The Cottonwood Lakes Trail gives you easy access to Mt Langley. Please choose a different date. Aug 27, 2017 - As of September 2020, trails in this area are closed due to wildfire. It was easy to lose the path traversing left at the end of the lake. There are excellent views of Rainbow Lake below and excellent aspen viewing in the fall. There are bathrooms, bear bins, garbage, informative displays, and potable water. So AMAZINGLY beautiful, so many lakes, great altitude gain. Pass the junction with the New Army Pass Trail at 3.5 miles. OMG. Several intersecting trails allow for different route options Turn toward the mountains on Whitney Portal RD. Wandering further, the trail all but disappeared with only a few cairns to mark the way as it climbed steeply to the next bench. This is a difficult one way trail to Long Lake in Golden Trout Wilderness. 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. Located 1 mile south of Lone Pine, at the junction of Highways 395 and State Route 136. The Loop which can lead you to 5 lakes, starts from Horseshoe Meadow and travels from the Golden Trout Wilderness into John Muir Wilderness. TDD: 760-876-6228 It starts off fairly level then descends a bit to the golden trout camp area. Cottonwood Lakes is a 10 km blue singletrack trail located near Whitney Portal California. 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. Full trip report can be found on my blog: www.shedreamsofalpine.com Continue on this road. When … Read More Season opener for us, I’m ready to go again! The Cottonwood Trail is an 85 km partial loop that can be started at either Kathleen Lake or the Mush Lake Road. Proceed with caution along Forest Road 5480 as it runs parallel to the Iron Horse Trail, a popular path for hikers, bikers and cross country skiers. Continue about 20 miles up this precipitous two-lane to the signed parking area for the section of Cottonwood Lakes Trail leading to New Army Pass. Wonderful lakes and great spots to camp in along the trail The half dozen Cottonwood Lakes are clustered in a basin at the foot of 14,032-foot Mount Langley. Deet worked perfectly so lather up and they leave you alone. This is a difficult one way trail to Mount Langley in Sequoia National Park. Lake 4 and 5 had quality fish. Higher lakes are a bit marshy. Going counter clockwise (from the East thru Old Army Pass as this route shows) was incredibly steep. 4.5-hour drive to Lone Pine; 45-minute drive from Lone Pine to the trailhead; 3-hour hike to Cottonwood Lake #2 (8.6 km, 5.3 miles from the trailhead) We walked an extra mile because of the road closure Though unmaintained, the Old Cottonwood Lakes Trail was easy to follow as it gently climbed, following the creek. Cottonwood Lakes Trail [CLOSED] is a 25.9 kilometer heavily trafficked loop trail located near Lone Pine, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. It was cold at night!! Book. Backpacked 4 nights on Lake 3. The trail is 16 + miles roundtrip and traverses a mostly sandy bottom for the first 4 miles. Hiked out through #1 and #2 what a beautiful valley, cut over to Muir lake for lunch, another great place. No major incline for the most part, except for nearly vertical rock scramble in the middle of the hike. Hours: Daily 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Head to Lone Pine, CA. Lots of cool little wildlife running around. This section would turn out to be very similar, with twisted Juniper Pines and … Here is an example of an early season two day trip. read more about your privacy and HikingGuy.com here. The trail begins to gain elevation and you will want to avoid a turn off toward Golden Trout Camp. My GPS estimated 17.5 miles and it took us 9 hours round trip. Hiked Mt Langley on 8/29/20. Beautiful singletrack leads you south on the Colorado Trail from Cottonwood Pass on a rarely hiked section of trail that contours across the base of Sheep Mountain (11,939 ft.). 4 of this did this trail as an overnight trip with a summit of Langley on day 2. The Cottonwood Trail generally offers a lot of peace and solitude for the hiker and it is a nice option for someone wanting to do a little backpacking. Cottonwood Lakes Trail Path alongside a wooded creek, climbing fairly gently above the timberline, past meadows and boggy areas, to a high basin containing several beautiful lakes, directly beneath the Sierra crest. 6.1 … We knocked off a few miles the first afternoon and camped short of the fork in the trail. Cottonwood Lakes 115 A/5; In summary . We saw a family of mountain sheep approach our campsite but they never threatened or came too close. We camped at High Lake 2 nights and the sunsets were incredible. Leave Horseshoe Meadow and hike 3.5 miles up the 1,200-foot climb to Cottonwood Pass. Fairly easy hike in from the trailhead, minimal elevation gain over 6 miles. Phone: 760-876-6222 The summit of nearby Mount Langley attracts adventurous mountaineers. The only time I’ve been in the Horseshoe Meadow area before was to start the John Muir Trail northbound over cottonwood pass.. As of September 2020, trails in this area are closed due to wildfire. There is a small amount of rock scrambling but most of the trail is just sand/rocks. Along the way pass the boundary for the Golden Trout Wilderness. The Cottonwood Lakes trail heads northwest through pine forest, ascending a small rise on gentle grades. Along the trail to New Army Pass are Long Lake and High Lake in the John Muir Wilderness. Do not attempt to do the entire thing in one day unless you regularly do really long hikes. The trail connects the Crag Crest and the Lake of the Woods trails. The mosquito situation was manageable. This trail is hard. Trail Products. The trail rolls up and down with no major climbing as it crosses streams, winds through pine and aspen forests past beaver ponds. Continue on and pass Cottonwood Lake Three on your left and then end at Cottonwood Lakes Four and Five. Spectacular loop with tough climb over Old Army Pass. It has 2 main sites, at the Cottonwood Pass Trail #3505, and also at Cottonwood Lakes Trail, they are not far, if one site fills, try the other. Wonderful trail- easy for the most part excluding a half hour of switchbacks in the middle of hike It was memorable trip to this day. And most of the time a had a jacket on!! Before of the CA forest fires if hiking this month, it is nearly impossible to breath up there after noon and will NOT be a fun trip. large granite boulders! Here are a few pics of the area: Cottonwood Lakes Trails Trip Report, August 17 2013. This trail goes by Cottonwood Lake #1, Cottonwood Lake #2, Long Lake, New Army Pass, and Old Army Pass. Occasional high wind gusts. The hike to Lake #4 is extraordinary. There are trails that shoot off from this loop that head to Muir Lake, South Fork Lake and New Army Pass. As stated in recent review, there was still snow at the top as of 7/7 and this made for a dicey traverse. From Whitney Portal Road turn-off, the drive up to the trail head is approximately 30 minutes. If both fill you are permitted to camp / sleep in your car. Just five miles to the third lake, but you get to see two before that A 30 foot section required a scramble at 900 ft above the lake and another section about 10 feet required holding onto the rock while shuffling along a foot wide ledge (don't look down here). After a mile there is reliable water in the form of a creek. Make a Left on Horseshoe Meadow Rd. Views of the waterfall and Langley were amazing. Map showing trails to Cottonwood Lakes in the John Muir Wilderness, along with a trail elevation profile. 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. See park page for more information. Cottonwood Lakes Trail provides a scenic romp through the Southeastern Sierra with alpine lakes and mountain views. Sorry, there are no tours or activities available to book online for the date(s) you selected. It's important to keep on it so if you aren't sure, go back and make sure. HOME Cottonwood Pack Station is located near Lone Pine, California and operates under permit by the Inyo National Forest and Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park.. We offer supported hiking trips as well as traditional horse packing trips. Chicken Spring Lake via Cottonwood Pass Trail [CLOSED], Horseshoe Meadow to the Kern River [CLOSED], Horseshoe Meadows to Mount Whitney and Whitney Portal Trailhead via New Army Pass, Mount Langley Loop via Cottonwood Pass [CLOSED], Cottonwood Lakes Campground to Mount Langley, Mount Whitney via Cottonwood Lakes Walk-in Campground, Trail Pass to Trail Peak via Pacific Crest Trail, Horseshoe Meadows, Pacific Crest Trail, High Sierra Trail, Golden Trout Loop [CLOSED], Cirque Peak Via Cottonwood Lakes and New Army Pass Trails, Cottonwood Lake and Long Lake via Cottonwood Lakes and New Army Pass Trail, Cottonwood Lake #3, #4, #5 via Cottonwood Lakes and Army Pass Trail, John Muir Trail - Cottonwood Lakes Trail Head to Happy Isles [CLOSED], John Muir Trail: Horseshoe Meadow to Happy Isles [CLOSED], Horseshoe Meadow Loop via Trail Pass Trail [CLOSED], Horseshoe Meadow to Haiwee Creek [CLOSED], Trail Pass to Cotton Wood Lakes Loop [CLOSED]. The first lakes going counter-clockwise are worth stopping at! Cottonwood Lakes Loop starts from Horseshoe Meadow and travels from the Golden Trout Wilderness into John Muir Wilderness. Roots Rocks Rhythm Trail Guide. no photos have been added for Cottonwood Lake Trail yet, add a photo. All Rights Reserved, Cottonwood Lakes Walk in Campground, Lone Pine, CA, 93545, camping gear recommendations on my gear page, restored their habitat in Cottonwood Lakes, hiking tricks and tips that I’ve learned over the years, what hiking gear works and what gear doesn’t, Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Hikes, please erase and block them using your web browser. Cottonwood Lakes Loop starts from Horseshoe Meadow and travels from the Golden Trout Wilderness into John Muir Wilderness. Eastern Sierra Interagency Visitor Center I got a headache, probably the altitude, so I didn’t make the whole loop. ", Very well marked trail, beautiful lakes, I found a nice spot to camp at the bottom of lake 3 almost at lake 2. To Muir lake and back. Rewarding and beautiful hike. The trail is easy to follow and well marked. I did a solo backpacking 1 night. I would recommend it to those who are into Sierra hiking, or just any hikers. +++Watch for Rocks in the road+++++ Follow signs for hiking or horses depending on your pleasure. The elevation and mileage was difficult for my skill level, but now looking back I know it is a fairly easy hike. It begins at the Horseshoe Meadow parking lot at an elevation of 10,000 feet. 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. I rate it as "hard" for a day trip. Length 11 miElevation gain 1469 ftRoute type Out & back Creeks and streams a half hour in to the hike The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Fishing was relatively slow. The trail varies from 4-wheel drive road to single track; it passes through stands of spruce and poplar; crosses two mountain passes, and follows through open meadows. You can chose to complete the loop section anyway you like. New Army Pass coming down was very relaxing compared to the breathless, steep ascent. Poles still a necessity and not for faint of heart but hopefully gone in a few days. Altitude makes this extra challenging. The trail head is close to the trail head to Mt Whitney. The distance was closer to 18 miles when I did this on Friday (17 July 2020). Cottonwood Lakes Trail Itinerary Day 1: Huntington Beach → Lone Pine → Cottonwood Lakes Trailhead → Cottonwood Lake #2. We stayed below High Lake since everyone was gassed. There are camping areas around the Cottonwood Lakes and I've heard you can catch some nice fish there. Beautiful meadows and plenty of water This was my second backpacking trip. Great hike, we camped in the boulders at lake #3 so cool felt like a marmot! Langley, Cirque Peak and the Pacific Crest Trail. Hiked up to #5 on 7/4 free fishing day and our group caught 6 nice Golden trout kept a couple to taste- amazing! Yes, 2 days The words: Cottonwood Lakes They were overfished, but the California Department of Fish and Game has. It's a walkup campground, $6 cash. Post a … Once on top head South to find New Army Pass. Head north through pine forests along Cottonwood Creek. We'll catch the trail at the junction we found on the map between Cottonwood Lakes 1 and 2. The Cottonwood Lakes Trailhead marks the start of a great adventure into beautiful meadows, lakes, and alpine terrain. Reviews / Comments. I’ve always heard of the beauty in the Cottonwood Lakes Basin. 4.2 miles into this section, go straight on the middle road and pass Lost Lake. The summit of Langley was pretty tough as it was our first 14er, but as long as you follow the cairns, pack enough water and food, it's doable and not very technical. Next time. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. They formed into their own species of trout by becoming isolated in these mountain lakes thousands of years ago by volcanic activity. Cottonwood Lakes Trail Head Parking Lot The descent down New Army was fine after a little scrambling at the top. Head up the trail across a well made log bridge, rock hop one more creek and come to a junction. South Fork Meadow offered good views of tree-stubbled granite lumps to the east. This trail goes by Cottonwood Lake #1 and Cottonwood Lake #2. Completed this with my dog over the weekend. Whether you want to climb Mt Whitney from the west side, or traverse the entire John Muir Trail, we offer fully outfitted pack trips for both hikers and riders. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. The trek up the pass was pretty gradual, though there were really steep grades on some spots but after coming down on the other side of the mountain, we were glad we … The trail turns west and at around 4.5 miles you enter an open meadow with excellent views of the Sierra Crest ahead. I took three 13 year old girls on this hike and it was more difficult than expected. I did not have a very good sleeping bag on top of it being fall, so I was cold during the night. The weather was terrific the whole time, hovering in the mid-70s during the day and only dipping into the 30s at night. Old Army Pass was a bear. Defiantly recommend this hike!! See park page for more information. Cottonwood Lakes Trail is in the Inyo National Forest right outside the town of Lone Pine California. Many hikers set out for Cottonwood Lakes (6 miles) either as a day hike or overnight trip. Follow this road through incredible rock formations before heading up the mountain gaining thousands of feet over a few miles. Please note that the gate leading to this trailhead is currently closed (06/04/2020). Getting to the Cottonwood Lakes Campground Trailhead, The Golden Trout is only native to the waters of this area and is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful trout in the world. Located near Horseshoe Meadows, the Cottonwood Lakes Basin has many pristine alpine lakes and creeks located between Mount Langley and Cirque Peak. And a few switchbacks at the top Since we arrived after 5PM, we made prior arrangement with the park rangers to pickup our overnight permit at the late night pickup box outside Lone Pine. I'd rate this as "hard. The trip begins on a mostly sandy trail leading you North into the Golden trout Wilderness. Quite buggy at dusk and dawn. The hike begins at 10,090 feet, so expect a headache if you haven't acclimated properly. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. 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. Awesome hike especially the view at New Army Pass. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. 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? Make sure your barbs are pinched!! You get a nice high start, and the trail is excellent. Cottonwood Lake to the Poplar Gulch Trail starts from the scenic little log cabins around Cottonwood Lake, this trail follows South Cottonwood Creek up Green Timber Gulch and into the mountains – as if any of these trails go anywhere else. Use trail reports to comment on trail conditions. The paved road is usually open late May to late October. After hiking a little over 0.5 miles the trail curves to the north, tops a low rise and then descends on ease grades to a crossing of the South Fork Cottonwood Creek at 1.4 miles. Had the lake to ourselves! The Lakes were super beautiful and worth the hike alone. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. 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. Parking is ample and paved. A loop through Cottonwood Lakes Basin with two totally unnecessary passes thrown in for bonus. 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. Cottonwood Lakes Foot Trail is a 11 mile out and back trail located near Mesa, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. 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