Cottonwood lakes TH July 4

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Stumpfisher
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Cottonwood lakes TH July 4

Post by Stumpfisher » Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:13 pm

I had a few days off over the July 4th weekend 4-6) and to my surprise I was able to secure a permit for my son and I. We love this area and usually do a trip every late July but I couldn’t pass this up. I’ve never been there at this time of year so wanted some wisdom on how busy I should expect to see the area? We like to explore the whole basin, fish some and just relax. Any ideas on best base camp site for exploring the area at that time? We typically stay around lake 3 then explore broadly from there. This being July 4 I was thinking south fork lake or long lake may be less crowded. Farthest from base camp would probably be soldier lake across NAP. Thanks for your collective wisdom!








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bobby49
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Re: Cottonwood lakes TH July 4

Post by bobby49 » Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:33 pm

There are two lakes where I avoid the crowds, Muir and Hidden. However, I don't know about the fish status.

Lower Soldier Lake was kind of buggy when I was there last. That would be good if you were a fish.

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Re: Cottonwood lakes TH July 4

Post by Wandering Daisy » Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:54 pm

I am not sure Soldier Lake is worth the effort going over NA Pass. There is plenty to explore in Cottonwood Lakes basin. If you intend on looping back via Cottonwood Pass, I also do not think this route is superior to just staying in the Cottonwood Lakes. If you have time to get into Miter Basin, then NA Pass is worth it.

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notis
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Re: Cottonwood lakes TH July 4

Post by notis » Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:24 pm

I second WD's opinions :nod:

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wildhiker
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Re: Cottonwood lakes TH July 4

Post by wildhiker » Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:59 pm

But the Horseshoe Meadow road (to access Cottonwood Lakes trailhead) was damaged by rockfall in Wednesday's (6/24) earthquake. See: http://www.highsierratopix.com/communit ... 34&t=20649
Better check with Inyo County that the road is open before heading to the mountains.
-Phil

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Re: Cottonwood lakes TH July 4

Post by schmalz » Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:17 am

wildhiker wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:59 pm
But the Horseshoe Meadow road (to access Cottonwood Lakes trailhead) was damaged by rockfall in Wednesday's (6/24) earthquake. See: http://www.highsierratopix.com/communit ... 34&t=20649
Better check with Inyo County that the road is open before heading to the mountains.
-Phil
Yep. I think the road is closed again at the moment.
http://CaliTrails.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Cottonwood lakes TH July 4

Post by John Harper » Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:33 am

The campgrounds at Cottonwood Pass TH and the Cottonwood Lakes TH are still closed. There is a gate down the road about 3/4-1 mile where you must park your car. If you have any coolers or food, you need to carry them to one of the closed campgrounds and store in the food lockers. Also, the road is closed due to rockslides. I have a permit to go in on the July 1 but it looks doubtful. I'm planning to head to Wyoming from there and there is no way I'm carrying my YETI knockoff and two 5 gallon buckets of food 3/4 mile before I even get to my backpacking gear, then have to repeat at the end. I'm too old for that.

Restrooms and water are not available either. I was going to take the old trail along Cottonwood Creek, so at least I have access to water the whole distance. Both campgrounds are not really that close to water, except CP TH, out in the meadow. The ranger I spoke to said people were crapping in the firepits and there was a mess at both campgrounds. Why they opened the THs before having facilities active is crazy.

Fishing should be good, parachute adams, elk hair caddis, or blue damselflies are the hot ticket. Especially the damsels if there is a hatch this year.

John

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Re: Cottonwood lakes TH July 4

Post by SSSdave » Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:12 am

As I've noted before, the NFS is making a huge mistake by opening trailheads while not providing and servicing dumpsters for trash and restroom use. Closing campgrounds to overnight use does make sense though. Some NFS and state park authorities have for years been pushing the pack it in pack it out narrative that has value for backcountry visitors while consistently has shown to be an ignored failure with front country car campers. In fact it is much worse now than a couple decades ago because there are many new younger urban visitors that are habituated to acting like pigs in their urban worlds where authorities don't care and there is little if any enforcement.

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Re: Cottonwood lakes TH July 4

Post by Stumpfisher » Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:29 pm

Thank you to everyone!
An update for anyone who is interested, I called to get my permit email and the road to horseshoe meadow gate is open As they were able to clear debris after the earthquake. They hope to open the campground by july 1 but the ranger said it doesn’t look good. As and John Harper mentioned, this is bad news for horseshoe meadows as I believe there are people abusing that campsite. Just with vault toilets alone being closed I’m worried people are doing their business all over that poor campground. Not sure how people that love the outdoors refuse to respect these resources that get them outdoors.

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