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