Two subspecies of golden trout are recognized; South Fork Kern golden trout and the Little Kern golden trout. They grow in such extreme environments where there is hardly any soil and basically no other plant life. I headed back to our camp to rejoin my dad. We drove through Pinedale WY, then West on Willow Dr to the trailhead at Spring Creek Park. Around dinner time, the storm broke up and we got out of the tent to stretch the legs and eat dinner, but fishing would have to wait until tomorrow. Shorty was a trapper and woodsman and moved from location to location depending on his needs and whims.On one visit in the hunting season a group of LAPD were staying in the cabins and I volunteered for kitchen duty to help out the cook with the pay to be my meals. No fish, no spawning fish, nothing. Part of the performance review includes … Backpacking, camping, Fly Fishing, Golden Trout Wilderness, Tenkara. After about 30 minutes of walking we crested a hill and looked down on the upper most lake in the basin. In 2012 we visited this lake and I notched my first skunk at a lake that holds fish in the Sierra. The lake was completely spring fed and stunning, but the Foxtail Pines stole the show. I couldn’t wait for some real food and a shower! Head up the trail across a well made log bridge, rock hop one more creek and come to a junction. Golden trout are native to California. About Sequoia National Forest Golden Trout Wilderness Backpacking. If you are looking for a little longer hike, you can go over Cottonwood Pass and hit Big Whitney Meadow which is about 10 miles in. The old rickety cabin away from the main complex is called "Shorty's Cabin" and predates the main complex by at least two decades. The route was Horseshoe Meadow over trail pass to Tunnel Meadows night 1, explored Golden Trout Creek, Volcano Meadow and falls, natural bridge, and dropped into the Kern Valley to stay at Soda Spring night 2. We bought four days starting at day 3 when we figured to be at Elbow Lake. EASY 3.7 mi. It took us 6 hiking hours to reach our destination because of the combination of on and off trail travel. The trail bottomed out in a giant meadow where several forks of a small creek flowed and was flanked by tons of wildflowers. 5. The goal for July 25th (day 6) was to rest, recover and catch some fish! By 8AM I was on the water fishing for the numerous goldens in the lake. After just 0.6 miles, this track comes to Chicken Spring Lake, a worthy turn around point for an 8.2-mile hike. We learned quickly that the floating line must be kept tight at all times and even the slightest nudge in the indicator means a fish likely sucked in that fake chironomid at the end of your line. It is celebrated for its expansive meadows, flowing creeks, and the fish for which the wilderness is named. The hike down was a typical Sierra east side exit – long with a ton of elevation loss. Golden Trout Wilderness is a protected area in California. I caught 3 more fish and possibly my longest of the trip. We snaked our way through the rocks following grassy chutes. The lake was really deep, so I switched to sinking line and leech strategy hoping to pull a fish up from the depths. Perhaps insect life had deteriorated leave the population with less food? I returned to the tent to make some dinner feeling happy to have found the fish population thriving, though slightly disappointed that they had decreased in size over the last 7 years. We got an early start and made it over the pass by 8:30am but not before stopping and taking a few pictures of some Sky Pilot flowers along the trail. Not to be. It was steep, but once on top it was flat and easy to navigate. Part of the John Muir Wilderness, this glaciated landscape is surrounded by jagged spires of granite and dotted with alpine lakes. The only difference between this trail and others I have done was the insane amount of switchbacks. They would dart away at the first sign of a person. The distance away from civilization provides wonderful seclusion … This trail brings you into the LIttle Lakes Valley. That is where we were going. The Golden Trout Wilderness has been the destination of many avid backpackers, rafters and fisherman although it receives a fraction of the tourists that its northerly neighbors, Yosemite and Sequoia National Park, host each year and remains a wilderness in the true sense of the word. … Read more. The lingering clouds once again created an amazing sunset. While I was out taking pictures of the sunset, I tripped and fell forward going down hill. A few years ago, if you had asked me if I was ever interested in backpacking, I would’ve responded with … More . Whether the trout’s stunning colors were a surprise for a passing visitor or a celebrated triumph for a trout enthusiast no one could deny that the Little Kern Golden is a unique and beautiful fish. This year we had an aggressive itinerary to hit 5 lakes that could all hold trophy golden trout. The reason for this was the out-of-state daily fishing license fee is $14. Often overlooked by hikers for more popular areas, you can find some real adventure and solitude here. A log positioned over the creek provides a bridge for days when rock hopping would cause wet toes. Pictures, sketches, and descriptions of my hiking adventures. It is located 40 miles (64 km) east of Porterville, California within Inyo National Forest and Sequoia National Forest. Golden Trout Wilderness tour: Jordan Hot Springs Inyo National Forest. The Volcano Creek Golden trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss aguabonita), also referred to as Golden Creek Golden Trout, has been isolated for tens of thousands of years above impassable barriers in the southern Sierra Nevada. It was a steep snowbank with no sun cups – a slip would result in an icy plunge. Freeman Creek - Proposed Addition to Golden Trout Wilderness - Sequoia Kings Canyon National Parks - Photo Gallery Sequoia - Wild Heritage Project I had a random thought during this hike – no matter how difficult the hike was, we would never have to repeat it because of our one way itinerary. This was the most dramatic sunset of the entire trip and I ran around like a mad man trying to capture it as best I could. Hidden Lake via Cottonwood Lakes Trail. From surf-fishing to fly-fishing, camping to backpacking, 2017 was jam packed with adventures. The route is straightforward, however, across a grassy meadow dotted with small boulders, beside the lake's exit stream then down a slope, as trees start to reappear. Now in the heart of the Golden Trout Wilderness, we meet the creek of the same name, our companion for the middle section of the trip. Backpacking Bugs Off trail Rocky. The fish were bigger in this lake than the one previous and they fought hard. Day three, Kern Lakes, stayed at Trout Meadow. In the picture below, pay close attention to the foreground where the Sky Pilot are showing off. My brother’s knee had been bothering him for the last week after we did a training hike up Humphrey’s Peak in Arizona and it started to flare up again. After about a mile, the trail crosses the South Fork of Cottonwood Creek. Turn east at the Portal Creek turnoff – FS Road 984. This video is unavailable. Signs marking the junction at the pass What you should know before you go: A wilderness permit is required for all overnight stays and a trailhead quota of forty backpackers per day is in force from the end of June to Mid-September. It was quite startling to round a corner and find one of these in front of you. From the east, most visitors approach from Hwy 395 near Lone Pine. We even walked through this gorgeous meadow filled with shooting stars – a common sight for the rest of the trip. The entry point and home base for the Golden Trout Wilderness and Cottonwood Lakes is the campground, Horseshoe Meadows. Still haven’t answered them. The lake was 95% ice free, but quite a bit of the shoreline contained snow. The morning of July 22nd dawned, but I stayed in my sleeping bag getting a little extra sleep on our rest day. Golden Trout Wilderness tour: Jordan Hot Springs Inyo National Forest. DIFFICULT 11.0 mi. The unique part of this trip was the one-way itinerary. I reached the outlet without seeing anything. A few years ago, if you had asked me if I was ever interested in backpacking, I would’ve responded with … More. Water temperatures in the range of 3° to 20°C are ideal for them to breathe, feed, metabolize food, evade predators, and spawn. Map of the United States. Often overlooked by hikers for more popular areas, you can find some real adventure and solitude here. We started the year off strong with … More. Take Cottonwood Lakes Trail from Horseshoe Meadow as it runs downhill heading north through the Golden Trout Wilderness. The main attraction here is not sandy forests but Golden Trout, the world’s most beautiful fish. The trip begins on a mostly sandy trail leading you North into the Golden trout Wilderness. Despite the low clouds, it didn’t rain anymore and I managed to get back up to the upper lake and fish for a couple more hours. I must say I worked hard for those three good meals. 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