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The classic Sierra High Route ski tour from Kings Canyon National Park to Shepherd Pass, CA (8 days)

Backcountry skiing High Sierra

This trip follows the classic Californian Sierra High Route ski tour from Kings Canyon National Park to Sheperd Pass, where over the course of 8 days the certified guides from SWS Mountain Guides will lead you through some of the mightiest and most majestic peaks in the state, with gorgeous alpine scenery everywhere.

Private and Group

Sierra Nevada (California)

8 Days





  • Backcountry ski on the classic, epic and thrilling High Sierra Route!
  • Ski amongst several 12,000 ft.+ peaks in California
  • Admire the scenery of alpine forests, lakes and glaciers
  • Bask in the amazing and warm California weather whilst skiing


This 8-day adventure is utterly thrilling, fun and exciting, as we take the classic Sierra High Route ski tour from Kings Canyon National Park to Sheperd Pass, a route long-considered a ‘rite of passage’ for any true backcountry skiing enthusiast, as we traipse and travail around several 12,000 ft.+ peaks, through lush alpine forests and past mesmerizing glaciers, all while taking in the superb Californian landscape, scenery and terrain.

The Sierra High Route is traditionally a cross-country hiking route located in the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California, and is often broken up in to different sub-sections, owing to its 195-mile length.

Over the course of the 8 days we will be navigating over 7 passes of 12,000 ft. or higher, each with excellent ski conditions and runs off the back sides of each.

Some of the best places we ski on include Owens Valley Desert Floor, the Triple Divide Peak, Cloud and Deadman Canyons, the Kern Plateau, and of course, Wolverton, Kings Canyon and Sheperd Pass.

Each area contains absolutely spectacular and beautiful countryside and scenery, with the alpine forests lining the mountains and valleys leading to epic lakes and glaciers, with the lovely Californian weather adding a sensational touch to proceedings.

After these 8 days you will have experienced some of the best, most challenging and most rewarding backcountry skiing in California, and hopefully have fallen in love that little bit more with this epic part of the country.

This trip is a tour bucket-list item for any serious backcountry skier – book now before it’s too late!


Day 1 to 8: Meet, Ski, Finish

  • Meet in Woodlake, California on day 1.

  • Backcountry ski around the High Sierra Route all day every day.

  • Finish on day 8.



More info

Our tour is a very physical undertaking with a reward well worth the effort. For this reason, skiers and snowboarders should be in excellent physical condition and capable of skiing steep terrain in almost any condition.

Experience Level: Advanced to Expert Skiers or Splitboarders (No Snowshoes).

Meeting point

Woodlake, California, USA

About the guide

Since 1981, we have been California's leader in guided mountaineering. From the Eastern Sierra to Mt. Shasta, we guide all of California 14ners and internationally.




Mount Shasta, California

What people are saying about SWS Mountain Guides

Loren Sweet


September, 2022

Had an amazing experience! What memories but must be honest, we were in over our head. Feel we were physically up to it but we went from sea level to 10,000 feet in 30 hours and it was a challenge to keep up. Some time to acclimate would have made a big difference. The guides were careful and supportive. We were outside our comfort zone for sure but also realize that made it so memorable! Thanks Loren

Jon Niswander


July, 2022

Life changing experience!!

Rising Percey


May, 2022

Our guides took 27 of us, all of different skill level and age range 12- 50. We all loved it! Professional, friendly, helpful and highly skilled. I highly recommend them.

Magdalena Bucka


April, 2022

This was an amazing trip and overall super positive experience with SWS Mountain Guides. I had a great guide with lots of mountain experience and many cool stories to share!

Ken Manabe


February, 2022

The hike was great and I got exactly I wanted.

Kendra Grubb


August, 2021

Excellent experience with my guide Ben and SWS. Was able to summit Mt Whitney via the mountaineer’s route thanks to Ben’s understanding of the mountain and assessment of my capabilities. Great experience that exceeded my expectations.

Oz Pena


June, 2021

Overall, the fair evaluation for the SWS Mountain Guides and the guide assigned to me is 3 stars. Reasons: 1. The guide did not seem to remember or respect the fact that I was new to mountaineering and that the name of program is called “introduction to mountaineering...”. For example, the guide set his own time for walking and resting without any concern to my physical ability for that timing. The guide walked ahead many times and didn’t even notice when I fell a few times. I understand the guide is not the insurer of safety or a hand holder, but a complete abrasive approach to the service is not right, especially when it’s a paid service. Perhaps, the guide is not a right choice for introduction tours. 2. There was a miscommunication with timing of the summit day. I thought we would start summiting around 5am the next day; however, I was told less than 15 hours before that we would start hiking at 1am the next day from base camp. We arrived at base camp early afternoon, and I’m wired up, hot, and not prepared to fall asleep between 5pm-12am, thus, I didn’t sleep at all. I attempted the summit hike but around 12k feet the sleep deprivation was killing me and I was catching myself falling asleep and my body trying to lay down while waking. The guide didn’t seem to concerned about this. Lack of empathy. Eventually, I had to insist we turn around because I didn’t want to go beyond 30 hours of no sleep and still have to descend from the summit. 3. The guide did help set up the tent and food. The guide did explain layers of clothes on and off and why. The guide did help instruct how to pack and why. 4. Overall, I feel this guide is best suited for advanced climbers not introduction courses as he seems to be more of a “ill walk ahead of you” not “ill walk with you” type of guide.

Prices per person

Group of 1

USD 2779 Each

Group of 2

USD 2779 Each

Group of 3

USD 2779 Each

Group of 4

USD 2779 Each

Group of 5

USD 2779 Each

Group of 6

USD 2779 Each

Group of 7

USD 2779 Each

Group of 8

USD 2779 Each

Want a different number of travellers?

Price includes

- Guiding fee

- Accommodation included

- Flight to the start

Price details

Cost is per person for group of 4-6 people. $2175 for a group of 3 people. $2350 for a group of 2 people. Maximum group size of 6 people, and a minimum of 2 people.


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