Recess & Mist

12,813 ft Recess Peak is located near the west end of the Mono Divide at the apex that separates the First Recess and Second Recess. The peak is steep on all sides except its south side which makes for an impressive profile when viewed from points north. The Recess is only a little over 2…

Hilgard & Julius Caesar

Mount Hilgard is a remote peak of the High Sierra in the John Muir Wilderness.  It is positioned to the west of Lake Italy on a southerly spur of the Mono Divide. The Mono Divide stretches from north of Recess Peak to Mount Abbot and is one of the more significant east to west oriented…

Silver Peak Loop

The Silver Divide is a spur of the Sierra Crest south of Yosemite and Mammoth Lakes in the John Muir Wilderness. Unlike the Sierra Crest which is oriented from northwest to southeast, the Silver Divide is oriented from west to east.  The divide is entirely under 12,500 feet, which is modest in elevation compared to…

Glacier Ridge via Tablelands

Glacier Ridge is a massive granitic formation separating Deadman Canyon and Cloud Canyon, two spectacular glacial canyons with a signature U-shape.  The ridge spans an impressive 8 miles and towers over 4,000 feet above the canyon bottoms.  The high point along the ridge is 1.4 miles north of Copper Mine Pass Peak and provides arguably…

Mount Baldwin & Convict Canyon

Mount Baldwin is located in arguably the most geographically fascinating region of the High Sierra. McGee Creek and Convict Creek canyons wrap around the peak and each watershed is surrounded by colorful peaks including bands of brilliant red, white and gray rock. Mount Baldwin makes a strong impression when driving along 395 and especially along the…

Maclure High Route

Often times the best scenery in the Sierra is found between the canyon or valley bottom and the craggy ridge crests.  The Sierra High Route is perhaps the best example of this straddling the sweet spot between the montane forest and the more arduous travel characteristic of the ridgelines.  This post describes a much shorter…

Mount Andrea Lawrence

Mount Andrea Lawrence was named in 2013 when President Obama signed into law legislation officially naming this beautiful summit in honor of Olympian and environmentalist Andrea Mead Lawrence.  Prior to the official naming, the 12,245 ft mountain was sometimes known as “Gem Peak” as evidenced by the cover of an older summit register.  The mountain is taller,…

Mount Gardiner

Centrally located in Kings Canyon National Park, 12,907 ft Mount Gardiner has one of the most beautiful northern aspects in the High Sierra.  The many buttresses and cliffs of this north side tower above Gardiner Basin which contains over a dozen pristine alpine lakes ranging from treeline elevations up to desolate rockbound bodies of water….

Matthes Peak

Matthes Peak lies along Glacier Divide which separates the Piute Creek watershed from the Evolution Creek drainage, and at its western terminus, Piute Creek from the South Fork San Joaquin River. The long ridge also serves as the border between Kings Canyon National Park and the John Muir Wilderness. The mountainous terrain surrounding Matthes Peak…

Bear Creek Spire & Dade

Bear Creek Spire rises above one of the most scenic alpine valleys in the Sierra dotted with wonderful alpine lakes and meadows. Its chiseled profile and position above the valley make it one of the most photogenic peaks in the range of light.  The easiest route up Bear Creek Spire starts at the Mosquito Flat…