Horseshoe Meadow

Lone Pine, California

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The long drive up the eastern escarpment of the southern Sierra via the paved Horseshoe Meadow Road is an adventure in itself. The road rises from 4,000 feet in the arid Owens Valley to the timberline forests at Horseshoe Meadow at 10,000 feet. The road’s end is a popular jumping-off point for backpack trips into the John Muir and Golden Trout Wilderness Areas and the backcountry of Sequoia National Park. Consequently, most of the users of this road are either backpackers or scenic drivers. There are, numerous day-hiking destinations in the area, though few of them are easy to reach. This short hike combines the scenic drive along the Horseshoe Meadow Road with an easy stroll along the fringes of spreading Horseshoe Meadow, a sparse grassland that is 2 miles long and up to 0.75-mile wide. There is no particular destination to the hike; simply walk as far as you wish along the level trail and enjoy the view of Sierra crest peaks from open forests of lodgepole and foxtail pines.

Horseshoe Meadow Professional Review and Guide

"The long drive up the eastern escarpment of the southern Sierra via the paved Horseshoe Meadow Road is an adventure in itself. The road rises from 4,000 feet in the arid Owens Valley to the timberline forests at Horseshoe Meadow at 10,000 feet. The road’s end is a popular jumping-off point for backpack trips into the John Muir and Golden Trout Wilderness Areas and the backcountry of Sequoia National Park. Consequently, most of the users of this road are either backpackers or scenic drivers. There are, numerous day-hiking destinations in the area, though few of them are easy to reach. This short hike combines the scenic drive along the Horseshoe Meadow Road with an easy stroll along the fringes of spreading Horseshoe Meadow, a sparse grassland that is 2 miles long and up to 0.75-mile wide. There is no particular destination to the hike; simply walk as far as you wish along the level trail and enjoy the view of Sierra crest peaks from open forests of lodgepole and foxtail pines."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Lone Pine
Distance: 2.4
Elevation Gain: 70 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: Day Hike
Season: Best July through mid-October
Local Contacts: Sequoia National Forest, Golden Trout Wilderness
Local Maps: Inyo National Forest map; John Muir Wilderness and Sequoia - Kings Canyon maps or Golden Trout Wilderness and South Sierra Wilderness maps; USGS Cirque Peak

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Jun 2018