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The Lyell Fork of the Merced River.

The mysterious Minarets.
The Woods Lakes Basin
The Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne

The Ottoway Lakes Loop

The Benson Lake Loop
Visit the Pioneer Basin area!
The Silver Divide, the first Sierra Trails feature north of the John Muir Wilderness.
The Big/Little Five Lake Loop and Sawtooth Pass Trip
The Kern-Kaweah and Kaweah Basin via Colby Pass Trip
Mt. Whitney! What more can be said about the most popular trail climb and peak in the Sierra?
Take a stroll on the vast granite expanses of The Tablelands, and travel over a high cross-country pass.
Travel to and climb Mt. Brewer.
Trek part of the Steve Roper High Sierra Route in Kings Canyon.
The first part of a trip to Mt. Brewer, a climb to the Sphinx Lakes.
Visit the lonely but beautiful North Fork Kings River country.
Journey through Deadman's Canyon on this loop trip.
Febuary 2013: Well, it has been a while. I have been traveling the Sierra, but my full time job is really full time!! Like every day. I might soon add to this site, but in a new format, now that all of your computers are so much more powerful! Meanwhile, check out HighSierraTopix, where I hang out. Keep an eye out here too! I will soon update the web-cam links...
September 2007: A new issue of Sierra-Trails! Another monster issue with over 70 pages with over 200 pictures! It is called A Backpack to the Remote Lyell Fork of the Merced River with plenty of stops along the way on the Yosemite High Trail, Fletcher Creek Trail, Emeric Creek Trail, Lewis Creeek Trail, Rafferty Creek Trail and many lakes along the way. Need your arm twisted a little? Check out the view in the Lyell Fork!
April 2007: Yes, finally another issue of Sierra-Trails! And it's about time! If you are wondering why it took so long, you will find out when you go through the new issue "A Backpack Cross-Country Traverse of the Minarets", or simply "The Minarets". There are 82 pages and 222 pictures awaiting you, and that is why it too so long. Its like a book. I will take you on a grand backpack (not a climbers) traverse close to the very teeth of the Minarets and also show you several different ways to get back to the trailheads. You will see one section of the John Muir Trail through the Minarets wilderness. See why The Minarets should have remained a part of Yosemite, at least as a natural wonder to rival all others in the National Parks. Be sure to have your video set to at least 1024 x 768. The pictures are big...

Happy Trails!

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6/01/06: The the left is another Sierra Trails story, the Woods Lakes Basin. This is a short trip, but bang for buck, some really nice pictures. The Sierra high country at its best. Take a look! Here is a sample page and picture so you can see what I mean:

Morning in Woods Lake Basin

Sierra Trails Editor Doyle W. Donehoo

Well, spring is here and that means hikin' season! The Sierra is just now thawing out enough to do some hikes. This would be a great time to join the discussions in the forum. Use the forum link above. You can lurk or introduce yourself and join in as we plan the season and share stories of our travels. It is a good group.
The last of my backlog of film is finally developed! From here on most all of my pictures will be taken by digital camera.
I plan to do one more story before the season really gets going, and it will be about the Isberg Peak area of the southern Yosemite area. Stand by for news or a sneak peek. That story will be longer with more pictures. Happy Trails!

12/14/05: Look to the left and you will see a new story which is about a trip along The Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River and Falls. It has over 100 pictures over almost 50 pages. This story was made possible by the donations to Sierra Trails by David D., Motec, Kathy B., Randall B., Jose B., Betty M., Jerry A., Peter S., Kenneth H., Sam W., Janet H. and others who wish to remain anonymous. If I forgot you, let me know and I will add you to the list! It takes a lot of work to do these stories, about 2 hours per page, and the people who donate appreciate this. I have only about four rolls of film left to develop, and enough older material for a lot of stories. If you have a suggestion for a feature, let me know: I probably have been there and taken pictures. In any case, you will note there is a PayPal button for your use so that your can contribute directly to Sierra Trails to help pay for the overhead and keep this publication going.
Great News!: The Sierra Interagency Black Bear Group (SIBBG) has conditionally approved the use of the Ursack Hybrid in the previously restricted areas of the National Parks and Forests in the Sierra: Yosemite, SEKI, Inyo, Devil's Postpile, Stanislaus. Now, as long as unscrupulous people do not manufacture bogus failure reports (strongly suspected in the past), perhaps now we will have a reasonable lightweight bear-resistant container for our use. Do your bit and get an Ursack.
The forum is BACK! The link at the upper left should work and take you there.
4/15/05: If you will look to the right, you will see a "Sierra Webcams" button. A favorite webcam webpage went off the air it seems, so I decided to do my own Sierra Nevada Webcam page with up-to-date live links (daylight hours only). The webcams are a good visual way to keep an eye on the Sierra weather and snowpack, other than the usual sources. I use them a lot.
If you have been having trouble getting to the FORUM, you are not alone. For some odd reason, a Russian hacker decided it was a good use of his or her time to trash the forum. Eric the forum owner is dealing with the problem as time allows and will have the forum back up when he figures out how to keep it locked up and hacker proof. If any web guru wants to give him a hand, contact him at
I will be changing the look of this site fairly soon, to make it a bit easier to get around. And I will adding some side features, as soon as I figure out how to do them. It should be interesting.
On the Bear Can battlefront, the Ursack has passed all of
the Sierra Interagency Black Bear Group (SIBBG) tests (even some tests bear cans failed), yet there remains restrictions on the use of the Ursack. Almost all of the SIBBG remaining "concerns" are bogus (the same "concerns" apply to the cans as well), and the rest seem to be thinly manufactured excuses so they can withhold approval. The point is currently moot because all the Ursack fabric is now being requisitioned by the military, and the makers of the Ursack cannot make any more bags till they get a supply of the cloth.
2/21/05: If you will look to the upper left, you will see a link-image to the new Official Sierra-Trails Forum! Find the forum HERE also. The forum is brought to you by the Sierra-Trails affiliate, High Sierra Topix. The general forum can be found HERE. As the moderator of the Official Sierra-Trails Forum, fairly soon I will get in there and start some topics and polls, and find out what you really think! See you there!!
1/1/05: My New Years and Christmas present to all my readers, a new issue of Sierra Trails! (As seen on the left): The Ottoway Lakes Loop, with a special bonus of a side trip up to the top of Half Dome! There are 71 pages and 143 images in this issue. It was a lot of hard  work, so I hope you enjoy it.
The Ottoway Lakes Loop hike would make a great beginner-intermediate trip for those ready for their first multi-day trip. This story was made possible by the kind
PayPal donations from my special readers. Thanks to you! You know who you are.
I don't know exactly when the next story will be posted, but it will probably be a tour through
The Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River. I am just trying to knock off some of the highlights of Yosemite National Park.
I am looking into getting a really good digital camera with a Zeise lens so that film developing does not become such a hang-up. I am pretty impressed with the images from the newer digital cameras. So now part of the requested
PayPal donations will be to buy Sierra Trails a digital camera! (Anybody want to donate a good digital camera? :) Developing the remaining film (still 14 rolls to go at over $14 bucks a shot) will still be the first priority.
I may have more news soon.
Happy Trails to you!
11/8/04: To the left is yet another new issue of Sierra Trails, The Benson Lake Loop! It has more than 100 pictures in over 50 pages taken mostly in Yosemite National Park. Here is a sample picture: Barney Lake and Crown Point. And again, this story and pictures are the direct results of people kindly donating to Sierra Trails via PayPal. Those nice people paid for the cost of developing the film. (Yes, some day soon I will be getting a digital camera.) Meanwhile, hiking season is over for the year, which means it is now the season I produce more issues of Sierra Trails with the help of your PayPal donations.
In other news:
1) The new Benson Lake issue has a bonus: a review of the 3 pound Granite Gear Nimbus Ozone backpack. Check it out.
2) If you would like to get an email notification of a new issue of Sierra Trails, email ME with the subject of "New Issue Notification". Do not worry: your email address is safe with me and nobody else will have access to it through me. I hate spam.
3) I would like some feedback. If you would be interested in getting all past issues of Sierra Trails (and a few extras like Sierra Trails screen savers and slide shows) on CD ROM for around 20 bucks, email ME with the subject of "Sierra Trails on CD ROM". No need for body text: the email is a vote for this idea. Do not worry: your email address is safe with me and nobody else will have access to it through me.
4) Bad News: I am delaying the Minarets issues again because once again I could not hike the last small section to complete the story and trip. My pard and I were going to do the trip in September, but he decided to backpack in Europe instead. SOooo..I did another trip solo, which leads me to...
5) The next issue of Sierra Trails will without a doubt be The Ottoway Lakes Loop. I did that trip just this last October, just before early winter arrived. It is an important Yosemite hike because it travels through Ottoway Lakes, over Red Peak Pass and down the Merced River Canyon, with a side trip to Half Dome. The story is written and some of the pictures have been developed. When all the pictures get developed, the story will soon appear here. PayPal donations will speed things up.
6) The bear canister insanity continues. This last trip through Ottoway Lakes, I was forced to bring a stupid can, which was totally useless because I never saw a bear or any sign of one, and if I did, my food would never have been in danger, can or no can. But it gets worse. For reasons known only to the mystery-minds that run Yosemite, they decided that canisters are additionally required within six miles of all trailheads. It does not seem to matter that some trailheads do not get enough human traffic to attract bears, and some trails are so poor and unused they hardly exist. I still say, approve the URSACK and make URSACKs or canisters required everywhere and be done with it. Geeez.
OK, that wraps things up for now. Happy Trails to you!
2/13/04: To the left is a new issue of Sierra Trails, the direct results of people kindly donating to Sierra Trails. Those nice people paid for the cost of developing the film. That is the way it works: people donate, I get film developed, and you all see a new issue of Sierra Trails. I have 11 more rolls to develop. And what an issue the Pioneer Basin Area story is! It is not as lengthily a trip as some, but pound for pound, those pictures in the story are some of the best pictures of the Sierra you will ever see, at least from me! The link is to the left, but you can find it here. If you have any doubts, try this picture. This is what you get when people donate. Thank You!
12/19/03: Lots of time has past, so there is lots of stuff to present. 1) Time may have past, but I have been busy doing trips in the Sierra. I have also gone into business for myself, which has taken a lot of time to get started. That is taken care of, but as with most new business ventures, money is tight. Up to now (and probably into the future), Sierra Trails has been free. However, it is not free for me to do and there are costs. For example, I have over 20 rolls of film and thousands of words written that are on hold because I do not have the money to get the film developed and onto picture CD's. So, here is your chance to see that there is more Sierra Trails in the future. You will note there is a PayPal button for your use so that your can contribute directly to Sierra Trails to help pay for the overhead. Once the film is developed, I can join it to the already written text and get another trip reported, and I have numerous trips written up. It's all up to you. 2) I do have a new story ready if you have not discovered it already. It is a solo trip I did to the Silver Divide country. To see it, click on the link in the previous sentence, the image on the left side of this page, or here. Fifty pages of back-country goodness. 3) Much to my disgust, John Muirs "Freedom of the Mountains" is no longer free. National Parks like Kings Canyon are charging a "camping fee" for back-country use. This is a rude slap in the face to all backpackers and mountaineers. It seems that even though we pay huge taxes, it is not enough, and they feel they have to charge us a fee for what has been and should always be free! What next? An air tax? And a fee for what? The trails in the national parks in the Sierra are in terrible condition, some trails are gone or unusable, many trail signs are gone and I can see no visible sign of anything that warrants a use fee. This is intolerable. Find ways to protest! I will seek information as to who we can inform of our displeasure. Stand by. 4) Please note the "No Canister" logo to the right. Feel free to copy it and use it wherever you feel it would be useful to display. The canister, a heavy useless weight penalty that is unnecessary in over 95% of the Sierra, is turning into the park service and forest service one size fits all answer to the largely nonexistent "bear problem". To make matters worse, they will not accept the perfectly good "Ursack" as a bear resistant container. Mainly, they test the Ursack with rigid canister standards, and even though tests have proved bears cannot get into the new Ursacks, they stubbornly refuse to approve the Ursack as a bear safe container. What stupidity. The fact is there are only a few small areas in the Sierra where bears are a problem, and it is advisable to use containers in those areas if you do not know how to properly hang food (which can be done in a bear-proof way), or protect your food. The rest of the 95% or more of the Sierra, the bears are shy and stay away from people and are not a problem. It has been getting so ridiculous, Yosemite has mandated that when camping above 9600 feet, you must use a bear proof container. Heck, 9600 feet is not bear habitat! Is it our fault they have "High Sierra Camps" above 9600 feet that attract bears? That is the only place you will find bears above 9600 feet, but if you do see bears that high in other places (very rare), you can bet they are wild and will run away from humans and not be a problem. I have been spending time in the backcountry longer than some people have been alive, and I have never lost my food to bears, and you can bet I have seen plenty of bears. I could keep my food in paper sacks, and bears would not get my food.  If I can keep my food from bears, everybody can. If they insist on this bear canister nonsense, then they must approve the Ursack. Find ways to protest these silly rules. 5) I have another story ready with pictures, a romp over the Sierra Crest and down to Benson Lake in Yosemite. Look for that fairly soon. 6) The Minarets story will have to wait till the end of this year. My partner and I plan on a cross-country circum-navigation of the Minarets, which will complete that story with some new pictures and routes. 7) OK, that just about wraps things up. Happy Trails to you!
01/12/02: OK! The Kern-Kaweah trip issue is finally finished and posted. I hope you are ready for 52 pages. If you cannot find it on the left, you can find it here. Take your time and enjoy!
01/04/02: Alright, sorry number one. Sorry its taken so long to get an update. At least it has not been a year...yet. Sorry number two. Sorry it has taken so long to get another story up. The Kern-Kaweah content has been done for ages, but I just did not have the time to finish putting the pieces together. Well, I am back at it, and that story should be up in the next week. Sorry number three. As you may have discovered, there is another page just before this one. I am using this web space for both my business Radar Music and Sierra Trails, so there is now an extra step getting here. It also means most of the "gobacks" on most pages will end up on the previous page. So sorry for the extra mouse clicks. The Minarets issue is pushed off for another year because I have not finished the whole hike yet, so sorry again.  I will try to make it up to you all with good content and regular updates. So stay along for the ride, because more is coming. Be patient. Meanwhile, happy trails!
02/19/01: OK boys and girls, the Black Rock Pass, Big Five Lakes, Little Five Lakes, Sawtooth Pass Loop issue of Sierra Trails is finished and on the left! Go see it and enjoy!
The Mt. Whitney issue is complete! If you ever wondered what it is like to hike Mt. Whitney from the west side, hit the link and GO! Have fun! (Posted 11 February 2001)
Well, I have been slowly cranking out Sierra Trails, but it has been a busy year as always! You will find out how busy I have been in the Sierra with the wealth of new material. In the past (and in the near future) I have been concentrating and will be concentrating on the southern Sierra, mainly because I believe the southern Sierra is the backpacker, mountaineer, and cross-country mountaineer paradise. However, after I have covered the main features of SEKI and the surrounding wildernesses, I will will turn my attention to the areas north of the John Muir Wilderness, including Yosemite. I have been all over the Sierra and parts of the Cascades, and I have a mountain of pictures and stories from those areas north, which I will eventually get to.

It is a lot of work doing these stories and preparing the pictures. The results of this work is, as always, to the left of this text. The good news is the quality of the pictures are even better now because I am using only digital from negative images. Some issues will be more of a work in progress as I add key features to the issue, as usual. Meanwhile, I will begin other issues featuring another trail or route in the High Sierra
All of the issues of
Sierra Trails can be found on the left, and if you pass the cursor over the image, the flyby should give you some idea what that issue is about before you commit to clicking on the image to go to that particular "issue" of Sierra Trails.
If you have not yet done so, check out the Deadman issue to the left. I was never happy about the picture quality, so I have re-done the images with new scans and edits, and added a few more images. The image quality is still uneven, but it was the first issue. I also redid the format to match the style of the rest of Sierra Trails.
To the right are links are the new features of Sierra Trails. One link will take you to the Sierra Trails Gallery. This is a collection of my best images, interesting places in the Sierra, and occasionally my best pictures of interesting places in the Sierra. Another link will take you to yet another gallery of panoramas and 360 degree pictures. I am getting better at producing these kinds of images, so bear with me. Also, I put in a link to the Links page, which can also be found in every "issue" of Sierra Trails.
Future Sierra Trails: I hope to soon (keep your fingers crossed) have a forum up. I will moderate, the same rules of curtsey will apply and I will only tolerate "On Topic" discussions. For now web space prevents me from putting this feature in.
Great News! My ISP ACCESSCOM (see link below) has come to my rescue and has provided me with more space for Sierra Trails! Please visit their site, and if you need an ISP, you cannot go wrong with ACCESSCOM. Because of the additional room, very soon I will be adding three more issues of Sierra Trails: Mt. Whitney, The Kern-Kaweah and Kaweah Basin, and last but not least, Big 5 and Little 5 Lakes. After those issues are up, I will work on the other features mentioned above. Stay tuned! Oh, if you do go to ACCESSCOM, mention that Sierra Trails sent you.
NOTE TO LONG TIME READERS: To the left, the order of the issues is reversed from past normal. Now, from top to bottom the issues will be seen chronologically from the most recent to the oldest issues.
The top two issues on the left are preview covers of Sierra Trails issues that will be out soon or this year. As I said above, very soon I will be adding two more issues of Sierra Trails: The Kern-Kaweah and Kaweah Basin, The Minarets.

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Steal the above image and use it until the Ursack is fully approved!

Bench Lake, SEKI, with a Java app.

Animated Bench Lake image

Go to the Links Page.

Sierra Trails Links

D.W.Donehoo, Editor of Sierra Trails

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Copyright 1997-2013 D.W.Donehoo, Editor of Sierra Trails

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