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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Mitchell Peak: Kings Canyon National Park

Dale Matson

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The Mitchell Peak trailhead is about 2 hours from Fresno CA. The route begins on Highway 180 and once in the park it is a south turn on the General’s Highway into Sequoia Park. After a drive south, turn left on Big Meadows/Horse Corral Road. Stay on the paved road until you see a sign that says, “SHSC” to your right. Turn right and you will soon see a road marker (Forest Route) “13S12”. Follow it until it turns into a dirt road. Eventually, you will end at the trailhead for Marvin Pass. I think the directions can be confusing and my GPS will clarify the trailhead and route to Mitchell Peak.




There is a cutoff trail on the left outbound that leads to the Sequoia High Sierra Camp. There is another signed trail junction further out.





Mitchell Peak (elevation 10,365’) is in the Jennie Lakes Wilderness of Sequoia National Forest/Kings Canyon National Park and is an out and back hike of seven miles. It has about 2,000’ of elevation gain in the 3.5 miles of outbound trail. The trail is almost entirely through the forest until you are above 10,000’ of elevation. There is a concrete slab on top where there once was a lookout tower. We found that the outbound hike was about 2.5 hours and the descent back to the trailhead was faster at about 1.5 hours. There is no water source of consequence so take plenty of water with you on this hike. There is a bit of boulder hopping at the end but it is not too difficult. Younger folks would call it a “walk up”.

The view is one of the best in the Sierras since it is 360 degrees and well worth the climb. Most of the photographs were with a 35mm prime lens on a clear day and attest to the view.





Panorama
Panorama

Telephoto 

Telephoto

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