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Whitney Portal 10 miles
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Grays Meadows 24 miles
Onion Valley 24 miles
Oak Creek 28 miles

Trail Journals

Horseshoe Meadow to Rock Creek


Pages:   Introduction   1   2
 
Day 1 - To Rock Creek Map: Horseshoe Meadow
New Army Pass
New Army Pass
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Below High Lake
Below High Lake
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Hiking over New Army Pass from Horseshoe Meadow is never easy. Fortunately we spent the night at the trailhead, but one night didn't feel like it was nearly enough.



The hike started out easy enough. We followed the trail to Rock Creek. Shortly after crossing it we turned left, off the trail, along an old footpath. This is not a marked trail and you should bring a good, large scale map in order to navigate through this section.



We generally followed the river and returned to the trail near the boulder field before Long Lake. From Long Lake the trail climbs up to High Lake and then begins climbing towards the back of the cirque before beginning its switchbacking ascent towards the pass. The last time I hiked this trail was after spending two nights in Mammoth, one night at the Horseshoe Meadow trailhead, and another night at Long Lake. I was pretty well acclimated then. This time with only one night acclimating at Horseshoe Meadow the hike over the pass was considerably more difficult.



Once over the pass the descent on the other side becomes pretty steep. Eventually the trail levels out a bit as it nears Soldier Lake, then descends again for about a mile or so to Rock Creek.

Day 3 - To Horseshoe Meadow Map: Rock Creek and Siberian Outpost
Rock Creek
Rock Creek
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Siberian Outpost
Siberian Outpost
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We rested on day two and stayed at camp. On the third day we headed back to Horseshoe Meadow proper (not the trailhead) by way of Cottonwood pass.



This is a much easier hike than the first day. The trail starts by climbing back up past Soldier Lake and then levels out a bit. For the next few miles the trail fluctuates between flat and rolling up and down. As the trail merges with the Pacific Crest Trail it passes along the side of the mountain with good views of Siberian Outpost. Soon it passes over to the other side of the mountain where the trail becomes sandy.



The trail remains relatively flat with occasional ups and downs until it begins to descend towards Chichen Spring Lake and continues its descent to Cottonwood Pass. From there the trail begins a steeper descent through forest. At the bottom it continues a ways until it reaches Horseshoe Meadow where there is plentiful camping.

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