NEW – Kings Canyon High Basin Route

Andrew Skurka:

Seven years ago I thru-hiked with Buzz Burrell the Sierra High Route, which parallels the crest of the High Sierra between Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park and Yosemite National Park. Its 200 miles represents less than 1 percent of the total miles that I have hiked, yet the experience proved to be one of the most influential: it revealed to me the grander sense of adventure when off-trail. …

A few months ago in “Short is the new long,” I wrote vaguely about my future backpacking plans. Rather than single expeditions lasting multiple months and covering thousands of miles, my emerging interest is shorter routes that showcase a single topographic feature like a mountain range, watershed, or canyon system. Not only are such routes more practical for a husband and home-owner, but they can sustain a higher level of overall awesomeness than longer trails or routes, which invariably include mind-numbingly boring “transition” miles between worthy sections.

Today I’m thrilled to introduce my first original project, which I stitched together over two summers. The 124-mile Kings Canyon High Basin Route circumnavigates the upper watershed of California’s Kings River and is encompassed entirely within Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park. It’s an instant classic, and I believe it’s at least on par with the original, Roper’s Sierra High Route, for being the finest route in the High Sierra. …

Two-thirds of the Kings Canyon High Basin Route — specifically, 82 of its 124 miles — is officially off-trail. Five of these segments are longer than 10 miles, and one extends for 21! Save for the very beginning, very end, and 11 miles on the High Sierra Highway (aka John Muir Trail) in the middle, its on-trail miles are typically on lightly traveled pathways deep in the backcountry. …

Finest route in the High Sierra? Introducing the Kings Canyon High Basin Route.

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If interested, here are the best links:

Kings Canyon High Basin Route and Kings Canyon High Basin Route Guide – Download $25.00

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