Trails.com is merging with AllTrails! Please click here to read more.

Cottonwood Pass / New Army Pass Loop

MODERATE 26 reviews
#5 of 26 trails in

Cottonwood Pass / New Army Pass Loop is a 23.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Lone Pine, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 23.5 miles Elevation Gain: 3,727 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

lake

views

wildlife

bugs

snow

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.

backpacking
1 month ago

Awesome hike. Clockwise from cottonwood path. Day 1: Got a late start and ended up tracking 11.5 miles and setting up camp at lower soldier lake. Chicken spring lake and lower soldier lake did not disappoint. Day 2: set out early for new army pass(solid elevation gain for 3 miles) to reach the peak of ~12350 ft. Very rewarding views from the top. Hike back to car was all slightly down hill and included nice views of the cottonwood lakes. Arrived at car ~25 total miles. Tips: Despite what the description says, part of the trail is NOT dog friendly. Bring a lot of mosquito repellent. Bear box available .2 miles from solider lake, however, bear canisters are still required. A lot of flowing streams to refill water throughout the hike. Overall highly recommend!

Great hike today. The trail is clear and easy to follow. There is regular shade and pretty views.

hiking
2 months ago

Just completed this loop with a Mt Langley summit added on. Beautiful, no wind, sunny perfect conditions. Typical fear-mongering surrounding New/Old Army passes but as usual we found them to be not a problem at all with little snow travel required. Always use your own judgement and don’t buy into the fear mongering, especially coming from the visitor center/permit pickup in Lone Pine.

backpacking
Wednesday, August 15, 2018

We hiked this trail july 29- august 1 in the opposite direction. First day was spent at long lake where a lot of people had camped to summit mt langley. Then over new army pass the second day and into rock creek. We camped at rock creek but we should have headed to soldier lake. Oh well. Last night we spend at chicken spring lake before we hiked out the short 4 miles out the last day over cottonwood pass. Not too many mosquitoes and no ice. Great hike! The fires did spoil our views in some parts. Lakes were beautiful.

backpacking
Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Awesome scenery in this loop! We did a variant wherein were cut down to South Fork Lakes, otherwise the same. All the lakes are spectacular. Chicken Spring Lake was on my list to see and it didn’t disappoint. Lower Soldier Lake was also great. Tons of fish to catch at South Fork. There was still some snow blocking the trails at both Old and New Army Passes but nothing insurmountable. Good number of mosquitos and Lower Soldier but no surprise this time of year (late June) so we had nets and spray. Some marmots about but our food was only hassled by chipmunks. Nothing proper storage didn’t fix. Would do this again for sure!

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Other than the gusty wind it’s a great trip. Fly fishing was tough windy but the Golden’s were there.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Did this in 2009 and it was great! Had a minor detour as we got to the farthest point of the loop where signage was scarce. Spent about an hour trying to find the trail through the middle of a bog.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

8 months ago

hiking
Wednesday, September 05, 2018

hiking
Sunday, August 05, 2018

backpacking
Wednesday, June 20, 2018

backpacking
Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

hiking
Thursday, September 14, 2017

Featured Trails