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Beautiful hike with great views during the first couple miles in, and then a pretty neat fiver crossing at Kern. No joke though, that uphill hike basically the entire hike back is very tough.

backpacking
4 months ago

Good hike definitely harder on the way back. Great signage initially but sparse indicators once you reach trout meadow, big thanks to those who maintain it. This is a well maintained trail. We found heading left at unmarked forks got us to trout meadow. We did find a water source next to the rustic federal building in the meadow, although a barbed wire live stalk fence prevents access to creek that runs parallel to the meadow.

Completed this hike over fathers day weekend 2017 after tons of research trying to find a trail that had open roads, safe river crossings, and was without 5-10ft of snow. We hiked into Trout Meadows Friday night and made camp and day hiked down to the Kern River from there returning on Sunday. With the current snow melt situation there was plenty of water to filter along the way and the meadows were lush and alive. The little Kern and especially the big Kern were raging. We had hoped to find a little spot by the river that we could splash around in but the most we put in were our feet due to the current. Well maintained trail through diverse communities with moments of sweeping views of the canyons and snow capped peaks. All in all we roughly covered 30 miles. We saw deer, a bear, a bit of bear scat along the trail, lots of baby frogs and wildflowers in the meadows, heard bears, heard a huge group of coyotes, watched a helicopter make 3 flights over head (still not sure why), and warded off mosquitos. As others have said the reverse grade was quite a butt kicker and hiking out during the heat wave was tough as well as through the sandy trail. But overall it was magical and beautiful and we had an amazing time.

Absolutely loved this hike, except for the whole retrograde elevation aspect. Climbing uphill to finish the hike isn't ideal, but this hike had enough goodies to more than make up for it. The first 2 miles or so you have great views north into the High Sierras. This time of year (early June), most of the peaks were still snowcovered. Occasionally to the south you can catch a glimpse of the north side of the Needles. You'll come across water access about 3 miles in, which is consistent the rest of the way in to the Little Kern River. Once at the river, hang out at a river access point down by the bridge for a moment before heading on further into the trail, or turning back. The footbridge across the Little Kern is very sturdy and well engineered, and can be crossed anytime of year.

backpacking
9 months ago

Fantastic trail. Did this back in 2014....twice. Only negative was the recent burn area from the Angola Mountain Fire. That area can be easily bypassed though. Water at Trout Meadow from a spring box, and also at Willow spring. Continue on for an easy drop down to the Kern. Camp at Grasshopper Flat. We were trying for Kern Lakes but didn't make it.

camping
Tuesday, September 06, 2016

What is the parking spot about 5 miles away from the bridge on the Little Kern? Anyone know? I have been to it twice but have forgotten.

hiking
Saturday, June 04, 2016

hiking
Thursday, October 22, 2015

Good trail easy hike in from Lewis trailhead nice climb out.

Well worn trail. Like walking in sand from all the horse traffic. We took a wrong trail and the 5 mile in turned into a 15 mile in!! My own fault. The way back from the little kern is all uphill!!!

hiking
Monday, July 06, 2015

Horseshoe Meadow has two major trailheads (Cottonwood Lakes and Cottonwood Pass) providing access to areas such as the Golden Trout Wilderness, Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park, and the John Muir Wilderness. Numerous hiking adventures are possible.
I chose to do a 23 mile loop out of Horseshoe Meadow. I parked my car at the Cottonwood Pass trailhead. The trail segments for my hike included the Cottonwood Pass Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, the Siberian Pass Trail, the New Army Pass Trail, and the Cottonwood Lakes Trail. Two significant passes were encountered; Cottonwood Pass (11,200 ft.) and New Army Pass (12,300 ft.). I camped at Chicken Spring Lake the first night and Soldier Lakes (the lower of the two) the second night - both excellent places with many campsite options. My water sources were Chicken Spring Lake, Soldier Lakes, and Long Lake. Permit and regulation information for this area can be found on the Inyo National Forest website. A word of caution on this trail, New Army Pass can be impassable in the early summer due to snow. The conditions of the pass are available on the Sequoia & Kings Canyon website. Also, the road to Horseshoe Meadow constantly climbs with switchbacks, so be patient and keep your eyes on the road.

hiking
Thursday, April 16, 2015

We hiked this trail in March and it was awesome. We started at the Jerky meadow parking lot for a one day hike. It was all uphill from the beginning to golden trout wilderness sign. From there we headed towards the bridge and little kern and it was all downhill. When reached the river it felt good to soak our feet in the river and to refuel on some snacks. This was my second time walking this trail and it won't be the last. I had more fun with an overnight stay than just a one day in and out hike. If you get a chance ad it to your bucket list.

hiking
Friday, November 28, 2014

Started the hike from Crescent Meadow in Sequoia and hiked out through Cottonwood campground. Great hike!!!

This was a great trail! The fishing was awesome and it is hard to beat catching one of the rarest trout in the USA, The Little Kern Golden Trout. The fish would literally jump out of the water and hit my fly! I hiked in June and it got pretty hot. Great time fishing all the streams and definitely worth the trip!

hiking
Thursday, April 05, 2012

This trail had just been maintained last year ( Summer 2011 ), I know because when I backpacked Willow Mdws I met a trail maintence crew doing some brush clearing. I would do this hike in late June til the middle of July as both Trout and Willow Mdws are real green that time of year. Also there are some really good campsites at both of the meadows.

This is a well maintained trail, very wide in some places, the good thing about this trail its mostly downhill to the river but its a long uphill climb back. This trail is also heavily used you will not be alone on this trail.

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