Sunday, July 22, 2012

Wind River Range- Wyoming

The Wind River Range is a mountain range of the Rocky Mountains in western Wyoming. The range runs roughly northwest for approximately 100 miles. The Continental Divide follows the crest of the range and includes Gannett Peak  which is 13,804 ft., the highest peak in Wyoming. July3 through July9 in 2012 I spent seven days backpacking through the winds. The Wind River Range is a beautiful area that offers endless route opportunists are every level hiker. The list below is the route we took, to see the pictures I took along the trail visit my Facebook Page!

Day1:
Big Sandy Campground- Parking Lot
Big Sandy Trail
Big Sandy Lake
North Lake- Camp
Day 2:
Big Sandy Pass/ Jackass Pass
Lonesome Lake
North Fork Trail
Lizard Head Meadows- Camp
Day 3:
Zero Day
Day 4:
Lizard Head Trail
Bears Ears Trail
Valentine Lake
South Fork Little Wind River
Grave Lake- Camp
Day 5:
Zero Day
Day 6:
Hailey Pass Trail
Hailey Pass
Twin Lakes
Mae's Lake- Camp
Day 7:
Pyramid Lake Trail
Skull Lake
Marms Lake
Fremont Trail
Dads Lake
Diamond Lake Trail
Big Sandy Campground- Parking lot


Driving Directions:
The trailhead is located at the parking lot for Big Sandy Campground, for driving directions and camping information follow the link. Click Here.

Weather:
The high country usually opens up around mid July and remains open through mid September. Snow can occur at any time, and visitors should be prepared for the possibility of subfreezing temperatures even in the summer. Afternoon thunderstorms, with lightning and rain showers are common during the summer. Daytime summer temperatures in the high county reach the 70s- 80s with nighttime lows averaging in the 30s.

Bears:
The Winds are known to have a small Grizzly Bear population, primarily in the northernmost areas, the black bear however lives throughout the park. Bear vaults are strongly suggested but proper hanging techniques can also be used to protect your food from hungry bears.

 Mosquitoes!!!
Though there are bears in the range, the most notorious pest is the mosquito. The Winds are a range of massive amounts of water in the form of thousands of lakes, pools, meadows, marshes, and waterfalls. While attractive, it makes the area a mosquito breeding ground. It all depends on location, time of day, time of year and the year itself. Typically, the bugs (including biting Horse. Deer flies and Gnats) are at their peak from mid June to mid August- the wettest periods. They are less in numbers if there has been a freeze or a lot of wind. I recommend bringing lots of bug spray but if you are like and that stuff only seems to attract them, long sleeves and pants are your best bet for not getting eaten alive!

What I think You Should Know:
1. Mosquitoes SUCK!- No amount of bug spray keeps those annoying pests away. They seem to love my blood, within six days the mosquitoes had a feast and I was covered head to toe in bites.
2. Let it RAIN- No matter the forecast when you leave home, it will rain at least once on your hike. Each morning the sun was out, fluffy white clouds in a bright blue sky, the birds were singing and all was great! For a little while... around noon the sky would become dark and the rain would start.
3. You WILL have to cross a river, know the correct way to do so. Backpacker Magazine: How to Cross a River. Prior to this trip I had never crossed a river without rocks or fallen logs to balance on. Luckily I had someone there to assist me.
4. You want me to go WHERE?! Yes, you will need to be able to poop in the woods. There are no bathrooms in the back country, so make sure you brought your trusty trowel and plenty of toilet paper! Leave No Trace.

Park Management: 
The entire west side is managed by the Bridger-Teton National Forest. North and south of the reservation and the mountains wast of the Continental Divide are managed by Shoshone National Forest. A large portion of the range, east of the Continental Divide is park of the Wind River Indian Reservation (Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapahoe tribes)

Bridger Wilderness
Bridger-Teton National Forest
Pinedale Ranger District
29 E Fremont Lake Road
PO Box 220
Pinedale, WY, 82941
Phone: 307-367-4326

Popo Agie Wilderness
Shoshone National Forest
Washakie Ranger District
600 North Highway 287
Lander, WY, 82520
Phone: 307-332-5460 or 332-9071

Fitzpatrick Wilderness
209 East Ramshorn
PO Box 186
Dubois, WY, 82513
Phone: 307-455-2466

Sublette County Chamber of Commerce
Sublette Visitor Center
PO Box 176
Pinedale, WY, 82941
Phone: 307-356-2242
www.sublettechamber.com

Links:
Photos
Videos
Facebook Page
Knot the Ordinary- Store
Weather.com
Leave No Trace
How to Cross a River
Bridger-Teton National Forest
Big Sandy Campground


Big Sandy Campground

Big Sandy Campground and the Wind River Range:
Big Sandy, also known as Big Sandy Entrance and Big Sandy Trailhead, it is the most popular trailhead of the southern Wind River Range. The reason for this, is because it is the easiest access point to the Cirque of the Towers and Big Sandy Lake is an easy hike for day hikers, backpackers, and fishermen. In the summer expect the parking lot to be full, crowds on the trail, and crowds at Big Sandy Campground.

Closest City:
Pinedale, WY

Driving Directions:
There is no easy way to get to the trailhead, and the drive can be daunting for the directionally impaired. If coming from the north Pinedale, Wyoming, drive 11 miles south on U.S. 191 to Boulder. From Boulder drive approximately 18 miles southeast on highway 353 on a paved road. Upon reaching a junction, shortly after the pavement ends, bear left for 2.9 miles. At 2.9 miles bear right. After 6 miles you will come to a signed intersection. Turn left (east) following the sign to Big Sandy. After 7.5 miles you will find another signed intersection where you turn left to Big Sandy. This winding road is steeper and rockier but is still fairly good. Follow this road and signs for 10.5 miles until reaching Big Sandy Campground and trailhead.Not RV friendly.

If coming from south Rock Springs, Wyoming drive north on U.S. 191 to the town of Farson. 2 miles east of Farson on highway 28, there is a sign to Big Sandy. Turn left and drive 40 miles of dirt road to the intersection described above, continue to follow above directions.

Amenities: 
Tables
Grills
RV pull through
Toilets

Fees/ Reservations:
No fees, permits or reservations are required to hike or camp in the area.
Camping is available for $8 a night
Maximum stay (days)- 10

Elevation:
Campground- 9080'

Water
No- The only water is available from rivers and lakes, filter or treat your water before drinking.

Seasons:
Open seasonal- June 15 through October 15

Trails:
Hiking in the Wind River Range

Dads Lake- 6 miles
Big Sandy Lake- 6 miles
Cross Lake- 15 miles
Little Sandy Lake- 20 miles
North Fork Lake- 24 miles


Operated By:
Bridger Teton National Forest
Pinedale Ranger District
29 East Fremont Lake Road
PO Box 220
Pinedale, WY, 82941
(307) 367-4326

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Glacier Point- Yosemite

Date:
June 20, 2012

Location in Park:
Located at the end of Glacier Point Road.

Driving Directions:
From the south entrance of Yosemite, turn left and drive 17 miles to Glacier Point Road. From Yosemite Valley find Highway 41 valley exit and take it 9 miles to Glacier Point Road. Once you're on Glacier Point Road follow it all the way to its end at the Glacier Point parking lot.

Parking/ Entrance Fee:
There is no parking fee. However there is an Entrance Fee to get into Yosemite national Park.

Hours:
Sunrise to sunset- gift shop and cafeteria 9am- 7pm during summer

Difficulty:
Easy

Why?
There is relatively no elevation gain and the trial is paved.

Elevation:
Trailhead- 7,200ft.
Total Gain- None that you'd notice

Season:
Glacier Point Road is closed in the winter months so make sure to check current road closures.

Trails:
Glacier Point- 1 mile rt
Four Mile Trail- 4.7 Miles

Trail Condition:
Excellent, very easy to follow, paved the whole way and well signed.

Links:
Photos
Videos
Facebook Page
Knot the Ordinary- Store
Weather.com
Yosemite National Park

Jessie's Thoughts:
Extremely easy and paved I wouldn't even classify this as a hike. I do however recommend this destination as it has stunning views of the park and some of its most popular landmarks.

Map:

View Jessie's Trails in a larger map

Bridalveil Falls- Yosemite

Date:
June 18, 2012

Location in Park:
5 miles East of Yosemite Village.

Driving Directions:
From Yosemite Valley take highway 41 toward Wawona and the south park exit. You'll reach the Bridalveil Falls parking lot very shortly after turning onto highway 41. To see exactly were to park on a map and get driving directions Click Here.

Parking/ Entrance Fee:
No parking fee but there is an Entrance Fee to get into Yosemite national Par.

Hours:
Sunrise to sunset

Difficulty:
Easy

Why?
The trail has very little incline and is easy enough almost everyone.

Elevation:
Trailhead- 4,000ft.
Total gain- 200ft.

Waterfall Height:
620 ft.

Season:
The best time to view the falls is after the snow melt in the springtime.

Trails:
Bridalveil Fall- 1.2 miles rt

Trail Condition:
This trail, like the rest is in great condition, very easy to follow and well signed.

Links:
Photos
Videos
Facebook Page
Knot the Ordinary- Store
Weather.com
Yosemite National Park

Jessie's Thoughts:
Great hike for families with young children. easy to get to and extremely easy to hike.

Map:

View Jessie's Trails in a larger map

Taft Point and the Fissures- Yosemite

Date:
June 21, 2012

Location in Park:
7.5 Miles up the road from Glacier Point in Yosemite.

Driving Directions:
From the south entrance to Yosemite, turn left and drive 17.3 miles to Glacier Point Road.

From the Valley, take road 41 nine miles to the Glacier Point Road. Once you're on Glacier Point Road, follow it to the trailhead 13.6 miles. There's a small parking lot and outhouse on the left. Click Here to see exactly were to park on a map and get driving directions.

Parking/ Entrance Fee:
No parking Fee- The small parking lot shares a trailhead with Sentinel Dome and will fill fast, parking is allowed along the shoulders of Glacier Point Road.

Entrance Fee- There is an entrance fee to get into Yosemite national Park.

Hours:
Sunrise to sunset

Difficulty:
Easy

Why?
The trail has very little elevation gain making this a very easy hike for the family.

Elevation:
Trailhead- 7,600ft.
Total gain- 200ft.

Season:
June through October- Glacier Point Road closes in the winter months so make sure to check current road closures.

Trails:
Taft Point Trail- 2.2 Miles rt


Trail Condition:
Excellent, very easy to follow and well signed.

Links:
Photos
Videos
Facebook Page
Knot the Ordinary- Store
Weather.com
Yosemite National Park

Jessie's Thoughts:
Amazing! The hike is short and easy but the ending point is simply amazing! The hike is easy enough for young children just make sure to stay away from the edge there is no guard rail.

Map:


View Jessie's Trails in a larger map

Mono Lake (South Tufa Trail)- Yosemite

Date:
June 21, 2012

Location:
The trailhead is 22 miles Southeast of Yosemite's Tioga Pass entrance.


Driving Directions:
From Yosemite's Tioga Pass entrance, take the Tioga Road 12 miles east until it ends at Highway 395. Turn South on 395 and drive just under 5 miles to the Highway 120 turnoff. Turn left onto 120 east and drive another 5 miles to the turnoff for the South Tufa trail. From here it's one mile to the trailhead, the last 0.9 miles of the road are unpaved. Click Here to see exactly were to park and get driving directions.

Parking/ Entrance Fee:
$3 Entrance fee for anyone older than 15. parking is free and there are plenty of spots available.

Hours:
Sunrise to sunset

Difficulty:
Easy

Why?
The trail is a 1 mile loop on almost level ground.

Elevation:
Trailhead- 6,410ft.
Total Gain- 40ft.

Season:
Sunrise and sunset are the most popular times of day as the sky turns beautiful shades of orange. The crowds will depend on the time of year, in the off season for Yosemite the crowds are almost nonexistent but during the busy times of year the parking lot can fill fast with cars and tour buses.

Trails:
South Tufa Trail- 1 Mile Loop

Trail Condition:
Like all the trails in and around Yosemite national park the trail is in excellent condition, well signed, and extremely easy to follow.

Links:
Photos
Videos
Facebook Page
Knot the Ordinary- Store
Weather.com
Yosemite National Park

Jessie's Thoughts:
Fantastic! This is a must do hike for everyone visiting the Yosemite area. These magnificent formations are interesting to both young kids as well as adults. At the trailhead there are few small walls with information on the area as well as some information plaques along the trail.

Map:


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The Mist trail (Vernal and Nevada Falls)- Yosemite

Date:
June 20, 2012

Location in park:
Near Curry Village

Driving Directions:
In Yosemite Valley, follow the signs to Curry Village. Curry Village is a good place to park, hike southeastish on Southside Drive until you reach the trailhead or take the free shuttle buses.

Entrance/ Parking fee:
There is an entrance fee when entering the park. Yosemite Entrance Fees


Hours:
Sunrise to sunset- Shuttle buses run from

Difficulty:
Strenuous

Why?
The trail is entirely up hill, making this a strenuous hike for a lot of hikers, but don't let that scare you from enjoying this beautiful waterfall. While hiking the trail I thought a much more suitable name would be never ending stairs, although mist trail is a very accurate description of the type of trail this is.

Elevation:
Trailhead- 4,000ft.
Total Gain-

Seasons:
Springtime is the best time to view these waterfalls but be prepared to battle the crowds!

Trails:
Vernal Falls- 3 Miles round trip
Nevada Falls- 7 Miles round trip

Trail Condition:
The trail is in excellent condition, paved for the first section of this trail, followed by a stone stair ways to the top.

Trail Direction:
From the trailhead follow the trail as it heads up a paved road, eventually the trail flattens to reveal the bottom of Vernal Falls. Bathrooms are available. From here take the trail up to a signed trail junctions. Take the trail to the left past a small gate and continue on to the foot of the never ending stair case. As you get closer to the waterfall the stone stairs can become slippery, take your time. When the waterfall is at its peak season, a poncho is strongly suggested. To get to Nevada Falls take the signed trail near the top of Vernal Falls.

Links:
Photos
Videos
Facebook Page
Knot the Ordinary- Store
Weather.com
Yosemite national park

Jessie's Thoughts:
Great trail for anyone who LOVES hiking up endless stairs, this is an excellent short hike but be prepared to sweat. The trail is all uphill, it starts off paved, becomes dirt for a short distance, then becomes an endless stair case to the top of the waterfall. ALSO bring a poncho, you will need it!!

Map:


View Jessie's Trails in a larger map

Lower Yosemite Falls- Yosemite

Date:
June 22, 2012

Location in Park:
Yosemite Village

Driving Directions:
From Yosemite Village, walk a half mile west to the trailhead. The falls are visible from much of the Valley, so finding them should not be a problem. Free shuttle buses are available.

Parking/ Entrance Fee:
There is no fee to park at or near the trailhead, however there is an entrance fee to get into the park. Admission Fees



Hours:
Sunrise to sunset

Difficulty:
Easy

Why?
The trail is a paved walkway.

Elevation:
Trailhead- 3,967ft.

Seasons:
Best time to see the waterfall is in spring.

Waterfall Height:
Total Height- 2,425 Feet
Lower Fall- 320 Feet

Trails:
Lower Yosemite Falls- 0.5 Mile round trip
From Yosemite Village- 1.5 Miles round trip

Trail Condition:
The trail is not so much a trail as a paved walkway to one of Americas tallest waterfalls and has the NPS approval. Accessibility Guide

Trail Directions:
 Starting in Yosemite Village walk a half mile to the trailhead then follow the paved walkway another half mile to the base of the falls.

Links:
Photos
Videos
Facebook Page
Store- Knot the Ordinary
Weather.com
Yosemite national park

Jessie's thoughts:
There are tons of waterfalls but to miss out on the iconic Yosemite Falls would be a horrible mistake for anyone visiting this park. The trail is paved all the way to the base of the waterfall and a shuttle bus makes frequent stops at the trailhead so there is no excuse for missing out!

Map:


View Jessie's Trails in a larger map

Mirror Lake- Yosemite

Date:
June 19, 2012

Location in Park:
Curry Village

Driving Directions:
The trailhead is located at the far end of Yosemite Valley. From Curry Village, park, and take the free shuttle bus to the trailhead or park and hike east.

Parking/ Entrance Fee:
There is no fee to park at or near the trailhead, however there is an entrance fee to get into the park. Admission Fees



Hours:
Sunrise to sunset

Difficulty:
Easy

Why?
The trail for the most part is relatively flat. Much of the trail is paved, you can even ride your bike most of the way to Mirror Lake.

Elevation:
Trailhead- 4,00ft.
Total Gain- 100ft.

Season:
Year around- The summer months are great for families and other visitors who are wanting to go swimming, however this trail is popular and will be crowded. To avoid the crowd winter months are best for hiking this trail but may be to cold to swim.

Trails:
Mirror Lake- 2.4 Miles RT
Tenaya Canyon Loop- 4 Miles

Trail Condition:
The trail is in great condition, very easy to follow. All the trails we did in Yosemite Park are in excellent condition.

Other Activities:
Trail Running
Swimming
Bike Riding 

Links:
Photos
Videos
Facebook Page
Knot the Ordinary- Store
Weather.com
Yosemite National park

Jessie's thoughts:
Yosemite is an amazing park and a must see for all! This is a very easy trail almost completely paved great for families with young children.

Map:

View Jessie's Trails in a larger map

Mt. Whitney


Date:
June 25, 26, 27, 20012

Nearest City:
Lone Pine, CA

Driving Directions:
From Main St (395 Highway) Lone Pine, CA take a left onto Whitney Portal Road and follow for 11 miles. Turn left toward Campground Road then take the 1st left onto Campground Road. Park in the parking lot.

Entrance Fee/ Parking Fee:
Wilderness Permits are required for all overnight trips and for day trips in the Mt. Whitney Zone. For information on where to get a permit Click Here.

Parking is free and available at the trailhead. During busy times, all parking spaces may be full. So, please limit the number of vehicles that your group uses. There is also a high level of bear activity at the trailhead. Make sure to remove all food and trash from vehicles.

Hours:
Sunrise to sunset

Difficulty:
Strenuous

Why?
The trail from the parking lot to the summit is almost entirely up hill, to make this difficult trail far more doable most hikers complete it in three days.

Elevation:
Trailhead-8,360ft.
Mt. Whitney- 14,497ft.
Total Gain- 6,100ft.

Seasons/ Weather:
Most people hike the trail from July through early October when the trail is free of most snow. However ice patches and snowfields may still be present on the trail at any time. Make sure to always check the weather before heading out to the trail. National Weather Service
July to Mid September- Typically snow free. A few snowfields may be present at higher elevations and on the north facing slopes.
Mid September through October- Mostly snow free. However storms with wind, cold temperatures, and snow may occur. Snow may melt quickly, or it my linger for a few days or weeks. Thick patches of ice may begin to develop in some location along the trail.
November through March- Snow is accumulating. By late December it is a few feet deep, and by March it is several feet deep. Winter mountaineering equipment and skills are necessary for safe travel. The road to Whitney Portal is not maintained in winter and is usually closed.
April through June- Snow pack is receding. In April it may be several feet deep. By the end of June, snowfields may still be present at higher elevations and on north facing slopes. Winter mountaineering equipment and skills are necessary for safe travel. The road usually opens in April or May depending on conditions.

Trails:
Mt. Whitney- 11 miles

Trail Condition:
The trail to Mt. Whitney summit is very well traveled and in turn is extremely well maintained. While hiking I passed a work crew fixing a small section of the trail, it hadn't eroded away or anything they were just making it even better than it already was! Its love and dedication from people, like the ones I passed, who make this trail one of my favorites, but it takes the help of EVERYONE who attempts this hike to carry out their waist and follow all the rules the park has set for your safety and the safety of hikers around you.

Trail Directions:
The trail from the parking lot to Lone Pine Lake is a lot of switchbacks with a moderate grade. At the top of these switchbacks there is a fork and a sign. To the left, will take you to Lone Pine Lake, to the right goes to Mt. Whitney. If you continue onto Mt. Whitney a ranger may be present checking for permits, so make sure you have one! The trail from Lone Pine Lake to Mirroe Lake is very easy. After Mirror Lake, the trail starts going up steeply and runs along a creek to the trail camp. As you get closer to trail camp Consultation lake can be seen down below. If you have planned to take the usual 3 days to hike Mt. Whitney Trail Camp is were you will camp for the night. Getting to the summit; from trail camp head for the face of Mt. Muir. The "96 switchbacks" (there are actually more than 140) take you to the trail crest. Once at the Crest crossover to the other side of the mountain. The trial goes down and you will reach a second fork of the hike. Stay right to continue onto Mt. Whitney. The trail now heads up, you will see three giant spikes sticking out of the mountain on your right hand side. The third one is the peak. When you finally get to its base, you will still have to climb some steep switchbacks. Once at the summit enjoy the amazing 360 view of the surroundings then head back the way you came.

Links:
Photos
Videos
Facebook Page
Knot the Ordinary- Store
National Weather Service
Wilderness Permit Info
National Parks- Mt. Whitney

Other Information:
Dispose of Waste Properly, nobody wants to come across your waste, even if its in a bag, PACK OUT YOUR POOP! At Mt. Whitney the only accepable way to dospose of human waste is to pack it out. There are simply too many visitors in the area to use other common waste disposal methods. Human waste pack out kits are distributed with wilderness permits. Each year, Mt Whitney visitors pack out 3 tons of human waste!

Hiking in Bear Country and Using Bear volts-
There has always been a high level of bear activity in the Mt. Whitney area. From Memorial Day weekend through October 31, all food, food related trash and scented items must be stored in a beer proof container. At the trailhead all food, trash, and scented items must be removed from vehicles. Bear proof food lockers and trash receptacles are located in the parking lots. More information.

Finding Water-
Water is available in the form of streams and lakes from the trailhead all the way to Trail Camp. You will have to carry water to the summit, as there is no dependable source of water after Trail Camp. The presence of Giardiasis in back country water poses a serious health problem. Filter, boil, or chemically treat all drinking water.

Map:



View Jessie's Trails in a larger map

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Mono Pass- Yosemite

Date:
June 21, 2012

Location in Park:
Highway 120 near Yosemite's eastern entrance at Tioga Pass

Driving Directions:
From the Tioga pass entrance, drive west just over a mile to the trailhead, which is on the south side of the road. Look for signs.

From Yosemite Valley, head north on highway 120 for 10 miles to the Tioga Road junction at Crane Flat. Turn onto Tioga Road and drive 46 miles to the trailhead. Look for signs.

Parking/ Entrance Fee:
There is no fee to park at or near the trailhead, however there is an entrance fee to get into the park itself. Admission Fees.

Hours:
Sunrise to Sunset- If you are planning to rely on the free shuttle buses to get around the Valley please take a look at their website for more information on times and locations. Click Here

Difficulty:
Moderate

Why?
High elevation is the main concern for hikers from low elevation areas. Make sure to bring plenty of water and snacks to help deal with elevation sickness.

Elevation:
Trailhead- 9,700ft.
Mono Pass- 10,599ft.
Total Gain- 900ft.

Seasons:
June through November- Due to the high elevation the trail can be obscured by snow early and late in the season, and early in the summer a few creeks along the trail might be tricky to cross without getting your feet wet. Road opening and closing dates

Trail:
Mono Pass Trail- 7.8 Miles RT


Trail Condition:
The trail is well maintained, easy to follow, and signs mark each trail junction. The hike itself is an easy one, only gaining 900 feet in 3.9 miles but make sure to bring plenty of water and trail snacks to help with altitude sickness. Click Here for more information on altitude sickness.



Trail Directions:
From the parking lot take the dirt trail leading away from the road. The trail is well maintained and extremely easy to follow. Eventually the trail will hit a junction with a trail leading off in another direction. Continue to follow the Mono Pass Trail as it heads deeper into the park. Soon the trail will leave the cover of trees and open up to reveal a stunningly beautiful meadow. The trail follows along one side of the meadow till the trail hits a small lake with a sign for Mono Pass, if this is your final destination, take a dip or just sit and enjoy the beautiful scenery. To see views of both Sardine and Mono Lakes continue along the trail past the lake a very short distance to an overlook.
To visit the cabins head back down the trail a short way to a small trail leading off across the meadow. The trail ends at three old cabins. Visitors are encouraged not to take or destroy any part of these extremely old cabins so future hikers may enjoy them.


Links:
Photos
Videos
Facebook Page
Weather.com
Yosemite National Park

Jessie's Thoughts:
AMAZING HIKE! After a hike like this one,  wondering through the forest, across meadows, and viewing old cabins, a nice refreshing dip in one of the lakes was a must! This hike, along with 20 Lakes Basin Loop has to be my two favorite hikes in the Yosemite area. I strongly encourage everyone to spend a day on the Mono Pass Trail you won't regret it!

Map:


View Jessie's Trails in a larger map

High Sierra Summit 45L Backpack- Review

Review: I have both the High Sierra 45L and 30L backpacks, to read the review on the 30L follow the link I provided. The High Sierra Summit 4L backpack looks good, has a lack of pockets on the outside only two for water bottles and the usual pocket at the top of the pack for gear that needs to be accessed easily and quickly on the trail. There are no side pockets on the hip belt even though the 30L has them, HUGE ones! On the bottom of the pack, like most packs this size, there is a sleeping bag compartment big enough to fit a normal size bag designed for backpacking. I have never used the sleeping bag compartment for what it was originally intended to be used as, only filled it with clothes, a book, and some small things I wanted to keep dry. The compartment is great, a zipper inside the pack allows users to unzip a small flap to utilize the entire pack as one large compartment instead of two separate ones. There is no place inside the pack to stow the bladder, yet there are openings on both sides of the pack where the hose is to go through, not to sure what that it about since the 30L pack has one! There is no internal frame just a thin piece of metal, like a spine, which is not enough support for a backpack of this size; the 30L has a GREAT internal frame! The "spine" can be easily accessed from the main compartment, when I first pulled it out; thin and flimsy, I knew in an instant it would prove to only be annoying and extremely useless, and it was! Recently I found a different version of this backpack, same size and everything EXCEPT they fixed all the issues and it looks perfect! CLICK HERE to see it on High Sierra's website, this one I would give four stars to.

The ONLY trip I took this backpack on was 8 days backpacking in the Wind River Range in Wyoming. I was able to fit all my gear in with little to no effort on my part, including a large bear vault. However, due to the lack of internal support the back bulged out pressing into my back making it hard and sometimes painful to breath. I hate this backpack with a passion, I said numerous times while in Wyoming that as soon as I get home I'm setting fire to it. I have yet to do so as I am waiting on my new backpack to arrive, Osprey.

Side Note: If your backpack has a built in rain cover NEVER take it out! I did since it was a little bulky at the bottom of my pack, interfering with the space I had in the sleeping bag compartment. While in Wyoming it managed to rain a few days but I had taken the rain cover out and for some unknown reason the materiel they used on this pack loves water and invites it in as fast as jeans soak up water after stepping in a puddle. Once almost everything in my pack was wet and cold it proceeded to hail, but that really has nothing to do with the worth of this pack.

Price- $70 BUY HERE

Specs:
For more information check out the full specs list at REI
Frame Type- Internal (LIES)
Gear Capacity- 2,750 cu. in.
Gear Capacity- 45L.
Weight- 2 Kilograms
Fits Torso- 15-19in.
Fits Waist/ hips- 29- 36in.
Suspended Mesh Back Panel- No
Raincover Included- Yes

Final Review:
★☆☆☆☆

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