Wildrose Trail

The Wildrose trail is roughly parallel to the Pacific Crest trail in the South Sierra Wilderness north of Kennedy Meaows Kennedy Meadows. The trail begins in a pinyon-juniper forest and continues north, eventually joins the Haiwee Pass trail at the South Fork of the Kern River. Water is scarce along the Wildrose Trail.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Weather
Permit Info:
  • Wilderness permits are optional in the South Sierra Wilderness, but are strongly recommended.
  • Permit is reqired if your trip will continue north into Golden Trout Wilderness.
Closest Towns:
  • Kennedy Meadows Store (food, water)
  • Ridgecrest, CA (full service, hospital)
Restroom: Bury human waste away from water sources.
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center:

General Information


From US 395, north of Ridgecrest, CA:

  • Travel west on Nine Mile Canyon Rd. to Kennedy Meadows.
  • At Kennedy Meadows continue north onto 21S08
  • In approximately one mile, turn right and follow the signs to the Wildrose Trail.


Low clearance vehicles and vehicles with trailers should park at the Kennedy Meadows Trailhead. The road to the Wildrose trailhead, from the paved road, is sandy, steeply gullied, has a small turn-around area and has no dedicated parking.

General Notes:

Proceed with caution when you walk, stop and camp in burned areas! Trees weakened by wildfire pose a serious risk for injury due to falling.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



Horse Riding

Note to Stock Users:

Do not exit at Haiwee Pass Trail. It is not recommended for stock travel. The Haiwee Pass trail was subject to a wildfire and flood events in 2010. As a result, mud and debris cover the old trail and there are steep gullies where there used to be a trail. An alternative trail for an eastside Sierra exit is the Olancha Pass Trail.

Summer Grazing of Stock

Grazed too early in the summer can interrupt the necessary growth stages of grasses. If these grasses are grazed too early, their ability to re-seed is hindered. This can reduce the amount of stock feed available to backcountry users throughout the summer season. Grazing too early, even once, can have lasting impacts. In addition, areas grazed too early may be particularly susceptible to trampling and chiseling by hooves, due the high soil moisture content. These impacts by stock hooves can also alter the natural growing process.

  • PLEASE GRAZE YOUR STOCK ONLY AFTER THE RANGE READINESS DATE. Prior to the range readiness dates, you should feed pellets, cubes or grain and avoid grazing to protect the meadows. Another option is to reschedule your trip for a later date. Contact your local Ranger Station to inquire about the current range readiness date. This date is generally available by mid-May of every year.
  • Weed-free Hay: Using weed-free hay helps reduce the spread of noxious weeds. Weed-free hay fed to stock a minimum of 72 hours prior to, and during your trip into the wilderness, will avoid the introduction of noxious weeds to the backcountry. Noxious weeds can out-compete native vegetation, and this can have lasting effects on wildlife health and diversity. The presence of weeds may also interfere and replace the native grasses used for stock grazing.
  • Portable Electric Fences: If you are using an electric fence please rotate the fence on a daily basis or in accordance with the condition (wet or dry) of the meadow. Do not overgraze any one area—spread out your stock use when grazing in meadows.

Holding Stock in Camp

The use of high lines, pickets and hobbles are practices that will cause the least amount of impact to the wilderness. High lines are the preferred method for restraining stock in camp because it prevents horses from trampling the root systems around trees. High lines should be located in an area of rock or dry, hardened ground. Avoid tying horses to trees. If tying to trees only do so for a short period of time. Horse lead ropes can girdle trees and hoof pawing will create unnatural dishes at the base of trees.


For information about modern stock packing ethics, and the history of packing in the Sierra Nevada, view the video above.

General Info:


Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
8.0 miles

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
6,200 feet - 7,700 feet