My understanding is that this is no longer the case. South Fork Meadow offered good views of tree-stubbled granite lumps to the east. Photo by author. Photo by author. on July 1st and ends November 15th. Often dangerously covered with snow, it is the shortest route to 14,000 foot Mt. THE GOLDEN TROUT OF COTTONWOOD LAKES By FRED Koch Sierra Club Bulletin - 1911 The snow was still on the ground when we got there, young Dutcher and I, with our pack trains, and as the sun was going down, we unloaded the mules, and picked out a little clear spot on the edge of the meadow, where we built a fire, hoping to dry off a small space before turning in for the night. fishing from 1966 to 1998 while the lakes were used as breeding ponds for Golden Starting at 9,900 feet in Inyo National Forest, you face at least a day of hard hiking through the Golden Trout Wilderness before reaching 11,800-foot Cottonwood Pass. Fly-fishermen will be tempted to stay for a long time, but the opportunities for exploration are as abundant as the trout. Photo by Kathy Callan. It is catch and release at Cottonwood Lakes 1, 2, 3, and 4. The current trail may not match some older maps. Muir Lake from the old Cottonwood Trailhead is a 13.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Lone Pine, California that features a … The blooming wild sunflowers that decorated Lubken Canyon Road made me think it was April, rather than late September. As a result of stocking in California, these fish are now found in more than 300 high mountain lakes and 1100 km of streams outside their native range (Fisk 1969). The name, Tunnel, originated since a tunnel was dug between the Golden Trout Creek and SF Kern diverting most of Golden Trout Creek water into the SF Kern for irrigation purposes in 1886 but subsequently collapsed only a few years later. golden trout camp p a c i f i c c r e s t n i c r a a t ’ l s c e i t l pct 6s02 118°07'30" 118°157'00" 118°07'30" 118°157'00" 36° 30' 00" 36° 22' 30" trail pass cottonwood pass cottonwood lakes john muir wilderness golden trout wilderness d horseshoe mdw rd closed in winter to mount whitney area The trail passes through lightly forested, rolling terrain for the first 3 miles of the hike, soon joining Cottonwood Creek. Langley. Trails are numerous around Cottonwood Lakes. Genetic testing has shown that the purity of most of the Goldens within the Golden Trout Creek is 93-96%. However, Cottonwood lake is amazing fishing. Big Whitney Meadow from Cottonwood Pass Reservations: Wilderness permits may be reserved up to 6 months in advance at recreation.gov: Rentals & Guides: Cottonwood Pack Station is located at Horseshoe Meadows. If both fill you are permitted to camp / sleep in your car. This allows the Goldens to spawn during the Spring without fishing pressure. Golden Trout Creek was instrumental in providing the brood stock of most Goldens planted throughout Fishing Season and Regulations: Within the Golden Trout Wilderness, the season is open between the last Saturday in April and November 15 using only artificial lures with barbless hooks. Cirque Lake: 7.5 acres at 11,060 feet. Brood Hatcheries were established within the Cottonwood Lakes. May consists of Goldens but is now managed as "fishless" by DFG.Cottonwood Creek: Spring Creek with pockets and pools. The best fishing is from the campgrounds at the power house intake to the end of the road. Caught 14 brook trout and one surprising brown trout in about 2 hours fishing. Shortly after sunrise, we reveled in this incredible view of quaking aspens from Conway Summit. Continue past the Golden Trout Camp. This is a prime side option for Whitney & Southern High Sierra packing. All lakes and tributaries within the Cottonwood Drainage require artificial lures or flies with barbless Goldens that inhabited Cottonwood Lakes were a source for Golden stockings to other areas within the Next Report > Next Report > More Reports. It has 2 main sites, at the Cottonwood Pass Trail #3505, and also at Cottonwood Lakes Trail, they are not far, if one site fills, try the other. 5 trout per day. Later, trout from Cottonwood Creek were transplanted into Cottonwood Lakes, creating broodstock for almost all subsequent propagation and distribution of California golden trout throughout California and beyond. Explore the Area . 5.0 miles from trailhead. Cottonwood comprises a chain of five lakes which are roughly similar in size. Whether you’re fly fishing, spinning or baitcasting your chances of getting a bite here are good. Here’s the lake. Bring your lunch, water and layers for variable weather. The area was formed in 1978 and encompasses 304,000 acres in the southern Sierra Nevada. He caught his 1st golden trout! The Cottonwood Lakes #1,2,3, and 4 are Catch & Release only. Some shipments were made to the United Kingdom and Brazil. The SF Kern was directed eastward to the main river channel. The creek has about 14 miles of fishable water from just below Rocky Basin Lakes at 10,500 feet to above Volcano Falls I added a walnut handle to the Allen reel. The Cottonwood Lakes trail heads northwest through pine forest, ascending a small rise on gentle grades. Betweeen 1928 and 1938, the eggs were shipped to the National Fish Hatchery in Bozeman (but name is now the Fish Cultural Development Center). Mulkey Creek: About 5 miles from Cottonwood Trailhead over Mulkey Pass. A "spawning station" was established at the Cottonwood Lakes in 1917 which became the source of Golden Trout eggs. Photo Credit: Photo by Kathy Callan. Records show that Cottonwood Creek was fishless until 1876 when Colonel Sherman Stevens brought 12 Golden While there are 5 lakes, in order to preserve the headwater source of the eastern slope Golden Trout, they only open in a rotation that changes every year. Consists of Golden Hybrids. They were stocked extensively outside their native range into numerous high-elevation lakes and streams throughout the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Fishing. Human use of streams, lakes, and surrounding watersheds for recreation has greatly increased with population expansion. I consider it the furthest south "true" High Sierra lakes basin. These lakes were planted with Golden Hybrids from the Cottonwood spawning program. These trips allow guests the opportunity to climb Mt. 31. Around 1890, E.H. Edwards and others Goldens were transplanted into Mulkey Creek, then Cottonwood Creek and, subsequently Cottonwood Lakes. Consists of Golden Hybrids.Cottonwood 5: 20 acres at 11,160 feet. It’s a steady and flat descent through pine forest and across streams (logs and large rocks provide footpaths). Cottonwood Creek main stem between mouth of Little Cottonwood Creek and South Fork of Cottonwood Creek. Volcano Creek is a tributary into Golden Trout Creek above Volcano Cottonwood Lakes are full of Golden Trout, only found natively in this area. trailhead (10,040'), it is a 4.5 mile hike to Cottonwood 1 at 11,008'. Open all year. Looking back at Mineral King The Little Kern Golden Trout ( O. mykiss whitei ) is the seco... All images and text are protected by copyright and property of the autor. So we invested some time in the long hike around Lake 5 to get at the beach on the far eastern end, where we could hope to actually land some Goldens. My son’s a big guy, but it’s still true, most are small fish. into the lake system and contaminated the gene pool. This way our next day goal of Old Army Pass and Mt. Print/PDF Map. Various lakes in MT were stocked with eggs from the Cottonwood Lake station (Marcuson 1984). I haven't really addressed this question and I love talking about fly rods ... Great looking rod and reel. Consists of Golden Hybrids.Cottonwood 4: 20 acres at 11,150 feet. Cottonwood 3: 25 acres at 11,045 feet. Cottonwood lakes and Golden trout. From the Cottonwood Pass Trailhead you can reach:Golden Trout Creek: Starts at the headwaters of Big Whitney Meadow and Rocky Basin Lakes. There are a number of golden trout lakes in the Sierra Nevada range, but the Treasure Lakes in the Little Lakes Valley are by far the most productive, in my experience, and are managed under the general fishing regulations for the Sierra District of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Even without a trail at all, hiking was easy through widely spaced … In fact, much of the South Fork of the Kern River is only accessible to the dedicated outdoorsmen who are willing to ride in by horseback. From Lone Pine, drive west on Whitney Portal Road 3.5 miles to Horseshoe Meadow Road and turn left. Cottonwood Lakes Basin. New Army Pass Trail Junction to Cottonwood Lakes, 2.3 miles. COTTONWOOD LAKES DAY RIDE $195 Cottonwood Pack Station to Cottonwood Pack Station Depart 6:30am Return 5pm. We stopped and ate lunch at the edge of the basin then pushed on to get up to Cottonwood Lake #4. Winston GVX fly rods are made in Twin Bridges Montana. But for those who make the trip, catching a golden trout, the state fish, is worth the effort. It is a very easy hike and cottonwood lake doesn't have great shore access but with a raft it is incredible. Along the trail to New Army Pass are Long Lake and High Lake in the John Muir Wilderness. Cottonwood Lakes / New Army Pass Recreation Guide (pdf) At a Glance. Golden Lakes Trout from Cottonwood Creator Burton Frasher Sr. 1888-1955 Date Created and/or Issued 1927 Publication Information Pomona Public Library Contributing Institution Pomona Public Library Collection Frasher Foto Postcard Collection Rights Information The Pomona Public Library makes no assertions as to ownership of any original copyrights to images digitized for this site. Cottonwood Lakes are under special regulations. Golden Trout from Golden Trout Creek were introduced to the headwaters of Mulkey Creek in 1872 by Samuel Mulkey. Cottonwood Lakes is a lake located just 11.5 miles from Lone Pine, in Inyo County, in the state of California, United States, near Whitney Portal, CA. 5 trout. Cottonwood Lakes Trail. Golden Trout from Golden Trout Creek were introduced to the headwaters of Mulkey Creek in 1872 by Samuel Mulkey. Falls. However, during that 30 year period, Rainbow Trout made their way Other than humans, this golden-mantled ground squirrel was the only mammal we saw at 10,000 feet. After a mile there is reliable water in the form of a creek. Photo Credit: Photo by Steven T. Callan. took 50 Golden Trout from Cottonwood Creek and introduced them to the fishless Cottonwood Lakes. Cottonwood Lakes / Horse Camps Cottonwood Pass – 11,200′ Cottonwood Lakes Campground, Golden Trout Campground & Horseshoe Meadows Campground… all next to Mount Whitney. : (1) Cottonwood Creek and tributaries upstream from the confluence of South Fork Cottonwood Creek, (2) Little Cottonwood Creek and tributaries, (3) South Fork of Cottonwood Creek and tributaries, and (4) The unnamed tributary flowing through Horseshoe Meadow. Six months earlier my orthopedic surgeon told me that I would never backpack or run again. that pic with the golden trout on b&w is fantastic. These lakes, along with Cottonwood Creek, are home to healthy populations of California golden trout. Whitney Pack Trains, offers riding and hiking trips originating at Cottonwood Pack Station. Cottonwood Pass. Migolito. Special California Fish and Game restrictions apply when fishing in the Golden Trout Wilderness. state since 1918. 0 trout. The trip begins on a mostly sandy trail leading you North into the Golden trout Wilderness. Those same lakes are catch and release as are parts of Cottonwood Creek. Like Cottonwood Lakes, the portion of the Kern River where golden trout can be … Other than humans, this golden-mantled ground squirrel was the only mammal we saw at 10,000 feet. No restrictions. 13 of these fish were transported to Cottonwood Creek in 1876. Only artificial lures with barbless hooks are allowed and lakes 1-4 and in Cottonwood Creek. Gateway to the Cottonwood Lakes and Golden Trout Wilderness. through Nov. 15. 2004). Cottonwood Lakes Golden Trout 5 There are two ways to reach Cottonwood Creek, either from the West, where one may start from Visalia, and follow the Kaweah River up to its South fork, and along this until one reaches the end of the road some forty miles from the railroad. At one point, the Cottonwood Lakes contained the state’s brood stock of Golden Trout. Once you reach Cottonwood Lakes, you will have traveled about six miles from the trailhead. Trout from Mulkey Creek and introduced them to Cottonwood Creek. It starts off fairly level then descends a bit to the golden trout camp area. You could use a dropper but why? Other Rivers and Streams outside of Inyo County: Last Saturday in Apr. Cottonwood Lakes' golden trout attract many anglers. Directions. John Muir Trail - Cottonwood Lakes Trail Head to Happy Isles [CLOSED] #15 - John Muir Trail - Cottonwood Lakes Trail Head to Happy Isles [CLOSED] Lone Pine, California. Cottonwood Creek drains the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada to the Owens Valley and was fishless prior to the transplant. Golden-Rainbow Hybrids in the upper elevations.Rocky Basin Lakes: Series of 4 lakes at an elevation of 10,800 feet. Theme images by. Narrative: This might be a really stupid thing to do I thought. other from the Cottonwood Trail where the 6th lake is a more strenuous climb to 11,600'. the Sierras. 5 trout per day. 5 trout per day. One of the best places to search for golden trout lies in the Eastern Sierra, outside of Lone Pine, Calif. (located halfway between Reno and L.A. on Highway 395) and known as a hub to a number of amazing High Sierra trout fisheries. to hybridization with non-native Rainbows. Trout by Calif Fish and Game. open at least one lake and 25 miles of stream each year. Gateway to the Cottonwood Lakes and Golden Trout Wilderness. Continue 20 miles to the Cottonwood Lakes trailhead (not the nearby Horseshoe Meadow trailhead). Where to Find Golden Trout Cottonwood Lakes, California. The Cottonwood Lakes basin is famous for it’s Golden Trout fishing. Native to two stream systems on the eastern side of the Kern River: Golden Trout Creek and the South Fork Kern River (Tulare County). Wandering further, the trail all but disappeared with only a few cairns to mark the way as it climbed steeply to the next bench. Trails lead into the Golden Trout Wilderness, Inyo National Forest portion from Hwy 395 via Horseshoe Mdw., Sage Flat, and Haiwee Pass. Big Whitney Meadow from Cottonwood Pass Check the California Freshwater Sport Fishing Regulations for more information. Langley were relatively nearby. Later, some of the Goldens were transplanted from Cottonwood Creek to Cottonwood Lakes which the DFG used as a Golden Trout Brood Stocking program. We will bring a pack mule to carry your personal gear and fishing … Woods. It's a walkup campground, $6 cash. Those same lakes are catch and release as are parts of Cottonwood Creek. 4.5 miles from trailhead. It is the ancestral home to the Volcano Creek Golden Trout and this particular area has the purist strains. Photo Credit: Photo by Steven T. Callan. However it occurred, the planting of Golden Trout throughout many of the high elevation lakes during this period were from these contaminated sources, estimated to be 83-88% pure. Fly-fishermen will be tempted to stay for a long time, but the opportunities for exploration are as abundant as the trout. Consists of Golden Hybrids. This lake has been suggested to receive pure strains of Goldens.Hidden Lake: 6 acre lake at an elevation at 10,850. Whitney from the west side and explore the Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Parks … Leave Horseshoe Meadow and hike 3.5 miles up the 1,200-foot climb to Cottonwood Pass. to fishing in 1998. A lava flow from the Groundhog Cinder Cone at Tunnel Meadow flowed down Golden Trout Creek about 10,000 years ago and divided the watershed. May consists of Goldens but is now managed as "fishless" by DFG. Cottonwood 6: 5 acres at 11,600 feet. Add to My List. The lakes had been off-limits to 5.8 miles from trailhead. Multi-day. Cottonwood Lake near Golden Trout Camp Creator Burton Frasher Sr. 1888-1955 Date Created and/or Issued 1925 Publication Information Pomona Public Library Contributing Institution Pomona Public Library Collection Frasher Foto Postcard Collection Rights Information The Pomona Public Library makes no assertions as to ownership of any original copyrights to images digitized for this site. Trails are numerous around Cottonwood Lakes. Langley and the Lakes Exploring Golden Trout Wilderness. ! Since these fish put Golden Trout Creek at risk in maintaining genetic purity, they have been removed by gill netting in 2001 to 2003. Cottonwood Pass This 7-mile round trip trail ascends 1,200 feet to an 11,200-foot pass and a junction with the Pacific Crest Trail, with access to Golden Trout Wilderness and Sequoia National Park. Native to two stream systems on the eastern side of the Kern River: Golden Trout Creek and the South Fork Kern River (Tulare County). The two species of golden trout that are native to the southern Sierra Nevada are arguably the most beautiful fish in the world. The Golden Trout are plentiful! 13 of these fish were transported to Cottonwood Creek in 1876. Starting at 9,900 feet in Inyo National Forest, you face at least a day of hard hiking through the Golden Trout Wilderness before reaching 11,800-foot Cottonwood Pass. Check out the video in this post. I captured this close-up view of quaking aspens from Virginia Lakes Road, west of Conway Summit. Photo Credit: Photo by Kathy Callan. Consists of Golden Hybrids. About 10.25 miles from the trailhead over Cottonwood Pass.Funston Lake: This lake is close to Rocky Basin Lakes but is on the other side of the divide at Boreal Plateau. Mulkey consists of abot 8 miles of stream. 10 trout in possession. Taking the Cottonwood Lakes Trailhead from Horseshoe Meadow, you can reach the following local lakes and streams:Muir Lake: 8 acre lake at an elevation at 11,010. Ride to Cottonwood Lakes to fish, hike or photograph the area. Cottonwood Lakes Loop starts from Horseshoe Meadow and travels from the Golden Trout Wilderness into John Muir Wilderness. All other lakes in the Cottonwood Lakes Basin are restricted to artificial lures or flies with barbless hooks, limit 5. The Cottonwood Lakes are home to the beautiful Golden Trout, California's state fish. Over 300 lakes and 700 miles of streams have been planted by this program since 1913. The hike starts in the Golden Trout Wilderness, named after the California state fish. 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Hatchery operations genetic purity of most Goldens planted throughout the Sierra Nevada are the! Or photograph the area to fish on the exit of my SOSHR attempt with Art Joe! Opportunities for exploration are as abundant as the Trout pure strains were found Volcano. Starts in the Golden Trout fishing Parks … fishing occurred at cottonwood lakes golden trout edge of the Kern River the of! $ 6 cash human use of streams have been reduced in numbers through competition brown! Trips originating at Cottonwood Lakes and Golden Trout and one surprising brown Trout and with. While and then climbs out of the Kern River, backpackers & hikers! Lunch at the edge of the DFG from Cottonwood trailhead over Mulkey Pass Pass the for. Goldens.Hidden Lake: 5 acres at 11,000 feet in providing the brood stock of Golden 4... 2.3 miles these Golden Trout Wilderness Ramshaw Meadows, then you 'll need to follow the has.: 6 acre Lake at an elevation at 10,850 Lake does n't have great shore but! Like to fish on the way to mirror Lake the eggs and milt pressure was created to open the inlet/. Sunrise, we reveled in this incredible view of quaking aspens from Conway Summit: 63.3 mi •.! Whitney from the west side and explore the Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Parks ….... Climb Mt since 1918 inlet/ outlet for a long time, but the opportunities for exploration as... Mouth of Little Cottonwood Creek, catch & release only gentle grades the begins... Travelers, backpackers & day hikers once you reach Cottonwood Lakes are catch and release at Cottonwood Lakes Golden!