Chicken Spring Lake Trail

MODERATE 19 reviews
#3 of 13 trails in

Chicken Spring Lake Trail is a 8.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Springville, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
8.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,486 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

lake

views

wild flowers

hiking
15 days ago

Great hike from beginning to end. There is the option to continue on toward cottonwood pass.

Went on July 2, the weather was warm and sunny until an afternoon storm rolled in and rain and hail came dumping down for about 30 min.

The trail is in great condition. Make sure you start at the right parking lot, if you don’t, it adds an extra mile or so to the hike. Most of the trail is a gradual, sandy, incline. At about 3 miles in, it ascends to the pass where you connect to the PCT. At that point, you’re almost there. Just continue on to the slight right turn to the lake which is a short walk from the PCT.

hiking
1 month ago

I hiked the Chicken Spring Lake Trail on Memorial Day weekend. The first few miles are gradual, but it gets progressively steeper till you reach Cottonwood Pass. There is a ridge a little further off which offers a beautiful view of Big Whitney Meadows. It started to snow on the way back, and getting back to Horseshoe Meadows was more difficult than it should have been.

hiking
11 months ago

What a great hike! The trailhead starts just west of the Cottonwood Lakes trailhead, and they do NOT share the same parking area. The first 2 miles are very flat, and you'll cover ground quickly. Small wildlife is present, and you'll see some cows to the south in the open valley. The climb up the pass is steady, and moderate intensity. Nothing technical. Take a moment to soak in the views once you reach the top. From the pass, the lake isn't far along toward the northwest. Follow the trail until you get to a creek crossing. From there, just go upstream, which takes you to the outlet of the lake. You can't fully visualize Cirque Peak from the lake, but an impressive false summit is visible. The fishing was sparse, but the lake was still wonderful, relaxing, and well worth the hike.

hiking
Saturday, June 24, 2017

The hike to the lake and back was about 9 miles. There were two small patches of snow just below the pass, but both were easy to cross. The meadow is beautifully green and the lake was a nice reward after the switchbacks. The trail was a little buggy, so bug spray is recommended.

hiking
Monday, May 29, 2017

Didn't make it all the way up (hit just shy of 11k ft) . Still too much snow from this year's record snowfall and didn't have crampons or picks. No wonder we didn't see another soul on the trail. In a month or two, should be beautiful, albeit strenuous in parts.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Good steady accent after nice relatively flat hike through the Meadow. The lake was real nice reward after the hike over Cottonwood Pass.

hiking
Sunday, September 27, 2015

Difficulty 4/5

I went in June of 2014. The lake was beautiful and worth the ascent. Be prepared for many tiring switch-backs.

Thr hike took me seven hours.

hiking
Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Did this hike in the middle of September as part of my acclimation program for a Whitney day hike. A couple miles of strolling through the forest leads to the start of a steady climb to Cottonwood Pass. Being I was just using it as a warmup, it was nice to start late and to enjoy the gradual climb out of Horseshoe Meadows. There was nobody at the lake when I arrived just before noon which made it extremely pleasant to just sit, watch, and listen.

Minimal elev. gain and big rewards on views and tranquility make this a great option for any level of hiker.

hiking
Thursday, November 21, 2013

Went in November. 4-stars for difficulty.

Drove solo from LA. Over-nighted at the walk-in camp at Horseshoe Meadows. Water was already turned off for winter. Must bring your own wood for fires. Stepped off next morning. Moody weather. Highs in the upper 60's, lows in the teens. Able to filter water, but creeks were frozen. Easy enough to break through the ice.

Cottonwood Pass kicked my ass with winter gear weight + bear canister. Camped 2nd night below the pass. Next morning crested. Simply beautiful. Continued on section of PCT. At the creek crossing, you'll see foot prints heading right, off the trail. That takes you to Chicken Spring.

No fires above 10,400 ft. Chicken Spring Lake is at 11,242. There's a huge fire pit set up. Let your conscience dictate. Beautiful spot. Had it all to myself.

hiking
Friday, November 08, 2013

The 1st mile was like walking in the park. After that it was all up hill. Crazy switchback. Well worth it though. Beautiful spot for over night. Bad thing was the lake is right i the middle of military flight path so it can be noisy. The lake is dead though. There are no fish. So don't plan on catching any.

hiking
Monday, June 04, 2012

Great day hike. Still a patch of snow over Cottonwood pass.

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

backpacking
Friday, June 30, 2017

hiking
Sunday, August 02, 2015