Preparing for 80 miles in the wilderness

I’m collecting information, gearing up, getting permits and getting ready to do the

Forks of the Kern trail head
Late afternoon at Forks of the Kern trail head

Central Wilderness Grand Tour in the Golden Trout Wilderness in CA. The book Hiking the Golden Trout Wilderness has a complete description of this backpack. The book calls it an expedition. My plan is to do it in 5 days or less.

It’s not the John Muir Trail but I didn’t have time to arrange a drop-off and pick-up for that trip.  This is a loop trail, making it very attractive when I haven’t convinced anyone to drive insane distances for my shuttle.

The forest service has a very handy website ( describing all the current fires in the west.  I found that the Grand Tour follows the edge of the Lion Fire and the trail was just opened last week.  Good thing, otherwise I’d have to divert my trail.  It’s not a good idea with sense or money to go into the area.  The fine can be $5,000 for violating the closure area.

The Tom Harrison Golden Trout Wilderness Trail Map shows the book’s prescribed trail is actually unmaintained.  So this might be an interesting trip!