Our 5 night, 6 day Mount Goddard Challenge will traverse over 50 miles through John Muir Wilderness and Kings Canyon National Park, and includes more than 10 miles of off-trail trekking. In the process you will cross two ~12,000’ passes, and have the opportunity to summit 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. This is a mountain, and experience, that summer dreams are made of. While no experience is needed, this route is great for experienced backpackers ready to push the limits of what is possible, and fit and motivated individuals with an appetite for big challenges and true adventure.
- 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
- Flexible cancellation policy
What’s not included
- Meals in the front-country, including while in Shaver Lake, CA
- Personal items
How it works
A $475 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. Cancel up until the day of the trip without the risk of lost money; see our amended COVID-19 cancellation policy for details.
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, help you lighten your load with a pack-check, and talk safety. We’ll get to know our team before driving out to our trailhead near Courtright Reservoir where our we’ll begin 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 Hell For Sure Lake, a slice of heaven on earth.
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 us over Hell For Sure Pass and then through stunning Goddard Canyon where we’ll break for lunch along the headwaters of the San Joaquin River. We’ll follow the headwaters of the San Joaquin River up canyon, then off-trail, to camp at Martha Lake, at the base of Mt. Goddard.
Day 4 – Martha Lake to Rainbow Lake, with summit of Mount Goddard
Trail: Intense off-trail hiking with over 3,000′ of elevation gain, and loss
Weather permitting, we’ll be on trail at the break of dawn for a day-hike summit attempt of Mount 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.
Transportation: We do our best do facilitate carpool arrangements from the Fresno Yosemite Airport, as well as the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California. If you’ll need a ride, please let us know! If traveling by air, Fresno Yosemite International is the preferred airport. It’s a one hour drive from the airport to our meeting point in Shaver Lake. Rental cars are also available. 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. We will coordinate transportation from our Shaver Lake meet-up point to and from the trailhead.
Arrival time: When scheduling flights or planning your drive, ideally, please allow enough time to arrive at our Shaver Lake meet-up point between 1pm-2pm. This will allow enough time for welcome activities, pack-check, and a drive to the trailhead to begin our trek or make camp.
Departure time: We plan on exiting the trail between 10am and 12pm 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 3:00pm. Staying one additional night in the Clovis, Fresno or Shaver Lake area is also popular option.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
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!