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.
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'.
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'.
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?.