EXTREMELY HARD! May 1 to November 1: Overnight use is limited to 10 people per day. The South Fork Kern River is a designated Wild Trout Water. On the Golden Trout Lake Trail, there is a creek to follow, and a big waterfall along the way. They are native to Kern Plateau area but their native populations are strained due to the introduction of invasive species and habitat destruction. Should be rated extremely hard! It is about 400 feet higher than Honeymoon at a 10,850 foot elevation. From the east, most visitors approach from Hwy 395 near Lone Pine. Historically, there has been a high level of bear activity in the Onion Valley area. STL- Steelhead Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) 10. Worst trail ever, if it even is a trail. Barely marked, steep, climbing boulders or loose gravel most of the hike, Hiked for 2 hours and barely made it to 1.3 miles then turned around. The lower route is followed by looking for the rocks with smaller rocks filled in the gaps to aid traversing. Laws, John Muir, The Laws Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada. Golden Trout Lake Loop, Independence: Address, Golden Trout Lake Loop Review: 4/5 The pass is reached via a 3.5-mile one way trail from Horseshoe Meadow, which has an elevation of 10,000 feet, making this is one of the easiest passes for hikers to reach in the Eastern Sierra. Golden Lake consists of Golden Trout. Rough roads to the Golden Trout Lakes It was difficult driving up the road to get to the beginning of the trail, so I recommend a vehicle that can handle the rough road; preferably a truck or AWD. The road runs right beside it, it has campgrounds and a trail around the lake and is stocked with trout regularly during the summer months so it’s always good fishing. Whitney via Kearsarge Pass and John Muir Trails, Mount Rixford from Onion Valley Campground. Permits may be reserved up to 6 months in advance. All waters on the Kern Plateau are open to angling, although many are accessible only by trail since both watersheds are largely encompassed within the Golden Trout Wilderness. As I unzipped our tent door and felt the crisp, thin air of our 9,300-foot-high campsite rush into my lungs, … Was afraid I'd break a leg or worse. moderate (239) Length: 16.1 mi • Est. One accesses Windy Pass (a nice hike in it's own right), the other heads off to the Golden Trout Lakes. Extending from the western foothills all the way to the eastern high desert, the Golden Trout Wilderness can be reached from both sides of the Sierra Nevada range. This trail is barely defined and straight up incline with precarious terrain. For my wife Aimee and I, it’s always been a vehicle; a vehicle to adventure and explore places we’d never dreamed possible. Trail travels northerly to Casa Vieja Meadows then you can travel northwest to Jordan Hot Springs or northeast to Templeton and Tunnel Meadows. The Golden Trout Trail continues down, passing Upper Golden Trout Lake (not very exciting) and then the beautiful (Lower) Golden Trout Lake at 1.3 miles. I am close to 60, in good shape and an experienced hiker and hated this. Pacific Crest Trail: Southern California. Golden Lake: From Honeymoon Lake, you can travel off-trail about 1/3 mile to Golden Lake. California Academy of … This is a moderate one way trail in Inyo National Forest. 7 h 28 m. Please note that the gate leading to this trailhead is currently closed (06/04/2020). This trail is steep, rugged and difficult to follow. Hard. Inyo National Forest Cottonwood Pass Trailhead. The hike in and out feom below is miserable and hazardous, from the upper trail, it might be better. At the trailhead, all food, trash and scented items must be removed from vehicles and placed in the bear proof lockers and trash cans that are located in parking areas. Once you get to the beginning of the trail, the hike is a nice little workout until you reach the final location of For more information about traveling in bear bear country, click here... 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, https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/inyo/recreation/hiking/recarea/?recid=20778&actid=51, Eastern Sierra Interagency Visitor Center, Wilderness permits may be reserved up to 6 months in advance at. Starting from Onion Valley, Golden Trout Lakes Trail ends at Golden Trout Lakes, in the John Muir Wilderness. At an elevation of 11,200 feet, Cottonwood Pass serves as a gateway to the Golden Trout Wilderness and Sequoia National Park. While the view at the top was pretty, the other trail nextdoor is much more defined with wayyyyyyy prettier views and water to play in. ... Golden Trout from Golden Trout Creek were introduced to the headwaters of Mulkey Creek in 1872 by Samuel Mulkey. Angler’s Take (catchable, super catchable and trophy) - fish are planted with intent ... California Department of Fish and Wildlife Provisional Fish Releases - 2019/2020 ... Reg. A short branch trail goes to the north side of the lake. Steep uphill the whole way to the lakes but trail was much better than expected and in places where it disappeared it was clear which way to go. Golden Trout Lake is just below, supposedly reached by a trail that ends by its eastern edge, though this is barely discernible, especially early in the season when patches of snow remain. Wilderness Press. Never made it to the lakes. 1 Lassen Trail Lake RT Fingerling Grow-Out Jun 7/10/2018 The trip begins on a mostly sandy trail leading you North into the Golden trout Wilderness. Overall very rocky trail. Then there is a trail but it is thin and meandering. Beautiful area with very few other people. This trail has spectacular views but also some challenging terrain and very thin trails that disappear and reappear quickly. Golden Trout Lakes Trail. Golden Trout Creek is thought to have once formed the headwaters of the South Fork Kern River but, due to volcanic activity thousands of years ago, it was diverted west near Tunnel Meadow and now flows … The trailhead serves double duty as it's the jumping off place for two trails. With a full pack and a new trail dog, the 3.1 miles up took 5.5 hours including breaks and lunch for us 50 somethings but should be faster if you are younger and pack lighter. Bring all needed supplies including water. Hiking. Neither trail is terribly difficult. Below the shimmering surface of the crystal-clear depths lay pure California gold. Inyo National Forest Trailheads Trails lead into the Golden Trout Wilderness, Inyo National Forest portion from Hwy 395 … The primary decisions on backpacking destinations are centered on fishing for Golden Trout.The Golden Trout is the California State Fish. Vault toilet at trailhead. This area is said to have some of the best fishing in the region, and even passersby can … Amazing surreal lakes. As the name implies, this area is home to the Golden Trout, a subspecies of the Rainbow Trout that is native to California. Starting from the end of Horseshoe Meadows Road,the trail over Cottonwood Pass goes to the northern portion of the Golden Trout Wilderness . Golden Trout Lake Loop is a 8.2 kilometer lightly trafficked loop trail located near Independence, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. Has anyone does this trail this year. Starting at the trailhead (10,040'), it is a 4.5 mile hike to Cottonwood 1 at 11,008'. From the trailhead, you almost immediately enter the Golden Trout Wilderness. You’d probably like it, even though it’s really hard, steep, sometimes not so clear. Trying to see how the snow is thinking about doing it this weekend, beautiful place, little traffic, hard climb up, Junction Meadow Via Kearsarge Pass and Bubbs Creek Trails, Manzanar Japanese Relocation Site: Manzanar Trail, Onion Valley, Kearsarge Pass, Forrester Pass, Shepherds Pass Backpacking Trip, Onion Valley Campground to Rae Lakes via Kearsarge Pass, Kearsarge Pass Trail to John Muir Trail Loop, Onion Valley to Mt. Small streams meander through tree-rimmed meadows in this wilderness area named for California's state fish, the Golden Trout. Life on the Fly: On the Trail of the California Golden Trout. Along the Golden Trout lakes Trail, all food, trash and scented items must be stored in bear-proof containers, or counter balanced at least 15 feet above the ground and 10 feet horizontally from a tree trunk. Suite 200 Suggested Tackle and Gear. I highly recommend wearing sturdy shoes, sunscreen, GPS, eyes and brains :). The California golden trout, or simply the golden trout (Oncorhynchus aguabonita or Oncorhynchus mykiss aguabonita), is a species of trout native to California.The golden trout is normally found in the Golden Trout Creek (tributary to the Kern River), Volcano Creek (tributary to Golden Trout Creek), and the South Fork Kern River.It is the state freshwater fish of California. The lunker was a hookjaw male that shattered the old lake rainbow trout record by 3 pounds, 6 ounces. Wet, freezing, bruised, bloody and shaken, S&R stated this trail is not safe and definitely one of the hardest trails to navigate. There is a higher route along the cliff base which can be walked through mostly but one section of slightly exposed crux that is much easier if there are 2 or more in your party. Ward Lake is a natural High Sierra lake that sits in a beautifully sculpted granite grotto 3.6 miles east of the junction. California golden trout are native to two stream systems on the eastern side of the Kern River: Golden Trout Creek and the South Fork Kern River (Tulare County). Water from creeks, lakes, and springs should be treated before drinking. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Foot-long Golden Trout can be spotted flashing their vibrant red scales in the creek. South Fork Kern River. I ended up falling down the side of the waterfall, losing the trail and being lost until 9pm when search and rescue came to get me (5 hours later). Permits are issued at Inyo National Forest visitor centers. Golden Trout Wilderness. It is located 40 miles (64 km) east of Porterville, California within Inyo National Forest and Sequoia National Forest. Please Leave No Trace, bury human waste away from water sources. These fish are a prized catch for their golden skin and appearance and the fact that they are found only in such a small area. Primrose Lake Hike up the rocky slope alongside the drainage coming down from Primrose Lake. airplane. The back country enthusiasts will appreciate that Quail Meadows and the John Muir and Pacific Crest Trails are but a gentle one-mile walk from the dock at the back of the lake. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and fishing and is best used from April until September. Per times, dangerous. Horseback riding is permitted on designated trails. Swedo, Suzanne, Hiking California’s Golden Trout Wilderness. From May 1 to November 1, use is limited to 10 overnight visitors / day. Scratched our heads on several occasions to try to find the trail. By Chase Bartee | May 15, 2019. An older but still useful reference that is no longer in print. GT- Golden Trout- (Oncorhynchus aguabonita) 9. After the branch, the Golden Trout Trail climbs up a knoll where there are remarkable views of the surrounding mountains. California’s state fish, the California golden trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss aguabonita) is native to only two creeks draining the Kern Plateau but has been distributed throughout many of … Backpacked with my kids (9 & 11) and wife to the upper lakes and had a great time. Further on there are a few patches of snow, amazing peaks, and long views to the east toward the Owens Valley, which was full of smoke from a fire near Mammoth. The route is straightforward, however, across a grassy meadow dotted with small boulders, beside the lake's exit stream then down a slope, as trees start to reappear. This trail is steep, rugged and difficult to follow. The distance to the lakes is approximately 2.2 miles, and the elevation gain is approximately 2,200 feet. 351 Pacu Lane Isaac’s trout measured 14-7/8 inches and weighed 1 pound, 2.88 ounces, a lunker by golden trout standards. Then there is the one section of bouldering that is sketchy at best, and outright treacherous if you have a heavy pack and a large dog like we did. The meadows is the next section which we tried to stay of the vegetation. Huge risky rocks to scramble through and multiple steep inclines. Hiking is permitted throughout the area. Golden trout are native only to the Upper Kern River basin in California… Wilderness permits are required for overnight trips. Perfect for distancing. A fit hiker can probably make it to either destination in an hour or so. Yes the lakes are beautiful but again very hard trail that needs physical fitness and good prep. Golden Trout Lake Loop is a 5.1 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Independence, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. Golden Trout Wilderness. The last section is steep but better marked to lake one. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and fishing and is best used from April until September. Maybe for someone younger and/or more adventurous this would be more fun. Don’t be fooled by the short distance, this is a serious trail. Starts off like most trailheads and at .7 mile disintegrates into a loose dirt hill that is long hot and steep. The first 5 are within an easy walk of each other from the Cottonwood Trail where the 6th lake is a more strenuous climb to 11,600'. The road is usually open from May to November, depending on snow conditions. And calling it a trail is generous, it was more of a mountaineering route. Starting from Onion Valley, Golden Trout Lakes Trail ends at Golden Trout Lakes, in the John Muir Wilderness. A friend and I did this home last week and were separated. Cottonwood Lakes Loop starts from Horseshoe Meadow and travels from the Golden Trout Wilderness into John Muir Wilderness. The fish measured 32.5 inches in length and … Wilderness permits are required for overnight visits. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Not very well marked, very steep, significant sections of scrambling over boulder fields and sandy/rocky scree. past the waterfall it gets steep again but manageable. Golden Trout Wilderness is a protected area in California. The only reason I gave it 3 stars was because of the views, but those views can be seen from the Kearsage pass trail which is so much nicer. Distribution and Habitat. Cottonwood Lake #1 via South Fork Cottonwood Creek Trail and Cottonwood Lakes Trail The distance to the lakes is approximately 2.2 miles, and the elevation gain is approximately 2,200 feet. The Pacific Crest Trail junction at Cottonwood Pass gives the option to go to the southeastern portion … The Golden Trout Wilderness is a federally designated wilderness area in the Sierra Nevada, in Tulare County and Inyo County, California. Jenkins, Exploring the Southern Sierra: East Side. Alltrails kept us on track most of the time. All food, trash and scented items must be stored in. In our area you will find the following species of trout: German Browns, Eastern Brook, Rainbow and Golden Trout. Onion Valley is about 15 miles west of in downtown Independence, at an elevation of about 9,600 feet. Fishing can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. This trail goes by Onion Valley Trailhead and Lilley Pass. ... Golden Trout Wilderness, South Golden Trout Wilderness, South Golden Trout Wilderness, West ... Inyo National Forest 351 Pacu Lane, Suite 100 Bishop, CA 93514 760-873-2400 Links. Bishop, CA 93514. 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