Tom Judd <<<>>> Hiking Trip Reports

This is a work in progress


In 1989 I did a day-hike with Dale to the top of Mt. Whitney and back. I remember getting to the crest where the trail starts down the other side. It was still two more brutal miles to go along the crest to the Peak. I was surprised to see a row of backpacks there. I asked a young woman who was just dropping her pack why they were there. She explained that she had just come up from the other side! She was leaving he pack there while she made a side trip to the peak. I was dumbfounded. You mean people actually climb up from that side with a heavy pack?! I was struggling with just water and sandwiches in my pack. These must be athletes on a par with Hercules and Achilles. I never thought I could do something as strenuous and bold and magnificent.

Time passed. I took a solo car-camping trip to Lodgepole in 2000. It was a beautiful trip. I rode my bike through the glorious Giant Forest. The sun made the red Sequoia trunks pop out against the green needles and deep blue sky. In Crescent Meadows I saw the sign marking the beginning of the High Sierra Trail. It listed mileage to features along the trail; and there at the bottom was Mt. Whitney at 71 miles (since modified to 60 miles). Again, I was amazed: people actually walk all that way with all their food-shelter-clothing stuffed in a backpack! The sign seemed to be set up for mere mortals, so, perhaps I too could accomplish something comparable. At that point I decided to try it myself. Dale volunteered to go with me. So, in September 2001 I set off with him on my first backpacking trip in the Sierras. We included a good portion of off-trail hiking. It was such fun that I have been going back every year since.

My first backpacking experience was in 2001 in the Sierras. I have hiked in the Sierras at least once every year since then. All have included some stretches of off-trail hiking. The table below is the start of my list of hikes.

Go to Hiking Map
Date Trailhead Camp sites Hikers Miles Climb (ft) Link Description
2022 Four-hike totals 28 1-3 133 16300 Report Rowell Meadow, Taboose Pass, SHR Copper Creek - Arrow Pass, HST Chagoopa Plateau.
2021 Two-hike totals 14 2 76 26000 Report Taboose Pass, Muro Blanco; Woods Creek, Gardiner Basin, Arrow Pass, Muro Blanco .
2020 Four-hike totals 29 1-2 172 56728 Report Bishop Pass, Copper Creek, High Sierra Trail, Woods Creek.
2019 Aug Cedar Grove 2 1 8 6500 Report KML Start of Sierra High Route, Copper Creek. Shortened by broken ankle.
2018 Sept Crescent Meadow (HST) 4 1 48 14500 TBD High Sierra Trail to Chagoopa Plateau, Lookout Creek. Shortened by weather warning.
2018 Aug Cottonwood 5 2 46 11900 Report KML Cottonwood Pass to Kersarge Pass along the John Muir Trail.
2018 July South Lake 7 1 37 12000 Report KML Bishop Pass to Observation Creek on Middle Fork of Kings River. Success! climbing up and down creek Includes account of late Sept 2017 trip.
2017 Sept Crescent Meadow (HST) 6 1-4 54 16255 Report KML High Sierra Trail from Crescent Meadow to the Chagoopa Plateau and the Red Spur. Similar to 2011 Hike.
2017 Aug Sunset Meadow 4 2 28 7289 Report KML Rowell Meadow, Sugarloaf, Box Canyon, West Ferguson Creek, Ellis Meadow, Comanche Meadow. This hike was similar to the 2014 Aug hike.
2017 July South Lake 2 1 13 4100 Report KML Bishop Pass, Dusy Basin, Shortened by conditions, Missing Hiker
2016 Sept Taboose 10 1-2 53 20117 Report KML Taboose Pass, Bench Lake, Upper Basin Crossing, Amphitheater Lake, Cataract Creek Pass, Observation Peak Pass, Sea Gull Island, Adventurer Pass, Mather Pass
2016 Aug Onion Valley 6 2 58 17285 Report KML Kearsarge Pass, Glen Pass, Rae Lakes, Pinchot Pass, Mather Pass, Norman Clyde peak view, Dusy Basin, Bishop Pass
2016 June Cedar Grove 6 1-2 31 8800 Report KML Paradise Valley and Woods Creek then off-trail up to Window Creek and Arrow Creek drainage.
2015 Sept Crescent Meadow 8 1 58 18600 Report KML High Sierra Trail over Kaweah Gap then off trail over Pyra Queen Col, down Kaweah Basin to Red Spur Bench, then back up over Kaweah Pass and returning via the HST
2015 Aug South Lake 7 1-2 38 13000 Report KML South Lake, over Bishop Pass and past jct with Palisades Creek then off trail up over Adventurer Pass and into the isolated Mt. Shakspere -- Observation Pk west drainage. Retrace track on return.
2015 July Lodgepole 3 5 22 6300 KML Tablelands from Lodgepole
2014 Aug Sunset Meadow 6 3 33 7500 Rowell Meadow, Sugarloaf, Box Canyon, West Ferguson Creek, Ellis Meadow, Comanche Meadow
2004 Sept Crescent Meadow 10 1 63 19800 Report KML Pants Pass, Kaweah Basin, Red Spur Bench solo hike
2004 Aug Marvin Pass 3 3 8 1800 Report KML Rowell Meadow with Grandson Jon
2003 Oct Shepherd Pass 6 1 34 13600 Report KML Shepherd Pass, Mt. Tyndall, Lake South America, Junction Peak
2003 Sept South Lake 7 2 45 15000 Report KML Bishop Pass to Black Mountain, Muir Hut, then up Ladder Lake drainage
2002 Sept Copper Creek 7 2 45 13800 Report KML Sierra High Route to Cartridge Pass then down Muro Blanco
2002 July Taboose Creek 2 1 21 7800 Report Taboose Pass, Bench Lake, all trail
2001 Sept Lodgepole 5 2 37 9673 Report KML Twin Lakes, Ranger Lake, Sugarloaf, Box Canyon, Pear Lake
Undocumented Hikes
  • 2013 Sept, Taboose Pass, solo
  • 2013 Sept, Dusy Basin with Dale
  • 2013 Aug, Rowell Meadow with Grandaughter Natalie, Marin, Wally
  • 2012 Oct, Kid Lakes, Muro Blanco with Wally
  • 2012 Aug Bubbs to Woods Creek across Gardiner Basin, with Dale
  • 2011 Sept High Sierra Trail to Chagoopa Plateau, solo
  • 2011 Aug Kid Lakes, Muro Blanco with Marin, Jon
  • 2010 July Box Canyon, Ferguson Canyon with Jon
  • 2009 Oct Woods Creek Backcountry, with Dale
  • 2009 Aug Cottonwood Lakes with Grandson Paul
  • 2009 July Yosemite-Postpile Loop, with Dale, Marin, Jon
  • 2008 Oct Sugarloaf, Ellis Mdw, Ferguson & West Ferguson Creek, with Dale
  • 2008 July, Muro Blanco, solo
  • 2007 Oct Muro Blanco, Kid Lakes with Dale
  • 2007 July Sawmill Pass,solo
  • 2006 Sept Lamarck Col, McGee/Goddard/Piute Canyons with Dale
  • 2006 July Cottonwood Lakes with Grandson Jon
  • 2005 Oct Gardiner Pass/Basin with Dale
  • 2005 Aug Rowell Meadow with Grandson Paul

©2016, 2017 Tom Judd.
Carlsbad, CA