Trans-Sierra Trail

The Trans-Sierra Trail is not an official trail, rather a link-up of different trails that make for a less-crowded but just as beautiful alternative to the High Sierra Trail. The rough route is Shepherds Pass, Colby Pass, Silliman Pass. Just like the High Sierra Trail, this route connects the sagebrush in the Owens Valley to the giant sequoias on the westside.

Noe, Ari and I set out on this hike on a tight timeline, as we were picking up our friend Sam’s car. Sam and his group were doing the High Sierra Trail. A month before the hike we texted a bit back and forth, and Sam sent us his key in the mail. There was no more communication between us, and by the time I texted to confirm the details, Sam was already in the wilderness. Luckily what we lacked in communication, we made up for in trust, and Sam’s car was there waiting for us on the westside. (and we were there waiting for him on the eastside.

Due to the tight timeline, we hiked halfway up Shepherd’s pass that first night. On the second day, Noe and I hiked 40 miles, all the way to the Roaring River! This is my longest ever day in the Sierra, the miles went by quickly as we were staring at the beautiful scenery of the Great Western Divide, Cloud Canyon and Colby Pass. I got a bit antsy as we were approaching Colby Pass and the thunder clouds were starting to come in. We rendezvoused with Ari atop the pass (who had started the hike the day before to climb Williamson and Tyndall) and then we got off the pass about an hour before the lightning started.

We walked down the canyon, took in the beautiful scenery, and heard the thunder up above in the mountains. We camped that night at Roaring River. The next day it was 25 miles up and over Silliman Pass, and down to the Giant Forest. We met a ranger just past Silliman Pass, who was very confused about our itinerary. I pulled out my map to show her where we had come from, and she let us go on our way.

Once we got to Lodgepole we took the bus to visit General Sherman, and then another bus to pick up our friends car. We splurged on a hotel in Porterville and drove back over the beautiful Sherman Pass the next day.