"This is a day hike to Kroenke Lake or a longer trip to Browns Pass. This trail follows North Cottonwood Creek up to a pretty subalpine lake, then climbs above the timberline for a high traverse above the Texas Creek valley to reach Browns Pass. Kroenke Lake makes an easy day hike, while Browns Pass makes a more ambitious day trip. Some of the attractions along the way include fishing, wildflower viewing in high alpine meadows, the old mine ruins at Browns Pass, and a chance to spot bighorn sheep grazing across the high and windswept slopes above the timberline. At the trail’s end, the Browns Pass Trail descends south to the Middle Cottonwood Road and north into the hinterlands of Texas Creek for extended backpacking possibilities.
The trail begins by following North Cottonwood Creek through a lowland forest of lodgepole pine and Douglas fir. Soon a bridge leads to the south bank, where the path travels beside the crystalline waters of the creek, enjoying the shade of a spruce forest. After 1.4 miles, an avalanche slope interrupts the trees, and a bridge leads to a junction on the far bank. The Horn Fork Trail climbs away to the right, while the left fork is the Kroenke Lake Trail. It continues the gentle ascent through the forest, with a few pitches of steady climbing sprinkled here and there. The lodgepole pines soon give way to an old-growth subalpine forest, replete with impressive specimens of spruce and fir."