Tree, Poison Flat, Carson Iceberg Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney: Your Backpacking Guide to the High Sierras Yellow Flower
Banner, Kennedy Meadows to Tuolumne Meadows backpacking Miles and Elevations
Flowers bloom in Summit meadow North of Snow Lake below North side of Bond Pass hiking out of Emigrant Wilderness

 

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Kennedy Meadows to Yosemite National Park
in
Jack Main Canyon

Backpacking Emigrant Wilderness

Backpacking Miles and Elevations on the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail

 

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MILES
NORTH

TYT

Lake Alpine
to
Saint
Marys
Pass

MILES
SOUTH

TYT-PCT

Bond Pass
to
Tuolumne
Meadows

MILES
INDEX

TYT-PCT

Highway
108
to
Tuolumne
Meadows

REGIONAL
MAPS

TYT

Kennedy Meadows
to
Relief Reservoir

Sonora Pass
Region

TRAIL
GUIDE
INDEX

TYT-PCT

Sonora
Pass
to
Tuolumne
Meadows

TRAIL
HEADS

TYT-PCT

TRAIL
Crossroads

MAPS
INDEX

Kennedy
Meadows
to
Tuolumne
Meadows

ALL
MAPS

INDEX

TRAIL
GUIDE

INDEX

PERMITS
Stanislaus

SIERRA
WEATHER

Sonora
Pass
WEATHER

This website is under active construction...

Backpacking Emigrant Wilderness

Miles & Elevations
The Tahoe to Yosemite Trail

Kennedy Meadows to Jack Main Canyon
16.91 miles

Kennedy Meadows to Tuolumne Meadows
73.21 miles

Backpacking Miles

Hiking across the Emigrant Wilderness
into the
Yosemite National Park North Backcountry

The Tahoe to Yosemite Trail South from Kennedy Meadows to Brown Bear Pass is one long steady Climb.
Emigrant Basin on the other side of Brown Bear ends the climb into a gentle roller coaster.
Our final climb to Bond Pass into Yosemite is quite easy. Things speed up hiking down Jack Main Canyon, until we turn Southeast into the 5 canyons of the North Yosemite Backcountry:
The Washboard.
The five canyons end in a long run down Cold Canyon to the welcome hospitality of Glen Aulin, a short easy hike from our next resupply at Tuolumne Meadows.

Sonora Pass to Tuolumne Meadows
PCT miles and elevations
Highway 108
Backpacking Map

Climbing
to the
Sierra Nevada Crestline
Location  Elevation Mileage
Kennedy Meadows Gate 6400 0    
+000 1.01    
Kennedy Meadows Trailhead   6400 1.01    
+80 0.29    
Lower Footbridge, Wilderness Boundary 6480 1.30    
+640 1.16    
Upper Footbridge 7040  2.46    
+80 .21    
Kennedy Lake trail junction 7120 2.67    
+80 0.18    
Grouse Creek unmarked trail junction 7200 2.85    
+80 0.11    
Relief Reservoir Dam Trail 7280 2.96    
(High Point of trail: 7600) +54 1.07    
Relief Reservoir
East shore campsite
7226 4.03    
+134 .14    
Grouse Creek Ford 7360 4.17    
+360 1.2    
Summit Creek Lower Relief Valley trail junction 7720 5.37    
+400 .38    
Saucer Meadow 8120 5.75    
+680 2.48    
Sheep Camp 8800 8.23    
+80 1.00    
Lunch Meadow 8880 9.23    
+160 .46    
Mosquito Pass trail junction to Emigrant Lake 9040 9.69    
+720 1.23    
Brown Bear Pass 9760 10.92    

Total elevation Gain
Kennedy Meadows to Brown Bear Pass
+3360 feet
over
10.92 miles

We do have one descent during the entire segment of trail above. We descend to Relief Reservoir's 7226 feet after climbing to 7600 feet above the trail to the dam.
Thus we climb to 7600 feet of elevation twice during this segment. Once approaching Relief Reservoir, and again as we hike South of the reservoir.

Across
High Emigrant Basin

Location  Elevation Mileage
Brown Bear Pass 9760 10.92    
-320 1.41    
Emigrant Meadow Lake junction 9440 12.33    
+200  1.27    
Unmarked Horse Meadow trail junction 9640 13.6    
+10 0.23    
Grizzly Meadow trail junction 9650 13.83    
-220 1.08    
North Summit Meadow junction to Horse Meadow  9430 14.91    
-40 .27    
Snow Lake trail junction  9390 15.18    
+330 .86    
Bond Pass 9720 16.04    

Total elevation Change,
A Wash
540 feet ascending, 580 feet descending.
Bay to Pass
+/- 30 feet
over
5.12 miles

Descent
into
North Yosemite Backcountry

Location  Elevation Mileage
Bond Pass 9720 16.04    
-240 .24    
Trail Y 9480 16.28    
-280 .63    
SOUTH PCT-TYT
Trail Junction
Top of Jack Main Canyon
9200 16.91    
Total elevation Loss
Bond Pass into the Top of Jack Main Canyon
-520 feet
over
.87miles

Entering the top of Jack Main Canyon begins and extensive down-mountain segment of trail until we turn East through Tilden or Wilmer Lake, depending on the route we follow.

TYT
Miles North

 Lake Alpine
to
Saint Marys Pass
TYT
Miles South
Bond Pass
to
Tuolumne Meadows

The TYT and PCT run South together to Tuolumne Meadows, except for their small divergence around Tilden and Wilmer Lakes.

Stanislaus National Forest
Schematic Miles Map
Emigrant Wilderness

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North TYT : Lake Alpine to Saint Marys Pass                     South TYT-PCT: Bond Pass to Tuolumne Meadows

Note:
The Ups and Downs of Backpacking Emigrant Wilderness, and every other High Sierra Trail

This trail guide, like the High Sierras, divides itself into ups and downs. Our miles are generally done either going up to the top of the mountain, or we are coming down from the mountaintop into the valley that separates us from the next mountain.
This means that the mileages and elevations between the peaks and the valleys is going to be important in determining just how many miles we can reasonably expect to cover any particular day. This will be instrumental in planning where we are going to camp every night, and ultimately this information determines how many days it will take us to cover a given distance. This in turn establishes our proper food load.

This is not the case for the next section of the trail between Kennedy Meadows Pack Station and Bond Pass. This section of trail is going consistently upward. We are climbing to the Sierra Crest.

Changes
The trail has been modified and does not track around the Relief Reservoir control building as depicted on the maps. The control building has been removed. There are two routes from above the upper footbridge to just below the junction to Kennedy Lake. Both routes bring us to the same place, but the trail off to the Right overlooks Summit Creek surging through its granite gorge, while the trail to the Left runs up a rocky chute.

Hiking past Emigrant Meadow Lake to Grizzly Meadow indicates that these locations are at the same elevation. Close, but first we have to climb over a ridge that's between them.
Thus the elevation figures do not fully reflect this interceding ridge.

Remember this important rule: Every descent route holds many mini-ascents, and every ascent has many mini-descents within its climb. Our mileage will very rarely just go up, or just go down. We are going endlessly up and down.

Except beginning this section. It is a steady climb from Kennedy Meadows to Brown Bear Pass.

 

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, corrections, questions, or pictures and videos of the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail from Kennedy Meadows Pack Station & Resort Vermilion Valley across Emigrant Wilderness to Tuolumne Meadows, you can post up here as an unknown hiker or as a member:

Section
Kennedy Meadows to Tuolumne Meadows

North: Lake Alpine to Saint Marys Pass                                              South: Bond Pass to Tuolumne Meadows

Trailhead

Contact
Alex Wierbinski

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Backpacking Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney

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

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