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