Horseshoe Meadow Trail is a 70.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Lone Pine, California that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October.
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.