Olancha Pass Trail

The Olancha Pass trail is located in the northeastern portion of the South Sierra Wilderness. The trail starts at the Sage Flat trailhead, elevation 5,790 feet, and winds steeply up the Eastern Sierra escarpment to Olancha Pass, elevation 9,220 feet. It begins in canyon live oak woodland, and ends in a lodgepole forest, near Summit Meadow. The Olancha Pass trail provides access to the Pacific Crest Trail and the Monache Meadow area. A public stock corral is located at the trailhead.

If you plan to end your trip the Haiwee Pass Trail, the lower portion of the trail is not stock stock passable due to fire and flood damage. The affected area is within two miles of the Haiwee Pass Trailhead.

Olancha Pass Trail Recreation Guide (pdf)

Common Destinations: Olancha Pass, Summit Meadows, Pacific Crest Trail, Golden Trout Wilderness

Download area map for trail names
To purchase more detailed maps or guidebooks of the area, visit sierraforever.org

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Weather
Reservations: Contact Inyo National Forest for information about how to book a permit for this non quota trail. 760-873-2483
Permit Info: Wilderness Permits are not required for overnight trips into the South Sierra Wilderness, but are strongly recommended. If your trip will continue north of Olancha Peak into Golden Trout Wilderness then a permit is required.
  • Obtaining a wilderness permit gives one the opportunity to receive important messages about resource protection, current conditions, wildfires etc.
  • Wilderness permits may also provide important information to Search & Rescue teams, in the event of an emergency.
Restrictions: For more information about Leave-No-Trace, visit lnt.org .
Closest Towns:
  • Olancha, CA (food, gas)
  • Lone Pine, CA (full service, hospital)
  • Ridgecrest, CA (full service, hospital)
Water: Water from creeks, lakes and springs should be treated before drinking.
Restroom: Please Leave No Trace. Bury human waste away from water sources.
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center:

General Information

  • From US 395, north of Ridgecrest, CA, travel to Sage Flat Road.
  • Turn west onto Sage Flat Road. Initially, the road is paved, but it turns to dirt.
  • The road winds around, north and west, and eventually ends at Sage Flat trailhead.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



Horse Riding

Summer Grazing of Stock

Meadows and other vegetated areas, if 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 in these areas 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.

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities



  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
5,790 ft. at trailhead. - 9,220 ft. at Olancha Pass