Merriam Peak Loop

Pine Creek Pass.JPG

Merriam Peak Loop

August 11-14, 2017
Group size: maximum of 6 (5 guests, 1 guide)

This is a strenuous trip into the very best of the High Sierra.  We will travel off-trail above tree-line for the middle part of  our itinerary, and we will attempt to summit one (or two) of the most spectacular peaks in the Sierra.  This is a non-technical climb, no ropes needed, but you must be in good shape to join us for this one.  The first day's hike will involve gaining 4,000' of elevation, over a major pass, with full packs.  Don't bring any extra weight!

Trip fee: $900 per person
Click here to contact us and sign up!

Included: all meals starting with dinner day 1, through lunch day 5; water filters, camp stoves, pots, pans and related kitchen gear; wilderness permit, maps and experienced guide (ORE/CMA founder Roddy McCalley will lead all trips in 2017).   Basic gear (backpack, sleeping bag and sleeping pad) can be provided for a small additional fee. 


Day 1: Friday, August 11
Camp location: Pine Creek Canyon, elevation 7,400'

Meet at front-country dispersed campsites in Pine Creek Canyon by 7pm, prep for trip.  Introductions and gear check.

Day 2: Saturday, August 12
Camp location: Royce Lakes, elevation 11,700'
Hiking distance: 10 miles with packs

Breakfast in camp.  Backpack over Pine Creek Pass, travel off-trail from the pass to the lakes, make camp.  Lunch on trail.  We will be in a beautiful and fragile alpine environment.  Leave No Trace principles will be taught and practiced.  Dinner in camp at Royce Lakes.

Day 3: Sunday, August 13
Camp location: Royce Lakes, elevation 11,700'

Attempt Merriam and/or Royce Peaks (13,000') by non-technical routes (both can be climbed via Class 2 routes from the
Royce-Merriam Saddle).  Route-finding and safe travel in steep, rocky terrain will be demonstrated and taught.  To the level of group interest, we'll also discuss Sierra geology and human history from the Nevadan Orogeny to the Gold Rush.

Day 4: Monday, August 14
Hike out via Royce Pass and Honeymoon Lake, 10 miles

On our final hiking day we'll continue traveling through trail-less alpine terrain.  Rather than going out the way we came in (over Pine Creek Pass), we'll go north over Royce Pass towards Honeymoon Lake to complete the loop.  On the way, we'll teach and practice off-trail navigation with map and compass.  When we regain the trail below Honeymoon Lake, we'll charge the remaining miles down to Pine Creek Canyon.  If you don't need to travel this evening, come join your guide for a well-earned beer and burger at the Mountain Rambler Brewery in Bishop (not included in trip cost).  We recommend reserving accommodations somewhere in the area (Mammoth Lakes, Tom's Place or Bishop) for this night, you'll be tired and ready for a bed and a shower!



Equal Opportunity Statement--Inyo National Forest, USDA:

“In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, and reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.  (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) 


Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible State or local Agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information is also available in languages other than English.


To file a complaint alleging discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at at any USDA office or write a letter addressedto USDA and provided in the letter all of the informationrequested in the form.  To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992.  Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (a) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (b) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (c) email:”


“USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.”