High Sierra Trail Day 6 – Crabtree Ranger Station to Guitar Lake
Sequoia National Park, California
Our sixth day on the High Sierra Trail was kind of as casual as it gets… and as beautiful as it gets!
We enjoyed an extremely leisurely breakfast at Crabtree before breaking camp around 10 a.m. The High Sierra Trail continued for a bit through the same, dried up forest we encountered the previous day, but as we approached treeline, the landscape gave way to familiar soaring alpine habitats with trickling creeks, grassy tussocks, soggy meadows, and occasional tarns. Maybe a mile and a half in, we arrived at Timberline Lake, an absolutely stunning alpine lake that was really only a small taste for what was to come.
After that, we fully broke treeline into completely barren and rocky terrain and quickly found ourselves at Guitar Lake.
We continued on past Guitar Lake to some small tarns above for camp for the night. Overall, I think we only hiked a little over 2.5 miles from Crabtree, but this was one of my most memorable days. We spent the afternoon just chillin’ at camp and the sunset scenery was exactly what I try to pursue and why I do what I do…
Tips for this Section of Trail:
- Not really – this was a super easy and straight-forward section.
- We were told there was a water source past the tarns above Guitar Lake, but I never saw it. Fill up before you start the climb up Whitney!
- During busier times of the year, maybe make sure to get to Guitar Lake early. We had read that it can be a “tent city.” Luckily when we were there, I remember only counting another four tents, in addition to our four.
Guitar Lake Backpacker Camp:
- There were a lot of well-worn, flat spots for tents.
- No bear lockers.
- Plenty of water sources between the lake itself, the tarns, and the streams running into them.
- WAG bag time!
This was another spot where you just couldn’t go wrong.
- My favorite spot I found was a small pond between the tarns we camped at above Guitar and Hitchcock Lakes.
- A side-trip over to Hitchcock Lakes (south) is absolutely worth it and one of my favorite spots on the whole trip.
- I didn’t do this, but from Guitar Lake, you can follow Whitney Creek up to Arctic Lake. I read that was beautiful.
General Information & Planning:
- The History of the High Sierra Trail
- Planning for the High Sierra Trail
- Packing List & Tips
- Photography Spots & Tips
- Day 1: Crescent Meadow to Bearpaw
- Day 2: Bearpaw to Hamilton Lake
- Day 3 (Part 1): Hamilton Lake to Kaweah Gap
- Day 3 (Part 2): Kaweah Gap to Moraine Lake
- Day 4: Moraine Lake to Junction Meadow
- Day 5: Junction Meadow to Crabtree Ranger Station
- Day 6: Crabtree Ranger Station to Guitar Lake
- Mt Whitney: The Tallest Peak in the Lower US
- Day 7: Guitar Lake, up Mount Whitney, and out to Whitney Portal