Hiking Project Logo

Golden Trout Creek Loop

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.0 (1) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A multi-day loop trail passing through Cottonwood Pass and Big Whitney Meadow and returning via Trail Pass.


Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

25.0

Miles

40.3

KM

Loop

11,100' 3,383 m

High

8,930' 2,722 m

Low

3,095' 943 m

Up

3,094' 943 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

30%

Max Grade (17°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Commonly Backpacked · Fishing · River/Creek · Views

Overview

Bypassing the more popular Sequoia National Park trails, this loop takes you west from Horseshoe Meadow over Cottonwood Pass and down into Big Whitney Meadow, then south along Golden Trout Creek to Tunnel Meadow. The return trip east is via Bullfrog and Mulkey Meadows and then north over Trail Pass back to Horseshoe Meadow.

Need to Know

Once you leave Tunnel Meadow there is no more water until you return to the Cottonwood Pass trailhead.

Description

From the Cottonwood Pass trailhead head west from Horseshoe Meadow and up to Cottonwood Pass via the Cottonwood Pass Trail #3505. From Cottonwood Pass continue west down into Big Whitney Meadow. At the western end of Big Whitney Meadow the trail intersects the Siberian Pass trail. Head south along this trail. Near the southern end of Big Whitney Meadow a number of campsites along Golden Trout Creek are available and the creek is large enough for fishing (the beautiful, but small, Golden Trout are in this creek).

Continue south along the Siberian Pass trail until it intersects the Trail Pass trail #3504 at Tunnel Meadow. Follow Trail Pass trail #3504 east along Tunnel Meadow (lots of nice campsites and water is available from the South Fork Kern River). Continue east from Tunnel Meadow through Bullfrog Meadow and then Mulkey Meadow. Near the end of Mulkey Meadow, Trail Pass trail #3504 intersects the Mulkey Pass trail #3528. You can either continue along the Trail Pass trail #3504 (shorter but steeper) or take the Mulkey Pass trail #3528 (longer but gentler climb). Both trails end at the Cottonwood Pass trailhead.

Note: Once you leave Tunnel Meadow there is no more water until you return to the Cottonwood Pass trailhead.

Flora & Fauna

Golden Trout are beautiful if you can catch them (check state fishing regulations).

Contacts

Shared By:

Chris S

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#3935

Overall
  4.0 from 1 vote
5 Star
0%
4 Star
100%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#586

in California

#3,935

Overall
50 Views Last Month
330 Since May 21, 2021
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
0%
100%
0%
0%

Photos

Looking southeast into the far distance from Cottonwood Pass. The forested hills and meadows of Golden Trout Wilderness are seen below.
May 9, 2022 near Lone Pine, CA
Olancha Peak from Trail Pass (9-24-2009)
May 21, 2021 near Lone Pine, CA
Mulkey Meadow from intersection of Trail Pass trail #3504 and Mulkey Pass trail #3528 (9-24-2009)
May 21, 2021 near Lone Pine, CA
Horseshoe Meadow from Cottonwood Pass.
Feb 13, 2021 near Lone Pine, CA
The pretty forest over Trail Pass.  This is typical of the forested hills of Golden Trout Wilderness, Inyo National Forest.
May 11, 2022 near Lone Pine, CA
Kern Peak, 11,501 ft. (center), is in the distance to the southwest when descending the south side of Trail Pass.
May 11, 2022 near Lone Pine, CA

0 Comments

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
Unknown See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

none