Hiking the Hogback Creek to Vacation Pass

Notes by piero scaruffi | Other California destinations | California hikes
The easiest way to get to the trailhead is to drive Whitney Portal Rd until when it gets steep (before a sharp hairpin), and to turn right into Hogback Creek Road (14S04) and then (N36.61926-W118.19380) turn left into 15S01 just before the creek. Unless you have a high-clearance vehicle and you don't mind messing it up, you'll probably park at the beginning of 15S01.

(The topomaps of the Whitney area are terrible. They show that you can hike straight north from Whitney Portal towards Hogback creek but that is impossible because of walls and walls of steep granite)

The Hogback creek comes down from Tunnabora Peak. Hike up the creek until it splits. Take the left branch until it splits again. Take the right branch. Climb to the top of the drainage (N36.6112,W118.2702). Head for the ridge of Mt Carl Heller (N36.6141,W118.2908). When you get to this ridge, you'll see a lake (3,450m of elevation) to the north; and Vacation Pass to the west (N36.6131, W118.3012). The peak to the north of Vacation Pass is the east summit of Mt Barnard. The real summit is east of this false summit.

The elevation gain of this route is colossal and the route is very steep.

Pictures of this hike
Sierra mountains