A runner stopped to filter water a small lake while trail running the Taboose Pass Trail to Cardinal Mountain in California's Sierra Nevada
Trail runners stopped to eat and relax while running White Mountain, California. One runner is keeping her legs up to recover.
A woman trail runner passes through the Keyhole, a high pass in the Sierra Nevada, California


The Sierra Trail Runs book covers an area across 150 miles of mountain range spanning -282 feet to 14,505 feet of elevation.  A lot goes in that space. First time visitors to the Eastern Sierra have a lot of questions, hopefully we hit on what information you’re after. 

What's the best time of year to visit the Eastern Sierra?

In general, it’s all good, you can come any month of the year and be able to run trails. It depends on what you’re after. In the winter, you’ll start your runs low and be able to go as high as the snow line allows. In the heat of summer, you’ll only want to be in the valley for grocery or Mexican food visits, otherwise you’ll seek high, and cool, ground.

Where are the runs?

In the book! For now it’s all about getting the book and supporting the hard work of four wonderful people. This site has some basic info and will have runs and peaks added to it as we do them, but until then, please do consider the book. It’s a little piece of art, has a lot of great info from us and some important friends, and it’s loaded with inspiring images. Thanks!

How do I get gpx Tracks for the runs?

For accesss to all our routes, you’ll have to buy the book.

Will my phone work everywhere?

Little chance, in fact, assume it won’t. Deep in the Sierra, deep in the canyons, or around back of a massive peak, you’ll be on your own. Not only can you not post to your IG account, you can’t call for help. 

Do I need a Satellite Tracker?

This is a big personal decision. Many people, especially those who have really needed and used them, know that they can make the difference between a good or bad ending to your day. Others prefer to go it on their own and assume full responsibility for what might happen. 

What do I do about water on the runs?

While most of the runs in our book will have water along the route, and we’ll do our best to detail the availability, you should always be prepared with enough to get you through the bulk of your run. Water should always be treated or filtered for giardia. 

Do I need 4WD to reach the trailheads?

For all the runs in Sierra Trail Runs, 2WD is enough, barely. For the Taboose Pass and Boundary Peak trailheads, high clearance is necessary. But, roads change from year to year as they get washed out or rutted. We can only report what we saw. Similar to the runs we present, if you’re getting in too deep be prepared to turn around. Finally, the Eastern Sierra can be rough on vehicles thanks to bristly sage brush that can leave nasty scratches along the sides of your shiny car.

Can we camp at trailheads?

Most  of them you can, but not all. Trailheads in the National Parks, and Mt. Whitney, do not allow camping outside the campgrounds. Watch for signs at all trailheads that’ll detail what the rules are. Also, check in at any of the visitor centers along the 395 corridor to get a lesson camping rules and regulations.

The Sierra look super dry, is there a mosquito season?

Yes! And while mosquito season may be a great opportunity to achieve some PRs while you’re hell bent to reach the car, the good news is that the season is brief. Peak bug misery will change year to year, but it’s typically mid June – early July. Roughly. If you can’t help yourself and will visit during mosquito season, stay in drier, rockier zones, wide open, wind swept landscapes or just get as high as possible as fast as possible. Avoid places with names like Mosquito Flat.

Are there enough runs for a winter visit? Or during big snow years?

Probably. The White Mountains east of town, the Inyos, and of course Death Valley offer plenty to keep you busy. The Whites, especially around the Poleta Road, have a massive network of trails thanks to the dirt and mountain bikers, and increasingly, trail runners.

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