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Trail Pass to Cottonwood Pass Loop, CA
mini location map2018-09-11
11 by photographer avatarOregon_Hiker
photographer avatar
 
Trail Pass to Cottonwood Pass Loop, CA 
Trail Pass to Cottonwood Pass Loop, CA
 
Hiking avatar Sep 11 2018
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking11.00 Miles 1,506 AEG
Hiking11.00 Miles   8 Hrs   11 Mns   1.34 mph
1,506 ft AEG
 
1st trip
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Horseshoe Meadow was my first stop on an eight day tour of five Eastern Sierra trailheads. I set up camp in the Horseshoe Meadow walk-in campground in the afternoon after an all day drive from Phoenix. Camp in this case involved stashing some of my bear tempting stuff in a bear box at a campsite about 50 yds from the parking lot and then sleeping overnight in the back of my FJ Cruiser. The plan was to take a short loop hike the next day up to Trail Pass and then return via Mulkey Pass, about 5 miles,just to get acclimated to the high altitude. But when I reached Trail Pass I was feeling good so opted for the twice as long loop hike via the PCT to Cottonwood Pass. It was a beautiful sunny day with good views so I took my time taking a lot of photos. I only saw a few people on the trail at the beginning of the hike up to Trail Pass and then no one after that. There is a spring on the PCT about 1.5 miles from Trail Pass with about 1 gpm flow (see photo #8) which appears to be perennial.

I was worn out when I got back to camp late in the afternoon so decided to take a day of rest the next day and drive to the Big Pine Lakes trailhead for my next hike. One of the must see attractions from the Horseshoe Meadow area (in my opinion) is the Cottonwood Lakes Basin but I had been there on a previous adventure in the Eastern Sierras in 2014 and wanted to visit new (to me) areas on this trip.
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