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Mt. Goddard


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Our Mt. Goddard challenge is our most physically demanding route, designed to stretch the imagination and determination of experienced backpackers to reach new heights. Backpack 50 miles through John Muir Wilderness and Kings Canyon National Park, with more than 10 miles off-trail. Our route crosses two ~12,000’ passes, over 5 days, to summit Mt. Goddard – one of the burliest, intimidating and inspiring mountains in the Sierra.

Mt. Goddard is a massive, imposing mountain located in one of the most remote sections in Kings Canyon National Park. Standing at over 13,560', Mt. Goddard sits atop the relatively isolated Goddard divide and commands one of the most most extensive views of the High Sierra. From its summit, one can view nearly every major peak in the High Sierra. There are no trails to the summit, and our looped route, from Courtright Reservoir will traverse Goddard Canyon, Black Cap Basin and the LeConte Divide. While incredibly remote, the mountain's peak can be viewed from travelers passing through the Central Valley on California's Highway 99 and Highway 5. This is a mountain that summer dreams are made of.

What’s included

  • Guided 5 night, 50 mile trek to Kings Canyon National Park and Mt. Goddard
  • Personalized pack-check prior to departure
  • All meals and snacks while in the back-country
  • Group gear and equipment
  • Backpack, tent, sleeping bag and pad if needed
  • Post-hike shower
  • Facilitate carpool transportation to/from Northern California and Clovis/Fresno

What’s not included

  • Meals in the front-country, including while in Shaver Lake, CA
  • Personal items

How it works

A $450 deposit per person is required with balance due 60 days prior to the event. Typical group size of 7, including one guide. Maximum group size of 12, including two guides. Private, family and modified itinerary trips available through TSX Pods. Beginning in 2019, an additional 5% charge will be applied when your reservation is made to offset new fees mandated by the U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service.

Gear Checklist


Our Mt. Goddard treks we will meet at a designated cabin in Shaver Lake, California on the day of arrival (listed start date). This is a 3-4 hour drive from the Bay Area, 4-5 hour drive from Southern California, or 1 hour drive from the Fresno/Clovis area. If you need a ride, just ask! We help faciliate carpool arrangments for those who need them from the San Francisco Bay Area, and Fresno/Clovis area. Please contact us for details or to make arrangements.

Watch this video to experience the view from the top of Mt. Goddard.


Day 1 – Afternoon arrival, pack-check, overnight on trail

On the day of arrival, you’ll be welcomed into our Shaver Lake, CA cabin like family. Need a ride? Let us know and we can help with carpool arrangements. At the cabin we’ll hand out gear requested, complete a final pack-check and talk safety. We’ll get to know our team before driving out to our trailhead near Courtright Reservoir where our with an early evening hike to camp on the trail.

Day 2 – Courtright Reservoir to Disappointment Lake

Trail: Long moderate-to-intense uphill, with 1,500′ climb and multiple stream crossings

Our pace will be brisk, as we cover miles on good trail with a long and gradual climb toward Red Mountain Basin to camp near at Disappointment Lake, which never disappoints.

Day 3 – Disappointment Lake to Martha Lake

Trail: Moderate-to-intense uphill, intense downhill, then long gradual hike up Goddard Canyon 

A moderate morning hike will take through a stunning Red Mountain Basin, passing Hell For Sure Lake before crossing over Hell For Sure Pass into Goddard Canyon for lunch. After an intense downhill, we’ll follow the headwaters of the San Joaquin River up canyon to camp at Martha Lake, at the base of Mt. Goddard.

Day 4 – Martha Lake to Rainbow Lake, with summit of Mt. Goddard

Trail: Intense off-trail hiking with over 2,500′ of elevation gain, and loss

Weather permitting, we’ll be on trail at the break of dawn for day-hike summit attempt of Mt. Goddard. We’ll work as a team to overcome multiple obstacles including talus, scree, boulders, snow, and the chute, as we make our way to the summit. After returning to camp, we’ll pack up and begin an intimidating off-trail scramble over The Wall, crossing the LeConte Divide to camp near Rainbow Lake.

Day 5 – Traverse of Black Cap Basin, then drop to Kings River

Trail: Moderate downhill on steady granite, and trail

We’ll start the morning with an off-trail hike over steady granite as we begin our descent through Black Cap Basin and past Lightning Corral Meadow. After meeting up with the North Fork of the Kings River, we’ll continue on good trail downstream to camp beyond.

Day 6 – Kings River to Courtright Reservoir

Trail: Reconnect with loop trail, and exit, moderate up and downhill

An early start will get us back to Courtright Reservoir before lunch where we will reload cars, and return to the town of Shaver Lake to share a hearty group meal. A final stop for showers at our cabin in Shaver Lake is optional, then it’s home to brag.


Pre and post-trip accommodations: Pre-trek accommodations in Shaver Lake, CA are included (multiple occupancy cabin – everyone will have a bed, but not everyone will have a room). If you’d like to arrange for accommodations on your own that is ok with us, please let us know where you end up! Post-trip accommodations are not included. If you’d like to stay at the cabin an additional night, please contact us to make arrangements and inquire about rates; additional fees required.

Transportation: If traveling by air, Fresno Yosemite International is the preferred airport. It is approximately a one hour drive from the airport to our meeting point in Shaver Lake, CA. Rental cars are available, or please contact us to inquire about arranging complimentary guide-supported transportation to and from the Fresno Yosemite Airport. If traveling by car, it is a roughly 4 hour drive from the Bay Area, and 5 hour drive from Southern California to Shaver Lake. Complimentary guide-supported transportation is also available from the Bay Area (REI Dublin). On the morning of departure, we will carpool and caravan for the one hour drive from Shaver Lake to our trailhead near Courtright Reservoir.

Arrival time: When scheduling flights or planning your drive, ideally, please allow enough time to arrive no later than 7pm the evening before your trek begins so that you can attend the pre-trek orientation (scheduled at 7:00pm at our Shaver Lake cabin). Driving in after work from the Bay Area or Southern California? No problem, we can accommodate late arrivals.

Departure time: We plan on exiting the trail between 1pm and 3pm on the last day of the trek. Please plan your return transportation accordingly. If flying out of Fresno on the same day, we suggest scheduling flights for departure no earlier than 6:00pm. Staying one additional night in the Clovis, Fresno or Shaver Lake area is also popular option.


Joining a TSX experience is easy. Don’t own a backpack or tent? Not a problem. We provide backpacks, tents and sleeping pads for those who need them, at no additional charge. We also take care of all group items like pots, stoves, food, food storage, water filters, first aid and more. Your guides will do the cooking and dishes. Just show up with your boots and personal items, ready to hike!

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