Alta Meadow in Sequoia National Park Backpack June 2014
I’ve done the Lakes Trail twice and was looking for a change of scenery. I read about the Alta Meadow in Sequoia National Park in my hiking book. It’s about 13 miles round trip with a little over 2000 ft elevation gain. Sounds like a lot but it wasn’t too bad. The criteria I used to decide on the trail was something leisurely and close by. Both the Alta Meadow trail and the Lakes trail leave from the same trailhead at Wolverton in Sequoia National Park. It is one of the closer National Parks to where I live, so that’s how we got the planning started!
The Alta Meadow trail doesn’t pass by any lakes and the destination is of course, a large meadow. On the trail you will get a chance to see the Great Western Divide (pictured below). So there are nice views to be had. You could probably do this as a day hike if you really wanted to. If you are concerned about water, there is fresh water in the form of streams along the trail. So don’t overfill your water.
In addition to the abundance of water, most of the trail is at least partially shaded which was nice. The meadow itself is situated on a hill, so it seemed mostly on sort of an incline or slant. As opposed to a flat meadow. Once at the meadow, we were able to get a nice shaded campsite under the tree canopy. There were a lot of open spaces that looked like good sites too. The other nice thing about all the open space is the stars at night are not obscured. All you have to do is walk over to the meadow and you can get a very nice view of the night sky.
Since the Alta Meadow trail is not as popular as the Lakes trail, it’s not crowded. We only ran into a handful of backpackers/hikers on this trip. Also, we did not see much wildlife aside from a marmot or two. So, in summary I would definitely go back if I was looking for a large meadow and expansive view across mountain ranges.
What have been you experiences with Alta Meadow in Sequoia National Park?
The hiking book I mentioned comes in two flavors – North and South. I would recommend both if you need a Sierra hiking guide. I’ve used them countless times. I find that they are very detailed and a good reference for hiking the Sierras. You can find both on amazon Sierra South here and Sierra North here.
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