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Issue 53 has been released! Download your own high definition PDF copy with a TrailGroove Premium Subscription or read online in standard definition here.



Backpacking the Sierra Nevada


Aaron Zagrodnick
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Aaron Zagrodnick

I have always been drawn to summits. Growing up, I hiked with my family in the mountains of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado, where most peaks can be comfortably climbed in a day. What little camping I did was mostly of the backyard variety, and I never developed much of an affinity for it. School and work took me away from the mountains for a decade, though I remained active as a runner and sometime cyclist, accustomed to shorter, intense efforts ending with a shower, kitchen, and bed.

Sean O’Rourke heads into the Sierra Nevada on a multiday backpacking trip – Read the full report below in Issue 12:

Adventures with the Big Pack

Issue 12 Page 1

Backpacking in the Sierra and the Sierra High Route

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  • 2 weeks later...

If interested in the Sierra High Route I know no better SHR mapset as far as having the comprehensive smaller picture detailed with 1:24,000 USGS 7.5-minute quads for map and compass/GPS navigation and the big pic/overview maps at a scale of 1:100,000 USGS 30×60 minute maps than Andrew Skurka's extremely well done and extremely reasonably priced SHR mapset. $15 for this mapset is a downright bargain for anyone wishing to thru or section they SHR. I used it for my SHR thru and highly rec it.

http://andrewskurka.com/product/sierra-high-route-map-set-databook

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  • 9 months later...

That is indeed a pretty good deal for the maps -- even cheaper than buying the two Trails Illustrated maps that cover the relevant area.

Note that if you have a topo and the skills to do the SHR, you can probably use it as the basis for your own improvised route. The Sierra are one of the friendliest ranges in the lower 48 for cross-country travel: summer weather is stable, bushwhacking is minimal, passes are plentiful, and most of the interior valleys aren't that deep (unlike, say, the Cascades). Also, most points in the range are no more than a long day's hike from a trailhead.

One big reason to improvise your own is that the SHR starts on the west side and ends on the east. Without missing too much, you could start on the east side at Taboose or Sawmill Pass, picking up the route somewhere around Lakes Basin.

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