Cottonwood Pass Trail
Starting from the end of Horseshoe Meadows Road, the trail over Cottonwood Pass goes to the northern portion of the Golden Trout Wilderness. Small streams meander through tree-rimmed meadows in this wilderness area named for California's state fish, the Golden Trout. The Pacific Crest Trail junction at Cottonwood Pass gives the option to go to the southeastern portion of Sequoia National Park.
Common Destinations: Cottonwood Pass, Chicken Spring Lake, Rocky Basin Lakes, Big Whitney Meadow, John Muir Trail
At a Glance
|Reservations:||Reserve up to 6 months in advance at www.Recreation.gov|
|Rentals & Guides:||Cottonwood Pack Station, located near Horseshoe Meadows offers day rides and mule pack trips (760) 872-8331|
|Closest Towns:||Lone Pine, CA (full service, hospital)|
|Water:||Water from creeks, lakes and springs should be treated before drinking.|
|Restroom:||Vault toilet at trailhead. Along trails, bury human waste away from water sources.|
From US Highway 395, in Lone Pine, CA:
- Turn west on Whitney Portal Road.
- Turn south on Horseshoe Meadow Road.
- The road climbs to about 10,000 feet elevation in approximately 15 miles, and ends at Horseshoe Meadows.
- USGS Quad: Cirque Peak; Johnson Peak
- USDA Forest Service: A Guide to the John Muir Wilderness and Sequoia Kings Canyon Wilderness
- Tom Harrison: Golden Trout Wilderness; Mt. Whitney High Country; Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks
- National Geographic: Mt Whitney
Horseshoe Meadow Road is usually open from Memorial Day until the first week of November, depending on snow conditions.
Traveling in bear Country
In some areas accesed by the Cottonwood pass Trail, food must be stored in bear-proof containers. In other areas, it may be counter-balanced.
At the trailhead, all food, trash and scented items must be removed from vehicles and placed in the bear-proof lockers and trash receptacles that are located in the parking lot. Do not leave anything with a scent in your car.
For more information about protecting your food from bears, click here...
Map showing recreational areas. Map Information