Hiking Adventure: A 10-Day Sierra Nevada Itinerary For You
Our 10-day Sierra Nevada hiking itinerary takes you through some of the most spectacular natural landscapes in California. You'll trek through towering mountain ranges, picturesque meadows, and crystal-clear lakes, all while experiencing the thrill of adventure. Whether you're a seasoned hiker or just starting, this itinerary is perfect for anyone looking to explore the great outdoors.
Our private tours typically range from $500 - $1000 per person/per night depending on chosen hotels and room categories, vehicles used, types of tours, flight cost, time of year and other factors. Make an inquiry for a customized trip quote.
Upon arrival at the Mammoth Yosemite Airport, meet your private guide who will transfer you to the charming town of Mammoth Lakes, located in the Eastern Sierra region of California. This town is known for its scenic beauty, outdoor recreation opportunities, and relaxed mountain vibe.
Upon arrival, you'll check into your accommodation and have some time to settle in and explore the town. Mammoth Lakes offers a range of dining options, from casual eateries to upscale restaurants, as well as shops, galleries, and other attractions.
Day 2: Hike to Devil's Postpile National Monument and Rainbow Falls
Today, set out on your first hiking adventure, a trek to the Devil's Postpile National Monument and Rainbow Falls. This trail is a moderate 7.5-mile round trip with a 700-foot elevation gain, and it's known for its spectacular scenery and unique geological formations.
Along the way, you'll pass through dense forests, cross the San Joaquin River, and marvel at the hexagonal basalt columns of the Devil's Postpile. At Rainbow Falls, you'll witness the powerful rush of water as it cascades over a 101-foot drop.
Day 3: Hike the John Muir Trail to Thousand Island Lake
Day three marks the start of your multi-day backpacking trip on the John Muir Trail. You'll hike approximately 11 miles from Agnew Meadows to Thousand Island Lake, passing through some of the most picturesque sections of the trail.
The trail winds through lush meadows, over crystal-clear streams, and up through rugged mountain passes. At Thousand Island Lake, you'll be rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding peaks and the shimmering lake below.
Day 4: Rest day in Mammoth Lakes
After a challenging day on the trail, you'll take a well-deserved rest day in Mammoth Lakes. This is a great opportunity to explore the town further or to simply relax and recharge before the next leg of your journey.
You might opt to indulge in a spa treatment, visit a museum, or take a scenic drive through the surrounding area. Alternatively, you could spend the day fishing, swimming, or kayaking in one of the area's many lakes or rivers.
Day 5: Hike to Garnet Lake
Today, you'll continue your trek along the John Muir Trail, hiking approximately 7 miles to Garnet Lake. This is a relatively short hike, but it offers some of the most stunning scenery of the entire trip.
The trail passes through rocky terrain, alongside cascading waterfalls, and across meadows filled with wildflowers. At Garnet Lake, you'll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the lake and the towering peaks that surround it.
Day 6: Cross Silver Pass and Hike to Lake Virginia
Start off early today for a challenging day on the trail, as you'll be crossing Silver Pass, which sits at an elevation of over 10,000 feet. The trail is approximately 11 miles long, with a steep climb up to the pass and a descent into the Virginia Canyon.
Along the way, you'll encounter jaw-dropping views of the surrounding peaks and valleys, as well as alpine lakes and meadows. At Lake Virginia, you'll set up camp and enjoy a well-earned rest.
Day 7: Hike to Tully Hole
Today, continue your journey through the Sierra Nevada mountains, hiking approximately 7 miles to Tully Hole. This section of the trail is known for its stunning views of the surrounding peaks and valleys, as well as its rugged terrain and challenging elevation changes.
At Tully Hole, you'll set up camp for the night and take in the natural beauty of your surroundings.
Day 8: Hike up Selden Pass and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
Today is surely to be a highlight of your trip as you hike up to Selden Pass, which stands at an elevation of over 11,000 feet. The climb is steep, but the effort is well worth it when you reach the top and are rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. From Selden Pass, you'll be able to see for miles in every direction, taking in the rugged peaks and valleys that make up the Sierra Nevada mountain range. After soaking up the stunning views, you'll make your way down the other side of the pass and set up camp for the night.
Day 9: Hike to Evolution Valley and take in the stunning scenery before heading back to Mammoth Lakes.
After breakfast, you'll set out to explore Evolution Valley, which is known for its stunning natural beauty and unique geology. The hike is approximately 11 miles and will take you through a variety of landscapes, from forested valleys to open meadows and rocky outcroppings.
As you hike through Evolution Valley, you'll have the chance to spot a variety of wildlife, including deer, black bears, and eagles. You'll also pass by several picturesque lakes and streams, providing ample opportunities to stop and take in the stunning scenery. After a full day of hiking, you'll return to Mammoth Lakes for a final night of relaxation.
Day 10: Departure
It's time to pack up your gear and say goodbye to the natural beauty that has surrounded you for the past ten days. Your private guide will transfer you to the airport to catch a flight back home.
Hiking Tips - Be Prepared for Your Adventure
Hiking is an incredible way to connect with nature, challenge yourself, and explore new places. However, it's important to be prepared and take certain precautions to ensure your safety and enjoyment. Here are some hiking tips to keep in mind as you prepare for your Sierra Nevada adventure:
Invest in Proper Gear
Having the right gear is crucial for a successful hiking trip. Invest in a sturdy pair of hiking boots, breathable and moisture-wicking clothing, and a well-fitting backpack. Make sure to pack enough food and water, as well as a first aid kit and other essentials like a map, compass, and emergency whistle.
Train and Prepare
If you're not used to hiking or haven't done it in a while, it's important to train and prepare your body for the physical demands of the trail. Start with shorter hikes and gradually increase your distance and difficulty level. Strengthening exercises for your legs, core, and upper body can also help you be better prepared for the journey.
Follow Leave No Trace Principles
When hiking, it's important to follow Leave No Trace principles to minimize your impact on the environment. This means packing out all trash, staying on designated trails, and respecting wildlife and other hikers.
Know the Trail Conditions and Weather
Before embarking on your hike, make sure to research the trail conditions and weather forecast. This can help you be better prepared for any challenges you may face on the trail and ensure that you have the right gear and clothing for the conditions.
Stay Hydrated and Nourished
Staying hydrated and well-nourished is crucial for a successful hiking trip. Make sure to drink plenty of water and electrolyte-rich fluids, and pack snacks that are high in protein and complex carbohydrates to keep your energy levels up.
Be Aware of Your Limits
It's important to be aware of your physical limits and not push yourself beyond what you can handle. If you're feeling tired or unwell, take a break and rest. Don't hesitate to turn back if you feel like you're in over your head or conditions become unsafe.
What amenities are available at Muir Trail Ranch?
Muir Trail Ranch is a remote backcountry ranch located along the John Muir Trail in the Sierra Nevada mountains. It offers a variety of amenities for hikers, including hot showers, laundry facilities, a general store, and a resupply service. However, it's important to note that these amenities are only available to hikers who have arranged for a resupply package ahead of time.
What is the best time of year to embark on this Sierra Nevada hiking itinerary?
The best time to embark on this Sierra Nevada hiking itinerary is typically from mid-June through September when the weather is warmer and the trails are generally free of snow. However, it's important to check the trail conditions and weather forecast before setting out, as conditions can vary from year to year.
What level of hiking experience is required for this itinerary?
This itinerary is recommended for intermediate to advanced hikers with some experience in backcountry hiking and camping. The trail includes some steep and challenging sections, as well as high altitude and unpredictable weather conditions.
Are there any permits required for hiking in the Sierra Nevada mountains?
Yes, a permit is required for all overnight hikes in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Permits are available through the Inyo National Forest and Yosemite National Park websites, and it's recommended to apply for permits well in advance, as they can fill up quickly during peak hiking season.
What kind of wildlife can be encountered on this hiking itinerary?
The Sierra Nevada mountains are home to a diverse range of wildlife, including black bears, mountain lions, deer, and various bird species. It's important to take precautions to store food and other scented items safely and to respect wildlife by keeping a safe distance and not feeding or approaching them.
What is the distance covered on this 10-day hiking itinerary?
This 10-day hiking itinerary covers a total distance of approximately 60 miles, with daily hikes ranging from 4-12 miles in length.
Is it possible to modify this itinerary to fit a shorter or longer timeframe?
Yes, this itinerary can be modified to fit a shorter or longer timeframe depending on your preferences and hiking abilities. However, it's important to keep in mind that the trail conditions and weather may vary depending on the time of year, and permits may need to be adjusted accordingly.