Backpack to Mount Silliman, Sequoia NP

18 miles 4488 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Debra Alison

Hike through Sequoia National Park to the peak of Mount Silliman, which sits at 11,118 feet. On this scenic hike, take in views of giant sequoias and redwoods.

There is available parking at the campgrounds at the Lodgepole Visitor Center. Lodgepole's elevation starts at 6720 ft. Twin Lakes Trailhead starts right at the base, which you will be following to get to Mount Silliman.

Along Twin Lakes Trail are several campgrounds for your journey, you can go at your own pace. You'll want to follow the trail towards Twin Lakes, when it forks. Keep in mind that certain campsites don't allow campfires, so take that into consideration when camping for the night. Clover Creek and Twin Lakes both allow campfires and have bear cabinets (make sure you have a bear canister as well) to store your supplies.

Once at Twin Lakes, there will be quite the climb ahead to reach Silliman Pass. The elevation will rise to 10,479 ft. at the crest and can be quite challenging with several cutbacks. At the top, instead of following the trail back down, you'll go up the mountain to Mount Silliman. The elevation at the top is 11,188 ft. From there you can see down both ridges of the mountain, looking down on Twin Lakes & several other lakes.

You can continue to backpack out to further lakes from here as well.

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Tags

Chillin
Camping
Photography
Backpacking
Hiking
Forest
Lake
River
Scenic
Wildlife
Swimming Hole

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Not my Preferred Route to Mount Silliman

While it is possible to reach Mount Silliman from Silliman Pass, this is quite a challenge for most casual hikers and I would never recommend this route to Mount Silliman for anyone; especially not if Mount Silliman was their destination. Instead follow the Twin Lakes trail to Silliman Creek about 3 miles from Lodgepole. From there do *not* follow Twin Lakes trail across the creek but follow the creek uphill. Even though this is not a maintained trail it is traveled frequently enough for there to be a very good and visible trail. This trail will follow Silliman Creek (and you can verify being on the right track because of the constant sound of running water). It will take you to Silliman Meadow and continue to the base of the infamous granite slabs. From here you're on your own, but the south side of the slabs is covered with vegetation and trees and is relatively easy to scale. Stay away from the north side of the slabs. Lower down they are quite steep. Follow the slabs to Silliman Lake and on to a smaller lake above it. Here the trail picks up again and takes you on an easy class 2 scramble to the summit. This route can be done in a day. I myself did it in about 10 hours round trip with stops at Silliman Lake. Via Silliman Pass you're committing yourself not only to a much longer hike, but also to a potential to encounter class 3 sections or higher if you're not careful with your route finding.

Off-trail Adventure

Technically, there is no trail to the top of Mt. Silliman...and that makes it a real adventure in my book. It's cross-country rambling the way John Muir would have done it. The highlight of this trip for me was the 1,000' vertical feet you gain while ascending "the slabs"...a huge, steep (really steep), sidewalk of granite. We spent the night at the lake at 10,000' south of the summit. The views into the Central Valley were awesome. We could see the whole farming grid and roads all laid out in front of us.

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