OverviewGlacier Ridge is a massive 4 mile long ridge that separates Deadman Canyon to the West and Cloud Canyon to the east in Sequoia National Park. This impressive ridge rises several thousand feet above both canyons and has many lakes, tarns and lush meadows nestled in the many level spots among this massive granite formation. The actual highpoint of the ridge is located about a mile and a half north of where it terminates into Copper Mine Pass and about 1.2 miles NW of lake/tarn 10,120 in Cloud Canyon. It is very infrequently climbed, most probably due to its remoteness, and holds only one route not requiring technical climbing. The summit block is a class 4 boulder which is 10-15 foot high and its easiest route is perched nervously close to a several hundred foot drop down the ridges south face. The main approach to Glacier Ridge is from upper Cloud Canyon which can be approached from 3 trailheads. Marvin Pass Trailhead, the Avalanche Pass Trailhead and from the High Sierra Trail via either Copper Mine Pass or Lion Lake Pass are the shortest approaches to upper Could Canyon and all three routes require between 20 and 25 miles of hiking and a lot of elevation gain and loss. From its summit block Glacier Ridge has a commanding view of the Great Western Divide to the east, the Kaweahs to the south, Kings Canyon to the north and the Tableland and the hazy Central Valley to the west. The best time to climb Glacier Ridge is from mid-June to mid-October depending on weather and snow conditions. An up to the second forecast for the Glacier Ridge area can be found here.
Getting ThereThere are three main trailheads which can be used to get to the base of Glacier Ridge.
From Marvin Pass Trailhead head up to the pass and then over the Kanawyer Gap to Sugarloaf Valley and then Roaring River Ranger Station. From there head up Cloud Canyon past Big Wet Meadows and cross country to Upper Cloud Canyon.
From Roads End head up the Bubbs Creek trail until the Avalanche Pass trail cuts off and heads south. Follow the trail over the pass and into Moraine Meadow and then Roaring River Ranger Station. From the station head up Cloud Canyon past Big Wet Meadows and cross country into Upper Cloud Canyon.
From Crescent Meadow head along the High Sierra Trail until just before the Bearpaw Ranger Station. About a hundred yards before the station you take a junction towards Tamarack Lake and Elizabeth Pass. After a couple miles you have to decide which route you will take into Cloud Canyon. If you wish to go over Elizabeth Pass and Copper Mine Pass head up the trail to Elizabeth Pass before going cross country north to Copper Mine Pass and the dropping into Cloud Canyon. If you wish to go over Lion Lake Pass head towards Tamarack Lake and then head cross country to Lion Lake and then north to Lion Lake Pass before dropping into upper Cloud Canyon.
The easiest way to attain the highpoint of Glacier Ridge is to start about a quarter of a mile north of tarn 10,120, which is frequently dry towards the end of the season. There is an obvious ramp heading up to the ridge from this point and it is easily ascended past a small tarn over small ledges and eventually sand and scree. Along the way a large and striking monolith can be seen on the east summit ridge of Glacier Ridge which is perhaps 75 feet tall and looks impossible to climb. After ascending to about 12,000 feet two chutes become obvious leading to the summit. The right chute is easier and provides difficult 2nd to easy 3rd class climbing all the way to the summit block. The easiest way up the summit block is northwest facing and situated very close to a large drop. Although the holds are quite large in both numbers and size, because the angle is quite high and the ramification of a fall are enormous many, although not all, parties chose to throw a rope over the summit block and attain its summit without the high risk of taking a fall. From the summit enjoy the views in all directions.
Red TapeThere is an entrance fee to Sequoia National Park of $20 per private vehicle for 7 days or $5 per person walking in or on bus for 7 days. Back country camping requires a $15 wilderness permit. To get a permit just go to the Lodgepole Ranger Station or Roads End Permits staion depending on where you start or reserve a permit online.
CampingThere are several campgrounds in the park. The Lodgepole campground is a reservation only campground and tends to fill up in the summer. To make reservation call 1 877 444 6777 or go to their website.
There are several campgrounds in Cedar Grove and they are all first come first serve and tend to only fill on busy holiday weekends.
For up to date conditions call the Lodgepole Wilderness desk at 556 565 4408. Add External Links text here.