High Sierra Hut to Hut!

Hut to Hut in the High Sierra??  Yep, that’s right but only for those willing to go for big days of light and fast. By connecting fully equipped mountain lodges with 20 mile stretches of trail, we can go as light and fast as a day tripper, but see so much more. If you are a trail runner that likes the concept of ultralight backpacking with a fraction of the weight, and without the rigors of wilderness camping then this is your jam!

This trip has a minimum of 2 to run at this price on these dates. Click HERE to request this trip on a custom private basis, subject to availability.

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High Sierra Hut to Hut!

Hut to Hut fastpacking means moving rapidly, unencumbered, and with maximum comfort. We use mountain lodging on the western edge of the John Muir Wilderness to allow a guided, point to point, multiday Sierra adventure with nothing but a light running pack and the clothes on your back. If you’d like 20 miles of perfect trails followed by a glass of wine, a home-cooked meal, a shower, or a soak in natural hot springs then join us for this special event offered only once in September, after the Labor Day holiday.

The High Sierra Hut to Hut is a brilliant link up of two trans-Sierra hikes by way of one of the most scenic and remote sections of the John Muir Trail. The route starts and finishes on the Eastside of the range. We stay at the Vermillion Valley Resort at Lake Thomas Edison on the first night, then at the Muir Trail Ranch for two nights. The Vermillion Valley Resort is near the John Muir Trail. They provide a ferry to transport us across the lake to the lodge, which has all of the amenities of a roadside fishing lodge. The Muir Trail Ranch is a unique private landholding amidst the wilderness and is a popular stop and resupply point for John Muir Trail hikers. It features quaint log cabins, gourmet home-cooked cuisine, and natural hot springs in private tubs! We allow an extra day here to rest, ride horses, fish, or to explore places like Evolution Valley or Goddard Canyon. We can arrange to have non-running friends or family meet you here and spend a night or two, just ask us for details! Anyone who really knows the JMT can tell you that THIS is a unique and amazing adventure through wilderness on foot. As light and fast as you can go in the High Sierra, and in comfortable style!

TRIP ITINERARY: High Sierra Hut to Hut!
DAY 0   Meet at the Sierra Mountain Guides office in Bishop, CA. This is an important logistical meeting to make sure everyone is prepared for the trip. A great opportunity to meet the guides, look at the maps, and pick up any last minute items from Sage to Summit.
DAY 1     Early shuttle up to Mosquito Flat Trailhead in Rock Creek (10,000+ ft.). Enjoy a beautiful hike up Little Lakes Valley and up over Mono Pass. Here we encounter a surreal moonscape and some unbelievable trail running on a long, gradual descent past the Mono Recesses, and down to Lake Thomas Edison. We ferry across the lake to the Vermillion Valley Resort where we have real fishing lodge-style accommodations complete with heat, showers, beds, and a real restaurant. 17 miles. Total Vertical Gain/Loss: +2300\'/-4900\'
DAY 2   Breakfast at the Resort and back on the ferry to where we left the trail the day prior. We head up to the Pacific Crest Trail (and John Muir Trail) where we turn South and follow Bear Creek up to picturesque alpine lakes and meadows beneath Selden Pass. From the spectacular vistas of the pass we descend on perfect running trails amidst fantastic little lakes. This eventually leads to a big descent to the South Fork of the San Joaquin River which leads to Muir Trail Ranch, a rare, historic, private inholding in the wilderness 5.5 miles upstream from Florence Lake. The Ranch is idyllic with cabins, wonderful home cooking, and natural hot springs pools. This is right where every big mountain day should end. 21.5 miles. Total Vertical Gain/Loss: +4500\'/-4500\'
DAY 3   We like Muir Trail Ranch so much, we stay there again on Day 3. There are many possible activities to enjoy: guided exploration of the Sierra, a jaunt to Florence Lake, horseback riding, or just a relaxing rest day of stretching and soaking in hot springs. The option is yours.
DAY 4   The final day we wake up to a nice breakfast and say goodbye to the Ranch. We head back up the trail to where Piute Creek meets the San Joaquin. We continue Northeast up the deep and imposing Piute Canyon to Hutchinson Meadow where great trail running begins again. The finale takes us up through the gorgeous alpine meadows and lakes in the gigantic expanse of the Humphreys Basin before crossing Piute Pass and descending the colorful canyon beneath Mt. Emerson. Finish at North Lake, and shuttle back to Rock Creek to pick up vehicles. 18 miles. Total Vertical Gain/Loss: +4100\'/-2500\'


  • SMG fastpacking guide, and guide expenses
  • 1 night lodging Vermillion Valley Resort (single or double occupancy as specified)
  • 2 nights lodging at Muir Trail Ranch (single or double occupancy as specified)
  • Meals at Muir Trail Ranch
  • Handling of reservations, logistics, and permits.


  • Trail food
  • Meals at Vermillion Valley Resort
  • Other travel arrangements
  • Personal items
  • Equipment rental


  • Excellent physical condition
  • Able to speed hike or run 20+ miles on good, moderately rugged trails in 8-10 hours, including rest breaks for 2-3 consecutive days
  • Enthusiasm for going light and fast, and in maximum comfort!


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