The Theodore Solomons Trail was designed as an alternative to the more heavily-traveled John Muir Trail. Sadly, the trail seems to have largely fallen off the map (so to speak). The last guidebook to the TST was published in 1992, and some of the trails appear to be no longer maintained and difficult to follow.
I’m collecting research on the trail to potentially come up with a viable route. The GPX file on the map below largely follows the original route. I traced this using GPS Visualizer, and it’s not 100% accurate. According to the TST guide book, the trail is 271.3 miles long. This map calculates loses nearly 50 miles — probably in switchbacks that I did not attempt to trace. The elevation profile is also likely inaccurate, based again on tracing and calculating rather than actual GPS data. But it should provide a crude starting point for anyone curious about the trail.
Note that there is an icon on the top right corner of map which will let you go full-screen (and back again). This is particularly useful if you have a high resolution monitor. You can also switch between several map overlays for a satellite view. And you can download my GPX file for use in Google Earth or other apps.
I’ve added Shawn Peterson’s awesome Caltopo version below as an alternate interface. Shawn has done a great job of annotating the passes and crossing. He plans to do some sections of the TST in 2015, and will hopefully have some great beta to share.
Since this route is not really an “official” route but simply a string of interconnected trails, there’s no real reason why it couldn’t be modified to make it a more enjoyable trail. If you’ve got feedback on the route or suggestions for improving it, leave a comment. If I can come up with a good plan, I may organize a thru-hike in 2016.
Additional Theodore Solomons Trail Resources
- Theodore Solomons Trail Discussion – A forum dedicated to discussing the TST, including logistics, planning, permits and route-finding.
- Theodore Solomons Trail Hikers – This is a closed Facebook group of hikers interested in exploring, learning and sharing information about the TST. It’s an excellent resource.
Special thanks to Roleigh Martin from the John Muir Trail group on Facebook for sharing his wealth of knowledge on the trail.