Trans-Sierra Xtreme Challenge

(102 customer reviews)

Original price was: $3,650.Current price is: $2,450.


Starts in Fresno/Clovis, CA

Join an inspirational trek across Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks to the summit of Mt. Whitney (14,505 feet). 


No matter your age, backpacking the Sierra can be a life changing experience. Our Trans-Sierra Xtreme Challenge is an annual series of guided 75 mile backpacking treks across Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. The inspirational journey traverses some of the most remote, least-traveled regions of the Sierra before culminating with an ascent on Mt. Whitney (elevation 14,505 feet), the highest point in the lower 48 states. This week-long trans-Sierra hike to Mt. Whitney is open to fit and motivated individuals of all ages and experience levels. You’ll cover 75+ miles in one week, with over 20,000 feet in cumulative elevation gain and 18,000 feet in cumulative elevation loss.

What’s included

  • Guided 8 night, 75+ mile trans-Sierra hike to Mt. Whitney
  • Transportation from the Fresno/Clovis area to our trailhead
  • Return transportation
  • Facilitate carpool transportation to/from Northern and Southern California
  • Personalized pack check prior to departure
  • All meals and snacks in the back-country
  • Group gear and equipment
  • Backpack, tent, sleeping bag and pad if needed
  • Post-hike closing meal and opportunity to shower
  • Flexible cancellation policy

What’s not included

  • Meals in the front-country, including while in transit
  • Personal items

How it works

A $500 deposit per person is required with balance due 60 days prior to the event. Maximum group size of 15, 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 and National Park Service. Private, family and modified itinerary trips to Mt. Whitney and other destinations in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park available through TSX Pods. Book with confidence! Review our flexible cancellation policy.


Afternoon departure, pack-check, overnight at trailhead

We’ll meet up with local and out of state guest in the Fresno/Clovis area between 1PM and 2PM on the day of departure, park cars, and then begin our journey together to Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks (about a 1.5 hour drive from the Fresno/Clovis area).  Our goal is to make it to the trailhead just before dusk where we will do a final pack-check, get to know our team, and talk safety. If coming from the San Francisco Bay Area or Southern California, participants generally convene at 10AM on the day of departure at designated meeting points to carpool to Central California.

Day 1 – Horse Corral to Ferguson Creek (moderate)

Trail: Begins at 7,800′, climbs to 9,300′ then descends to stream crossings and camp

After breaking camp at the trailhead, our Trans-Sierra trail begins near Big Meadow at 7,800′ and heads uphill to around 9,300′, then down to camp at 7,200′ near Sugarloaf. While the grade is moderate, expect this day to be among the toughest.

Day 2 – Sugarloaf to Big Wet Meadow (moderate)

Trail: Multiple stream crossings, trail climbs back to 8,500’

Today the trail undulates upward, with multiple crossings of pristine high sierra creeks, and one Roaring River, as we climb to near 8,500′ for our camp below granite cliffs and spires. At camp #2 we almost always have curious deer wander through. Keep your ears open for the occasional bear. Grrrrr…

Day 3 – Big Wet Meadow to Colby Lake (intense uphill)

Trail: Stiff climb to high-Sierra lake at 10,600’, get to camp just after lunch, rest

A stiff climb will bring us to one of the prettiest campsites in the Sierra, Colby Lake at 10,600′. A mid-afternoon swim, the chance to catch fresh trout, and the most amazing display of stars anywhere makes this camp special.

Day 4 – Colby Lake to Junction Meadow (intense up and downhill)

Trail: Climb to pass at 12,000’, then long intense downhill to 8,000’, most difficult day

An early start and 1,400′ ascent will get us to Colby Pass where we can view the Kern Canyon and the Mt. Whitney group. After a celebratory break, our trans-Sierra trek continues with a long and sometimes steep descent will get us to the Kern River for a crossing just before camp. This is the most challenging, and most breathtaking day.

Day 5 – Junction Meadow to Crabtree (moderate uphill)

Trail: Gradual climb to intersection with storied John Muir Trail and over 10,000′

A long, gradual climb on very good trail will get us to the John Muir Trail followed by undulating trail to camp near Crabtree Meadows at 10,800′. Our goal is to camp at the postcard-perfect campsite with an awesome view of the west side of Mt. Whitney.

Day 6 – Crabtree to Mt. Whitney and back (intense up and downhill)

Trail: Long day hike to summit and back with roughly 4000′ of elevation gain, and loss 

Our early, before sun-up start will get us to the top of Mt. Whitney at 14,507 feet by lunch (weather permitting). The adrenaline will be flowing as we move past Guitar Lake, up the switchbacks, and parallel the Hitchcock peaks to the highest point of our trans-Sierra trail, and the highest point in the contiguous 48 states. After signing the book and taking pictures (you can also call home from the top) we’ll hike back to camp for dinner.

Day 7 – Crabtree to High Desert Camp (moderate to moderate-intense)

Trail: Morning climb to near 11,000′, mid-afternoon descent, and then climb back to 11,000′

We will leave our base camp and start our final segment to cars and civilization. We will hike a moderate trail for about 9 miles to our remote camp on the high desert above Rock Creek.

Day 8 – High Desert Camp to Horseshoe Meadows (moderate)

Trail: Relatively flat, then 500′ climb, before dropping to trail exit

An early start will get us to Chicken Spring Lake before lunch. We will cross over Cottonwood Pass and complete our Trans-Sierra hike with a descent down the eastside of the Sierra. After a cool drink and lunch we’ll load the vehicles and head back to the Clovis Area, and home to brag. Family and friends are welcome to meet us on the backside of the Sierra as we exit the trail near Lone Pine.


Departure and pickup locations

On the day of departure for your Trans-Sierra Xtreme Challenge trek, TSX will coordinate transportation from Central California (Fresno/Clovis area). We will also help facilitate carpool arrangements from the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California to Central California when possible on a trek by trek basis.

Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your confirmed pick up time. The Fresno/Clovis area is a 3 hour car drive from the Bay Area, and roughly 4 hours from Southern California. We will help coordinate and arrange car pools for participants coming from around the state when possible. Exact time and regional meet-up locations will be confirmed on a trek by trek basis.

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 just before dusk. A light snack will be provided that evening at the trailhead.

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 day 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 give that bag to our return transportation. The clean bag will travel with return transportation and meet us as we exit the trail at the end of our Trans-Sierra trek.

Returning home

Our return transportation will meet us as we exit the trail on the eastern side of the Sierra. We will descend to Lone Pine to shower and share our last group meal. Finally, we’ll head back to the Fresno/Clovis meetup point. This is a five-hour+ car ride. Bring some pocket money for meals on the drive back. Expect to arrive in Clovis between 6-8pm.


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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102 reviews for Trans-Sierra Xtreme Challenge

  1. Eileen Paradise

    It’s hard to put into words what an amazing experience this was! Our guide was phenomenal; Chris’s vast knowledge of the backcountry, combined with his genuine passion for sharing the less-traveled backcountry with people who would otherwise never get to experience it shone through. He is an amazing people-person, and knew exactly what each member of the team needed when he or she was struggling.
    Our team was very diverse with a wide range of backpacking experience. We quickly became friends, cheered each others’ successes, and helped each other overcome adversity.
    Every day I was in awe of the vast beauty that surrounded us in every direction.
    2 months later I’m still processing this trip, and have already signed up for another one!
    I would highly recommend TSX treks to anyone! You won’t regret it!

  2. Colin Looi

    Completed the TSX Challenge 9/8-9/16. Wow. It is certainly worthy of being labelled “Challenge” but the views were greater. Our guide was exceptional; from his intimate knowledge of the trail, his logistical skills and people skills. I don’t think there will be any other guides who could measure up. You’re in good hands.

    The trail is not easy by any means; but you’re in wilderness that few people have gone. If you haven’t hiked in the Sierra Nevada this is an opportunity to experience a remote part of the range that you can’t get to by driving a vehicle or even with day hikes.

  3. Barb Douglas (The rock)

    It is hard to put into words the personal impact of this trip. Chris’ expertise, guidance, and absolute love for the outdoors set the stage for an amazing journey from Jenny Lakes through Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks to the summit of Whitney and ending with salty and sweet treats and a cold beverage at the end. I loved the remoteness and beauty particularly at Colby Pass, there is nothing like looking back at a challenging route and forward to the valley below. As a group we pushed our limits to find that we could give more. I can honestly say how
    impressed I am with our entire group, how
    everyone worked together through adversity, savoured the beauty and experience, and
    lifted each other up. I was honored to be a part of this group and this experience will carry me forward in life.

  4. Daniel Paradise

    Completed the Trans Seirra/Mt Whitney hike. Had an absolute fantastic time! Our guides were amazing! We had a great Team. Most of us were strangers to each other going in, but we exited the trail as friends.
    It was incredibly hard, and the feeling of accomplishment when we summited Whitney was humbling. Altitude is a real thing! 🙂 The incredible beauty and vastness of the parks can’t be put into words. The night sky (complete with a full view of the Milky Way!) at the High Desert Camp was awe inspiring.
    The guides as supremely skilled at helping each team member achieve their goals and hike their best hike. They also pass on their knowledge & love of the outdoors.
    If you are on the fence , just do it! You won’t regret it

  5. Amanda Gass

    My 3rd TSX Challenge backpacking experience, and by far, the most physically and mentally challenging. What an incredible adventure! Once again, TSX handles every detail so you can focus on the trail each day. The guides are world-class, the food is as delicious as everyone says, and the scenery is awe-inspiring.

    If you’re reading these reviews and on the fence about signing-up – consider this your sign to BOOK THE TRIP already! You won’t regret it.

  6. the_real_delofromblo

    TSX Challenge, what an amazing adventure that we will remember for the rest of our lives! We spent 8 days backpacking in the backcountry in the Sierra Mountains in California. Eric and I started our journey as a group of 13 strangers and ended with 11 new friendships. We started in Kings Canyon National forest, hiked through Sequoia National Forest, summited Mount Whitney (14,505 ft the tallest mountain in the lower 48 states), and ended our journey in the East Sierra’s at Inyo National Forest. We hiked 80 miles with 17,756ft of elevation gain over mountains, through valleys, changing terrain, through creeks and rivers, over snow, scrambled rock, swan in alpine lakes, ate delicious food prepared by our guides Kate and Ale, got rained on, had highs and lows, beautiful views and challenging moments, dealt with mosquitos and altitude sickness, powered through fears and made everlasting friendships. We were lucky that the weather was in our favor to be able to summit Mount Whitney and we got out of the mountains before tropical storm Hillary hit the west coast. Thank you to our entire team for sharing your stories and supporting each other through this epic journey!

  7. Katie Beechem

    Over the last 8 days, I hiked 80+ miles with 12 incredible people across the Sierra Nevada mountains through Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks.

    Together we scrambled over rocks, forged rivers, ascended snow-covered passes, swam in alpine lakes, and summited Mt. Whitney, the largest mountain in the contiguous US states.

    Words can’t begin to describe both how challenging and how awe-inspiring of a journey it was. It was far more difficult—and far more rewarding—than I ever could have expected.

    Huge thanks to our incredibly knowledgeable, passionate, positive, and intrepid guides and to everyone at tsx challenge! I’m also grateful for the amazing people I got to share this experience with.

  8. Peter H.

    Just completed the Trans Sierra/Mt Whitney trek with 5 other teammates and 2 of the best guides in the business. On a good year this trek would be challenging, but add a record breaking snow year to the mix, and we had more stream/river crossings, downed trees snd avalanche debris fields, flooded meadows and trails, and snow/ice fields, and it was incredibly challenging. Through it all, our guides made sure we were safe, while doing all possible to get us to summit Mt Whitney. This while keeping us organized and well fed with delicious meals and snacks. I’m already looking at the next trek with TSX!

  9. Dinna (Breezy)

    I’m about to embark on another TSX Challenge trip and it reminded me that my previous TSX Challenge is what propelled me to jump as quickly as I did to this next one.
    What a trip the Trans-Sierra Xtreme Challenge was. First off, TSX is a very well-organized, well-oiled machine. Food was great and varied, the vibe of the team was always calm and cool leaving you with not a thing to worry about but you and your journey – which was life-changing. I met a lot of great people, got to know myself even better and learned some deep and simple things that will always help me going forward. Don’t hesitate, you won’t regret it.

  10. Steve Adams (Mighty Blue)

    This hike fulfilled an ambition to climb Whitney that had been burning away at me for six years. Chris and his team led us expertly, always managing expectations one section at a time. We bonded almost immediately as a team, and this helped all of us enormously. All of us were able to reach the top of Whitney, despite many of us having doubts in our own ability along the way. I certainly doubted myself.
    The entire trip was a profound experience that will surely enrich all our lives in the coming weeks and months.

  11. TZ

    I came back from this trek 4 weeks ago (end of July), and initially wanted to wait for a couple of weeks to let it sink in before writing my review. Well, it’s been almost a month now and I must admit I am still processing the trek in my head today! There is so much more that can be said of this incredible trek, but words can hardly describe it.
    This was my first ever overnight backpacking trip (let alone doing it in the beautiful Sierra Nevada + summiting Mt. Whitney), and TSX helped make it a profound and rewarding experience.
    The way the team lead/guide handled everything from cooking delicious meals, attending to individual needs, motivating/cheering members to perform at their peaks, etc. is just excellent.
    There’s no wi-fi in the woods in the backcountry of High Sierra, but I have definitely found a better connection!…with nature, with like-minded strangers-turned-hiker friends, and most of all with my own self.

  12. Niki Stokols (GI Jane)

    I absolutely love TSX Challenge hikes. This was my third trip with them (Grand Canyon, Tolman 10/20; Hell for Sure, Dave 8/21) and Trans Sierra Xtreme 8/22 with Dirk and Alessandro. The guides are always fantastic. The meals are really good, (the guides do the cooking); I doubt I’d be having fresh broccoli with dinner on the 4th night of an 8 day backpacking trip on my own.

    Whatever your experience level, you are made to feel that you can do this. I love that TSX picks trails that are so beautiful and yet blissfully uncrowded. I’ve already committed to a 4th trip (Tehipite) and can’t wait to see what’s next.

    I thought I trained more for Hell for Sure because I wasn’t working, but I found Trans Sierra Xtreme easier in that I felt normal and Hell for Sure I felt sluggish, though,Dave said I wasn’t. It could be that we stayed above 10,000 with Hell for Sure and had more time to acclimate with the Trans Sierra. But for both I’m a 6 day a week masters swimmer. For this trip, I tried to hike 3 or 4 days a week in June and July and to make the hikes longer and harder than usual. I also hike in trail runners, not boots, and with a 20+ lb daypack. So I definitely felt prepared and only really felt sloggish near top of Mt Whitney. Not saying I was fast the whole way, but every day felt like my normal hiking pace. So when Chris says “train, train, train” take it seriously and you’ll be fine. The trips with TSX have each been the longest backpacking trips I’ve ever been on and am so glad I discovered them.

  13. Mike Peters

    Some ten years ago I went to a presentation at a local REI on a Cross Sierra trek (I wrote on my notes that it was presented by “Chris”) and made a note to myself: “do this trip with TSX”…Now that both my kids are off to college, ten years after learning of this trip I just did it! (and Chris was my guide!). It was fantastic. I have traveled to about 50 countries and have done things like trekking in Nepal, climbing Kilimanjaro, and hiking in the Swiss Alps, and this trip ranks up there along with those as great experiences. You can read of the beauty of the trip from all the others. Why do this trip with TSX? I didn’t want to hike the route alone and in doing this trip I can say that TSX ran it like “clockwork”. I can’t imagine how much more time I would have had to spend arranging everything myself – ride to the trailhead, a ride back from trails end, permits, meal planning & cooking, and all the water filtering that our guides did for us every day. They kept the team on schedule and focused on our daily goals. Communication was great: what we were going to do the following day, and throughout the day where we would be going. If you are a fast hiker you can go ahead to trail junctions or to camp, if you are a slow hiker, the rest of us all looked out for you as a team and took turns walking in the rear. On this trip you can really get an incredible mountain experience within about 9 days (if you are coming from within California you can potentially arrive and depart on the first and last days) or 11 days if you are coming from out of state. There is a good airport in Fresno (near starting point of Clovis) – half our team were from the US East Coast. I took Amtrak from the SF Bay Area to Fresno which is a great trip (4 hours). An added bonus is that Clovis is a cute town with lots of good restaurants (and espresso places…). I am signed up already for more TSX trips and am looking forward to them!!

  14. Mark Ford

    Experienced hiker but wanted to book an epic trip for my son and I. No worries about travel, permits or route finding. We did the High Sierra Route/Whitney. This trip is dialed in for distances, camps, food and events. No problem with altitude with the preceeding days. Packs are heavy the first few days, YOU have to train for this endeavor but, WOW, it was worth it. No picture captures, the granite, shooting stars and alpine lakes. TSX knows what they are doing and it is worth every penny. Thanks for the memories and we will be back.

  15. Adriana Matiz

    Without a doubt, this has been the most challenging trip I have ever done (duh, it is in the name) but at the same time the most rewarding and spectacular. Hiking the sierras, and almost making it to the top of Mt. Whitney (I stopped by choice) was an amazing experience. The views, camping spots, the fire, lakes, creeks, food, the stars, the milky way, sunrises, and sunsets, cooking the fish you caught, THE SOUP!!! etc. was just perfect. The best part was the group of people and guides doing the trip with my husband and me. Our team leader Chris is a great backcountry cook, and he knew exactly how to encourage you to continue and enjoy the trip, he has a lot of experience. Sani (whom I called “Sunny” all the trip) our other tour guide, WOW!!! she is amazing, she was encouraging, funny, and understanding

    I was a little apprehensive about the trip as I had just a bit of backpacking experience, I am petit and just fit enough. I was one of the slowest hikers on the trail and depending on the day the slowest one, but that did not matter, I was able to hike at my own pace with great company on the back when I was not alone enjoying my time!

    You will be going up and down and up and down and when you are most tired guess what, up again or down. Some trails are hard because of how rocky they are, and you will be tired but when you arrive at a beautiful place, and your husband has your tent all set up and food is ready, the pain is almost gone and the sense of reward that you made it, it is just incredible. You will have the sierras all for you, you won’t encounter any people until the last days and the disconnection from the world is just wonderful. Just you and your most basic needs.

    I live in Florida and altitude didn’t kill me. I trained a bit, joined a gym, and make some hikes that really helped me to prepare. So, do not hesitate and sign up for it, they made the logistics to summit Mt Whitney easy if that is your goal, you won’t regret it. Listen to TSX training suggestions and packing suggestions, you won’t need the additional clothes, deodorant, or the 20000 mah power bank, get strong ankles and knees for comfort, good socks, shoes, and a great attitude and you will be fine (Maybe pack an ankle sleeve, knee brace, and Advil just in case).

    We are already thinking about our next adventure with TSX, maybe Grand Canyon!!

  16. Mike Reed

    Cougar’s 4th TSX trip! Love these guides and their epic trips. Hikes are very challenging and rewarding. Looking forward to my next trip with TSX the Tehipite valley maybe in 2023.

  17. Ken Meiers

    This was an absolutely incredible, life-altering experience for me! I was strictly east coast hiker prior to this trip. Having recently finished summiting every 6,000 ft on the east coast, I was looking for a way to challenge myself further. However, the logistics of a Sierra Mountain hike, particularly one that including Mt. Whitney, seemed daunting. Then I discovered TSX, read the reviews, and was sold immediately. All you have to do is show up. I just completed the hike and it far exceeded my expectations. The hike was very challenging, the scenery was spectacular, and the people were incredible. This was my first trip with TSX, but certainly will not be my last.

  18. Whitney Ence

    I just got back from the Trek and I am already missing it! This was my second trek with TSX and it did not disappoint. All details were figured out. I would never be able to do this on my own (even though I plan my own backpacking trips). The team support was instrumental in getting us through this hike. Crossing the sierras was incredible…I didn’t expect so much diversity. I saw shooting stars, the Milky Way, caught fish, and pushed my body. I’m already thinking of my next trek with TSX.

  19. Prasanna Narayan

    They say a picture is worth a 1000 words. May be that is true. But it is inadequate. An Earned View is worth so much more. Any number of words or pictures can’t even begin to describe the experience and the feeling you go through being in the Sierras. As a second timer, It was amazing to go through the Journey and meet new people and share perspectives. Chris and Dave are the best ever leads to do this right and make the entire team feel like we are just jogging in a local trail. The food, campsites (location, location, location), the views, and the companionship from the team coming together is very unique. TSX knows how to make backpacking inspirational, free your mind and just be in the moment where you are. If you have not done this, I urge you to make it a priority and sign up and give yourself the much deserved gratification of doing something you will only be able to experience by just doing it. (not hearing, seeing and reading about it).

    There is way more to the Sierras than what you may come across in the internet. TSX gets you those places to experience beyond the normal.

  20. Jennifer Klassen

    If you’re like me, before adding to cart, I will read most if not all the reviews written. If you find yourself on this page, let me encourage you to book your trip now!
    I completed the Trans-Sierra Xtreme challenge in July 2021 with 12 other people I’ve never met before and two expert guides. I feared I’d be the only “solo” person but to my surprise there were 6 other solo backpackers in the group. God blessed me with this group of people. I’m talking true salt of the earth people who all held the mindset that we’re in this together. To be honest I was one of, if not the slowest person on the trail each day and I only say that to point out that it truly is go at your own pace, I just so happened to be among exceptional hikers who gracefully buzzed by on the trails. I was fortunate enough to bond with someone in the group who intentionally kept my pace and we became great friends in the process.
    Our two guides, Chris and Dave were so in sync, their communication was effortless. The word expert doesn’t seem to adequately describe their skillfulness. They cooked each meal with such excellent sleight of hand that delicious meals like lasagna and taco bowls would magically appear as if they just pulled a quarter out of your ear. Each meal was thoughtfully prepared and so so good! I still can’t get over how they too hiked the same amount of miles each day as us but then made such amazing food. Their attention to detail was impressive!
    Summiting Mt. Whitney still seems like a dream but I have the pictures to prove it. Thank you, TSX for making it possible.

  21. John J Rhyne

    Five stars and kudos to the TSX team on this extraordinary trek across the Sierra backcountry. Their professionalism showed in many details. They provided permits and transportation, gear where desired (pack, pad, bag, tent), and a bear container with a share of food and other necessary supplies (which everyone carried). This is a challenging hike with a backpack; it would help to be young and in good shape (which I no longer claim); this hike is suitable for those who like a stiff hike before 9:00 AM and another before noon. The route was carefully planned to take advantage of scenic spots to rest or set up camp. We hiked far and high through majestic and magical places, and to the top of Mount Whitney, too. Though mostly unacquainted at first, we bonded quickly and shared a good vibe all round. And one could brag on the food.

  22. Gershom

    Amazing experience! The amount of planning and the level of professionalism TSX puts into this is hard to overstate. Pack check and complimentary equipment if needed makes everyone well prepared. The food on the trail is exceptional, and TSX easily accommodated my odd dietary preferences.
    This was my second trip with them and not my last one. This particular route is breathtakingly beautiful; you will experience nature as few will be able to do. Our whole group made it up to the top of Whitney, but note that this is a serious physical challenge you need to prepare for. So get moving and sign up!

  23. Dru

    This was truly one of the most incredible things I have done. TSX does a great job with all of the planning and logistics. And the energy and support from guides Tolman and Jenny made the whole trip awesome. This is an epic adventure. Treat yourself and sign up now.

  24. jeff pickett

    another great trip put together by Chris and his team. I can’t wait to go on another one.

  25. Diana Kardash

    The trip was amazing! It was hard, 8 days backpacking plus mount Whitney altitude, but totally worth it! I’ll certainly be joining TSX again.

  26. Aaron Miller


  27. Peter Andersen

    This was a fantastic trip. Did it with a group of old friends and got to meet some new ones too.
    The mountains were amazing.
    Our guides (Dirk & Tolman) were terrific. They made the whole trip a ton of fun. TSX did all the logistics so we didn’t have to worry about food, transportation etc. The food was remarkably good. Never thought we could have fresh vegetables so deep in to the wilderness.

    It is a physically demanding trip but if you are reasonably fit you can do it and have a great time.

    One of the best experiences I’ve ever had in the outdoors. I highly recommend it.

  28. Babak

    Amazing trip. You experience the high sierras in all its glory. You will have an awesome time hiking, climbing, swimming in alpine lakes, hanging out with friends, trekking in most remote areas imaginable. The itinerary is expertly done, the days are long & rewarding. It’s simply an unforgettable experience. The guides are beyond expectation. Our guides (Dirk & Tolman) were superb. Can’t recommend them highly enough. The food & preparations are way above an ordinary backpacking trip. Come prepared & have a time of your life.

  29. Jason Akel

    This was my second TSX hike (Grand Canyon previously). Once again, the experience was more than I expected. It was a big physical and mental challenge, but know that no one was ever left behind by the group and certainly not by our guide/founder. It was a go at your own, safe pace. We trekked to remote canyons, meadows and mountain tops where even the experienced backpackers don’t go and were rewarded with incredible vistas and photo opportunities. We’ll certainly be joining TSX again.

  30. Tyler Akel

    I am a 14 year old boy from the Bay Area and I had an amazing time! 7 nights 8 days, 242,000 steps, summiting Mt. Whitney was no easy task. Lots of hikes in training had gone into me being physically and mentally ready for this trek. I am already a very active person and this was no doubt the most difficult and challenging week of my life. Every corner you go around feels like you entered a whole new world. Beautiful views and scenery. You will have aches and pains, and you will be dirty, but in the end I can guarantee this will make it to your top 5 life experiences. This will be a trip to remember and tell friends and family about for forever.

  31. Casey Reed Jr. (Wide Angle)

    Such an amazing experience! There are days that will push you mentally, physically, and emotionally and your group and guides will be there to help you push through (this was day 2 for me). Our group built a strong bond and everyone was highly supportive and kept you laughing. Those tough days will be the most rewarding and the daily soup at dinner will the most satisfying soup you’ve ever had. Then there will be easier days where you feel great and others in the group struggled. Everyone in the group had their own distinct highlights from our trip which shows you that there is so much to see and experience on this trip.

    The experience wouldn’t nearly as great without Chris and Dirk. Even Chris’s parents met us at the end of the trail with beers! They are all awesome! We couldn’t have asked for better guides. They work hard and they are passionate about sharing this trail with you. I’ve never had such great camp/trail meals in my life. I’ve stolen a few for my own trips in the future.

    I’m excited to do the Grand Canyon with TSX next spring. These experiences are worth every penny and I can’t wait to bring my daughter on one when she gets old enough.

  32. Jamie Dddge (verified owner)

    The TSX Challenge was awesome…and hard…and wonderful…and hard! I loved the trip and can’t recommend it enough. The beauty and the views that we got to see where incredible. But, the best part was the people that we got meet, both the people on the trip and the guides. There aren’t many times when you meet 15 people and get them to actually talk to each other without a phone or technology interrupting. I loved that part! The guides are so good about talking you through some of the pain and motivating you to continue on. It’s an amazing thing to accomplish and something I am very proud of.

  33. peter (verified owner)

    It was hard and it was fun and totally worth it. Guides were great and had a great time with a great team of some amazing people.

  34. Phil Herndon (verified owner)

    Words like Challenge and Extreme are over used these days. But this trip is an example of a true extreme challenge. The “Challenge” is the pace and difficulty of the trip, it pushes you further than you might think you can go. The “Extreme” is the combination of 8 days of hiking with a Whitney climb slipped in there. People we met on the trail were impressed. I thought I was in great shape and learned by late in the second day that my countless step ups in the gym were not enough. By day 3 we all began to push through the pain, keep going and support each other as we shared in this trek. When you walk out off the trail, brag about it because you really earned this one! (hey and the guides were exceptional)

  35. Dave Balducci

    The TSX challenge was an amazing and rewarding bonding experience with my 11 year old daughter. The hike is truly a challenge that will push you and your child, though your hard work will be rewarded with not only amazing views of remote locations, but also, and most importantly, life-long lessons that they can accomplish anything they set out to—including the summit of the tallest mountain in the lower 48!

    Truly an experience my daughter and I will remember forever.

  36. Adam Wang, M.D. (verified owner)

    Epic. When I think about this trip, I get a tingly feeling all over… actually, that’s the memory of static electricity building up on me and almost getting hit by lightning on Mt. Whitney. What else can you ask for! The Trans-Sierra Xtreme Challenge is a very well-organized trek that lives up to its name. Beautiful scenery and an epic journey crossing the Sierras. If you’re not comfortable backpacking, you will be after this trip. They walk you through every step of preparation and training for it. It is remarkably planned to be provide a satisfying challenge to participants of varying fitness. (Granted, you had better train for this as instructed if you are not in shape, take this seriously.) Our guides were professional, friendly, well-trained and capable, with formal training in wilderness medicine. They keep a close eye on your safety. I will add that I had religious dietary restrictions – I am a practicing muslim – and they were able to accommodate. Chris, if you ever organize a trek that is even more punishing, shoot me an email and I’m there 🙂 Many thanks to Dirk, Chris, and our Team.
    – “Flash”

  37. Anil Patwardhan

    Chris organized a 6 day trip for a collection of fathers and our 11 year old sons/daughters to explore the Sierra and climb Mt. Whitney. It was long, hard, beautiful, and quite possibly one of the most memorable experiences I have had with my daughter. It’s a great way to challenge yourself while exploring parts of California that, despite the stunning scenery, most people never see.

    For my daughter, it reinforced the idea that persistence and determination has it’s rewards (reaching the top of Mt Whitney). With a group of friends, the scenery along the way, and Chris’s expert guidance the journey itself was just as rewarding.

  38. Shawn Rupulles

    My 11 year old son and I signed up for one of TSX’s youth backing challenges. This was by far one of the most memorable experiences we have shared together that will never be forgotten. It was both physically and mentally challenging but so rewarding at the end of the day.

    A couple weeks after returning from our trip my son asked if we could do it 5 more times. I look forward to exploring other trips offered by TSX.

  39. Ali Hartman (verified owner)

    The Trans-Sierra Xtreme Challenge was Amazing! My 20 year old daughter joined me for this trek and we both agreed it was one of the most challenging/rewarding things we had ever done! It was so neat to experience this part of the Sierra Nevada together. Our guides were absolutely incredible, I cannot say enough about their professionalism, experience and character – we always felt safe in their decisions and they were both fabulous cooks (fresh veggies every night)!! We also really enjoyed our trail mates, everyone contributed to the common good of the team and we throughly enjoyed our talks and time with all of them.

    The TSX brochure sat on my desk staring at me for 2 years before I finally got the courage to click the “sign up” button, so glad I finally did!

    Thank you Chris, Dirk and the entire TSX Team – Happy Trails! – Whiskey and Bolt

  40. iain (verified owner)

    If you are thinking of taking this trip, don’t hesitate, just do it. It was one of the best adventures I’ve done. I was concerned going into it by the large size of the group and the ability to be able to find some solitary time. This was not an issue. Everyone on our trek was a a joy to be with and fun to get to know. The pace of the hiking was perfect in that it was easy to go at your own speed. Somedays I was up front with the faster hikers, other days at the back, and if I wanted to hike on my own in the middle, that was also possible. The Sierras are truly spectacular and the areas that Chris showed us, were breathtaking and little visited. For the first five days I think we only saw 10 other backpackers. If you think the Sierras are Yosemite and Mount Whitney, think again – there are so many amazing places to see and TSX shows them to you. Both Chris and Dirk were amazing guides and helped to make the experience a memorable one. They were knowledgable, enthusiastic, helpful, fun, encouraging and amazingly enough gave everyone the attention they needed. They were always the first ones up and last ones to bed and not only did they prepare delicious meals and clean up all our dishes but they managed to very quickly build a sense of community, family and belonging amongst our group. Chris knows this part of the Sierras like it’s his backyard. His level of skill and confidence in the backcountry was reassuring and made it possible for me to safely take risks and do things I hadn’t done before. Dirk’s enthusiasm for the outdoors and the warmth of his personality make him a natural guide. I enjoyed getting to know the both of them and spending time on the trail with them. We were fortunate enough to visit the Sierras after a high snow year which added to the beauty and ruggedness of the mountains. I especially enjoyed the opportunity to use crampons during the climb over Colby Pass and getting to glissade down the other side as well as the too many to count river crossing.
    My only advice is to pack as light as possible and train hard. You can do this trip without training but you’ll get more out of it if you are prepared. 80 miles and 20,000 feet of elevation gain over 8 days is no small feat and the more you prepare for it the better you’re recovery will be each day. This trek is challenging but it’s worth every minute of it. You won’t regret the experience.

  41. mike reed (verified owner)

    Awesome! July 19-27 2019. Trip blew me away. Worth every penny. Guides Chris and Dirk did a great job and made it fun. Planning a trip next year with TSX grand canyon.

  42. Heidi

    This trip was amazing! It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. The TSX guides were very capable and well prepared for anything and made the trip safe, fun, and rewarding. If you’re on the fence about going, just do it!

  43. Ray Hanosek

    My daughter (trail name Bambi) and I completed our first TSX in August after 18 months of planning and anticipation. I was a little apprehensive about meeting 11 strangers and how I’d hold up in high elevation. TSX exceeded my expectations for the challenge and the scenery. Pictures do not do the Sierras justice, you have to be there. Our guides Alex and Amy were experienced, knowledgeable, keep us going, and laughing. I’d follow them again anytime. Each member of our group was unique and a joy to get to know over the course of 9 days. Put this one on your to do list and go for it.

  44. Der-shing (and Jared too) (verified owner)

    We’ve been back from our hike for about 3 weeks now and every day the thought pops in my head “holy crap, I climbed Mt. Whitney.” Truly one of the most worthwhile and incredible experiences ever. We are casual day hikers, not in the most whiz-bang shape, but we trained every weekend for 2 months prior to leaving to get used to the 10 mile, heavy-pack days. And… we did it! You’re going to sweat, you’re going to hurt at the end of the day, you’re probably going to smell awful. But you’re going to meet some incredible people, be taken well care of by your guide (we were lucky enough to have Chris) and eat some potentially horrific snacks on the last day, as we did with our Snickers quesadilla, haha. And you’re absolutely going to earn some of the best memories of your life. I feel like I can do anything now! Thank you to Chris and our whole team an unforgettable adventure :]

  45. Prasanna Narayan (verified owner)

    Five stars are not enough! I had the best time of my life in the trip with a group of awesome people and of course Chris Casado to guide us through the wonderful experience. I came into the trip with little to no idea of what to expect. Never done backpacking before, nor have followed a complex trail before. My highest ascend prior to this trip was Rose Peak in CA like 3400 ft 🙂
    TSX made it so easy to be at 12000 feet crossing Colby Pass and at 14500 to summit Whitney. I never imagined I had it in me to do this. I also had the chance to meet some wonderful people for the first time (Giver, Firehorse, Wings, Cookie, Cream, Critter and Marmot).. You all know who you are. Awesome laughs, food, hike, walk and eventually run the trail to finish. In all the best part was the last night, lying down at 11000 feet at 9 pm and drinking the spectacular view of the MILKY WAY!!!
    I will do it again in a heartbeat. Chris, thank you for the experience, friendship and confidence and a milestone to cherish. Cheers Prasanna

  46. Tom Lichter

    This was an incredible experience. I had no idea what a challenge it would be. It tested every bit of energy I had and rewarded me with the most spectacular view and scenery I have ever scene. The guides,Amy and Alex were awesome they kept things light when we were at the camp sites each night. They also were very knowledgeable and really did a nice job of leading us across the amazing Sierra. Along the way I made 14 amazing friends and grew close to each of them in a different way. I would hit the trail with any of them again as they were all special people.

    The logistics of the trip were planned out very well and everyone jumped in and helped at the camp sites each night, whether it was getting water, pumping clean water or gathering firewood. It is not for the faint of heart but if you do it, it is well worth the trip.

  47. Debbie Wivholm (verified owner)

    After a wonderful Grand Canyon Challenge experience with our TSX guide, Austin in September 2016, my husband and I were considering another backpacking trek. To celebrate our 60th birthdays, I printed out the Trans-Sierra Extreme Challenge info sheet and gave it to Dallas for Christmas. What a great experience!! Our guides, Amy and Alex were organized, full of energy and love of the Sierras and the outdoors, encouraging and able to handle our blisters and scrapes with ease. The scenery was spectular, the campgrouds were well planned, the food was fresh and tasted wonderful and TSX’s handling of the logistics at the beginning and the end of the trek was outstanding! What started out as a group of 15 strangers quickly became of a group of close knit, caring comrades…it was so sad to tell everyone goodbye. Thank you for an amazing trip!!

  48. Bettie Smith (verified owner)

    The TSX Trans-Sierra Xtreme Challenge is an incredible trek and experience no matter where you are in your life’s journey. If you want to do it, DO IT! You will get there with the help of caring and exemplary guides, a supportive community of new-found friends and your own determination.
    Leading up to the actual trip, Chris’s prompt and personal contact when I had questions was amazing. As was the information provided on the website.
    I truly can’t say enough about our guides, Amy and Alex. They both made the whole experience, start to finish, so special.
    Oh, and the route and scenery? Absolutely breath-taking! In every sense!
    Thank you TSX, you rock.

  49. Ian C (verified owner)

    This adventure had been on my bucket list for years, and I was thrilled when the opportunity arose to do it this year. And it truly delivered. Great company, great guides and just stunning scenery from start to finish. A taste of everything that is the Sierras; meadows, forests, rocky passes, star gazing, alpine lakes, wildlife , mountains, you name it, every box got checked. Our guides, Amy and Alex, were outstanding, and gave their all to keep everyone safe, entertained and seriously well fed. It’s a challenge for sure , but Amy and Alex did a smashing job setting the pace and daily targets for the team so that everyone got to enjoy the hike within their own personal limits and still share the experience as a group. Mt Whitney is definitely memorable, but is just one part of a fabulous adventure from start to finish. Here’s hoping to do another trek with TSX soon.

  50. Alessandro Portante (verified owner)

    When I signed up for this trip I wasn’t expecting anything so amazing and life changing. As an 18 year old boy I was a bit concerned for the age range in the group since from the pictures it seemed everyone was over 30. On the trip I was the youngest, however the bond between the other participants was really strong. Everyone was willing to help without even asking. We all had common interests so we got along very well and got to know each other in a short time.
    The actual hike was OUTSTANDING. The guides we had, Amy and Alex, were so passionate about their job. I must admit, as a fit young guy, I felt sore at the end of the trip, it truly is a challenge, but anyone can complete it with a bit of motivation and passion!

  51. John T (verified owner)

    What a fantastic trip. Everything I could have hoped for. To be able to see areas of the country that few people will ever see or experience was a trip of a lifetime. Whether is jumping into a freezing mountain lake or walking miles next to a mountain stream teeming with fish I couldn’t have asked for more. Highly recommend this to anyone.

  52. Brian W. (verified owner)

    I’ve been going through some of my pics from the trip while on my first flight. I can’t even begin to express how much of a good time I had! You have two great guys in Austin and Ben and a wonderfully run operation!!!

  53. Toby Chan

    I could not recommend this trip enough. I went into the trip thinking it would be a mental and physical challenge, but I finished the trip with memories that will last me a lifetime. It’s been a few months since I completed the Trans-Sierra Xtreme Challenge, and it’s still a trip I think about constantly. Chris and Andy were our tour guides, and they could not have exceeded our expectations more. They had such positive attitudes, kept the overall mood of the group light and optimistic, meticulously planned our trails, our meals, our wake-up and day-start times; it was such a well-planned and well-thought out trip. Don’t get it wrong: THIS IS A CHALLENGE. We kept thinking “Oh, I bet this is the hardest day…” But, every day was 8-12 miles, and everyday is extremely rewarding (both the amazing views of the mountains and lakes, and both rewarding to accomplish it). ANYONE CAN DO THIS though. You just need to put your mind to it, and follow their emails (i.e. They send helpful emails leading up to the trip, what to pack, how to cross train, etc.). We didn’t have sleeping bags or backpacking backpacks, and they provided them for us! It was amazing. And the people… the people you meet that you get to hike alongside… that is the best part. We were all in it together, motivating each other through every step. I am so happy to have experienced this. MULTIPLE people in our group had done this exact Trans-Sierra Xtreme Challenge more than once; that’s how great it is. I couldn’t recommend it more.

  54. G. I. Judy

    This trip was outstanding! It’s not for the faint of heart or those unwilling to train and listen to the guides. I can’t stress enough the importance of training for this. If you are able to hike some serious mountain trails with at least 30 pounds on your back every week for a couple of months before your trip — do it! If not, get on the stair master in the gym with a weighted backpack and build yourself up to an hour or more without stopping. This company is full of very experienced and knowledgeable people. Do yourself a favor, and listen to what they tell you.
    If you train hard and prepare, keep a positive attitude and follow the advice of the TSX team, you will reap benefits far beyond your imagination. The scenery is incredible. This is a challenge that is well worth the effort you put into it!

  55. Erin OConnell “Mary Poppins”

    One of the best backpacking trips of my life, I enjoyed the remoteness of the trail along with the friendships created. The trails and campsites were fantastic. I enjoyed the early starts including the pre-dawn start to summit Mt. Whitney. Amy and Tolman are excellent guides, who are positive, friendly and encouraging. Our group had a few individuals who didn’t train, and Amy and Tolman provided them with the encouragement and the medical attention needed to complete their journey. I hope those individuals tipped their guides well 😉 Just remember to train because the guides are NOT your porters. It’s an excellent trip, and I recommend it to those who are looking for a remote adventure and a challenge. Certainly not a walk in the park! Train well and it’s an enjoyable challenge. P.S. 80 miles and not one blister!!! Woohoo!!!

  56. Jordan Ronson

    A daunting journey becomes very doable because TSX really knows what they are doing. The guides are great. They know this trail really well and have worked out the pacing, and found all the sweet spots along the way. I felt safe and well taken care of. It was an amazing experience.

  57. Ian “Iron Oso”

    Just a quick note to thank you for the great trip. I wasn’t really expecting my son and wife to get through it as well as they did. They are my heroes. It was a great experience for all of us and we really appreciate how much you and your team worked to make it all happen seamlessly. A true testament of how much effort you’ve put into the design of the company, TSX. So glad that we did it. It’ll make our next adventure really hard to top this one. Not sure that’ll be possible.

  58. mary chayka-crawford

    This was a great trip to a wonderful area and Tolman was an amazing head guide. Chris from TSX was professional and dependable and the well planned itinerary provided the opportunity to just “get out there” and hike! Thank you! PS: I was the Trip Leader for the ADK: Adirondack Mountain Club, and this was one of our 2017 trips.

  59. Larry Herko aka Leatherman

    A most incredible and enjoyable experience. I waited 45 years to hike in the High Sierra’s – and it was worth it. Our trip leaders were outstanding in every way. I highly recommend this trip!

  60. Kristi

    By far the most physical challenge of my life (including natural childbirth). My main reason for the trip was to summit Mt. Whitney. I could have done with out the other 60 miles, but wow, what an accomplishment. I witnessed such beautiful unspoiled nature and met some wonderful people. The first few days were grueling, due to challenging trail conditions. I would have loved for a helicopter rescue, but later I was glad the helicopter never came and I persevered. Our guides (Chris and Tolman) were so helpful, positive, and encouraging. They always put all of our needs first and cooked, cleaned, provided first aide, and were always professional, but one of our friends at the same time. They were perfect at knowing just how much help and encouragement to give and when we just needed a moment to ourselves. Overall, it was truly an amazing life experience that I will never forget and always feel a sense of accomplishment for achieving. Thank you TSX Challenge!
    Locomotive (trail name)

  61. Jan A. Gazenbeek

    As you can see in some of the reviews of the prior years this is my FOURTH trip with TSXChallenge. Last year was a blast and an unique experience motivating me to join again. It is amazing what a difference one year makes (I am turning 75 this September). Because of the wet winter the trail conditions had totally changed and made the trip even more challenging but certainly not less enjoyable. As on prior trips the camaraderie was amazing. All team members supported each other in addition to the observant care and encouragement of Chris and Austin. You learn how to deal with the low points on this trip. We all will get one or more. Overcoming those moments physically and or mentally make you more determined to finish this extreme challenge. You will be proud of yourself. It helps that there is no Plan B. You have to dig deep and go on.
    The beauty of the scenery, the interaction with your teammates, the care and knowledge of our guides, the tasty food and no worry about the logistics makes it all worth it regardless how much effort you have to spend.
    As I have written before and also heard from my teammates it is easy to underestimate this challenge. Prepare yourself, train, train and train some more. It will pay off when you reach a low point.
    Take the big leap. Sign up and you will be amazed what you are capable of.
    Enjoy the trip of a lifetime.
    El Tanko Supremo (Jan A. Gazenbeek)

  62. The Hoff

    The Trans-Sierra Xtreme Challenge lived up to every word in its name! An adventure from start to finish – this trip will get you out of your comfort zone. No easy days on this trip. When you complete it, you will be stronger physically, mentally and emotionally. I brought my 15 year-old daughter who had no previous backpacking experience and she proved herself to be full of grit and determination to make it every step of the way, including up and over Colby Pass with crampons, through hip-deep river crossings, and to the top of Mount Whitney!!!

  63. Robert Tim Sullins

    An intense, and very enjoyable experience. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

  64. Iceman

    “Velikolepno, Chudesno!” – as I heard someone shouting in state of elation.

    It’s not a just “Trek to Mt. Whitney” it is Inspirational ADVENTURE that holds up to your best personal achievements of lifetime.
    And as you glamour at the world from the top of Mt. Whitney, you’ll realize that the goals you have set for yourself are actually higher then the tallest point in the contagious United States… and then the modest question pops – “Where would my next “TSX Challenge” take me?”

  65. Kristin Walker

    What started off as a “family adventure” quickly turned into a trip of “survival of the fittest”! The TSX Challenge was THE hardest and MOST challenging adventure I have EVER embarked upon! It was apparent I hadn’t sufficiently physically prepared for this trip early on but our bodies are a miraculous thing! I completed the journey unscathed! Not only did I complete it, I enjoyed the everyday day challenges that I was introduced to. This journey will go down as one of the most fulfilling quests I have ever embarked upon! Chris and Tolman will remain permanently etched in my memory as guides who gave me not only the ability to accomplish something I never thought possible but also guides who gave me the strength to “dig deep” when my body was telling me it had had enough! This trip accessed and reawakened my mental strength and because of this trip, I now realize I can accomplish most anything I set my mind to! Thanks Chris, Tolman and TSX!!
    Signing off with my Trail name,
    Mama Oso (Kristin Walker)

  66. Joe Cool (Philip)

    We got more Xtreme Challenge than we bargained for!! Ice, snow, fallen trees, and high water made a difficult route even more difficult. But what an adventure. I’ve been back a few weeks and already friends and family are tired of hearing about it 🙂

    As is always the case with TSX Challenge, we ate excellent food, made new friends, shared laughs and pushed ourselves beyond our comfort zone. There were times I really struggled (I live in Houston and should have spent more time on a stair master) but Chris knows how to encourage and motivate.

    I’m not sure how I’ll top this trip, but I will try and plan to go again early next year.

  67. Ranger

    For years I had dreamed crossing the Sierra on foot, but the logistics were always so challenging. Hiking from west to east across the range could leave one 150-200 road miles from the car. Then what?
    When I heard about the Trans-Sierra Xtreme Challenge at a local REI, I jumped at the opportunity to have Chris and Austin handle the pesky details (like food and transportation). All I had to do was get in shape and get to Concord.
    Yes, it was extreme at times. It was always challenging. But it was all worth it, because the wilderness of Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks is so spectacularly beautiful and because the strangers I met on the Day 1 had become my good friends by Day 2. We worked hard, sweat a lot, smiled and laughed even more. It was one of the great adventures of my lifetime – one that will never be forgotten.

  68. Carolyn M

    It took me a month to truly realize I accomplished this incredible adventure; I think it was the fact that I finally got all of the oxygen back into my system! Our groups tour guides, Chris & Austin, were superb! Obvious professionals from ensuring everyone had enough food to providing first aid for the ubiquitous blisters and allowing each of us to experience the hiking in our own way; i.e. I took loads of pictures while plodding along. The fact that a wildfire shut-down our original exit point did not faze Chris. Plan B allowed our group to actually camp on the western side of Mt Whitney above Guitar Lake and see the sunset that evening, then get up at odarkthirty the next morning to hike the last 2 miles to the summit in time to witness a sunrise while atop of Mt Whitney and then exit via Mt Whitney’s portal to civilization. There were no hiccups on our end because of that particular wildfire which I think speaks volume to the knowledge of this tour group. Paraphrasing Robert Frost when he wrote, “And I, I took the road less traveled and that has made all of the difference.” Robert Frost so got “it” and so does this tour company! Thanks to my fellow hikers as well as Chris & Austin for an incredible adventure!

  69. Brian Johnston

    I have spent time hiking and backpacking on 6 continents and this route was an absolute gem. If you have tried to plan out a trans sierra trip, you no doubt know that the logistics get complicated quickly. Chris has refined this experience to an extreme level. All you need to do is show up and immerse yourself in the experience. These operators know how to manage all degrees of experience, so long as you show up in shape, they will put you on the path to an immensely enjoyable, and empowering trek. Believe all the 5 reviews, they are well earned, if you are considering a Trans Sierra Hike, you have found your absolute best option. Thanks Chris and Austin.

  70. Jan A. Gazenbeek

    This has been my THIRD trip with TSX, The Trans Sierra challenge from the Southwest Mineral King trail head, the Grand Canyon Challenge and the just completed Trans Sierra Challenge from the Northwest Horse Corral trail head. All trips have been fantastic. The descriptions in the reviews certainly show similar emotions of the various team members. I fully endorse them.
    The bonding among our team # 3 was exceptional and very emotional for very specific reasons. Five of the team members were 28 or younger. They volunteered for many tasks such as pumping water, making campfires, assisting in meal preparation and carrying extra weight and water to the higher camps. This was a god-send and enabled me, as a 73 year old, to focus on the physical and mental challenges of the trip.
    As mentioned in the other reviews it is easy to underestimate what it takes to participate in this trip. It is your responisibilty to show up in excellent shape. Put as much extra fuel in the reserve tank as you can. You will be happy you did.
    Signing off with my Trail Name,
    El Tanko Supreme ( Jan Gazenbeek).

  71. John B.

    This backpacking trip across the Sierras and up Mt. Whitney was terrific. I am 56 years old, and this was a near-perfect first backpacking experience. The trek is well-described by other reviewers’ adjectives: spectacular, once-in-a-lifetime, challenging, beautiful, rewarding. Chris and Austin were great guides — experienced, knowledgeable, accommodating, patient, and very upbeat (and not in an annoying “rah-rah!” way). I enjoyed being away from cell phones (except for the call home from the top of Mt. Whitney) and Internet for eight days. The less-traveled route that TSX uses (until it joins the John Muir and High Sierra Trails the day prior to summiting Whitney) enhanced the solitude and wilderness experience for me. I highly recommend this trek.

  72. Shakespeare

    To be perfectly candid, this was an amazing trip, but it was physically intensive at times. If you’re up for an edifying challenge, but also enjoy beautiful scenery and getting to know complete strangers, this trip will all but surely be a pleasurably indelible experience that you’ll remember for all the right reasons. Thank you so much Chris and Austin. You were truly terrific throughout.

  73. Amy Horton

    One of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life! If you enjoy physical fitness, the outdoors, stunning scenery and feeling like a badass – sign up now! Over the course of 8 days I saw the most beautiful sights imaginable, strengthened my mental and physical resolve, laughed, struggled, persevered, and became family with people who had just recently been complete strangers. Chris and Austin were the best guides we could possibly have had. Not only were they knowledgeable, professional, and committed, they made every moment of every day a great time. I’ve never done anything else that made me feel this empowered and strong. TSX Challenge provides a unique and unparalleled experience of the Sierras and Mt. Whitney. Take a leap and sign up – you won’t regret it!

  74. Krishna Kumar

    For over 20 years, I had nurtured the dream of climbing Mt. Whitney. It was way on top of my bucket list. And what a beautiful and rewarding way to fulfill my long-standing dream – with exceptional guidance, counsel, and assistance from Chris, the founder himself, and the Co-leader Kyle. Thank you Chris and Kyle! This truly turned into a life changing event for me. It was a joy to see Chris succeeding in motivating and helping the whole team to summit Mt. Whitney, notwithstanding minor physical challenges. One of the biggest highlights for me was to see how the stronger members of the team readily stepped in to help anyone in need so selflessly! The mastery Chris has over the terrain, the trails, and the general geography of the area helped make the hike exceptionally enjoyable. If you ever nurtured the hope of standing on top of Mt. Whitney this is the royal way to do it. Don’t wait for another day to sign up and make your dream come true!

  75. Paul Clein

    First of all, this was one of the greatest experiences of my life. The remote location, scenery, Whitney summit, food, group camaraderie, and expert guidance are unparalleled. The trek truly exceeded my expectations, and delivers on every promise made in the promotional materials. I also met some terrific people within our group and I’ll always greatly appreciate their friendship.
    But make no mistake about it, this trek is tough. I measured it on my hiking GPS as 80+ miles with 20,800 feet of altitude gain along with 18,700 feet of altitude loss. In other words, a lot of steep uphill climbs and downhill descents. How hard is it? There’s no doubt that most people in halfway decent shape can finish it. But you’d want to be in pretty good shape leading up to it so that the hiking is mostly just a physical challenge where you are still able to enjoy what is being offered, rather than having most of your time and energy being devoted to conquering a test of endurance.
    If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience in the back country with spectacular views and expert guidance, without having to worry about any details, then this trek is simply unbeatable. I’d highly recommend it to anybody!

  76. Steve Travis

    The hikes were long and the trails tough. The mountains, streams, high-country meadows and star-filled nights were incredibly beautiful. The guides, Chris and Kyle, couldn’t have been better. They knew the country and the trails thoroughly and lead the trip flawlessly. They were personable, friendly and they kept things running smoothly. The trek was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done. It was also one of the greatest and most satisfying adventures of my life. I highly recommend this trip!

  77. Gary Jones

    This is a tough hike. Make no mistake. My GPS said it was over 85 miles over eight days, up and down some of the most remote parts of the Sierra. Climbing up to Colby Lake, then over Colby Pass. Climbing up Mt Whitney and then back to camp. Every day consisted of many miles carrying a relatively heavy pack. But it was all worth it!! Each of the campsites were fantastic, and the breakfasts, lunches, and dinners were exceptional. Best of all, Chris’s knowledge of the terrain, distances and altitude changes of each day’s hike made the hikes much easier than they would have been without it. If you are looking for a challenge, and at the same time want to see some of the most beautiful and remote parts of the U.S., then sign up for this trip. You will not regret it!

  78. Peter Callan

    This was hands down the best trek of my life. It was one of the toughest, both mentally and physically, which made it even more enjoyable. What made it so amazing was 1: the expert personal guides – Chris and Kyle, 2: the scenery, 3: the spectacular campsites, 4: the food all along the way:, 5, the comprehensive package with guides, food, water, transportation, post hike showers and food etc, 6: the remoteness and 7: summiting Mount Whitney.
    Whether you’ve done all the great hikes across the globe or if you’re used to doing short weekend hikes – this one will change your life. THE BEST!! SIGN UP TODAY!!!!!!

  79. Rose Brace

    Thanks to TSX for guiding me through this hike a few months ago. In hindsight I never would have believed I could do it, but I did, thanks to Alex and Zack. It’s a memory I’ll cherish always!

  80. Jan Gazenbeek

    The scenery was awesome. The trails were challenging and went through very varied terrain. I loved the views and the Ponderosa forests. The rest stops and camping sites were well chosen with appropriate daily distances. The camaraderie of the entire team was wonderful. Everybody was supportive of each other. The roses and spines remarks were a very nice touch. I was amazed how well the food preparation was done. Thank you Chris and Alex.

  81. Cassandra B

    An adventure in numbers. 82 miles. 7.5 days. 22,000 feet up. 13,000 feet down. Two dozen magic tricks, jokes, and riddles. 14 snickers bars. 2 lbs. of Yerba Mate. 1 bottle of Sriracha Sauce. 4 younger male athletes. 1 not so young, very determined me. Too many shooting stars to count. 1 magical night atop Mt. Whitney. Thanks for an amazing trip guys!

  82. Michele Heater

    This challenge is physical, duh, but there is nothing I’ve done in my life more inspirational than this. This was my 2nd trek with this company and even though I left bruised, blistered, exhausted and pained, there are no words that can describe the accomplishment. Thank you TSX for memories I will cherish the rest if my life.

  83. Dan B

    Fantastic Trip, Thank You! Great guides (especially huge thanks for Alex for such a great time!), delicious food, amazing views, easy camp tasks. Probably best backpacking trip you’ll ever go on!

  84. Sally Welch

    Had I known what I was getting into, I would not have gone. That said, I’m SO GLAD I did it!!!!! Had cancer last year, and it took more out of me than I had realized. This trip allowed me to recapture some of the things I need for a good, solid life. I was happily pushed beyond my limit…..and lived to tell the story!

  85. Ronnie

    You’re here reading these comments to justify if you should do this challenge or not. Read no more and just sign up. These guys at TSX take care of you from start to finish. All you have to do is to take in the experience of a lifetime.

  86. Elyka P.

    I loved everything about this experience. It was the most challenging and rewarding thing that I have done. I am soooo glad that I was able to participate with my sister.

  87. Elisa P.

    This was an ‘extreme’ trail experience! It was mentally and physically challenging for me; however, as each day’s hike ended, I was amazed at my ability to continue. My goal was to summit Mt. Whitney and I did! Thank you Chris and Alex!

  88. Steve and Melissa Mostert

    So well organized, Chris and Alex are amazing leaders. This was a challenging trip but we trained for a few months prior to departure and it was so worth it. We felt great every day and couldn’t wait to see where the next trail wold bring us. At the end of every day it was so rewarding to think what we had just accomplished. The views were amazing ! Top notch company and priced so well.

  89. Bill L

    There were hard portions each day but the earthly beauty more than offset all pressures each day. The personal satisfaction of successfully climbing Mt. Whitney offsets any and all challenges of this wonderful hike plus you get to see some of the most stunning backcountry in the world.

  90. Kyle

    Loved the views, camaraderie and teamwork of the group!

  91. Li H.

    The experience was more difficult and strenuous than I anticipated but was so enjoyable and meaningful. The overwhelming feeling of accomplishment each time we crested a peak was absolutely worth the effort and pain.

  92. JoJouuu

    The hardest thing I have ever done, not sure if I was going to make it. However really happy I did it. big accomplishment that I will always carry with me. Thanks Chris and Zack

  93. Trail Angel

    It was the hardest physical thing I have ever done in my life and I’m not sure I was mentally or physically prepared judging by the fact that I was one of the slowest hikers. I did not understand the reality of hiking for almost ten hours each day. I was happy that I was not sore and would regain my endurance for the next day only to have it fade away again. I am not sure everyone was honest in the “Thorns and Roses” circle or perhaps I was the only one experiencing a real challenge.

  94. Dave B.

    It was the hardest physical thing I’ve done in my life! But glad I did it!

  95. Maryann

    I loved the experience with my son…to watch him grow ever more independent and confident with men of integrity like his father. He connected with Tim and Sky who were not too much older than him, and that made him feel special and gave me, his mom, memories that will not fade for many years. Yes, I loved being in the wilderness, visiting lakes, meadows, forests that I had only seen in paintings, but the real pleasure of the entire experience were the bonds created with those who were experiencing the same thing as I. That is why your TSX Challenge is what I will recommend to others…because of the people who are part of it.

  96. Breehan

    The trail, scenery, guides and entire experience has stayed with me and brings me peace in times of stress. Thank you.

  97. Ken K.

    This was without a doubt the hardest thing I have ever done. It stretched me in ways I simply had not anticipated. I expected spectacular scenery, and I got that in abundance. I expected that hiking with a heavy pack at high altitude would be hard, and it was harder. The element that took me most by surprise was the group dynamic. I’m sure this varies from group to group, but in our case, the strong camaraderie that developed among us was a major factor in making my personal experience as good as it was. Now, as I recount my experience to friends and family, the hardships of the trail have already begun to fade, and the joy of traveling where few others ever get to go to see and experience things that few other get to experience makes me feel privileged and exhilarated.

  98. cmski11

    This hike had a huge positive impact on me. It solidified my love of the outdoors. It served as tangible proof and inspiration that I could accomplish what I put my mind to. And not least of all, the experience left me with a humble appreciation of something greater than myself. I believe the Whitney experience has a positive impact on just about everyone it touches. Thanks Mike!

  99. Marcus Cheng

    The toughest roughest most rewarding challenge I’ve done ever! Sacrificed the weight of the 5DMkII Camera for some amazing pictures. The reward of ultimately getting to the Mount Whitney summit was breathtaking. Thanks to our guides Tim and Alex for taking us to the promised land up there. Thanks to all who participated in the weeklong hike as well.

  100. Kellie P.

    Thanks Tim! You were an amazing guide, So lucky to have you with us! Brian, you were an awesome guide and cheerleader. I couldn’t of done it without you.

  101. Chris P.

    One of the best experiences of my life!

  102. Kim

    My husband and son went on the trip last year and still talk about the positive impact Tim had on them and how he made the experience even better. This trip changes lives.

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