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
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Carson Pass Region Weather

Basic Facts Advanced High Sierra Backpacker
Weather Resources

The Sierra Crest is noted for having the capacity to produce four seasons of weather during a single Summer Day. Rain, snow, hail, fog, lightening, and a bit of sunshine can all happen in quick sequence.

The High Sierras are noted for rapid changes in weather and temperature, and the sudden appearance of harsh weather trends. You may experience anything from intense heat to bitterly cold Summer snow storms. Or you may not.
In any case, weather must be considered and preparations made to deal with these weather facts BEFORE entering the High Sierras.

Long Distance Backpackers who were on the High Sierra Crest in early August of 2009 (and July of 2015) experienced just such a series of Summer Snow Storms.

Temperatures dropped to the high teens and low twenties, snow and hail fell which partially obscured the trails, and all of those who entertained the misconception that the Sierras only have fine weather during the Summertime were bitterly disappointed.

Luckily for the many backcountry travelers who were not properly prepared, those storms blew apart, rather than consolidated and deepened.

(The 2015 storms had their way)

Weather considerations should guide your gear selection.


Weather Preparations for Backcountry Travel

All Seasons

Tahoe to Whitney
Complete High Sierra Weather Resources

Next, check the National Weather Service Satellites

The NWS Satellites will give you an orbital view of potiential storm activity. Combined with your use of the NWS Maps and Forecasts, you can prepare yourself for the likely weather. Note: especially check the 28km infrared and water vapor animations, which require Java Script.

Check the National Weather Service Maps

NWS Maps Note: Especially Check the 24 to 48 Hour fronts and Precipitation Maps.

Consult the National Weather Service
Home Page

The National Weather Service Home Page displays large and small scale weather warnings which may pertain to your High Sierra backpacking plans.

All these resources, and more, are found on the Tahoe to Whitney Complete Highe Sierra Weather resources page.

Map Credit

U.S. Geological Survey
Department of the Interior



Use search term "Meeks Bay," and "Address," as search type to locate this USGS map.

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