If you’re planning to climb Mt. Parking was free and the Silver Lake… 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. 351 Pacu Lane Sequoia-Kings Canyon does not allow dogs. Your return route from Cottonwood Lakes is on the right. Cottonwood Pass’s quota is June 1 to September 15 with 40 people/day, 24 ahead of time, and 16 as walk-up. Langley is a good Mt. When … Read More Cottonwood Lakes This scenic trail through a lake-filled basin provides a 10-mile round trip day hike to Long Lake and a 7.5-miles one-way trek to New Army Pass on the border of Sequoia National … 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. Along trails, bury human waste away from water sources. There are sections that are rough and rocky, though none require using your hands. Good for swimming, lunching, and leisuring. See how your fees have made a difference! Langley. Follow US 395 north to Lone Pine. It spits you out 3.5 miles later at a 3-way intersection. If you’re early in the season or even hiking in August during a big snow year, New Army is a better bet. 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). The sq. The Cottonwood Lakes Loop has opportunities for swimming, soaking, and fishing in the Cottonwood Lakes Basin and other lakes along the hike. Cottonwood Lakes Trailhead. There are views of the Siberian Outpost. Right after hopping across Rock Creek, turn right following signs for the Army Pass Trail. 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. Check local regulations. Special fishing regulations in Cottonwood Lakes Basin. On a busy weekend, if you can’t find your way around, just call out. The trail flattens. 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. It starts off fairly level then descends a bit to the golden trout camp area. It crosses a plateau. Just label them with your name and re-entry date. We also found a GPS app pre-loaded with the Mt. Head north through pine forests along Cottonwood Creek. We carried Montbell Versalite and a NW Alpine DCF rain jacket. Follow Leave No Trace Ethics including camping and pooping far from water. 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. 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. Be sure to preload the basemaps for offline version in Gaia before you leave home. A loop through Cottonwood Lakes Basin with two totally unnecessary passes thrown in for bonus. Yes, 2 days The words: Cottonwood Lakes First Aid Kit: Homemade. Be sure to check what is written on your permit and talk to the ranger about conditions before you go. At Treeline, we want you to buy right the first time. WHERE: About 225 miles (4 hours) north of Los Angeles. Backpacking Cottonwood Lakes Loop & SummitIng Mount Langley - Inyo National Forest. Backpacking Cottonwood Lakes Loop & SummitIng Mount Langley - Inyo National Forest. Explore Inyo National Forest - Wilderness Permits in Inyo National Forest, California with Recreation.gov. Sharp granite cliffs rimmed this upper corner of Cottonwood Basin. The Brighton Lakes Trail is located near the end of Big Cottonwood Canyon Road. To purchase maps and guidebooks go to esiaonline.com. Given how flat the terrain is these first few miles, they could have easily extended the road farther. share. Reproduction without permission is prohibited. Photo by Liz Thomas. See REI’s guide to How to Choose and How to Use Bear Canisters for more on weight, volume, and ease-of-use considerations. Semi loop out and back on the Cottonwood Lakes Trail in Inyo National Forest, Lone Pine CA This is a list of what we carried on the Cottonwood Pass Loop. Climbing over New Army Pass the trail continues into Sequoia National Park and eventually joins the Pacific Crest Trail. 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. Langley area:  8. Every recommendation we make is chosen by our editors. See our Best Hiking Socks article for more about why we love these socks. Learn more about our mission and what makes us different here. Photo by Liz Thomas. Starting at the Trespass Creek Trail/Cottonwood Lake trailhead, hike up Trespass Creek. Group size must be limited to 8 people or less (some parts of the loop are up to 15, but it’s 8 if you want the full loop). Early in the season as snow is melting, water can be plentiful. We also used our TOAKS 750 L titanium pot and TOAKS long-handled spoon. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, and nature trips and is best used from June until October. Log in or sign up to leave a comment log in sign up. youtu.be/y3RF3_... 4 comments. Old Army Pass sits at the west end of 4th Lake. Outside of the park, dogs must be leashed. High Sierra Trails website makes no warranties regarding the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of any of its maps. The PCT tends to be easy walking on well-maintained trail, so you can look up at the view. Stay on the PCT as it contours through twisted foxtail pine forest, resembling an Ansel Adams photograph. Photo by Liz Thomas. Although we backpacked during a relatively warm time of year, we still appreciated having a bag with a 20F degree rating. Whitney High Country Trail map. Starts at a high trailhead (~10,000). This is also the cut-off to climb the nearby 14,000 foot Mt. At 3rd Lake, I cut left off the trail to find Muir Lake, just because. Yes, 2 days The words: Cottonwood Lakes We will be seeing 8 of the high alpine Cottonwood Lakes in the Eastern Sierra Neva 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. Cottonwood Lakes Trail provides a scenic romp through the Southeastern Sierra with alpine lakes and mountain views. Posted by 3 hours ago. You’re at 11,500 feet looking out at Whitney Meadow to the west and the green valley below Siberian Pass to the northwest. Langley (you can read about that side-trip below). From Old Army Pass, take a well worn sandy trail heading to the north. US Forest Service: Cottonwood Pass Trailhead, Eastern Sierra Interagency Visitor Center, Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park Current Conditions. Although this loop takes you up and over two alpine passes, the elevation gain is relatively moderate because you start at one of the highest elevation trailheads in California. Because of the regulations require a bear canister, we brought a Bear Vault 450 for this trip. At 10.5 miles, the trees disappear and the trail looks out and up to the Army Pass/New Army Pass Plateau. We definitely saw a lot of backpackers in boots for this trip, especially around the rocky Old Army Pass. There are trails and/or use-trails to all the lakes in the Cottonwood Lakes Basin (which can sometimes get confusing). Lower Rock Creek Camp has bear boxes (and a rumored toilet, though I have yet to find it). Langley track to be useful to have on our phones. Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which means we may receive a small percentage of any purchase you make. Follow US 395 north to Lone Pine. The upper portion of the loop continues on the Tom Harrison’s Mt. About 5 miles from the pass, we reached an Inyo National Forest sign. Photo by Liz Thomas, Elevation gain/loss: 3901 feet/ -3890 feet. Along the trail to New Army Pass are Long Lake and High Lake in the John Muir Wilderness. Turn left and continue up on the windy, narrow, and big drop-off Horseshoe Meadow Road for 16 miles. However, if there is snow, the trail may be obscured. You get a nice high start, and the trail is excellent. Photo by Liz Thomas. 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. If you’re headed to the high country in the early spring or late fall, see our Shoulder Season Backpacking Gear article. Silver Lake Loop Trail, Big Cottonwood Canyon. Between May 1 and Nov. 1, overnight use is limited to 60 people / day. Type: Loop GPX File Download. Langley, Old Army gives you more direct access. It also dries quickly and is warm even when wet. Of course, keeping the road short keeps the people out, making the Cottonwood Lakes region quiet and remote. We carried the Biolite 330 and Black Diamond Spot 325 on this trip. Depending on where you parked, take the trail to the Equestrian Camp Parking Lot and then down to your car at the Cottonwood Pass Trailhead. Because the hike is arguably easier than Mt. For fishing regulations, go to http://www.dfg.ca.gov/fishing/, For fishing regulations go to http://www.dfg.ca.gov/fishing/. 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. Whitney alternative. There’s also a McDonalds in Lone Pine that seems to excite many backpackers. You’ll find streamlets flowing everywhere. They’re both lightweight and fast. Sat, Jun 17, 2017, 8:00 AM: This hike is approximately 12 miles round trip with an elevation gain of about 1250 feet. Cottonwood Loop , Loop, TX is currently not for sale. The PCT from the junction from Cottonwood Pass to Upper Rock Creek Lake was alos clear of snow, good trail conditions. See our Make Your Own Emergency Kit story. The major downside of going clockwise is the big climb up Old Army Pass. Sharp granite cliffs rimmed this upper corner of Cottonwood Basin. Sign up with your email address to be the first to know when we release new gear reviews! Langley. They’re comparable in length, though New Army is slightly longer and more elevation gain (but not by much). You decide. We wore the men’s and women’s Altra Lone Peaks on this trip. See routes and schedules here. There were several lakes and peaks just north of us in the Mt. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. But fear not, we don't allow our judgment to be influenced by these arrangements! Side trails branch to Muir Lake, Hidden Lake, South Fork Lakes, Cirque Lake. Both will be in our upcoming Best Sunshirts story. 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. Mirror and Cottonwood Lakes Hike Info. Backpacking Cottonwood Lakes Loop & SummitIng Mount Langley - Inyo National Forest. Old Army Pass sits at the west end of 4th Lake. From there, you’ve got 3.5 shady miles following Cottonwood Creek down to an intersection. From the Los Angeles area, take I-5 to CA-14 to US 395 north near Ridgecrest. Photo by Liz Thomas. 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). Here are our favorite things to wear while backpacking and hiking from our Hiking Apparel page. We are meeting at the Cottonwood Lakes Trailhead at 8:00am. The summit has incredible views of Mt. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. A loop through Cottonwood Lakes Basin with two totally unnecessary passes thrown in for bonus. The Cottonwood Lakes Trail gives you easy access to Mt Langley. Montbell U.L. Hiking and camping were the primary summer recreation since dog walking and swimming were not allowed. As the 9th highest peak in California, it’s also one of the easiest 14ers to climb. 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. Whitney alternative hike with easier-to-get permits, this loop just south of that famous area gives you a taste of the Sierra high country without the hassle. Turn left at Lubken Canyon Rd, a narrow and unlikely shortcut through a private Pheasant Hunting Club. Cottonwood Lakes Trailhead Campground. Our campsite at sunset along the New Army Trail on the Cottonwood Lakes Loop. They're both among the lightest full sleeping bags out there but very warm for their weight. 361 Trip Reports for this trail, below Hike by WTA Correspondents: Claire Mitchell. Each of us carried 2-3 Pair socks. Carry a printed and signed version of your permit on your person at all times. 100% Upvoted. Hiking trails connect the three, so depending on how crowded any given parking lot is, you can always choose a lot with more spots. Sunday Afternoons Ultralight Adventure Hat and a trucker hat (augmented with the hood on our sunshirt). 5. The map displayed above is for illustrative purposes only. Even though California mountains are known for relatively good weather with less rain than other ranges, you should always carry rain gear and extra layers for cold evenings and chilly mornings. By the time we reached the Cottonwood Lakes, we were ready for a pizza, so zoomed through it. But it gives you lots of options for campsites. On our most recent trip, we opted for Old Army Pass. After 9.5 miles, reach wildflower-lined Rock Creek—a perfect place to take a lunch or camp. We wore the Patagonia men’s Capilene Daily Cool long sleeve and USHood Sunshirt. Wilderness permits are required for overnight trips. Common Destinations: Cottonwood Lakes basin, New Army Pass, John Muir Trail, Mount Langley, Cottonwood Lakes / New Army Pass Recreation Guide (pdf). 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. Once off the switchbacks of Old Army Pass, we picnicked by the shady Cottonwood Lake #4, notable for great fishing. 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. Close. Langley squeaks by as one of California’s 12 peaks that are 14,000 feet or more. Pass the junction with the New Army Pass Trail at 3.5 miles. It requires watching a short video and is printable at home. For more information about traveling in bear bear country, click here... Map showing recreational areas. 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). The half dozen Cottonwood Lakes are clustered in a basin at the foot of 14,032-foot Mount Langley. Bear canisters are required for Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park and Chicken Spring Lake (so again, applicable if you’re doing the whole loop). I'm a little low on water, and eager to take a break. We test. It’s one of the easiest 14ers to climb as nothing is technical, but can still be dangerous in snow or if you find yourself off route (easy to do as there are many use trails). There is no additional cost to you and the decision to buy something is up to you. 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 exposed and can hold snow later into the season, but feels like an epic pass. Cottonwood Lakes Trail is in the Inyo National Forest right outside the town of Lone Pine California. 6/20 - … Located near Horseshoe Meadows, the Cottonwood Lakes Basin has many pristine alpine lakes and creeks located between Mount Langley and Cirque Peak. Pass the junction with the New Army Pass Trail at 3.5 miles. All rights reserved. Vault toilet at trailhead. This trail description is for your reference, but always call the ranger station for the most updated information and checks maps. Purple Rain Adventure Skirt / REI Sahara Hiking Pants. It’s the route most folks take up to Mt. Accessibility—it’s one of the high Sierra’s closest trailheads to Southern California. It begins at the Horseshoe Meadow parking lot at an elevation of 10,000 feet. If coming from the North, Copper BBQ in Big Pine is divine (for the meat eaters out there). Stay straight through shaded, relatively flat trail across the expansive Horseshoe Meadow—a green and inviting flat area rare in the Sierra. No campfires in the Cottonwood Lakes Basin or above 10,400 feet elevation. Because the route is at such a high altitude, having adequate sun protection was important. See our Best Hiking Shoes story for footwear that has more durability and stability than trail runners. Maps and Compass: Suunto M-3-D- Leader Compass and Waterproof Maps by Tom Harrison (see Maps and Guidebooks section). The men’s and women’s Darn Tough Micro Crew socks are soft, durable, comfortable, and fit like a glove. We like that there’s no pumping required and no chemicals involved. The trail then follows cairns to the top. We like the Gaia navigation phone app because it’s easy to use to check if we are on route. 86% Upvoted. If going counter-clockwise, it may be worth considering taking New Army Pass instead (see next variation). 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. Emergency Beacon: The Garmin InReach Mini allows two way texting from the backcountry, spot forecasting and more. Whitney to the north, Owens Valley below to the west, and the Kern River Valley to the east. We’re big fans of Tom Harrison Maps, which are easy to read and ground-truthed for accuracy. Rock Creek does become intermittent after a mile, so fill up your water when you can (at mile 10, the trail crosses Rock Creek and *usually* water still flows there). SUMMIT. At 3rd Lake, I cut left off the trail to find Muir Lake, just because. 18. New Army has better-maintained switchbacks. For more backpacking gear recommendations, see our Backpacking Gear section and our Essential Backpacking Accessories story. The first four miles of the Cottonwood Lakes trail cross a long, gentle bowl, following a creek past forests and meadows. 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). National Forests in California are using recreation fee revenues to improve and enhance recreation opportunities. To do the route Clockwise: Select Cottonwood Pass Trailhead as your entry point and Cottonwood Lakes Trailhead as your exit point. Just a mile later, you’ll leave the PCT, turning right on the Siberian Pass Trail (also signed Upper Rock Creek). We both used the Neo Air XLite sleeping pads on this trip—one in short and one in 6-foot length. Just remember to hike from the same trailhead as your permit. The Eastern Sierra Transit Authority runs a bus from Lone Pine to other areas in Inyo and Mono County. Here is an example of an early season two day trip. The Lone Peak 4.5s are our Long Distance Winners in our Best Trail Running Shoes story. Sky Blue Lake This hike extends beyond Lower Soldier Lake up Miter Basin to a deep blue lake … Langley, Cirque Peak and the Pacific Crest Trail. 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. Both excel at feeling comfortable, not too hot, and nice and stretchy for lots of mobility. Each parking lot has metal bear storage boxes. From there, continue on 395 north for 60.4 miles. Permits are limited. Close. Often campfires are banned everywhere in California during the summer. Maximum group size in Miter Basin/ Mt. See this Reddit thread for opinions on the two. Whitney and doesn’t require permits, Mt. 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). On the way back up to Army Pass, you’ll visit the Rock Creek Lake camping area (also great for wading). Aim to hike after the snow has melted—usually late June or July. Dispose of trash in bear proof trash receptacles. View 3181 homes for sale in Cottonwood Lakes, take real estate virtual tours & browse MLS listings in Thornton, CO at realtor.com®. Here, you can make the decision to take New Army Pass or a not-marked junction over to Old Army Pass. Campfires are prohibited at Chicken Spring Lake. At 14,026 feet, Mt. Miter Basin. 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. 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. Along this wide open basin enjoy the unique geology, flora, and fauna of the Crazy Mountain Range which sits stoically at the far Eastern Front of the Rocky Mountains and takes the brunt of the brutal winds from the expansive plains to the East. The trail turns west and at around 4.5 miles you enter an open meadow with excellent views of the Sierra Crest ahead. 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. Along the trail to New Army Pass are Long Lake and High Lake in the John Muir Wilderness. Continue on and pass Cottonwood Lake Three on your left and then end at Cottonwood Lakes Four and Five. Head east on Main St out of town, on Flowery Trail Road, toward the ski resort of 49 Degrees North. August is usually a safe month for snow and may have fewer mosquitoes, though it will be warmer, and not all water sources may be flowing. 6/19 - Horseshoe meadows to the Siberian Outpost/PCT Junction is completely snow-free and stock-passable. 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? 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’s amazing how such small things can make such a big difference on a backpacking trip! 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Sales history and Zestimate data on Zillow Egret ( women ’ s and women ’ quota... Several Lakes and mountain views one in 6-foot length has many pristine alpine Lakes and mountain views it off...