot and Disaster Creek Trailheads
Main Features: About 7 miles North of both the Arnot and Disaster Creek Trailheads these two trails intersect shortly before their now unified route tees out along the 1.12 mile trail connecting the Gardner Meadow Trailhead at Highland Lakes with Wolf Creek Pass on the Pacific Crest Trail.
Check out the topo map of Highland Lakes.
The Carson Iceberg Wilderness topo map showing the overall relationship beween the Clarks Fork and Highland Lakes.
Hiking to the Gardner Meadow Trailhead puts us on the dirt Highland Lakes Road to Highway 4. Try driving between the Clarks Fork Road off of Highway 108 and the Highland Lakes Road off of Highway 4. Jeeze, it's likely quicker to walk through the mountains between these two trailheads than drive around either the Eastern or Western roads between them.
Driving the Trans-Sierra Highways
Backpacking Loops as Long Distance Therapy
There's nothing like a great trip down the length of the High Sierra Crestline. But a big-assed loop through the Carson Iceberg is a pretty good second choice. I discuss some of our many options for backpacking loops using the web of trails connecting the PCT and the TYT on the previous map page where we were faced with hiking South over Jenkins Canyon to Arnot Creek to the Clarks Fork of the Stanislaus River, or continuing our hike North towards the Pacific Crest Trail via Highland Lakes and Gardner Meadow on the Jenkins Canyon trail guide page.
A quick investigation of the loop routes and their miles shows that we can quadruple the miles necessary to hike either the Pacific Crest or Tahoe to Yosemite Trail sections across the Carson Iceberg Wilderness with a loop trip. The shortest loop trips begin at around 15 miles. The longest loops cross the 80 mile mark.
Below are the miles for the hikes from the Arnot and Disaster Creek Trailheads, both along the Clarks Fork Road (off of Highway 108) to where these two trails join in Upper Gardner Meadow and their subsequent termination on the trail linking Gardner Meadow to Wolf Creek Pass.
Check out this map of Highland Lakes which shows the Northern junction and termination of the Arnot and Disaster Creek trails.
Two Trails connecting the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail with the Pacific Crest Trail in the Carson Iceberg Wilderness
Arnot Creek Trail
Arnot Creek Trailhead to Lower Gardner Meadow
Arnot Creek Trailhead 0
Arnot Jenkins Junction 1.65
First two fords 4.54
Third ford 5.5
Fourth ford 5.78
Lower trail split 6.6
Upper trail split 6.93
Junction with Disaster Creek Trail / Upper Gardner Meadow 7.11
Junction with Gardner Meadow Trail 7.96
Disaster Creek Trail
Disaster Creek Trailhead to Lower Gardner Meadow
Disaster Creek Trailhead 0
1st Junction, to PCT S of Boulder Peak 2.83
2nd Junction, to PCT @ Golden Canyon 2.91
3rd Junction, spur trail 4.18
Entering Arnot 4.93
Arnot Creek ford 5.65
Junction with Arnot Creek Trail / Upper Gardner Meadow 6.17
Junction with Gardner Meadow Trail 7.02
Gardner Meadow Trail junction to the Pacific Crest Trail 1.03
Wolf Creek Pass along the PCT is 8.99 miles from Arnot Creek Trailhead and & 8.05 miles from the Disaster Creek TH.
Note on canyon naming along East side of Highland Creek around Jenkins Canyon: Thomas Winnett points out in his classic trail guide, The Tahoe to Yosemite Trail, that the series of ridges dividing Highland Creek from Arnot Creek are misnamed on the 15 minute USGS maps.
This error has apparently been corrected since Winnett pointed it out in 1970, as the canyon leading out of the Highland Creek drainage is now labeled as Jenkins Canyon on the USGS 15 minute topo maps. For Winnett's comments, see page 79 of the 1987 5th edition.