Cottonwood Lakes Trail

Golden Trout Wilderness, California

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Cottonwood Lakes Trail is a hiking trail in Inyo County, California. It is within Golden Trout Wilderness and John Muir Wilderness. It is 4.9 miles long and begins at 10,059 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 9.9 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,353 feet. The Cottonwood Lakes Trailhead Campground camp site is near the trailhead.
Distance: mi Elevation: ft
Cottonwood Lakes Trail is a hiking trail in Inyo County, California. It is within Golden Trout Wilderness and John Muir Wilderness. It is 4.9 miles long and begins at 10,059 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 9.9 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,353 feet. The Cottonwood Lakes Trailhead Campground camp site is near the trailhead. This trail connects with the following: New Army Pass Trail.
Activity Type: Backpacking, Fishing, Hiking, Horseback Riding, Trail Running, Walking
Nearby City: Golden Trout Wilderness
Distance: 4.9
Elevation Gain: 1,353 feet
Trailhead Elevation: 10,059 feet
Top Elevation: 11,052 feet
Features: Waterfalls
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Driving Directions: Directions to Cottonwood Lakes Trail
Parks: Golden Trout Wilderness
Elevation Min/Max: 10041/11052 ft
Elevation Start/End: 10059/10059 ft

Cottonwood Lakes Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"Around these parts, anglers eagerly await July 1 like a kid anxiously counting down the days to December 25. Once July rolls around, every day (at least from July 1 to October 31) feels like Christmas in the Golden Trout Wilderness where heavy concentrations of radiant golden trout race about the depths of the crystal-clear backcountry waters of the Eastern Sierra Nevada. This fly-fishing chapter describes the "where, when, and how" for fishing in this area. It includes a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to use, the best flies to use, season, limits, nearby accommodations, and camping."

"This memorable hike leads to the southernmost major lake basin in the
High Sierra and the John Muir Wilderness. Large forests of attractive
foxtail pine line the trail that leads to extensive alpine meadows and
numerous lakes, all within the gaze of 14,000-foot Mount Langley."

"The 20-mile paved zigzag road up the side of the mountain to the trailhead looks intimidating from the valley floor, but don’t let that deter you from this hike. It’s everything that makes a dog happy—shade, meadows for frolicking, seasonal streams, and lakes."

"Aside from a 1.75-mile stretch of moderate climbing, the journey to Cottonwood Lakes is on gently graded trail. The relatively easy trail, outstanding scenery, and noted golden trout fishery combine to make this area a popular destination for a wide range of recreationists.

Travel between the lakes via a fine network of trails and easy cross-country routes makes getting around fairly straightforward. Solitude seekers should be able to find some secluded spots away from the main thoroughfare."

"Most of the journey to Cottonwood Lakes is on gently graded tread, with only 1.75 miles of moderate climbing. The relatively easy route’s outstanding scenery and notable golden trout fishery make it a popular destination for recreationists. Solitude seekers should not despair though; the high number of lakes tends to effectively disperse visitors around the basin. An expansive network of trails and cross-country routes provides straightforward travel between the lakes."

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May 2018