If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!
I have had no problem getting permits in Lone Pine for Cottonwood Lakes and Pass THs this past July and August, but I get there at 7:45 right before they open. Sept should be no problem. I'm heading out Sept 15 - 23 and will be bringing a 25 degree winter quilt just in case. Have fun.
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Horseshoe Mdws is one of the highest trailheads in the Sierra (a little over 10,000'). I'd be careful if your driving up from the lowlands and plan to head right out. Really, you should spend at least a day at Horseshoe Mdw getting acclimated. And its not really a stroll to Cottonwood Lakes. But its lovely country and the first 14,000' peak in the Sierra (starting from the south) is nearby (Mt. Langly). Take it slow, take breaks, and stay hydrated.
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