adventure, backpacking, bear country, Canon, canyon, High Sierra, High Sierra Trail, Kern Canyon, landscape, landscape photography, mountain range, nature, no clouds, outdoors, Sequoia National Park, sky, snags, sun, trail, trees, Wallace Creek, wilderness


The section between Kern Hot Springs (el. 6,883 ft) and Wallace Creek (el. 10,646 ft) turned out to be the most difficult climb that we did on the High Sierra Trail. We knew that the elevation gain was going to be 3,700 plus feet over ¼ mile shy of 12 mile distance. There was not a single drop in elevation. That was why we had rested at the springs the day earlier despite the fact that it was a short day. We even started early in anticipation of a long hike in the sun once we emerged from the canyon floor. What I didn’t factor in was the elevation difference between the trail and the Wallace Creek. First, the trails drawn on the map can never be 100% accurate, and second, so is the topography. While I came too close to a no-water situation, the creek was at least 80 feet below us. So, while it was a grueling uphill battle to begin with in terms of elevation with the weight that I was carrying, the lack of water made it worse under the desiccating sun. With almost non-existent shade, we were more than glad whenever we were able to take a brief respite under these beautiful snags.

Sequoia National Park, CA

  • Canon EOS 5D Mark III
  • Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM
  • 16mm / 1/16 sec at ƒ/22 / ISO 100
  • Taken 12/26/2016

© 2017 H Peter Ji


    • I carried 3 liters of water and THAT wasn’t enough! So, it was quite mentally exhausting and physically challenging knowing that it wasn’t enough. And yet like an oasis in the desert, what it looked like ‘Wallace Creek’ kept disappearing on us when we reached it. I think we probably 3-4 false corners thinking that it was Wallace Creek, and considering how strenuous it was, we were quite at the end of the rope for the last half mile or so. (Although it was clear that it was there according to GPS, somehow it was never there!!! So strange!) LOL (Yeah, now I am laughing….) LOL

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