Route, trail & area guides


Spiderwoman’s KCHBR Tips || Section 2: Great Western Divide

By Spiderwoman / December 17, 2018 /

Colby Lake “After it crosses the outlet stream of Colby Lake”, head up two switchbacks, and then “Leave the Colby Pass Trail”. Talus Creek The combination of Skurka’s descriptions from Part II: As you go, and Critical Interim Updates – v 2.5, provides an excellent description for navigating between Colby Pass Trail and Talus Creek.…

Spiderwoman’s KCHBR Tips || Section 1: Tablelands

By Spiderwoman / December 17, 2018 /

Silliman Crest Bert From Belgium and I started at Lodgepole and walked up Twin Lakes Trail. But we left the trail too soon. I didn’t realize this until The Brawn and I were back in the area. Bert From Belgium and I did leave Twin Lakes Trail at a creek (although much smaller than Silliman…

Spiderwoman’s Tips: Kings Canyon High Basin Route || Intro

By Spiderwoman / December 17, 2018 /

The following document was created in early-2018 to serve as tips for future adventurers on the Kings Canyon High Basin Route. I’ve written these Tips because while backpacking fulfills me, it also makes me angsty. If I’m out there adventuring and the only person the experience is serving is me, I get discontent and start…

Mix it up: How JMT, PCT, and SHR hikers can get on the Yosemite High Route

By Andrew Skurka / December 3, 2018 /

Thru- and section-hikers on the John Muir Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and Sierra High Route can hop onto the Yosemite High Route in six places to extend their itinerary, change course, or inject their trip with more adventure and challenge.

Do you have 2 days or 2 weeks? Yosemite High Route thru- & section-hikes

By Andrew Skurka / December 1, 2018 /

For the fullest experience, the Yosemite High Route is best completed as an end-to-end thru-hike. For most backpackers, however, it will be more practical to undertake the route in more bite-sized pieces. These section-hikes are: More compatible with family and work commitments; Loops, and therefore logistically simpler than point-to-point itineraries; and, Less physically difficult, due to…

Comparison: Nolan’s 14 vs. Pfiffner Traverse || Wilderness, difficulty, and flow

By Samuel Chaneles / November 27, 2018 /

As part of a 650-mile, 39-day self-supported hike along Colorado’s Continental Divide last summer, Sam Chaneles completed both Nolan’s 14 and the Pfiffner Traverse. Nolan’s 14 and the Pfiffner Traverse are both high routes in the Colorado Rockies, suitable for advanced backpackers and adventurous ultra runners. While they both feature lengthy off-trail sections and alpine…

Assessment: Morapos Trailhead, Colorado GMU 12 || Elk & deer hunting

By Andrew Skurka / November 24, 2018 /

Morapos Creek is a popular and productive hunting area for big game, notably elk and deer. It’s located in northwestern Colorado and encompassed by GMU 12. To the south of Morapos Creek is Milk Creek; to its north, Deer Creek; and to its east, the South Fork of the Williams Fork of the Yampa River. Morapos Creek…

Words of caution: FKT’ing or “running” the Pfiffner Traverse

By Andrew Skurka / October 12, 2018 /

In a recent photo essay in Trail Runner, Sunny Stroeer gave a hearty endorsement of the Pfiffner Traverse, for which she set a 55-hour fastest known time (FKT) last summer: “The Pfiffner Traverse is a mountain runner’s dream: miles of smooth, gentle singletrack that flow through high mountain meadows and across infrequently traveled passes along the…

Where should the Yosemite High Route start and finish?

By Andrew Skurka / October 10, 2018 /

As a distraction from more time-sensitive and critical work, recently I began drafting the Yosemite High Route Guide, which I’m planning to release in late-winter. This first edition will be about 90 percent right; it will need a revision after double- or triple- checking my work and field-researching some minor areas of interest in summer 2019.…

Done! Pfiffner Traverse Guide

By Andrew Skurka / June 12, 2018 /

This morning I put the final touches on the First Edition of the Pfiffner Traverse Guide. It was a monstrous project and I’m thrilled to finally have it out there. The Guidebook alone is 23,000 words; the package also includes Mapsets and Datasheets for the Primary Route and for seven Section-hikes. Thankfully I enjoy the…