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Harrison Pass Trail
#57283 06/17/20 02:21 PM
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Hey guys,

I did the trail from Mt. Whitney to Onion Valley last July, and I thought it was great! Forester Pass was beautiful.
I was lucky enough to get a permit reservation for Mt. Whitney this year, and I was thinking of changing up a bit by going North through Harrison Pass.
Has anyone here been that way lately? I would appreciate any information on trail conditions.

[img]https://caltopo.com/m/LCVB[/img]

Re: Harrison Pass Trail
G4u2 #57331 06/19/20 11:28 AM
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I haven't been that way in a long time, but recall that it is very loose in the North chute and easier on the South side of the "pass". Probably not a good option, unless you need more adventure.

Re: Harrison Pass Trail
Bob West #57337 06/19/20 09:23 PM
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Thanks Bob,

Yeah, there must be a reason I don't hear much about it. Have you been to Junction Pass to the East of Forester?

Gustavo

Re: Harrison Pass Trail
G4u2 #57338 06/20/20 06:41 AM
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No, I haven't. Secor's book describes it as Class 2, not having been maintained since 1932, when it was part of the original John Muir Trail.

Re: Harrison Pass Trail
Bob West #57340 06/20/20 10:08 AM
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I've hiked over Junction pass twice, both times scared out of my mind. Well, since I solo, hiking down the south facing slope toward Shepard Pass can be somewhat challenging at the top.

As you probably know, Junction was part of the old JMT and when Forester came into being, the trail was abandoned.

Now, I regularly hike to Junction Pass as a day hike from Center Basin junction. The trail, although not maintained is fairly visible to the top of the pass. It's the back side that is all cross country.

A few years ago, Steve posted some pictures that I took of the hike. Maybe he can post them, or find the tread.

paul

Re: Harrison Pass Trail
Paul #57345 06/20/20 03:02 PM
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Thanks Paul!

That's the info I was looking for. I will be solo on this as well. Since I will be coming from the South, do you think the South side of Junction Pass is a bit more doable? I hope it would be a least a bit easier to find the trail.

Also, I think I found your pictures: https://stevec.smugmug.com/Hiking/Junction-Pass-Paul-W/

Best,

Gustavo

Junction Pass

Re: Harrison Pass Trail
Bob West #57346 06/20/20 03:03 PM
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Thanks Bob!

Re: Harrison Pass Trail
G4u2 #57347 06/20/20 04:21 PM
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I am not sure I understand.

The best approach is from Center Basin since the trail is fairly visible to the top of Junction Pass. The trail from the top of the pass heading south down to Shepherd Pass trail is difficult to find, if not follow. It is pretty much washed out from rock slides. But it is always easier going downhill.

I can go into more detail if you need.

I have always taken the Center Basin route up and over Junction Pass, down to the Shepherd Pass trail, then up and over Shepherd Pass. Depending on where I was heading, I would head down to Tyndall Creek, or up and over Rockwell Pass (cross country) to Wright Lakes.

If you approach Junction Pass via Center Basin, Golden Bear Lake, I camp at the lake above. Contrary to a post many years ago, the trail actually comes withing a few hundred meters of the lake. As seen in my photos, a beautiful lake to camp at and to attack the pss the next day.

If you want to approach from Shepherd Pass trail. I can help, but the trail is much more difficult to find. But there are points along the way.

if you have access to satellite topo take a look.

paul

Re: Harrison Pass Trail
Paul #57348 06/20/20 04:56 PM
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I concur with Paul in his descriptions above. Going south from Golden Bear Lake the trail is very easy to follow. Once over Junction Pass you will be descending a pretty steep loose slope until the canyon flattens out a bit. It's pretty much self-navigation down from there to intersect with the Shepherd pass trail. If you have a decent map nav shouldn't be a problem. Going up and over Rockwell Pass into the less-traveled Wright Lakes Basin is a big plus!!!

Last edited by PeteK.; 06/20/20 04:57 PM.
Re: Harrison Pass Trail
G4u2 #57364 06/21/20 09:28 PM
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Gustavo, here's the whitneyzone thread related to those pictures.
Center Basin - Junction Pass route

...but I thought you were asking about Harrison Pass.

I recall spending some hours poring over the satellite maps and trying to find any trace of the trail on the south side of Junction Pass, but no luck. It may be there, but probably difficult to follow.

Re: Harrison Pass Trail
Steve C #57367 06/22/20 07:32 AM
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Thanks Steve,

I was asking about Harrison, but it seemed like it was a pretty unkempt trail, so I asked about Junction as well. I am basically trying to go from the Whitney area to Onion Valley in a non-Forester pass way.

Best

Gustavo


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