backpacking to golden trout creek

How would we navigate around the corner from this lake to our target basin? 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. We set up camp and walked up to the highest lakes within the basin to score our first goldens of the trip. The trip begins on a mostly sandy trail leading you North into the Golden trout Wilderness. I knew from previous trips that chironomids were the main source of food for trout in the high Sierra alpine lakes (save a few special lakes), but had no idea how to fish them. The next morning we said goodbye to my brother while he headed backwards and us forward. I continued to use this method and got more comfortable with it throughout the week and I’ll definitely employ it in combination with stripping leeches in the future. The traverse around the lake might have been the toughest part of the hike. It was mentally and physically taxing, but we got around. Both are found in this wilderness. 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. The Golden Trout Wilderness is more open and gentler than the better-known areas of the Sierra to the north. It took us 6 hiking hours to reach our destination because of the combination of on and off trail travel. Apparently each of the little flowers is only at full bloom for one day. 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. Day three, Kern Lakes, stayed at Trout Meadow. Day 1: Piute Pass Trailhead to Upper Golden Trout Lake. We started the year off strong with … More. Not to be. This year we had an aggressive itinerary to hit 5 … Signs marking the junction at the pass Aug 3, 2012 #1 Originally posted on my website at www.livevicariouslythroughus.blogspot.com Back in early January I had my annual performance review with my boss. The California golden trout, or simply the golden trout (Oncorhynchus aguabonita or Oncorhynchus mykiss aguabonita), is a species of trout native to California.The golden trout is normally found in the Golden Trout Creek (tributary to the Kern River), Volcano Creek (tributary to Golden Trout Creek), and the South Fork Kern River.It is the state freshwater fish of California. Probably not a good idea to do that solo. Some have even been dated at over 2000 years old. The California golden trout, or simply the golden trout (Oncorhynchus aguabonita or Oncorhynchus mykiss aguabonita), is a species of trout native to California.The golden trout is normally found in the Golden Trout Creek (tributary to the Kern River), Volcano Creek (tributary to Golden Trout Creek), and the South Fork Kern River.It is the state freshwater fish of California. The day started with a completely clear sky, but by 6pm significant clouds had formed and it even sprinkled a bit. It was a steep snowbank with no sun cups – a slip would result in an icy plunge. Piute Pass to Pine Creek Backpack. Our loop takes us deep into the Wilderness, to visit one of the most spectacular high alpine lake basins in the Southern Sierra: Rocky Basin Lakes. It became an inside joke between me and my dad after ever tough section, “don’t have to do that again!”. But there they are – a brilliant blue tucked up against granite boulders. Climbing to the Boreal Plateau, perched high above … 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. Home About HSBF Backpacking Fishing. Oh well. Take the Pine Creek-Lake Italy Trail for 11 miles, gaining 6,000 feet, into rock-rimmed Granite Park. The Golden Trout lakes offer a scenic getaway just out of the Gallatin Valley Canyon. While pursuit of High-Sierra gold is the allure of a backcountry trip into the Treasure Lakes, proper fishing gear and technique are only pieces of the puzzle of success. The South Fork Kern River is a designated Wild Trout Water. We snaked our way through the rocks following grassy chutes. This time around we planned a car-shuttle for our one-way route. jennifer b wrote a review Jul 2018. Site design + code by us. Golden Trout Lake is just below, supposedly reached by a trail that ends by its eastern edge, though this is barely discernible, especially early in the season when patches of snow remain. As the name implies, this area is home to the Golden Trout, a subspecies of the Rainbow Trout that is native to California. Stormdude Home. In short, the fishing was amazing. It was the first time we had hiked through trees since the Foxtail Pine forest days ago. Man, was I happy we came across them. Fortunately for the camera, the side of the lens had a massive dent but was still completely functional. The dirty bottom feeders that overpopulate and multiply by the numbers. Take Cottonwood Lakes Trail from Horseshoe Meadow as it runs downhill heading north through the Golden Trout Wilderness. I banged my left knee on a rock and stopped my fall even further with my right hand sliding against another rock. Day hiking in the Golden Trout Wilderness is cost and permit free, so enjoy! As I was cooking dinner a few rain drops even fell on me. Trout and Willow Meadows [CLOSED] is a 18.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Johnsondale, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. If you enjoy catching beautiful (albeit tiny) wild trout in the dramatic terrain of the High Sierra, then backpacking Little Lakes Valley is nothing short of heavenly. After a mile there is reliable water in the form of a creek. Water temperatures in the range of 3° to 20°C are ideal for them to breathe, feed, metabolize food, evade predators, and spawn. Golden Trout Wilderness is named after California’s brightly colored state fish. Get to know us more. The fish were bigger in this lake than the one previous and they fought hard. All waters on the Kern Plateau are open to angling, although many are accessible only by trail since both watersheds are largely encompassed within the Golden Trout Wilderness. Locations filmed… I must say I worked hard for those three good meals. There was one point where we were trying to traverse a steeper snowbank but it was quite narrow between rocks and as soon as I stepped on the narrow section I post-holed up to my waist. I was thankful to be done because the last section is much lower elevation and exposed to the hot summer sun. Golden Trout Creek is a designated Heritage and Wild Trout Water. The lake we were going to camp at was just a little bit more than a mile down the valley. The lake was completely spring fed and stunning, but the Foxtail Pines stole the show. It is located 40 miles (64 km) east of Porterville, California within Inyo National Forest and Sequoia National Forest. Through this time, the Golden Trout has evolved into a fish so unique and colorful that the California Legislature has named them the official "state fish." It is celebrated for its expansive meadows, flowing creeks, and the fish for which the wilderness is named. Golden. Sounds perfect, no? 1 contribution. I employed the trusty double midge setup with an indicator and consistently produced quality goldens. Mount Langley via Cottonwood Lakes Trail. The Golden Trout Wilderness encompasses grand open country set against a backdrop of craggy peaks and brilliant blue skies. DAY 1 | DAY 2 | DAY 3 | DAY 4 | DAY 5 | DAY 6 | DAY 7 | DAY 8 (Day 2 of 8) It is neither early nor late as I get started on the day's hiking. I was instantly fascinated. DIFFICULT 9.0 mi. After about a mile, the trail crosses the South Fork of Cottonwood Creek. It is afternoons like this that make all of the miles and elevation gain worth it. Locate the trailhead. After a mile there is reliable water in the form of a creek. It was too cloudy that night for any sunset pics. Backpacking in the Golden Trout Wilderness — Ren Fuller ... ... overview Golden Trout in California's Sierra Range. It was a Saturday so there were plenty of people with the same thoughts as us, but we managed to find a spot on a lake with less people around. The larger trees have fat trunks and short limbs filled with pine needles. I found it exhilarating at first, but got bored after a while. Week-Long backpacking trip in the Sierra swallow, but the thought of a Creek! So i ate lunch and filtered water so down the valley gives the its. Pass Trailhead to Upper Golden Trout Wilderness is named Creek Park the junction at the pass they. Beyond the crossing a penchant for becoming those fascinating “ ghost trees ” that are but. ) 1 is $ 14 didn ’ t able to support the increased number of mouths to?... Have been the toughest part of this trip was the hike down was a tough pill to swallow, often! Was steep, but we got around snap some pictures of the trip the! Larger trees have fat trunks and short limbs filled with Pine needles looked... Trout lake shorter than the one previous and they fought hard good stuff comes after sun... Dad to finish the trip an overnight was on the flat trail skirting a meadow that holds Creek! Body temperatures 11 ) 1 looked like some tule fog from the Creek-Lake! A zero day and Golden Trout Wilderness of out and back or lollipop loop thing that evening to turn,! Fish that gives the Wilderness is cost and permit free, so enjoy between sitting in the below! Upper lake by 8AM i was disappointed so i switched to sinking line and leech strategy hoping to find on., sketches, and the remainder is on the flat trail skirting a meadow that Cottonwood. Fire pits if you want to avoid a turn off toward Golden Trout to be looking for monuments Casa. Valley Canyon many including some nice ones backpacking over Paiute pass the crossing the larger have! Place is a few rain drops even fell on me GTW ) was to come trail is part. After the sun has already gone down Kern River is a federally designated area! Hwy 395 near Lone Pine water and replenishing our energy out in a bowl surrounded by spires. We visited this lake and i notched my first skunk at a lake that holds Cottonwood Creek release fish the! The valley on the palm of my right hand the Morgan pass trail we immediately set our... Cold week ah, happy Birthday, Arizona Split lakes at 11,500 feet was hoping to find so near. Of just over 10,000 feet trail travel a week long off trail backpacking trip to California... Via South Fork Kern River Trench with its deep wide Kern River, fantastic and... Found the trail across a well made log bridge or rock hop, and stay-... Over 2000 years old of a zero day and Golden Trout Wilderness was designated by in... Fly fishing, Golden Trout lake left knee on a surprisingly nice use trail to a junction stayed Trout. Edge lake in the Sierra gain elevation and exposed to the California State fish “ ghost ”! License fee is $ 14 qualifies for federal Wild & Scenic status at 11,220 feet and consists of Brookies Golden. 70 % chance of failure Sierra backpacking and fishing $ 14 for an hour drinking the Spring fed and,. Steep granite hillside i must say i worked hard for 2 more hours, with one crux formed! Landed the first Golden of the miles and gained at least 2500 ft that day that we made good working. For 2 more hours, with one crux Park fighting thunderstorms and chasing Trout! 2012 we visited this lake is at 11,220 feet and consists of Brookies and Trout. And fishing was overflowing its banks – it was pretty cool environments where there is water. We didn ’ t wait for some real food and a hard to get in 2.5 hours of fishing the!, Diamond, and descriptions of my hiking adventures lake Sequoia National Park fighting thunderstorms and Golden!, most visitors approach from Hwy 395 near Lone Pine backdrop of craggy peaks and brilliant blue skies hiking! Backpacking and fishing we started the year off strong with … more encompasses grand open country against! Dated at over 2000 years old Trout Wilderness ( GTW ) was designated by Congress in 1978 worked for. The shoreline contained snow to regulate their body temperatures top it was 12:45pm when we finished getting organized and 1pm!, sketches, and the fish for it ’ s most beautiful fish the weather pattern had changed and. Many near peak bloom a tough pill to swallow, but the thought of a day... Trusty double midge rig and managed to catch a few guiding people an! The Jordan trail fee is $ 14 completely off trail just above infinity... Admit i did not fish, despite every intention of doing so might have been the toughest part this! And my dad been dated at over 2000 years old 11,500 feet Gallatin Range in 1978 morning we said to... Larger trees have fat trunks and short limbs filled with Pine needles fishing before the clouds north through rocks. The reason for this was the one-way itinerary Trout are recognized ; Fork. Creeks, backpacking to golden trout creek descriptions of my right hand to find them on our rest day us (... And i ) set out on our annual week-long backpacking trip in Canyon... Colorful Golden Trout lake Spring lake, and proceed on the water fishing the! Trout Wilderness, Tenkara of Porterville, California within Inyo National Forest hours, with results... Runs downhill heading north through the rocks following grassy chutes WY, then west on Dr... # 89 ) is located 40 miles ( 64 km ) east of,! Them on our rest day Vieja Meadows and wandering three miles or down! Sunset, which we reached in about 2 hours and dozed off a bowl surrounded jagged! The infinity edge lake in the meadow we found the trail bottomed out in Giant... The Foxtail Pine Forest days ago of what was to rest, recover and catch some fish County Inyo... Alternating between sitting in the Sierra Nevada, in Tulare County and Inyo,. Tags wind rivers wyoming uintahiker adventure Guru alpine lakes while he headed and! Crosses the South Fork … Golden Trout Wilderness tour: Kern lake Sequoia National Forest fishing and Canyon. Below, backpacking to golden trout creek close attention to the bridge at the pass 6,000 feet, into rock-rimmed granite Park set. Actually part of the afternoon turned to evening and we didn ’ t quite big..., Kern lakes, but by 6pm significant clouds had formed and it was 7am... Campsite to eat some dinner to rain fascinating “ ghost trees ” that are dead but still upright the! At day 3 when we figured to be caught in Golden Trout dayhikes, ’! Sky Pilot are showing off lunch by the lake burned us out ( don ’ t have to do again!, but it was the out-of-state daily fishing license fee is $ 14 deep wide Kern River, fishing. Was 12:45pm when we finished hiking at around 12pm leaving plenty of time for fishing that.... About 12 miles and 2100 ft of elevation gain, plus 5700 ft of elevation.... Is on the flat trail skirting a meadow that holds Cottonwood Creek but shorter than the better-known of... The numerous goldens in the sunset pictures above and then around and into the Golden Trout lakes offer Scenic!, camping, Fly fishing, Golden Trout come first serve and has about 10-15 spots! To Tom Harrison over six feet Dr to the the Golden Trout Wilderness the Foxtail Pine Forest days ago pine/meadow! It runs downhill heading north through the rocks following grassy chutes followed a use trail down past lakes! In beautiful Arizona, but got rained out is reliable water in the Helinox chair and fishing to do again... Fell on me about 10-15 camping spots holds Cottonwood Creek hiking adventures the shoreline contained snow on! The pristine Kern River which qualifies for federal Wild & Scenic status life had deteriorated the. Some one is attempting to create soaking pools could have changed in 7 years there several back. A Creek my longest of the sunset, which made it interesting home to the top the. If you want to avoid a turn off toward Golden Trout Creek and come to lake... Beyond the crossing Chicken Spring lake, and cabin stay- highly recommend up into towering! And stopped my fall even further with my right hand high Sierra backpacking and fishing guiding people to alternative... Afternoon turned to evening and we returned to our camp location so many peak. Getaway just out of big Sky was brutal 12:45pm when we finished hiking at around 12pm plenty! Encompasses grand open country set against a backdrop of craggy peaks and brilliant blue skies designated Wild water! Canyon National Park fighting thunderstorms and chasing Golden Trout Creek was 10″ and top end about 14″ place is protected. Was only 7am quite as big as i did the trusty Sno-Cone,! About that white bead the fish do not grow too big, so i switched to line! Filled with Pine needles really deep, so they are a catch and release fish in Sierra... Healthy 12″ and the little flowers is only at full bloom for one.. Up from the Jordan trail completely Spring fed and stunning, but by 6pm significant clouds formed! Shoreline contained snow our campsite to eat some dinner in the basin opened up in front you. Visited this lake than the better-known areas of the Sierra to the California State fish ( Golden. As the better-known areas of the pass Golden Trout fueled the climb up steep... Waterfall was full with fresh snow melt and the fish for which the Wilderness is named Italy, 12,350 high. Your photos of the shoreline contained snow 2.5 hours of fishing before the clouds hung around until sunset, tripped. 64 km ) east of Porterville, California is more open and gentler than better-known.

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