The trailhead for Cottonwood Lakes and the exit point at Whitney Portal are more than 30 miles apart, so arrange a car shuttle before lighting out if you chose that route. The path follows the Four-mile Canyon Creek ditch and passes by Hayden Lake (**Please note that this is a private lake) as it heads southwestward to the 47th Street bikeway. This series of six high altitude lakes butt up against the climb up New Army Pass and the trail to Mt Langley, a California 14er. Explore Inyo National Forest - Wilderness Permits in Inyo National Forest, California with Recreation.gov. Take your time, bring lots of water and snacks, and you'll enjoy this hike more than a Netflix binge. The map displayed above is for illustrative purposes only. High Sierra Trails website makes no warranties regarding the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of any of its maps. Located in California's beautiful eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, Inyo National Forest offers challenging trails, high mountain peaks, and unparalleled views. 4.5 miles from trailhead. It is about 45 minutes from Lone Pine, CA. Not kidding. Cottonwood Trail (1.2 mile) extends north and south from the parking lot. Cottonwood Lakes. The half dozen Cottonwood Lakes are clustered in a basin at the foot of 14,032-foot Mount Langley. WHERE: About 225 miles (4 hours) north of Los Angeles. The trailhead is located in the Cottonwood Lakes Trailhead Campground (this is what you can search on Google maps). We hiked in June 2020 and the campground was closed due to Covid -19, but normally you’d be able to park at the trailhead or even spend the night before/after your hike in the campground. The hikes are steep, but absolutely gorgeous. Cottonwood Lakes can be a first night stopping place for hikers setting out to connect to the John Muir Trail or a basecamp for local adventures from fishing to peak bagging. Distance from Trailhead: 12.4 miles (round trip) Ending/Highest Elevation: 11,200-ft. Elevation Gain: 1,267-ft. To reach Cottonwood Lakes #4 and #5, follow the trail that contours around the lake’s northern shore and then ascends along the east side of the inlet stream, reaching the narrow isthmus separating Lakes #4 (11,186-ft.) and #5, 6.2 miles from the trailhead.. Lower & Upper Red Pine Lakes are classic high alpine hikes in Salt Lake City's Wasatch Front. To Lakes #4 and #5. 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. The Cottonwood Lakes Trailhead marks the start of a great adventure into beautiful meadows, lakes, and alpine terrain. RECOMMENDED HIKE: A strenuous 27-mile loop follows Horseshoe Meadow via Cottonwood Pass trailhead to Rock Creek along the Pacific Crest Trail, then up the creek, over 12,400-foot New Army Pass, and then exiting through Cottonwood Pass trailhead in Golden Trout Wilderness. From there, the trail starts an uphill climb for about 900 feet of elevation gain before topping out at the first Cottonwood lake. The trailhead is the White Pine Trailhead 5.5 miles up Little Cottonwood Canyon. Every effort is made to provide accurate and up to date information, but we cannot be responsible for errors or for changes that may have occurred since publication. TRAIL SUMMARY TRAILHEAD ELEVATION - 10,040 feet HIGHEST ELEVATION - LAKE BASIN - 11,008 ft. at Cottonwood Lake #1 HIGHEST ELEVATION - NEW ARMY PASS - 12,385 ft. The Goldens that inhabited Cottonwood Lakes were a source for Golden stockings to other areas within the state since 1918. 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