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. A friend and I did this home last week and were separated. Once you get to the beginning of the trail, the hike is a nice little workout until you reach the final location of 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. This trail goes by Onion Valley Trailhead and Lilley Pass. This is a moderate one way trail in Inyo National Forest. STL- Steelhead Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) 10. Not very well marked, very steep, significant sections of scrambling over boulder fields and sandy/rocky scree. the lake FULL of stunted Brook trout, the Golden Trout may have all died out due to someone planting these brookies into the lake, probably an air drop by a lost fish and game dept. An older but still useful reference that is no longer in print. 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 Creek is a designated Heritage and Wild Trout Water. Golden Trout Wilderness is a protected area in California. The trip begins on a mostly sandy trail leading you North into the Golden trout Wilderness. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and fishing and is best used from April until September. 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. Maybe for someone younger and/or more adventurous this would be more fun. 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. California Academy of … The road is usually open from May to November, depending on snow conditions. Huge risky rocks to scramble through and multiple steep inclines. Golden Lake consists of Golden Trout. 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). Ward Lake is a natural High Sierra lake that sits in a beautifully sculpted granite grotto 3.6 miles east of the junction. ... 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. The meadows is the next section which we tried to stay of the vegetation. Vault toilet at trailhead. Download area map for trail names. Wet, freezing, bruised, bloody and shaken, S&R stated this trail is not safe and definitely one of the hardest trails to navigate. Golden Trout Lakes Trail. This trail is steep, rugged and difficult to follow. Swedo, Suzanne, Hiking California’s Golden Trout Wilderness. Golden Lake: From Honeymoon Lake, you can travel off-trail about 1/3 mile to Golden Lake. Bishop, CA 93514. The distance to the lakes is approximately 2.2 miles, and the elevation gain is approximately 2,200 feet. Starting from Onion Valley, Golden Trout Lakes Trail ends at Golden Trout Lakes, in the John Muir Wilderness. Alltrails kept us on track most of the time. I am close to 60, in good shape and an experienced hiker and hated this. After the branch, the Golden Trout Trail climbs up a knoll where there are remarkable views of the surrounding mountains. 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'. 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. 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. 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. From May 1 to November 1, use is limited to 10 overnight visitors / day. Cottonwood Lakes Loop starts from Horseshoe Meadow and travels from the Golden Trout Wilderness into John Muir Wilderness. Below the shimmering surface of the crystal-clear depths lay pure California gold. EXTREMELY HARD! Inyo National Forest Whitney via Kearsarge Pass and John Muir Trails, Mount Rixford from Onion Valley Campground. Golden Trout Wilderness. Permits are issued at Inyo National Forest visitor centers. You’d probably like it, even though it’s really hard, steep, sometimes not so clear. 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. The trailhead serves double duty as it's the jumping off place for two trails. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. airplane. Laws, John Muir, The Laws Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada. And calling it a trail is generous, it was more of a mountaineering route. All food, trash and scented items must be stored in. Cottonwood Pass Trailhead. Bring all needed supplies including water. Wilderness permits are required for overnight trips. As I unzipped our tent door and felt the crisp, thin air of our 9,300-foot-high campsite rush into my lungs, … Permits may be reserved up to 6 months in advance. Please Leave No Trace, bury human waste away from water sources. Yes the lakes are beautiful but again very hard trail that needs physical fitness and good prep. Perfect for distancing. Don’t be fooled by the short distance, this is a serious trail. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and fishing and is best used from April until September. GT- Golden Trout- (Oncorhynchus aguabonita) 9. For my wife Aimee and I, it’s always been a vehicle; a vehicle to adventure and explore places we’d never dreamed possible. They are native to Kern Plateau area but their native populations are strained due to the introduction of invasive species and habitat destruction. 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. Then there is a trail but it is thin and meandering. 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 … 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). Hiking is permitted throughout the area. ... Golden Trout from Golden Trout Creek were introduced to the headwaters of Mulkey Creek in 1872 by Samuel Mulkey. Was afraid I'd break a leg or worse. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. On the Golden Trout Lake Trail, there is a creek to follow, and a big waterfall along the way. Per times, dangerous. Suggested Tackle and Gear. Trail travels northerly to Casa Vieja Meadows then you can travel northwest to Jordan Hot Springs or northeast to Templeton and Tunnel Meadows. Wilderness Press. The Golden Trout Wilderness is a federally designated wilderness area in the Sierra Nevada, in Tulare County and Inyo County, California. Overall very rocky trail. 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. 7 h 28 m. Please note that the gate leading to this trailhead is currently closed (06/04/2020). Suite 200 Golden Trout Lake Loop, Independence: Address, Golden Trout Lake Loop Review: 4/5 Has anyone does this trail this year. Should be rated extremely hard! past the waterfall it gets steep again but manageable. As the name implies, this area is home to the Golden Trout, a subspecies of the Rainbow Trout that is native to California. 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. Never made it to the lakes. Fishing can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. This trail has spectacular views but also some challenging terrain and very thin trails that disappear and reappear quickly. A short branch trail goes to the north side of the lake. 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 primary decisions on backpacking destinations are centered on fishing for Golden Trout.The Golden Trout is the California State Fish. One accesses Windy Pass (a nice hike in it's own right), the other heads off to the Golden Trout Lakes. 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. 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. Primrose Lake Hike up the rocky slope alongside the drainage coming down from Primrose Lake. 351 Pacu Lane From the west, various roads stem from Hwy 190 near Giant Sequoia National Monument. This trail is barely defined and straight up incline with precarious terrain. The last section is steep but better marked to lake one. Beautiful area with very few other people. Life on the Fly: On the Trail of the California Golden Trout. Starts off like most trailheads and at .7 mile disintegrates into a loose dirt hill that is long hot and steep. The South Fork Kern River is a designated Wild Trout Water. Scratched our heads on several occasions to try to find the trail. 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. The lunker was a hookjaw male that shattered the old lake rainbow trout record by 3 pounds, 6 ounces. Wilderness permits are required for overnight visits. 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. Foot-long Golden Trout can be spotted flashing their vibrant red scales in the creek. Starting from Onion Valley, Golden Trout Lakes Trail ends at Golden Trout Lakes, in the John Muir Wilderness. Isaac’s trout measured 14-7/8 inches and weighed 1 pound, 2.88 ounces, a lunker by golden trout standards. 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 Pacific Crest Trail junction at Cottonwood Pass gives the option to go to the southeastern portion … 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. A fit hiker can probably make it to either destination in an hour or so. In our area you will find the following species of trout: German Browns, Eastern Brook, Rainbow and Golden Trout. 1 Lassen Trail Lake RT Fingerling Grow-Out Jun 7/10/2018 The fish measured 32.5 inches in length and … The hike in and out feom below is miserable and hazardous, from the upper trail, it might be better. May 1 to November 1: Overnight use is limited to 10 people per day. Historically, there has been a high level of bear activity in the Onion Valley area. Jenkins, Exploring the Southern Sierra: East Side. 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. Small streams meander through tree-rimmed meadows in this wilderness area named for California's state fish, the Golden Trout. Hiking. 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. By Chase Bartee | May 15, 2019. The lower route is followed by looking for the rocks with smaller rocks filled in the gaps to aid traversing. Inyo National Forest Trailheads Trails lead into the Golden Trout Wilderness, Inyo National Forest portion from Hwy 395 … Worst trail ever, if it even is a trail. Horseback riding is permitted on designated trails. Onion Valley is about 15 miles west of in downtown Independence, at an elevation of about 9,600 feet. It is about 400 feet higher than Honeymoon at a 10,850 foot elevation. From the trailhead, you almost immediately enter the Golden Trout Wilderness. From the east, most visitors approach from Hwy 395 near Lone Pine. 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. Golden Trout Wilderness. This area is said to have some of the best fishing in the region, and even passersby can … Neither trail is terribly difficult. 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. This trail is steep, rugged and difficult to follow. 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. 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 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. Starting at the trailhead (10,040'), it is a 4.5 mile hike to Cottonwood 1 at 11,008'. Water from creeks, lakes, and springs should be treated before drinking. Hard. At an elevation of 11,200 feet, Cottonwood Pass serves as a gateway to the Golden Trout Wilderness and Sequoia National Park. moderate (239) Length: 16.1 mi • Est. Distribution and Habitat. I highly recommend wearing sturdy shoes, sunscreen, GPS, eyes and brains :). 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. 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 are native only to the Upper Kern River basin in California… Pacific Crest Trail: Southern California. Amazing surreal lakes. South Fork Kern River. It is located 40 miles (64 km) east of Porterville, California within Inyo National Forest and Sequoia National Forest. 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