DAY FIVE on the High Sierra Trail
The 9+ mile climb from Junction Meadow to Crabtree is really gorgeous! All five of us hiked together, which was the first day my wife and I had company on our hiking day. It was fun to have one day to hike as a group.
Time: 5 hours
Elevation gain: 3,795 ft
When to go: July-Sept.
It’s a gorgeous hike up the canyon to the East, with the Kaweah’s and the Great Western Divide to the West. It was great to look back and see where we had come from and what we had accomplished over the past 45 miles.
Once at Wallace Creek, we immediately saw more people than we had seen in the previous five days, as we were now sharing the HST with the John Muir Trail. The solitude was gone, but it was sort of fun to meet some new people.
From Wallace Creek, you climb up to about 10,900 feet – the highest we had been so far – before descending a bit into the Crabtree Meadow and Crabtree Ranger Station area. We even passed a man-made rock marker that said “200” – denoting mile 200 of the JMT.
Crabtree is a huge meadow – known to be a major camping spot for thru-hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). Of course, being mid-July most of the PCTers were long gone – but there still ended up being about twelve tents there by dark. There’s a beautiful creek that runs past it – and because we arrived early, it was a great place to hang out.
Most hikers on the High Sierra Trail will go on to Guitar Lake, and then summit Whitney the next day. We decided to turn what could be a six-day trip into an eight-day trip by relaxing at Crabtree all afternoon and following up with another easy day to Guitar Lake the next day. My wife and I love “camping” – so we felt no reason to rush over the Eastern Sierra with all this beauty surrounding us and a Saturday-to-Saturday schedule. We had hiked hard the first three days on a six-day completion schedule so we could ‘earn’ these wonderful camping days – and now we were enjoying the payoff!
We lunched by the creek with some JMTers and then walked up to the Crabtree Ranger Station to introduce ourselves to the ranger. Nice guy again – everyone in Sequoia NP is great!
We crashed early after dark and didn’t hurry the next morning as we only had about three miles and change to Guitar Lake for another easy day with rest before climbing Mt Whitney.
High Sierra Trail: Junction Meadow to Crabtree Meadow
Trail Map & Elevation Profile
- Continue to Day 6 on the High Sierra Trail, hiking from Crabtree Meadow to Guitar Lake.
- Go back to Day 4 on the High Sierra Trail.
- New to the High Sierra Trail? Get the big picture with our HST overview.
- Got questions about the High Sierra Trail? Join our HST discussion forum.