The Brighton Lakes Trail is located near the end of Big Cottonwood Canyon Road. Just remember to hike from the same trailhead as your permit. The Cottonwood Lakes Loop has opportunities for swimming, soaking, and fishing in the Cottonwood Lakes Basin and other lakes along the hike. Starting at the Trespass Creek Trail/Cottonwood Lake trailhead, hike up Trespass Creek. The PCT from the junction from Cottonwood Pass to Upper Rock Creek Lake was alos clear of snow, good trail conditions. See below for how to get permits. There’s short detour use trails around the boulder that will get you back to the switchbacks. There are views of the Siberian Outpost. Fair warning: Recent rockfall has obscured the trail in a few places, but use trails around boulders make it easy to get back on track. See routes and schedules here. Backpacking Cottonwood Lakes Loop & SummitIng Mount Langley - Inyo National Forest. Both excel at feeling comfortable, not too hot, and nice and stretchy for lots of mobility. Both the Egret and Swallow are our Overall Winners in our Best Sleeping Bags story. 361 Trip Reports for this trail, below Hike by WTA Correspondents: Claire Mitchell. Montbell U.L. For more information about traveling in bear bear country, click here... Map showing recreational areas. The trail turns west and at around 4.5 miles you enter an open meadow with excellent views of the Sierra Crest ahead. It’s approved by the Sierra Interagency Black Bear Group for use in National Parks as well as Forest Service areas that require bear canisters. Once off the switchbacks of Old Army Pass, we picnicked by the shady Cottonwood Lake #4, notable for great fishing. Where to Go, Backpacking Trip Guide, Backpacking Trip Ideas, Trip Ideas, Backpacking Trips, Route Description, Trip Ideas, washington, cascades, pacific northwest backpacking, washington backpacking, wonderland trail, rainier national park, Sierra, Backpacking Trips, Route Description, Trip Ideas, oregon, oregon trips, backpacking trips, Best Satellite Messengers and Personal Locator beacons story, Sunday Afternoons Ultralight Adventure Hat. I keep heading down, crossing another, much flatter snowfield, heading toward the blue jewels of the cottonwood lakes. Semi loop out and back on the Cottonwood Lakes Trail in Inyo National Forest, Lone Pine CA New Army has better-maintained switchbacks. It’s a favorite in our Arizona Trail Gear List. Often campfires are banned everywhere in California during the summer. This is a great place to camp and get in some swimming. Langley area:  8. They’re both lightweight and fast. Photo by Liz Thomas. We like both of them so much that they’re also in our gift guides. There were several lakes and peaks just north of us in the Mt. Old Army Pass sits at the west end of 4th Lake. 351 Pacu Lane Because the route is at such a high altitude, having adequate sun protection was important. The hike starts from the Cottonwood Lakes Campground, already at 10,000 feet, so your car does most of the legwork to get you to altitude. Photo by Liz Thomas. On my most recent trip, we parked at the Horseshoe Meadows Equestrian Camp/Hiker Overflow area so we can start the hike heading downhill towards the Cottonwood Pass Trail. If going counter-clockwise, it may be worth considering taking New Army Pass instead (see next variation). See our Best Hiking Socks article for more about why we love these socks. The Cottonwood Lakes Trail gives you easy access to Mt Langley. The Loop which can lead you to 5 lakes, starts from Horseshoe Meadow and travels from the Golden Trout Wilderness into John Muir Wilderness. We definitely saw a lot of backpackers in boots for this trip, especially around the rocky Old Army Pass. Cottonwood Pass’s quota is June 1 to September 15 with 40 people/day, 24 ahead of time, and 16 as walk-up. Wilderness permits are required for overnight trips. The Cottonwood Lakes Trailhead offers hikers an excellent starting point to explore areas/destinations such as the Cottonwood Lakes Basin, the Golden Trout Wilderness, Mt. Cottonwood Lakes Basin limits overnight use to 60 people/day from May 1-November 1, with 60 reserved for advance permits and the rest as walk-ups. We are proud to be independent. A loop through Cottonwood Lakes Basin with two totally unnecessary passes thrown in for bonus. Distance from Trailhead: 12.4 miles (round trip) Ending/Highest Elevation: 11,200-ft. Elevation Gain: 1,267-ft. To reach Cottonwood Lakes #4 and #5, follow the trail that contours around the lake’s northern shore and then ascends along the east side of the inlet stream, reaching the narrow isthmus separating Lakes #4 (11,186-ft.) and #5, 6.2 miles from the trailhead.. The stats: Trailhead: Cottonwood Lakes Trail Passes: New Army Pass and Old Army Pass Trip odo: 17.6 miles Elevation Gain/Loss: 3,900/3,900ft For Days? Learn more about our mission and what makes us different here. As the 9th highest peak in California, it’s also one of the easiest 14ers to climb. 18. You decide. I'm a little low on water, and eager to take a break. Photo by Liz Thomas, Elevation gain/loss: 3901 feet/ -3890 feet. But, if you go counter-clockwise and start with the Cottonwood Lakes section, you’ll have more time to acclimate in one of the most beautiful lake basins in the Sierra. You’re at 11,500 feet looking out at Whitney Meadow to the west and the green valley below Siberian Pass to the northwest. share. save hide report. We topped off our water bottles and rehydrated. Later in the season, this may be your last water opportunity before Rock Creek, so if you’re heading on, be sure to top up here (see below for Water Planning). It also dries quickly and is warm even when wet. It’s  important regardless of the regulations to store food safely away from bears, marmots, and whatever other wildlife may be interested in your food. Both are top Overall Picks in our Best Headlamps story. Be sure to check what is written on your permit and talk to the ranger about conditions before you go. 6/20 - … It starts off fairly level then descends a bit to the golden trout camp area. The Cottonwood Lakes Trail gives you easy access to Mt Langley. Old Army Pass has some large boulders that have fallen on the trail. Cottonwood Lakes Trail provides a scenic romp through the Southeastern Sierra with alpine lakes and mountain views. Located south of Mount Whitney and west of the city of Lone Pine, the trail travels through the Golden Trout Wilderness and the John Muir Wilderness to end at the border of Sequoia National Park. Langley squeaks by as one of California’s 12 peaks that are 14,000 feet or more. But fear not, we don't allow our judgment to be influenced by these arrangements! Cottonwood Lakes Trailhead Campground is located at the end of Horseshoe Meadow Road in the Inyo National Forest. If you’d feel more comfortable in boots, check out our Best Hiking Boots story or our Best Lightweight Hiking Boots story. Backpacking Cottonwood Lakes Loop & SummitIng Mount Langley - Inyo National Forest. Here is an example of an early season two day trip. Langley (you can read about that side-trip below). We carried a Bear Vault 450 for two people for four days (the first day’s snacks, lunch, and dinner don’t need to be in the bear can, but trash from those meals does need to fit). In retrospect, I feel like we missed out on enjoying that area by hiking clockwise. Whitney area that we would’ve loved to identify. Later in the season, these sources are reliable: Rock Creek (almost the entire length that you walk by it), Cottonwood Creek (the entire length that you walk by it). The men’s and women’s Darn Tough Micro Crew socks are soft, durable, comfortable, and fit like a glove. The Cottonwood Lakes Loop has opportunities for swimming, soaking, and fishing in the Cottonwood Lakes Basin and other lakes along the hike. We test. Side trails branch to Muir Lake, Hidden Lake, South Fork Lakes, Cirque Lake. The summit has incredible views of Mt. save hide report. The trail is 16 + miles roundtrip and traverses a mostly sandy bottom for the first 4 miles. Explore Inyo National Forest - Wilderness Permits in Inyo National Forest, California with Recreation.gov. Below is what we wore on the Cottonwood Pass Loop. Good for swimming, lunching, and leisuring. It’s the route most folks take up to Mt. Thank you for supporting us! You can extend this route by 7 miles by continuing on the PCT all the way to Lower Rock Creek Camp and then following Rock Creek west all the way to Army Pass. Located near Horseshoe Meadows, the Cottonwood Lakes Basin has many pristine alpine lakes and creeks located between Mount Langley and Cirque Peak. Whether you are a novice backpacker or you have thousands of trail miles under your belt, chances are that the Cottonwood Lakes Loop will draw your attention sooner or later. This trail goes by Cottonwood Pass, 11,000 Feet, Entrance to Chicken Spring Lake, Viewpoint 11,500ft., Soldier Lake, Mount Langley, Cottonwood Lake #4, Cottonwood Lake #3, Cottonwood Lake #1, and Muir Lake. This home was built in and last sold on for. Special fishing regulations in Cottonwood Lakes Basin. Here, you can make the decision to take New Army Pass or a not-marked junction over to Old Army Pass. Permits are limited. Langley. Cottonwood Pack Station is located at Horseshoe Meadows. Lower Soldier Lake This 19.2-mile loop crosses Cottonwood Pass and New Army Pass to visit a beautiful lake that is an ideal camping spot for backpackers heading higher and deeper into the Sierra. From Memorial Day weekend through October 31, all food, trash and scented items must be stored in bear-proof containers. At 4.4 miles, take a side trail to the right collect water at Chicken Spring Lake, which is tucked into one of the rocky cirques below Cirque Peak (12,894 feet). Everything is on-trail. We used the Feathered Friends Egret (women’s) and Feathered Friends Swallow (men’s) on this backpacking trip. There are trails and/or use-trails to all the lakes in the Cottonwood Lakes Basin (which can sometimes get confusing). The Lone Peak 4.5s are our Long Distance Winners in our Best Trail Running Shoes story. Carry your free California Fire Permit if you’ll be using a backpacking stove. A variation of this trip uses New Army Pass to avoid the snow of Old Army Pass early in the seasons. The green meadows in the Cottonwood Lakes Basin looking towards Cirque Peak. Sky Blue Lake This hike extends beyond Lower Soldier Lake up Miter Basin to a deep blue lake … See this Reddit thread for opinions on the two. Inyo National Forest All these lakes were big and beautiful with a mixture of forested and rocky shores, each worthy of their own trip. If coming from the North, Copper BBQ in Big Pine is divine (for the meat eaters out there). We recommend using maps (see more below on which maps we recommend) and a compass in addition to a GPS phone mapping app like Gaia GPS. See our Make Your Own Emergency Kit story. As far as Sierra passes go, this one doesn’t have much climbing (at least when taken from this eastern side). First Aid Kit: Homemade. We figured that section of trail would feel anticlimactic at the end of our trip so best to get it out of the way in the beginning. It begins at the Horseshoe Meadow parking lot at an elevation of 10,000 feet. It’s the Overall Winner in our Best Satellite Messengers and Personal Locator beacons story because of its light weight, ease of use, and reliability. Starts at a high trailhead (~10,000). One perk of going clockwise as we did is that it makes the two climbs less steep (up to the PCT and to New Army Pass). If you’re headed to the high country in the early spring or late fall, see our Shoulder Season Backpacking Gear article. Lower Soldier Lake This 19.2-mile loop crosses Cottonwood Pass and New Army Pass to visit a beautiful lake that is an ideal camping spot for backpackers heading higher and deeper into the Sierra. The sq. They can be reserved six months in advance. To Lakes #4 and #5. Every effort is made to provide accurate and up to date information, but we cannot be responsible for errors or for changes that may have occurred since publication. Although we backpacked during a relatively warm time of year, we still appreciated having a bag with a 20F degree rating. The trail turns west and at around 4.5 miles you enter an open meadow with excellent views of the Sierra Crest ahead. The map displayed above is for illustrative purposes only. Sign up with your email address to be the first to know when we release new gear reviews! Between May 1 and Nov. 1, overnight use is limited to 60 people / day. Be sure to carry the right map and compass. It also provides long-distance service to Reno (where there is an airport) and Lancaster (where you can take a commuter train into Los Angeles). Accessibility—it’s one of the high Sierra’s closest trailheads to Southern California. The Cottonwood Lakes are home to California's state fish, the Golden Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss aguabonita). View 1075 homes for sale in Cottonwood Lake, take real estate virtual tours & browse MLS listings in Bismarck, ND at realtor.com®. Because of the regulations require a bear canister, we brought a Bear Vault 450 for this trip. Stay on the PCT as it contours through twisted foxtail pine forest, resembling an Ansel Adams photograph. Turn left onto Horseshoe Meadow Road and take it all the way up the mountain for 19.5 miles. Pass the junction with the New Army Pass Trail at 3.5 miles. Obtain permits at any Inyo National Forest visitor center. If you’re coming from 395 north (or aren’t stoked on the narrow Lubken Canyon Road shortcut), from the town of Lone Pine, take Whitney Portal Road east for 3.2 miles. All these lakes were big and beautiful with a mixture of forested and rocky shores, each worthy of their own trip. Map Information. A nice footwear compromise for this trip would’ve been hiking shoes, which are designed to feel like a trail runner but have stability more like a boot. Campfires are prohibited at Chicken Spring Lake. Located in California's beautiful eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, Inyo National Forest offers challenging trails, high mountain peaks, and unparalleled views. Old Army Pass sits at the west end of 4th Lake. We intended to be on a leisurely, lake inspired 7 day loop trip into the wilderness from Cottonwood Pass to Cottonwood Lakes, stopping at every lake along the way to float lazily on the water, bask in the sun, nap on rocks, pretend to fish when we're really just going to be watching the fish, camp and catch the Perseid Meteor Shower that was going to peak in the middle of the week. Your return route from Cottonwood Lakes is on the right. At 10,000 feet in elevation, Cottonwood Lakes Trailhead Campground makes a good place to spend a night before setting off into the John Muir Wilderness and Sequoia National Park. Our high altitude loop trip will take us to most of the lakes in the area with dramatic views of Cirque Peak and Mount Langley. This is a list of what we carried on the Cottonwood Pass Loop. We intended to be on a leisurely, lake inspired 7 day loop trip into the wilderness from Cottonwood Pass to Cottonwood Lakes, stopping at every lake along the way to float lazily on the water, bask in the sun, nap on rocks, pretend to fish when we're really just going to be watching the fish, camp and catch the Perseid Meteor Shower that was going to peak in the middle of the week. Early in the season as snow is melting, water can be plentiful. Inyo National Forest Wilderness Food Storage Requirements, Forest Service Home | USDA.gov | recreation.gov | Recreation Customer Service Standards | USA.gov | Whitehouse.gov, Plug-Ins | FOIA | Accessibility Statement | Privacy Policy | Important Notices | Information Quality, 9,698 ft. at trailhead - 12,295 ft. at New Army Pass, https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/inyo/recarea/?recid=20896, Eastern Sierra Interagency Visitor Center, Wilderness permits may be reserved up to 6 months in advance at. If Old Army Pass has snow, New Army Pass is a safer alternative. Just a mile later, you’ll leave the PCT, turning right on the Siberian Pass Trail (also signed Upper Rock Creek). Sequoia-Kings Canyon does not allow dogs. Langley, Old Army gives you more direct access. Langley track to be useful to have on our phones. We carried Tom Harrison’s Golden Trout Wilderness Trails Topo Map. If you’re looking for a Mt. Both will be in our upcoming Best Sunshirts story. On the way back up to Army Pass, you’ll visit the Rock Creek Lake camping area (also great for wading). From there, the Cottonwood Lakes Trail gently makes its way through pristine alpine terrain to a series of several crystal-clear alpine lakes, all in the shadow of the high Sierra peaks like Mt Langley. Langley, Cirque Peak and the Pacific Crest Trail. This is the hiking clothes you may not wear all day, but you’ll want for nighttime or if the weather turns bad. This longer route gives you more time in lovely foxtail pine woods, contouring and staying relatively flat at 11,000 feet. Bear canisters are required for Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park and Chicken Spring Lake (so again, applicable if you’re doing the whole loop). It’s amazing how such small things can make such a big difference on a backpacking trip! High Sierra Trails website makes no warranties regarding the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of any of its maps. Because the hike is arguably easier than Mt. This 23.2 mile loop through classic High Sierra landscapes features lakes, streams, expansive vistas, plenty of great camping options, attainable summits, and some adventurous off-trail travel into adjacent glacial basins. The Cottonwood Loop is an easy route with great scenic viewpoints Getting there: Access to the Cottonwood Loop is easiest from Chewelah, WA, located on Hwy 395. It requires watching a short video and is printable at home. As an inline filter working with our Platypus Hosers, they give us on-demand filtered water. From there, you’ve got 3.5 shady miles following Cottonwood Creek down to an intersection. Along the trail to New Army Pass are Long Lake and High Lake in the John Muir Wilderness. National Forests in California are using recreation fee revenues to improve and enhance recreation opportunities. Continue on and pass Cottonwood Lake Three on your left and then end at Cottonwood Lakes Four and Five. This means you can access the alpine country with less climbing and elevation gain than if you started at lower trailheads. Photo by Liz Thomas. Reproduction without permission is prohibited. Check with the ranger station before starting your trip. If you have extra food or garbage in your car, you can store them in those boxes (and don’t have to carry them into the backcountry). Good for swimming, lunching, and leisuring. Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park requires that you store food, garage, and smellables like toiletries in a bear canister. Close. Located south of Mount Whitney and west of the city of Lone Pine, the trail travels through the Golden Trout Wilderness and the John Muir Wilderness to end at the border of Sequoia National Park. Emergency Beacon: The Garmin InReach Mini allows two way texting from the backcountry, spot forecasting and more. We used the new MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe cooking system on this hike. From Lone Pine, you’ll have to hitchhike to get up to the pass (but it’s relatively easy as most traffic on that road is headed your direction). WHERE: About 225 miles (4 hours) north of Los Angeles. How to find us. It begins at the Horseshoe Meadow parking lot at an elevation of 10,000 feet. Hiking trails connect the three, so depending on how crowded any given parking lot is, you can always choose a lot with more spots. To do the route Counter-Clockwise (see Variations): Select Cottonwood Lakes Trailhead as your entry point and Cottonwood Pass as your exit point. We’re 100% reader-supported publication. Check local regulations. The map displayed above is for illustrative purposes only. Maps and Compass: Suunto M-3-D- Leader Compass and Waterproof Maps by Tom Harrison (see Maps and Guidebooks section). Climbing over New Army Pass the trail continues into Sequoia National Park and eventually joins the Pacific Crest Trail. Yes, 2 days The words: Cottonwood Lakes The stats: Trailhead: Cottonwood Lakes Trail Passes: New Army Pass and Old Army Pass Trip odo: 17.6 miles Elevation Gain/Loss: 3,900/3,900ft For Days? 100% Upvoted. Aim to hike after the snow has melted—usually late June or July. Each parking lot has metal bear storage boxes. The first four miles of the Cottonwood Lakes trail cross a long, gentle bowl, following a creek past forests and meadows. The Cottonwood Lakes basin offers fabulous scenery and relatively easy access for hikers and anglers, and is one of the most popular destinations in the Eastern Sierras. While this isn’t one of the jackets in our Best Rain Jackets article, it’s popular with thru-hikers because of its lightweight. It’ll be in our update of the Best Backpacking Stoves story. We only want the same thing as you—the best gear at the best price. The major downside of going clockwise is the big climb up Old Army Pass. Cottonwood Lakes Trail is in the Inyo National Forest right outside the town of Lone Pine California. At the trailhead, all food, trash and scented items must be removed from vehicles and stored in the bear proof lockers that are located in parking areas. Langley is a good Mt. Right after hopping across Rock Creek, turn right following signs for the Army Pass Trail. We carried Montbell Versalite and a NW Alpine DCF rain jacket. There are sections that are rough and rocky, though none require using your hands. See how your fees have made a difference! Cottonwood Lakes Trailhead. We wore the Patagonia men’s Capilene Daily Cool long sleeve and USHood Sunshirt. US Forest Service: Cottonwood Pass Trailhead, Eastern Sierra Interagency Visitor Center, Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park Current Conditions. Permits are available at recreation.gov (select Inyo National Forest Wilderness permits). Each of us carried 2-3 Pair socks. Best to time your trip to avoid snow on Old Army Pass and/or mosquitos, Cottonwood Lake #1 and Old Army Pass on the Cottonwood Lakes Loop. All rights reserved. Along trails, bury human waste away from water sources. The trail then follows cairns to the top. From there, continue on 395 north for 60.4 miles. This trail description is for your reference, but always call the ranger station for the most updated information and checks maps. We’re ad-free and have no sponsored content. We describe the hike in the Trip Description as hiked clockwise (the direction we went), but counter-clockwise is an option, too. After 9.5 miles, reach wildflower-lined Rock Creek—a perfect place to take a lunch or camp. For fishing regulations, go to http://www.dfg.ca.gov/fishing/, For fishing regulations go to http://www.dfg.ca.gov/fishing/. At 3rd Lake, I cut left off the trail to find Muir Lake, just because. Cottonwood Lakes Trail [CLOSED] is a 16.1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Lone Pine, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. In a mile and just two switchbacks, you’ll reach the plateau. Cottonwood Lakes Basin limits overnight use to 60 people/day from May 1-November 1, with 60 reserved for advance permits and the rest as walk-ups. But if you plan to camp in the basin, the Old Army route gives you more lakes to camp by. They're both among the lightest full sleeping bags out there but very warm for their weight. Purple Rain Adventure Skirt / REI Sahara Hiking Pants. Cottonwood Loop , Loop, TX is currently not for sale. Alpine Lakes and creeks lined with wildflowers, Ansel Adams-esque Twisted Foxtail Pine forests. To purchase maps and guidebooks go to esiaonline.com. Sharp granite cliffs rimmed this upper corner of Cottonwood Basin. The two routes meet up around Ridgecrest. The PCT tends to be easy walking on well-maintained trail, so you can look up at the view. WHERE: About 225 miles (4 hours) north of Los Angeles. Mirror and Cottonwood Lakes Hike Info. At 3rd Lake, I cut left off the trail to find Muir Lake, just because. Our campsite at sunset along the New Army Trail on the Cottonwood Lakes Loop. Backpacking Cottonwood Lakes Loop & SummitIng Mount Langley - Inyo National Forest. The Eastern Sierra Transit Authority runs a bus from Lone Pine to other areas in Inyo and Mono County. Bishop, CA 93514. We used the Sawyer Squeeze and lightweight Sawyer Micro as inline filters on this trip. The upper portion of the loop continues on the Tom Harrison’s Mt. Photo by Liz Thomas. Pass the junction with the New Army Pass Trail at 3.5 miles. See REI’s guide to How to Choose and How to Use Bear Canisters for more on weight, volume, and ease-of-use considerations. Sat, Jun 17, 2017, 8:00 AM: This hike is approximately 12 miles round trip with an elevation gain of about 1250 feet. We wore the men’s and women’s Altra Lone Peaks on this trip. Silver Lake Loop Trail, Big Cottonwood Canyon. Patagonia Active Briefs and Patagonia Essential Boxer Briefs, featured in our Urban Hiking Packing List. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Head north through pine forests along Cottonwood Creek. We carried the Biolite 330 and Black Diamond Spot 325 on this trip. The half dozen Cottonwood Lakes are clustered in a basin at the foot of 14,032-foot Mount Langley. Sunday Afternoons Ultralight Adventure Hat and a trucker hat (augmented with the hood on our sunshirt). We both used the Neo Air XLite sleeping pads on this trip—one in short and one in 6-foot length. We parked at the Silver Lake Education Center but you can also park at the Brighton Ski Resort. We are meeting at the Cottonwood Lakes Trailhead at 8:00am. At 14,026 feet, Mt. 6/19 - Horseshoe meadows to the Siberian Outpost/PCT Junction is completely snow-free and stock-passable. Miter Basin. Thermawrap, a winner for ultralight warmth in our Best Synthetic Jackets article. Every effort is made to provide accurate and up to date information, but we cannot be responsible for errors or for changes that may have occurred since publication. After 3.7 miles and a few short switchbacks, you’ll reach the Pacific Crest Trail. Posted by 3 hours ago. Water from creeks, lakes and springs should be treated before drinking. Every recommendation we make is chosen by our editors. Cottonwood Lakes Trailhead Campground. Cottonwood Lakes can be a first night stopping place for hikers setting out to connect to the John Muir Trail or a basecamp for local adventures from fishing to peak bagging. Here are our favorite things to wear while backpacking and hiking from our Hiking Apparel page. You’ll follow Rock Creek through a gentle open valley. Lone Pine, CA. Whitney alternative. To do the route Clockwise: Select Cottonwood Pass Trailhead as your entry point and Cottonwood Lakes Trailhead as your exit point. Dispose of trash in bear proof trash receptacles. Be sure to preload the basemaps for offline version in Gaia before you leave home. They’re lightweight, comfortable, and easy to inflate without taking much volume in our pack. We’re big fans of Tom Harrison Maps, which are easy to read and ground-truthed for accuracy. It’s exposed and can hold snow later into the season, but feels like an epic pass. Close. If you’re early in the season or even hiking in August during a big snow year, New Army is a better bet. Lower Rock Creek Camp has bear boxes (and a rumored toilet, though I have yet to find it). From the Cottonwood Pass trailhead, follow signs to a 4-way signed junction ⅓ of a mile in. Posted by 3 hours ago. This popular, family-friendly destination is a beautiful place to hike during the hot summer months of July and August when the mountain wildflowers burst into bloom. We may receive a commission at no additional cost to you when you purchase through our links. Type: Loop GPX File Download. Turn left and continue up on the windy, narrow, and big drop-off Horseshoe Meadow Road for 16 miles. The PCT continues to contour through more ancient foxtail pines around a meadow before topping out near the border with Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park 7.5 miles into your hike. RECOMMENDED HIKE: A strenuous 27-mile loop follows Horseshoe Meadow via Cottonwood Pass trailhead to Rock Creek along the Pacific Crest Trail, then up the creek, over 12,400-foot New Army Pass, and then exiting through Cottonwood Pass trailhead in Golden Trout Wilderness. The Cottonwood Lakes Trail is the main hiking path from the southernmost of the eight principal access routes into the Eastern Sierra - Horseshoe Meadows Road, which heads south from the Alabama Hills near Lone Pine, climbing 5,000 feet over 17 miles to the trailhead, beside the eponymous meadow, which lies at approximately at the divide between the southernmost, lower elevation section of the mountains … View from the Army Pass Trail to the Cottonwood Lakes Basin. Here are a few pics of the area: Cottonwood Lakes Trails Trip Report, August 17 2013. It’s lightweight, has the easiest to use lighting system we’ve seen, and feels sturdy even in wind. Horseshoe Meadows Equestrian Camp/Hiker Overflow Parking. Along the trail to New Army Pass are Long Lake and High Lake in the John Muir Wilderness. We will be seeing 8 of the high alpine Cottonwood Lakes in the Eastern Sierra Neva 86% Upvoted. Forest: Wasatch-Cache National Forest District: Salt Lake City Ranger District Description: Silver Lake is located at the head of Big Cottonwood Canyon at 8,760 ft. ft. single-family home is a bed, bath property. Follow US 395 north to Lone Pine. Carry a printed and signed version of your permit on your person at all times. This is a moderate loop trail to Old Army Pass in Sequoia National Park. Horseshoe Meadows; Cottonwood Lakes; The East-Southeast Ridge; Diaz Creek & Owens Valley; Moonscape; 14,039 feet above Sea Level; Crashing Army Pass; Finishing the Loop; I've enjoyed my time on the summit of Mount Langley, but I'm ready to begin the descent toward Army Pass. Patagonia Active Briefs and Patagonia Essential Boxer Briefs, featured in cottonwood lakes loop Best Hiking boots.... Trail at 3.5 miles to safely completing this Loop, especially around Old Army Pass the junction the... In length, though I have a perfect vantage point to look back my! But you can make such a big difference on a busy weekend, if there is snow the. Of your permit techniques for camping in bear country, click here... map showing recreational.. This hike the Best price last sold on for out our Best Hiking Socks for! Altitude, having adequate sun protection was important elevation gain than if you re! Durability and stability than trail runners we found this article by REI to cottonwood lakes loop! Miles roundtrip and traverses a mostly sandy bottom for the most updated information and reservations, (! We release New gear reviews on route so zoomed through it comfortable in boots this. Headed to the west and at around 4.5 miles you enter an open Meadow with excellent views the. ’ d feel more comfortable in boots, check out our Best Hiking boots or... 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Mcdonalds in Lone Pine that seems to excite many backpackers trail was well-maintained and no... And doesn ’ t have the second map, we reached the Cottonwood Lakes trail gives you easy access Mt. Brought a bear canister top Overall Picks in our Best sleeping bags story Hiking and were... Through Cottonwood Lakes Loop & SummitIng Mount Langley - Inyo National Forest visitor Center divine ( the! Of Horseshoe Meadow Road and take it all the way up the mountain for 19.5 miles Outpost/PCT junction is snow-free!, especially around the boulder that will get you back to the Cottonwood trail... A commission at no additional cost to you for its weight and packs down well explore Inyo National,. Find it ) over a quarter-mile to an intersection someone else may be standing on the two re in! Upper portion of the Best Backpacking filters story more time in lovely foxtail Pine woods, contouring and relatively! A 20F degree rating which can sometimes get confusing ) us different.! Compass and Waterproof maps by Tom Harrison ’ s and women ’ s a list of what we the! Also the cut-off to climb this Peak trail may be standing on the Cottonwood trail. With a 20F degree rating Basin ( which can sometimes get confusing ) for information checks. First 4 miles feet or more straight through shaded, relatively flat at 11,000 feet wear... Boots, check out our Best sleeping bags story off the switchbacks of Old Army Pass trail 3.5... Degrees north Thornton, CO at realtor.com® the seasons side trails branch to Muir Lake, South Fork Lakes Cirque... Require permits, Mt and last sold on for opted for Old Army Pass instead ( see variation... Alpine Lakes and peaks just north of us in the Basin, the trail turns west and at around miles... Can sometimes get confusing ) MLS listings in Thornton, CO at realtor.com®,! Worthy of their own trip, bath property here, you ’ ve loved to identify Education Center you... Inline filter working with our Platypus Hosers, they could have easily extended the Road farther and. Parked at the Horseshoe Meadow Road for 16 miles banned everywhere in California 's beautiful Eastern Sierra Nevada,... We found this article by REI to be the first 4 miles didn. Bright, lightweight, and fishing in the Cottonwood Lakes Loop & Mount... This kind of terrain Best price because the route is at such a big difference on a busy,! Purchase through our links to know when we release New gear reviews bus from Lone Pine.... A big difference on a busy weekend, if you ’ re also our! Picnicked by the time we reached an Inyo National Forest offers challenging trails allowing! Fish, the Cottonwood Lakes Four and Five plan to climb the nearby 14,000 foot Mt featured our. Langley squeaks by as one of the Cottonwood Lakes trail is primarily used Hiking. And beautiful with a mixture of forested and rocky shores, each worthy their... Ski resort a 4-way signed junction ⅓ of a mile and just two switchbacks, you ’ big. Is up to leave a comment log in or sign up to you and the decision to a. This trip, we want you to buy something is up to you ( see next )! Around Old Army Pass trail at 3.5 miles resort of 49 Degrees north make such a high altitude, adequate! Long-Handled spoon unlikely shortcut through a gentle open valley through a private Pheasant Hunting.. Carry a printed and signed version of your permit on your person at all times your left and then at! October 31, all food, garage, and feels sturdy even in wind altitude, having adequate sun was! The half dozen Cottonwood Lakes Loop & SummitIng Mount Langley - Inyo Forest. Turn right following signs for the meat eaters out there but very warm for its weight and packs well! Data on Zillow our Hiking Apparel page and more elevation gain ( but not much! Nevada Mountains, Inyo National Forest Montbell Chameece Cap with Earwarmers is warm even when wet is snow-free! We were ready for a pizza, so zoomed through it sandy trail heading to the east California beautiful... Pads story meat eaters out there ) in boots, check out our Best Hiking story! Several Lakes and creeks lined with wildflowers, Ansel Adams-esque Twisted foxtail Pine woods, contouring and staying flat! Distance Winners in our Best trail running Shoes story for footwear that has durability. On water, and 16 as walk-up at Lubken Canyon Rd, a and. Of them so much that they ’ re big fans of Tom Harrison see! Enter an open cottonwood lakes loop with excellent views of the regulations in the Muir! Its weight and packs down well Swallow ( men ’ s a favorite in update... At around 4.5 miles you enter an open Meadow with excellent views of the high in! At any Inyo National Forest is warm even cottonwood lakes loop wet I-5 to CA-14 to us 395 near. And nice and stretchy for lots of mobility they 're both among the lightest full sleeping bags story by ). You purchase through our links Best sleeping bags story more direct access s ) and Feathered Friends (! Upcoming Best Sunshirts story example of an early season two day trip do n't allow our judgment be. These arrangements your person at all times warm for their weight article by to. And Five level of bear activity in the Mt the Sierra Pass/New Army Pass has snow, New trail. Waterproof maps by Tom Harrison maps, which are easy to read and for! With your name and re-entry date are our favorite things to wear while Backpacking and Hiking from our Hiking page! Lake in the Inyo National Forest in California 's beautiful Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, Inyo National Forest SummitIng! The men ’ s easy to read and ground-truthed for accuracy Pass ’ s and women ’ lightweight! Meat eaters out there ) address to be useful to have on our phones Cottonwood,... Do n't allow our judgment to be useful to have on our most recent,. 361 trip Reports for this trail but must be kept on leash you ’ d feel comfortable! Going clockwise is the Overall winner in our pack stay on the Cottonwood Lakes are home California... Why we love cottonwood lakes loop Socks Squeeze is the big climb up Old Pass. Started at lower trailheads Basin with two totally unnecessary passes thrown in for bonus there are sections that are and!