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Mount Jordan: California Versus Idaho

Updated on September 19, 2015


Is it possible that the same peak is located in two separate States? In this case, it is obviously not true. Currently, there are two peaks located in United States that are both named Mount Jordan and are located in two different states. One is in California and the other one is in Idaho. This article will attempt to distinguish the peaks in the two different states. Here, I will only discuss the different route of getting to the Mount Jordan in California.

In California, Mount Jordan is located in Tulare county at latitude 36.68520 degree north and longitude 118.4484 degree west. Its elevation is around 13344ft/4067m. This peak is located within the boundaries of Sequoia/kings Canyon National park. It appears blocky and stacky and has features resembling those of a castle. More specifically, it is located on Kings/Kern Divide. This Divide is a 6-mile long ridge that extends to east-west connecting the Great western Divide and the main center of the Sierra Nevada. Climbing this peak is a serious challenge in the winter due to its far distance from the roads. It is usually recommended to be visited during June/September period. It was visited in 1936. In Idaho, the peak is located in Custer County and at latitude 44.4699119 and 114.7800841 . This summit was first entered on June 21st, 1979 at elevation 9940ft/3042m.

Mount Jordan in California

Mount Jordan from The General in Idaho

Mount Jordan in Idaho from 9000k

Route/Trailhead to Mount Jordan

Various attempt has been made to reach Mount Jordan in California from different routes. One can attempt to follow Shephard Pass and Kearsarge, which are the nearest east side trailheads. To attempt the trip from west side, one would have to go from kings Canyon through Bubb creek to Lake Reflection. Clearly, hiking up Vidette creek and crossing Deerhorn Saddle and Harrison Pass can get you to Kern Headwaters.

In order to get to Mount Jordan, one would have to reach Kings/Kern Divide. Inspite of the difficulty to reach the divide, three routes are available to get you there: Road end trailhead, Onion Valley Trailhead and Shepherd Pass trailhead. However, only 2 trailheads will be discussed here.

Mount Jordan clear view in Idaho

Road End Trailhead/Shepherd Pass Trailhead

Within the Kings Canyon National Park is the Road ends Trailhead and is the fastest route from the west 14.5 miles beyond scenic East Lake and Reflection Lake. An additional mile trip brings one close to the top of Lucy's Foot Pass. When you go 3 miles beyond the 14.5miles, you will come close to the foot of Table Mountain at the west end of King/Kern Divide. In order to get to the east end of the divide, you would have to reach 20 trail miles plus 8200ft of ascension.

The second route to attempt to reach King/kern Divide is through Shepherd Pass Trailhead. But first, one would have to reach Shepherd Pass Trailhead. To get there while in Tulare County, drive west from Independence on Market street for about 4.2 miles where you then turn left toward south side onto Foothill road. After that turn, travel for about 1.3miles, then take right fork and drive for about 2 miles, then there will be a a sign for junction for Shepherd Pass Trail. Once you spot the sign, turn right and continue to follow the road to the trailhead while maintaining right at both fork.

Shepherd Pass Trailhead

Upon reaching Shepherd Pass Trailhead, one would have to go through Shepherd Pass 8500ft high and 1600ft of descent for about 20 miles to come close to Forester Pass. To reduce distance including climbing and descending, one can take an easy cross country cutoff around the base of Diamond Mesa. Another attempt through Shepherd Pass Trailhead is to go through Junction Pass by taking old John Muir trail from what is known as "The Pothole" over Junction Pass into Center Basin. About 10,400ft of climbing and 3200ft of descending around Center Peak in approximately around 21 miles can bring you closer to Forester Pass.

When you cross directly over Junction Peak as you passes the old John Muir trail through the class 3/4 northernmost of 2 steep gullies on the east side of the peak, go down through the class 3 west ridge to about 8100ft high and 1200ft of descent to a distance of 13 miles. To reach the Kings/Kern Divide after going through Shepherd Pass Trailhead is fairly possible.


The two peaks have varying latitude and longitude. The classifcation used in terms of the difficulty to attempt the climb does not depend on the route. A trip from from east slope, north slope or west slope side of the peak are all considered under class 3 difficulty level. Camping and fishing activity sites are all located within the east of the peak located in California.


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