Alta Peak Trail

HARD 46 reviews
#9 of 80 trails in

Alta Peak Trail is a 12.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Sequoia National Park, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until September.

DISTANCE
12.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4091 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

cross country skiing

forest

views

wild flowers

no dogs

backpacking
5 days ago

We only made it to Mehrten Meadow, but this trail is gorgeous! The Giant Forest was very peaceful with water running everywhere until you reach Panther Gap. There were patches of snow, but nothing too difficult to manage. The views from Panther Gap and beyond are breath taking. Mehrten Meadow was a great place to make camp to avoid the sweltering heat. It appears you'll still need snow gear to reach anything past Mehrten Meadow. I look forward to completing this trail later this year.

backpacking
14 days ago

Our group of 3 backpacked this June 9-11. Got to Mehrten Meadow and camped there two nights. Right after Mehrten it is all snow with a lot of snow bridges and will need the correct gear to get to the peak, or even to Alta Meadow. Got down to about 20 deg at night but a fire at Mehrten really helped out. Snow will melt off in a about a month I wouldn't guess, maybe 2-3 weeks. Overall great trip, lots of snow even getting to Mehrten. Panther Gap is all clear!

20 days ago

so calm and peaceful I would recommend hiking this trail system on a week day so to be almost alone.

backpacking
23 days ago

hiking
23 days ago

I hiked this trail over memorial day weekend. There was tons of snow and it was hard to stay on the actual trail since not many people made it to the top this year (bring a GPS) but I made it all the way. Last half mile are pretty steep and I had to crawl up on the snow. It is all worth it once you can enjoy the great view from 11200 feet.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked late May. Couldn't make it but more than 3 miles in before the snow got impossible. But there is a great view about 2.5 miles in that's spectacular! As long as you're willing to hike thru some snow! Wear either waterproof shoes or just be ready for wet socks.

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

This is yet another great hike in SEKI. I did this back in early Oct 2015 and it was a good time of the year for it. Most of the trail is shaded except for the last mile or so. It's a decent walk through the forest and some meadows for the first few miles. After about 2.5 miles you reach panther gap and it's here where the views really impress. The next 3 miles are just amazing. I will say that having hiked a lot at 9k, going up to 11.5k was surprisingly difficult - not ridiculously strenuous for someone in shape and used to hiking, but back then this was the highest I had ever hiked up and I had expected all that hiking at 9k to lend itself more to hiking at 10k-11k. That last 0.5 mile or so was a struggle. Once on the top you can see the lakes down to the north, redwood meadow to the south and a few peaks (e.g., Lippincott, Mt Eisen) to the southeast, which still had some snow on them when we went. And although we got quite hot hiking the last mile in the sun, the top was windy and in the high 50s so we didn't stay too long.

2 months ago

amazing hike! altitude did get to my wife and myself a Lil but not too bad. Bring water! we started at 7 and we were back at the car around 4.

5 months ago

Beautiful views all the way! This trail will definitely get you winded if you haven't acclimated to the altitude. Careful!
Outback Jack

hiking
7 months ago

Not for the Sherman Tree trail walkers!
Wonderful views of the Great Western Divide.
The last 2 miles were definitely the crux. Winds picked up on the last slog up the side and made for a brisk and brief time on top but the view is epic. No need to do the Pear Lake trail, you can see it down below. ;)
Since it was late October I only ran into two other people. Very quiet and serene the entire day out. I clocked around 6 hours total.

hiking
8 months ago

Couldn't have asked for better weather and the scenery is beautiful. That being said, maybe it's the time of year, but it seems to be the drought has wreaked havoc on our forests here in California. This was my first time climbing something over 10k and I feel great about it! Definitely not for the first time hiker if you aren't in the best of shape. It did take me the full 8 hrs to get to the peak and back. Maybe my Fitbit was off, but it registered 17 miles start to finish.

hiking
8 months ago

backpacking
8 months ago

Went out to Sequoia for some trail running and a small hike. I couldn't find the trail on the permit guide and decided to hike Alta Peak for the altitude. I was not expecting to see the wonders this trail has for the eyes. The hike up to the summit trail head was pretty relaxed with nothing too intense. I set up camp in the fog that was lingering all day. At about 5pm the fog cleared and showed the ridge and gave me a clear view of how much elevation I still had to scale. Flurries of snow fell as the night continued. It was about mid to low 30's and 4am when I woke to break camp and start the traverse. The hike around the rear to the mountain was pretty exhausting and one must be careful with footing. I reached the base to the last half mile of the trail and was met by more fog and wind. My calves were in overdrive at this point and finally reached to top. I set my bag down and grabbed my bagel and bouldered to the top to enjoy second breakfast. The fog dissipated on my journey back and was left in awe of what was covered the day before. I couldn't help but take lots of pictures on the way back. Happy hike.

hiking
9 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

10 months ago

I really like doing this hike during the summer when the there is no snow. The downside is the heat but staying hydrated and finding shade to rest is good. It is true what people say... Views are amazing and the last few miles are a bit tough. So hydrate a few days before that way you won't need to much water the day of. I have done this hike with less than 2liters and a few snakes.

This is one of my favorite hikes, I live close enough to the trail head that I have managed to do this trail a few times.

10 months ago

Loved this hike! It's challenging but the views are gorgeous. There's also lots of shaded areas so it doesn't feel too bad even on a warm day. Those last couple miles are killer but worth it!

trail running
10 months ago

We had a very nice hike/run. Altitude was challenging to say the least but well worth it! Am looking forward to doing it again!