Sequoia National Park Backpacking

Trip Length 4 Days
Group Size 4-9
Activity level
Starting from
$1,199 for REI Members
$1,299 for non-members

Departure dates will be announced soon.

We can let you know as soon as they are.

Experience the remote backcountry of California's Sequoia National Park firsthand on this 4-day backpacking adventure.

Jagged peaks, giant sequoia trees and pristine backcountry can be found in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, an iconic range encompassing magnificent Sequoia National Park. Our journey will take us along the High Sierra Trail to the meadows below Alta Peak. Removed from the crowds, we follow our expert guides on a grand, scenic and challenging journey through Sequoia.

Star-filled skies and soaring granite peaks invite us to relax and reflect on our adventure. As we hike along our trail, we marvel at the vastness of nature, peer out toward the Great Western Divide and pass by cascading creeks, until we arrive at our camp at Mehrten Meadow. The next day calls for a challenging ascent of Alta Peak. At 11,204 feet, the views from Alta?s summit are absolutely incredible. Our route also takes us through an ancient forest of giant sequoia trees as we make our way to the largest tree in the world, General Sherman.

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Trip Highlights

  • Backpack among giant trees in Sequoia National Park
  • Summit Alta Peak and peer into the Great Western Divide
  • Hike the breathtaking High Sierra
  • Rugged foothills, vibrant meadows and giant sequoia groves await

Activities

This trip is rated Moderate Plus [3-4]. Participants will be carrying their own backpacks weighing 35-40 pounds distances of 5-7 miles daily over varied terrain. On Alta Peak summit day participants will only carry a day pack weighing 10-15 pounds for 9 miles.

To maximize your enjoyment of the trip, we strongly encourage participants to be involved in a training regimen before the trip. Most important to your enjoyment of the trip is your overall fitness level.

  • Backpacking
  • Day hiking

What's Included

Lodging and meals as indicated on the daily itinerary. Professional guide services. Park entrance fees. Transportation during the course of the trip. See this trip?s Gear List for details regarding any equipment that may be provided for your use during the trip.

Accommodations

Group Campground, 1 night; Backcountry camping 2 nights

Your Adventure Itinerary

Day 1

Transfer to Sequoia with a trip orientation and dinner in camp.

Our adventure begins in Fresno where we meet our guides and fellow travelers at our host hotel at 1pm. After brief introductions, we set out on the two hour transfer to Sequoia National Park. Upon arrival, we settle into our group campsite and relax under the towering trees. Our guides will conduct an orientation and gear check this evening. Enjoy a guide-prepared, hearty front country meal. Dinner included.

Day 2

Head out on the Alta Trail into Sequoia?s backcountry.

Today we wake and enjoy breakfast before packing up and heading out to our first backcountry campsite. We'll distribute group gear and food, review techniques for correctly packing a backpack, and transfer to the trailhead. Our journey begins as we emerge from the dense cover of the magnificent trees onto massive granite cliffs overlooking the Kaweah River Valley. Along the trail we marvel at the vastness of the view as we peer out towards the Great Western Divide, pass by cascading creeks and arrive at our camp at Mehrten Meadow. At dusk, we look forward to camaraderie around the campfire as we watch for shooting stars overhead. All meals and snacks provided.

Backpacking: 4.3 miles; elevation gain: 2,037'.

Day 3

Summit Alta Peak and visit Alta Meadows.

Summit day! We finish our breakfast, pack only our daypacks and witness a glorious sunrise over the crest on the trail to the summit of Alta Peak. Rising 11,204', Alta Peak is one of the most iconic and formidable mountains on this side of the park. After a challenging ascent, we are rewarded with unimpeded views in all directions, including the far off summit of Mount Whitney. Our descent will be to the tune of whistling marmots and winds rushing through the Kaweah River Valley far below. Depending on our group, we may visit the verdant meadows below Alta before returning to our camp and a well-deserved dinner. We enjoy our last dinner in the backcountry, waiting in eager anticipation for the sunset to illuminate our camp in majestic alpenglow, signaling the impending arrival of the soul soothing Sierra stars. All meals and snacks provided.

Hiking 5.5 to 9 miles; elevation gain/loss 2,000 to 2,200'.

Day 4

Traverse the Alta Trail and return through the Giant Forest.

We awake one last time in the solitude of the High Sierra. After breakfast we break camp and hike up and over Panther Gap before descending into a lush, aromatic forest of ponderosa pine and reentering the land of gentle giants. The sheer size of the rare giant sequoia trees is indescribable. John Muir referred to them as, "Nature?s forest masterpiece." Our journey ends at the largest tree of them all, General Sherman?deemed the largest living tree on Earth. Standing beneath this magnificent tree is humbling and will forever remind us of the majesty of this national park and the experience we?ve enjoyed. We begin our transfer back to Fresno this afternoon, anticipating an arrival between 6:30 and 7:30pm. Because our arrival time is an estimate, we recommend booking flights departing after 9pm if you are flying out of Fresno this evening. Breakfast and lunch included.

Driving: 2 hours; Backpacking: 6.0 miles; elevation gain: 200?; elevation loss: 2,000?.

Gear List

The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering.� To obtain maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection.� This gear list has been created to help you choose equipment for the trip.� Try to bring only what is necessary - this will help you and the field staff.�

What to pack

Contact Us

Feel free to give us a call at 800-622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out REI Expert Advice , which has great information to help you prepare for your trip.