Done the John Muir Trail? Looking for a more difficult route that takes you over the high country of the Sierra rather than through the valleys?

If so, the Sierra High Route is for you. This is not a trail hike, but instead follows high alpine passes and basins, avoiding both trails and below treeline travel wherever possible. The route is the brainchild of long time Sierra climber and wanderer, Steve Roper, who pieced the route together in the late 1970’s creating a series of suggested sections rather than a clearly defined route. Many options exist but the overall goal is to stay high and to minimize trail travel. It would be possible to avoid on-trails all together, but this would create a very contrived route that also misses out on some fantastically beautiful country. We have added in some of our own variations to Roper’s, enabling us to pick up food resupplies and breaking the route into manageable sections, keeping the pack weight as light as possible.

We have added in some of our own variations that enable us to pick up food resupplies and break the route into manageable sections keeping the pack weight as light as possible.

We are now splitting the trip into a couple of segments. In the past we have done the route in one push and found that it is hard enough to simply wear people down. By doing it in shorter portions we are able to relax more, not have to push on extra long days and simply enjoy the wonders of the Sierra Nevada.


You need to be in good shape for the trip. This does not mean being a super fit marathoner though. The days will be long and steady. The most important thing is endurance and the ability to deal with whatever happens. The terrain is predominately off-trail which might mean extended travel over loose rock and talus of all sizes with a multi-day pack. This takes not only physical fitness but also mental fitness to deal with this tricky travel. Days will be long so come in great shape for a true backcountry adventure.

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