Sierra High Route

July 2008 A rugged 195-mile hike with over 100 miles of off-trail travel, through both idyllic sub-alpine forest and tedious talus fields.

The Sierra High Route (SHR) is a 195-mile trekking route that runs north-south across the heart of the Sierra Nevada Range, through Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park, John Muir Wilderness, Ansel Adams Wilderness, and Yosemite National Park. It is a rugged alternate to the John Muir Trail (JMT)– it boasts about 100 miles of cross-country travel, numerous Class III scrambles, and endless miles of boulder hopping. SHR hikers are rewarded with pristine alpine settings, long stretches of solitude, and a sense of true adventure.

I hiked the SHR in early-July 2008 with famed ultra runner Buzz Burrell, who at 56 years young is still going really strong. We were both taken back by the immensity of the High Sierra — its alpine regions are vaster than any other place we’d been in the Lower 48, in both length and girth, which is not necessarily the impression given by the JMT. I would have to imagine that this trip with Buzz will be just the first of several trips on the SHR. We comfortably did the entire route in 8 days and 4 hours, an average about 23 miles a day. We started July 1st from the southern terminus.