Mount Goddard

(14 customer reviews)

Original price was: $2,149.Current price is: $1,823.

5 NIGHTS | 50 MILES | KINGS CANYON
AUG, SEPT

Starts near Fresno/Clovis, CA

Stretch the imagination and summit Kings Canyon’s 13,560′ beast on our most physically demanding route, including 10 miles off trail.


Traverse over 50 miles through John Muir Wilderness and Kings Canyon National Park to summit one of the burliest, intimidating and inspiring mountains in the Sierra, Mt. Goddard (13,560′). Our 5 night, 6 day route includes more than 10 miles of off-trail trekking, crossing two ~12,000’ passes.

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′, the mountain sits atop the relatively isolated Goddard Divide and arguably commands the most extensive view of the High Sierra. From the top, one can view nearly every major peak. Our looped route from Courtright Reservoir will traverse Goddard Canyon, Black Cap Basin and the LeConte Divide. This is mountain that summer dreams are made of. While no experience is required, this trek is best suited 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.

What’s included

  • Transportation between designated Fresno/Clovis area meeting points and trailhead
  • Guided 5-night trek to Kings Canyon National Park and Mt. Goddard
  • All meals and snacks while in the back-country
  • Backpack, tent, sleeping bag and pad if needed
  • Personalized pack-check prior to departure
  • Group gear and equipment
  • Flexible cancellation policy
  • Inspiration for a lifetime

What’s not included

  • Meals in the front-country, including while in Shaver Lake, CA
  • Lodging in the front-country, pre- or post-trek

How it works

A $500 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. An additional 5% charge will be applied when your reservation is made to offset new fees mandated by the U.S. Forest Service. Private, family and modified itinerary trips available through TSX Pods. Book with confidence! Review our flexible cancellation policy.

Itinerary


Day 1 – Morning departure, pack-check, overnight on trail

Trail: Moderate with short stiff uphill gain and gradual downhill loss of 850′

We’ll meet up in the Fresno/Clovis area by 8am on the day of departure and then begin the journey to our trailhead at 8,000′ near Courtright Reservoir and John Muir Wilderness (about a 2.5 hour drive from the Fresno/Clovis area).  Guests who are driving in may optionally meet us at our Shaver Lake Cabin at 9am. Our goal is to make it to the trailhead by lunch where we’ll do a final pack-check, get to know our team and talk safety before beginning an afternoon hike to camp on the trail.

Day 2 – Post Corral to Hell For Sure Lake

Trail: Long moderate-to-intense uphill, with 2,500′ 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 – Hell For Sure 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 into stunning Goddard Canyon where we’ll break for lunch along the headwaters of the San Joaquin River. We’ll follow the 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.

Logistics


Departure and pickup locations

On the day of departure, TSX will coordinate transportation from Central California (Fresno/Clovis area) and our Shaver Lake Cabin.

The specific departure time will be confirmed on a trek by trek basis. The Fresno/Clovis area is a 3 hour car drive from the Bay Area, and roughly 4 hours from Southern California. Meals are not provided when in transit, however, we will stop for food and to refuel before reaching the trailhead. Our goal is to make it to the trailhead around lunch time. Dinner will be provided that evening on the trail.

Pre- and post-trek accommodations (Out of State Guests)

For guest traveling in from out of state, we suggest flying into Fresno, CA the evening before departure and staying at the Best Western Clovis Cole, in historic downtown Clovis or Hampton Inn and Suites Clovis. Both are about a 10 minute cab/Uber ride from the airport. We can pick you up at the hotel on the morning of departure. If you plan on staying somewhere else, please let us know where you end up, and we’ll do our best to accommodate.

At the trailhead

Bring your personal items and a positive attitude! All group gear and food will be provided on the trail. Any major personal gear you’ve indicated you’d like us to provide (sleeping bag, tents etc.) will be waiting for you at the trailhead. Please also bring a small bag with a clean set of clothes. Before we hit the trail, we’ll leave that bag at the cabin for optional showers after we exit.

Returning home

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 4pm. Staying one additional night in the Clovis, Fresno or Shaver Lake area is also popular option. Expect to arrive back in Clovis by 3pm.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

Don’t own a backpack, tent or sleeping bag? We provide all major gear for those who request it at no additional charge. We also take care of all group items like stoves, food, water filters, first aid and more. Your guides will do the cooking and dishes. Just show up with your personal items ready to hike!

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14 reviews for Mount Goddard

  1. Mike P

    In September I woke up early to the sound of a heavy rain pelting the roof and windows of a mountain hut in France. I was hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc and was scheduled to hike over a big mountain pass that day. Should I just stay here in the hut, and skip it, I wondered?

    Then the voices of encouragement – “You Got This!” – from Team #1 of the TSX Mt. Goddard Trek came back to me. In August 2023, a month previously, our team of 10 had climbed “the Wall” from Martha Lake to our next camp over the divide. We put on micro spikes, climbed the snow fields, scrambled up cliffs and over rocks, all the while in thunder and rain, encouraging each other with shouts of “You Got This!” Together, we made it up and over. It was another great (and “sublime” ) trip with TSX, led by Chris and Wyatt, and my third TSX Challenge in a 12 month period (along with Trans-Sierra Mt. Whitney and Grand Canyon Confluence). This Mt. Goddard side of the Sierra is truly spectacular with off-trail travel over sheets of granite into remote areas, a great followup to the Whitney Trek. A highlight of these trips is always the camaraderie and encouragement of fellow hikers. After hearing the echoes that rainy morning in France of my teammates’ “You Got This!” I did get up and made it (through the rain and fog and mud) over that pass that day – thanks to the help of my TSX Team!

  2. TZ

    Last summer, I partook in one of the Tran-Sierra Whitney Treks (Team #3, July 2022) and I had a blast, so it was a natural decision for me to join the Goddard Trek this year (Team #1, August 2023). It turned out everything I expected and much more — awe-inspiring scenery, rain, snow, water crossings, off-trail scrambling, fish, snake, mosquitoes…you name it! And of course, our excellent guides Chris and Wyatt kind of topped off the overall experience of the trip. I can’t recommend this trek enough to anyone who’s willing to put in decent training and preparation. For those who have already done the Whitney Trek and are thinking of different ways to challenge yourselves, you’re guaranteed to experience a different aspect of the High Sierra — Sublimity at its best!

  3. Glenda W.

    When AJ mentioned that she wanted to do a 5 night backpacking with a group to hike Mount Goddard, I thought she was a bit crazy. AJ then mentioned we will have a guide and it would be a great experience for the both of us since we love hiking and always wanted to try backpacking. I was a bit hesitant but I decided to lock my spot for the hike. I was very nervous and honestly was very excited at the same time. As the time was getting near, I received a phone call from Chris and he actually said I was the last one that have not completed the questionnaire. I thought the questions were great because it provides Chris little information about who he was going to spend 5 nights hiking. During the hike, I kept telling myself I could not do more than 5 days out backpacking in the wilderness. But everyday the scenery and solitude we had made me LOVE backpacking. The wilderness was beautiful, peaceful and the tranquility it gives makes me appreciate nature. Waking up to the beautiful sunrise and watching the sunset was stunning. The food that Chris had prepared were scrumptious. I learned to wear the same clothes and bathe in the lakes even though it was freezing. The people I spent with for the last 5 days were amazing and at the end we became a family. The overall experience I had was absolutely amazing. At the end of the hike, I felt more confidence in backpacking more than 5 nights in the wilderness especially with the TSX team. I honestly would love to do another TSX Challenge. Chris was an amazing guide and the people you meet becomes a part of your life.

  4. AYAA

    I had an amazing experience completing the TSX Mount Goddard Challenge. The pre-trip information, including zoom meetings and responses to all my questions, was excellent. The route had breathtaking views and great challenges to overcome. Chris and Amy were attentive and supportive throughout the journey in every way, from the delicious meals to personal attention to each team member’s specific needs. I could not be happier with the experience, and cannot wait for the next challenge.

  5. Jason B.

    I recently completed the TSX Mount Goddard Challenge, and could not be more happy with my experience! Chris and team were wonderful and on top of everything, whether it was cooking TREMENDOUS meals in the back-country, providing advice/motivation to hikers like myself or guidance on how to get the most of the trek. This is a very hard hike, but as Chris says, anyone that truly wants it, will achieve it – and I definitely felt like I achieved it. I am already looking at my next trip and will be bringing my son with me. I cannot describe how wonderful and meaningful the experience was.

  6. Bettie

    I highly recommend this trip or any trip with TSX. The Hell for Sure with Mount Goddard route is just breathtaking. It features a beautiful and truly remote backcountry experience, exceptional guides, “holy-cow-real-food” meals and a dynamic supportive team structure to help everyone meet their own goals. This trip was way more than I was expecting in every way.

    Mount Goddard is a giant gemstone with forever views from the top. The day we summited and then climbed “the Wall” to camp below at Rainbow Lake was as perfect a day as I’ve ever encountered.

    I lack the skills to go off-trail by myself which doesn’t mean that I haven’t long stared up mountain slopes wishing I could see the other side from the top. This trip allowed me to walk, scramble, hop, leap, slide and, on occasion, crawl to my heart’s content all while feeling absolutely safe, capable and supported. I did way more than I thought I could do and I loved every minute.

    Topping it all off with burgers, fries and a coffee shake in Shaver Lake? Brilliant!

    THANK YOU! Chris, team TSX and our own 2021 Mt. Goddard Team One for making “the art of the possible” a reality.

  7. iain

    Truly a once in a lifetime adventure. If you are looking to explore the Sierras in a way that others rarely do, then sign up for this trip. It will probably be on of the hardest and most rewarding things you will do. The views are spectacular, the food is delicious and Chris is a fantastic guide and leader. The climb up Mt Goddard is one you will never forget and to get the opportunity to explore parts of Kings Canyon National Park off trail with a group of like minded adventurers is a remarkable experience. Not only will you have bragging rights when you get home, but you’ll hardly see another soul while you’re out there which is a hard thing to accomplish in California! Put this on your bucket list.

  8. Chris

    Great trip. TSX gauged the group’s skill and and energy level and planned accordingly. Inspiring journey into the backcountry. Perfect for folks looking to challenge themselves while enjoying each day.

  9. Jonathan Hunt

    A fantastic experience. The route was spectacular, the food was great and we had a world class guide.

    I highly recommend this trip.

  10. Aj P

    Our guide was so awesome. Very knowledgeable on all things backpacking and the route.
    He was also an impressive cook. We were all fed and taken cared of. Delicious, real food, meals. Not dehydrated camp food.
    We did about 53 miles total and experienced the most incredible views of the Sierra.
    My TSX challenge experience was one for the books, it was challenging but very rewarding. I’m glad I signed up with TSX because the knowledge and support I received were above and beyond expectations. Highly recommended!

  11. Dave (Two-Shot) Beasley

    As a lifelong Californian, I can’t believe I waited this long to experience the amazing views of the deep Sierras. It was a pleasure to share them with my family and new friends. Thank you TSX for hosting this adventure with us. I hope we can meet again on the trail.

  12. Melinda

    This trip was intense. Alpine lakes to fish and swim in. Bouldering off trail thru passes and up rock walls. “Skiing” down Mountain shoots and crossing glacial ice. Camping at the top of the ridge overlooking Goddard Canyon on one side and Blackcap Basin on the other. This trip was a true challenge and so incredibly rewarding in a way I didn’t expect. I can’t wait to take my nieces!

  13. Jan A. Gazenbeek

    Incredible!!! What a thrill to stand on the summit of Mount Goddard with your teammates. You realize that you met a formidable personal challenge. The scenery along the trail is awe inspiring. Off-trail makes this hike even more special. There is no trail to the summit: tallus, scree, rock strewn slopes and enormous boulders might make you wonder if you are up to it. Have no fear, the experienced guides will totally support you and make sure that you safely deal with the difficulties. Some images at the presentations might look scary to you, but the guides have your back. Your teammates are totally supportive and encouraging. Camaraderie is one of the best experiences in all these TSX challenges. I know, since I have done 6 different routes spread out over the Grand Canyon Challenge, the Hell for Sure Challenge and the ultimate Trans Sierra Extreme Challenge summiting Mount Whitney.
    What are you waiting for? Take the plunge and get inspired for a lifetime. You won’t regret it. Read some reviews and feel confident that your guides will get you safely reach your goal.
    El Tanko (trail name)

  14. Edward Kopelson

    We had an amazing trip courtesy Chris C. and TSX team.
    Challenging? Yes.
    Rewarding? Absolutely.
    Dropping over the ridge, down the Hell for Sure trail into Goddard canyon was a personal highlight. It would have been on my bucket list if I had any idea it existed before this trip. This particular canyon is worth the trip alone; stunning meadows, long vistas, shear granite cliffs, capped by pristine Martha lake and Mt Goddard, and not a soul in sight.
    I’m thankful to have done this trip with TSX. There is no way I would have seen what we did if I had done it any other way. From logistics, to trip support, to food, to great attitude – everything is top notch.
    I highly recommend to others.

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