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Areas in 12 - Shepherd Pass

Junction Peak 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 1
Mt. Tyndall 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 3
Mt. Williamson 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 3
Elevation: 6,305 ft
GPS: 36.727, -118.279 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 8,746 total · 291/month
Shared By: Chris Owen on Aug 5, 2015
Admins: Chris Owen, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes
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Description

The hike over Shepherd Pass to access Mounts Williamson and Tyndall is not to be taken lightly, and is best split into a two day affair. The basin on the west side of the pass is vast and remote with sprawling vistas of the Great Western Divide to the west.

Mount Tyndall was mistakenly first climbed by Clarence King on his quest to climb the highest mountain in the then-USA (pre-Alaska) - when he got to the top looking south he realized his error.

Both Williamson and Tyndall are 14-thousanders, and if peak-bagging is your game it's advised to knock both of these off with only one hike over Shepherd Pass.

The most logical place to camp is the lake just south of the pass on the west side.

Shepherd Pass is the standard starting point of the famous Sierra High Route ski mountaineering traverse, which is one of North America's classic backcountry ski tours.

Getting There

Shepherd Pass Trailhead
From Hwy 395 in Independence, turn west on Market street, drive 4.3 miles to Foothill road, turn left. The road is not paved but wide for a while. The first parking lot (1.25 miles on Foothill Rd) is the stock trail. The road turns left and narrows considerably. In theory, only 4WD can go beyond this point. If you want to reach the hiker's trail, keep going on this very dusty collapsing road, and turn right at the next two forks. It's about 1.25 miles further down than the stock trail, which means that it saves you a mile and a quarter of hiking.

The road is in terrible conditions (2013). It occasionally gets re-graded, but within two years it returns to its state of "quasi-impassable". It easily takes 30 minutes from Independence to the trailhead.

There is no campground, but one can just pitch tent at the trailhead and leave the car there. There are no bear boxes and there is no drinkable water. The hike over the pass is long and arduous, and may be sensibly split into two days camping at Anvil Camp.

Permits:
Are available here.

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