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Forester Pass is a mountain pass in the Sierra Nevada. Located on the Kings-Kern Divide on the boundary between Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park, Forester Pass connects the drainages of Bubbs Creek and the Kern River. At 13,153 feet (4,009 m), Forester Pass is the highest point along the Pacific Crest Trail.

Forester Pass
View from Forester Pass.jpg
The view south from Forester Pass
Elevation 13,153 ft (4,009 m)[1]
Traversed by John Muir Trail, Pacific Crest Trail
Location Tulare County, California, United States
Range Sierra Nevada
Coordinates 36°41′39″N 118°22′19″W / 36.6941018°N 118.3720397°W / 36.6941018; -118.3720397Coordinates: 36°41′39″N 118°22′19″W / 36.6941018°N 118.3720397°W / 36.6941018; -118.3720397[1]
Topo map USGS Mount Williamson

Originally discovered by a group of United States Forest Service workers, it was subsequently named in their honor.[2]

On August 26, 1930, four men, including 18-year-old Donald Downs were injured during construction of the trail over the pass. A boulder let loose during blasting of the trail crushed Mr. Downs' arm. The men were evacuated by stretcher, Downs to Baxter Cabin and the others to Independence. Mr. Down’s arm was amputated. He died on Sept. 2, 1930 from complications of surgery. A plane crashed at Tyndall Creek after dropping medicine for Downs. A plaque commemorating his death is found on the southern side of the pass, most easily seen while walking in a northerly direction.[3]

Plaque on Forester Pass in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California commemorating the death of Donald Downs in 1930 during construction of the pass.


  1. ^ a b "Forester Pass". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  2. ^ Erwin G. Gudde (1998). California Place Names: The Origin and Etymology of Current Geographical Names, Fourth edition. ISBN 0-520-21316-5.
  3. ^ Jr, Farabee (2005-04-07). Death, Daring, and Disaster: Search and Rescue in the National Parks. Taylor Trade Publications. pp. 107–109. ISBN 9781461661856.