Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
11,424.00 ft (3,482.04 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
41.60 mi (66.95 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Crescent Meadow to Kaweah Gap is a 41.6-mile out-and-back route from Crescent Meadow to the east side of Kaweah Gap, traversing the heart of Sequoia National Park over a 3-4 day backpacking trip. This journey covers an impressive array of landscapes, from lush meadows and giant sequoias to high alpine passes and stunning mountain vistas. It's a moderate to challenging trek that rewards hikers with some of the most breathtaking scenery the Sierra Nevada has to offer.
 

From the start at Crescent Meadow you'll head east, gradually ascending through the Giant Forest, home to awe-inspiring ancient trees.

As you progress, the trail continues through alpine meadows and alongside cascading creeks, as you head towards the High Sierra. The ascent to Kaweah Gap is both challenging and rewarding. This high alpine pass provides stunning views of the Great Western Divide and the expansive valleys below. The Gap itself is a highlight, offering a sense of achievement and unparalleled photo opportunities.

FLORA AND FAUNA

The diverse ecosystems along the trail support a wide variety of plant and animal life. Expect to see everything from giant sequoias and lush meadows filled with wildflowers to alpine flora at higher elevations. Wildlife sightings may include mule deer, black bears (practice bear-safe food storage), and a variety of birds and smaller mammals.

WHEN TO VISIT
Late June to early October, when the trails are mostly snow-free and wildflowers are in bloom.

CAMPING
Backcountry camping permits are required for overnight stays and can be obtained from the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Wilderness Office. Bearpaw Meadow High Sierra Camp is one of many popular camping spots along the route. 

PERMITS AND REGULATIONS

A wilderness permit is required for all overnight backpacking trips in Sequoia National Park. Advance reservations are recommended, especially for popular summer months, though some permits are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Check the National Park Service website for the latest information on permits and wilderness regulations.

TRAILHEAD INFORMATION

The Crescent Meadow parking area serves as the starting point for this backpacking trip. It's recommended to arrive early during peak season to secure parking and make final preparations for your journey into the wilderness.

SAFETY AND CONSIDERATIONS

  • Be prepared for changing weather conditions and pack appropriate clothing and gear.

  • Ensure you have a bear canister for food storage, as bears are active in the area.

  • Water sources are generally plentiful, but always treat or filter water before drinking.

  • Leave No Trace principles should be strictly followed to preserve the natural beauty of the park.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Spring
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

National Park Pass

Open Year-round

Yes

Days

3

Pros

Alpine Scenery. Singletrack Trails. Alpine Lakes. Meadows.

Cons

Advanced planning and permits may be required.

Trailhead Elevation

6,694.00 ft (2,040.33 m)

Highest point

10,665.00 ft (3,250.69 m)

Features

Near lake or river
Backcountry camping
Glacier
Waterfalls
Wildlife
Big vistas
Bird watching
Wildflowers

Typically multi-day

Yes

Permit required

Yes

Permit self-issue on site

No

Location

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