Silver Knapsack Trail

The Silver Knapsack Trail is a 36.2-mile (58.3 km)[a] trail in the Sierra Nevada, near Johnsondale, Springville, and Three Rivers, California.[1] It is located in Sequoia National Forest and the southernmost part of Sequoia National Park.[2] Much of the trail lies within the Golden Trout Wilderness.[3][4]

Silver Knapsack Trail
Length36.2 mi (58.3 km)
LocationTulare County, California, USA
TrailheadsSummit and Clicks Creek Trailheads above Springville, California
36°10′49″N 118°32′06″W / 36.180375°N 118.535071°W / 36.180375; -118.535071
UseHiking, Backpacking
Highest pointFlorence Peak, 12,438 ft (3,791 m)
DifficultyModerate to strenuous


There are seven glacier-carved lakes along the trail, and most of the trail is above 7,000 feet (2,100 m).[2][5] The Summit Trailhead elevation is 8,250 feet (2,510 m). The elevation of the trail ranges from 6,050 to 9,850 feet (1,840 to 3,000 m). The trail is open from July to October and is very popular with Boy Scouts.[5][6] There are several intersecting and side trails that provide many options varying the exact length and path of a hike, backpacking, or camping excursion.

Starting from Summit Trailhead headed north, the landmarks on the trail are: South Mountaineer Creek, Jacobsen Meadow, Mowery Meadow, Alpine Meadow (which isn't actually alpine in nature), Griswold Meadow, Maggie Mountain, Maggie Lakes, Frog Lakes, Twin Lakes, Sheep Mountain, Quinn Patrol Cabin, Soda Spring Creek and Soda Spring (which has carbonated water), Newlywed Site, Walker Cabin (built in 1886), Mountaineer Creek, Grey Meadow Ranger Station, Clicks Creek, Clicks Creek Trailhead, and then back to Summit Trailhead.[4][5] Several of the cabins in the area were originally built by sheepherders; for example Quinn Patrol Cabin was built by sheepherder Harry Quinn circa 1900.[4][5]


The trail is a circle (loop) hike, generally starting from either the Summit or Clicks Creek Trailheads, both of which are in the southwestern portion of the trail. It is composed of the following segments:[2]

  • Summit Trailhead to Alpine Meadow ... 6.5 miles (10.5 km)
  • Alpine Meadow to Maggie Lakes ... 6.4 miles (10.3 km)
  • Maggie Lakes to Soda Spring Creek ... 9.5 miles (15.3 km)
  • Soda Spring Creek to Little Kern River ... 7.5 miles (12.1 km)
  • Little Kern River to Clicks Creek Trailhead ... 7.5 miles (12.1 km)

Silver Knapsack AwardEdit

Silver Knapsack Award

Scouts and Leaders who meet the 9 requirements, can earn the Silver Knapsack Award patch.[7][8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Distances from 35 to 45 miles are listed and they can be accounted for by various trail options and slight measuring differences.


  1. ^ "Hiking Trails Near 'Wishon Campground' (Springville, CA)". All Trails. Retrieved 2010-10-28.
  2. ^ a b c "Sequoia National Forest: Hiking - Silver Knapsack Trail". Gorp. Archived from the original on 2010-12-11. Retrieved 2010-10-28.
  3. ^ "Golden Trout Wilderness Hiking". Retrieved 2010-10-28.
  4. ^ a b c Swedo, Suzanne (2004). "4,12". Hiking California's Golden Trout Wilderness. A Falcon Guide. Guilford, CT: Globe Pequot Press. pp. 43-€"47, 82-€"84. ISBN 0-7627-2655-5. Retrieved October 28, 2010.
  5. ^ a b c d Jenkins, J. C.; Jenkins, Ruby Johnson (1995). Exploring the Southern Sierra, West Side. Vol. 2. Berkeley, CA: Wilderness Press. pp. 133–136. ISBN 0-89997-181-4. Retrieved October 28, 2010.
  6. ^ "Silver Knapsack Trail". Retrieved 2010-10-28.
  7. ^ "Silver Knapsack". Mira Costa College. Retrieved 2010-10-28.
  8. ^ "Silver Knapsack Trail". Western LA County Council High Adventure Team. Retrieved 2010-10-28.

External linksEdit