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New Army Pass via Cottonwood Lakes.


Hike is 17.6 miles but with only a 2270' elevation gain/loss.

 Fabulous scenery.
Not for beginners.
No dogs allowed.

For those who might get tired by the time we hit the switchbacks to New Army pass, you can wait for our return by Long Lake. There's a beautiful shaded camp area with nice grassy area by the shore. You can fish or go swimming.  Long Lake is app. 6 miles from the trail head and with only a 1000' elevation gain. See picture above.

In the middle picture you see me walking towards Lake 1 with Langley in the back. The last picture is from New Army Pass looking down on Long Lake.


To get to Horseshoe Meadows:

Take 395 north (or south if you live north of Lone Pine)

A couple of miles before Lone Pine you turn left on Lubken Cyn rd  (Boulder Creek RV park is on the right side of 395. Go 3.3 miles to Horseshoe Meadows Road. Turn left. Go 15.4 miles to the Horseshoe Meadows equestrian and hikers camping turnoff, go right. See attached map.

If you are coming from north or Lone Pine, take Whitney Portal road to Horseshoe Meadows road, turn left. (see above instructions)
There's semi primitive camping by the trailhead. Water, outhouses, picnic tables, bear lockers and fire pits. First come, first served. There's plenty of room. 

*********************************************************************************



Helpful information added on[masked]

It has come to my attention that some of you might be relatively new to this type of day hikes so it's important that you know what you should always have in your daypack. The so called "10 essentials" +++                                       

Besides the obvious, 1 1/2 - 2 liters of water, lunch/snack, warm jacket/wind breaker, rain gear if needed, sun hat, warm hat and gloves, the following list is a must have:

1.   map of the area. You can print the one from this site.

2.   compass

3.   headlamp or good flashlight with extra batteries and bulb (check before   

      each hike.

4.  Knife of utility tool such as a swiss army knife.

5.  Fire starter. You can make your own with cotton balls and Vaseline (google

     it) or use esbit fuel cubes, available at Sports Chalet.

6.  Emergency space blanket. Available at most sporting goods stores, $5-$20

7.  Emergency water purifier.  Filter, Iodine tablets or my personal choice, grape 

      fruit seed extract, (not grape seed) . Available at heath food stores and

       Amazon.com . Get the liquid.

8.  Light weight base layer. (thermasilk is very light and takes up very little

      room)

9.   First aid kit. 

10.  Extra food,  2-3 power bars.

11.    Water proof matches, or regular matches, kept in a zip lock bag.

12.   sun glasses/sun screen

13.   Small plastic trowel with toilet paper wrapped around the handle. Keep in

        strong ziplock bag.  (dig hole at least 9" deep and at least 100' away

         from any water source.

14.    App. 2 feet of duck tape, wrapped around trowel handle, water bottle or

         trekking poles.

15.   Whistle  (to scare away bears and to be found if lost)

Every person needs to carry these items on all day hikes. No sharing. Just leave all of these items in you day pack and you are always ready to go.

*********************************************************************************


*** PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY *** No one in the group is a guide or in any way responsible for your comfort or safety. Please be prepared with adequate gear and supplies for the trip. Please remember that going out into wilderness has risks associated with it and you should be aware and prepared to address any changes in weather, road conditions or to look out for/avoid random acts of nature, including insects, wild animals and natural hazards. It is your responsibility to evaluate the difficulty of any activity you participate in, and decide whether you are prepared by having the experience, skill, knowledge, equipment, and the physical and emotional stamina to safely participate.

*** WAIVER OF LIABILITY *** The Organizers and members in this group are not professional leaders, guides, or mountaineers. The function of the member or organizer is only to organize the trip. Each person who shows up for a trip/meetup (and their guest or guests) is responsible for his or her own safety. By attending a hike, or any other event organized by this group, you are acknowledging that you and any guests that you bring are aware of the risks, dangers and hazards associated with the activity and freely accept and fully assume all such risks, dangers and hazards, and further agree to release and discharge the Organizers, Members of the Southern Sierra Hiking Club Meetup Group from and against any and all liability arising from your participation in the group activities.

By RSVPing you ARE agreeing to the above statements.

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  • Erin C.

    Thank you Alice - this was my first really big hike and I had a great time!

    September 15, 2014

  • Kathleen

    Thanks, Alice. I had a great time!

    September 15, 2014

  • Douglas S.

    Great hike. Than you Alice.

    September 14, 2014

  • Douglas S.

    Great hike. Than you Alice.

    September 14, 2014

  • Cathy

    I spent most of the hike with Kelly, Susan and Richard....great conversation and striking scenery. I had a fantastic time and will plan on making it to New Army Pass next time!

    2 · September 14, 2014

    • Susan J.

      Yes Cathy and Richard it was fun. Thank u again Kelly next time I well eat breakfast

      1 · September 14, 2014

    • Richard D.

      Cathy, Kelly, and Susan it was nice to meet, talk, and hike with ya'll. Hope to see you again on the trails of the Eastern Sierra.

      2 · September 14, 2014

  • Ashley

    Great hike thanks Mom!!

    1 · September 14, 2014

  • Alan

    The vast scale and diverse natural architecture of this area make it a surreal experience. I feel bad for those who have never experienced it.

    2 · September 14, 2014

  • Susan J.

    Fantastic hike absolutely stunning views

    September 13, 2014

  • Susan J.

    Excellent hike Kelly and I did 13 miles. We took pictures we sat at the lakes put our feet in the water. We are a bit tired but it is a beautiful trail. Starts at 10,000 to maybe 11,100 ft. The others went fast and beyond.

    1 · September 13, 2014

  • Kelly D.

    Susan and I are staying at aDowe hotel in rm 260. We are going to dinner in lonepine if anyone wants to join us after the hike.

    September 13, 2014

  • Susan J.

    Kelly and I will be staying at the DOW Historial 1920's Hotel which sounds cool. But if anyone wants to join us for dinner on Saturday like at the Seasons or somewhere in Lone Pine let us know. I am going shopping at all the hiking shops Friday afternoon we will be both leaving Bakersfield by 1230.

    September 12, 2014

    • Kelly D.

      Cathy, Susan and I are leaving at 7am from the Dow Hotel. Let us know if you want us to look for you.

      September 12, 2014

    • Cathy

      Thanks but I finally found it on Mapquest .... looks like it will take 45 minutes so I probably won't leave Dow until close to 8. See you there.

      September 12, 2014

  • Amanda C.

    So sorry to say this but I caught that cold going around and i won't be able to make it. Everyone have fun and i will see you next time!

    September 12, 2014

  • zoe m.

    I have to cancel my rsvp. The person that was going to work for me is sick. Hopefully next one :(

    September 11, 2014

  • Ana A.

    Sorry friends, I Will not go to the New Army Pass hike. Sad, but got to take care of personal business. See you on the next one ! You all have fun!:-)

    September 10, 2014

  • Tom B.

    Good morning, all: Erin and I are leaving Bfield Friday at 4 and coming back Saturday night. Still have open seats if anyone needs a lift. Y'all might think about bring a chair for around camp, too. Not sure what seating is available.

    September 10, 2014

  • Alan

    Never mind. Those temps were only so far today. Temps range over the past several days from 28° low to 66° high.

    September 9, 2014

  • Alan

    Sorry if this subject has already been covered but I just looked at the weather forecast for the COTTONWOOD LAKES KCALONEP3 area. It noted low daily temp of 32° and a high temp of 36°. I am assembling my clothing and would like to know if this sounds about right for that area?

    September 9, 2014

  • Susan J.

    10 miles sounds good to me also

    1 · September 8, 2014

  • Bob L.

    Most likely will not hike the entire 17.6 miles and will look for something in the 10-14 mile range.

    2 · September 7, 2014

    • Amanda C.

      I know that kelly and i will be stopping at the lake..

      1 · September 7, 2014

    • Tom B.

      Great view of the Western Divide from the top of the pass!

      September 7, 2014

  • Susan J.

    Since I am not camping is all that equipment all that necessary and I am not hiking 17 miles I want to do less like maybe 10. I well watch the websites weather. I want to carry a large amount of water. a hat, gloves, first aid kit, couple of dry fit long sleeves long pants, rain type jacket light weight. Snacks. in my day pack/I getting ready for Killimanjaro and have all the proper clothing.

    1 · September 4, 2014

    • zoe m.

      Hi Susan. When are you doing Kilimanjaro? I am doing it next year. I will have to meet you at the hike so you can tell me what you are doing to prepare for yoyr climb.

      1 · September 4, 2014

    • Susan J.

      Leaving December 13 doing Lemosho Route with Tusker Trail Company out of Incline Village

      September 6, 2014

  • Tom B.

    By the way, I'll bring a standard two burner Coleman stove, lantern, and fuel, as well as a pot set, for whomever needs to use it. I have some firewood in the truck, too, if it gets chilly. S'mores are on your own.

    September 4, 2014

    • Tom B.

      Cool. Thanks!

      September 4, 2014

  • Tom B.

    Don't buy a compass. Just going through my gear. I've got three spare I'll give away to whomever wants one

    September 4, 2014

    • Gina

      Hi Tom, If the compass comes with a short lesson in how to use it, I'll take you up on that!

      September 4, 2014

    • Tom B.

      I think we can work that out. Lol I'll bring a map and we can orient and shoot some bearings up by the lakes. Nice and open up there.

      1 · September 4, 2014

  • Tom B.

    Campmor.com is good, too.

    1 · September 4, 2014

  • Alice

    You get better prices if you shop online. I use Backcountry and Campsaver quite often.

    1 · September 4, 2014

  • Kelly D.

    Is there any certain store in Bakersfield that is good for getting most of the supplies?

    1 · September 4, 2014

  • Kelly D.

    Susan, Sandy, Ana - how early do you want to leave on Fri., Sept. 12 for Lone Pine. I am flexible, my niece, who is also coming, will need to arrange an early time off. I was hoping to depart no later than 4:30 but whatever works for you all is good for me.

    September 2, 2014

  • Kelly D.

    Are there US Forest trail maps of this area? Does anyone know where to get one?

    August 28, 2014

    • Kelly D.

      Thank you Alice.

      August 28, 2014

    • Richard D.

      Alice, that is a great recommendation. I have one of those maps and it is great.

      2 · August 28, 2014

  • Susan J.

    Sure Kelly you need to send me your number or something

    August 28, 2014

  • Tom B.

    Are we going to need a campfire permit for stove and/or campfires in that campground?

    August 28, 2014

  • Tom B.

    Hi: I've been busy so am late to the conversation. I was planning on heading that way about 4 on Friday and camping at the walk-in. Will there be enough room for another tent? Also, I have a full-sized pick-up with room for 4 more comfortably if anyone needs a ride. Be happy to have some company. I'm planning on coming back to Bako Saturday after the hike.

    August 27, 2014

    • Erin C.

      Westchester, downtown. What time you think you want to leave?

      August 28, 2014

    • Tom B.

      I was thinking 4pm. It's almost 3 hrs to get there, so we'll have a touch of daylight left. I'll bring a lantern. That work for you? I'm up at Rio Bravo. Text me at[masked] and I can give you details. You can just park at my house if that's okay with you.

      August 28, 2014

  • Anis

    What is the appropriate clothing for this hike? Thank you

    1 · August 28, 2014

    • Anis

      Thank you Alice

      August 28, 2014

  • Susan J.

    OK so Cathy and Kelly if you want to stay Saturday night have fun in town go to the Seasons or whatever restaurant we can and relax. I am not driving home all sweaty and tired. So if not we can take two cars. Its just to far we can come back Sunday morning. Sandy is fine with it..

    August 26, 2014

    • Kelly D.

      Friday is good for me. I think Sat. as well - I am still figuring that out.

      August 28, 2014

  • Gina

    Hi Alice, Given that you have established a later starting time of 0900 ... will there be any parking issues for those of us not camping but driving up to meet you at the TrailHead?

    August 27, 2014

  • Cathy B.

    Looks beautiful, but I will back out this time. Have fun everyone!

    August 27, 2014

    • Tom B.

      You're missing a great one. I've spent a lot of time in the area. It's gorgeous, with lots of hiking options that are fairly level.

      August 27, 2014

    • Cathy B.

      I really want to come but I owe my dad a trip to Sabrina Lake out of Bishop before I do anything else up there. I spent my childhood fishing there and there is finally water in the lake. I'll be jealous though!

      August 27, 2014

  • Susan J.

    Never been up there well be coming from Lone Pine.

    August 27, 2014

  • Susan J.

    So Kelly, Cathy, and Sandy I have booked two rooms at the Dow Hotel in Lone Pine. Looks a lot better than most besides Best Western and Comfort inn were sold out. With splitting its not that expensive. Sandy wants a solo room. She must snore LOL

    August 25, 2014

    • Kelly D.

      Thank you Susan. I am really looking forward to this.

      1 · August 26, 2014

  • Susan J.

    So I thought maybe staying in Lone Pine makes more since its closer. Can go up Friday afternoon.

    August 25, 2014

  • Gina

    Alice, is there a pass required from the forest service to do this hike?

    August 25, 2014

  • Erin C.

    I can't stay the night either - is anyone going up and comming back to bako same day? That's a pretty long day...

    August 24, 2014

  • Susan J.

    I want to avoid spending the night if I stay in Ridgecrest its just a little over an hour to get their. But if people are leaving from Bako we need a later start than 8am. But if anyone is going and wants to share a room in Ridgecrest that is cool. The ones in Lone Pine look crappy. But maybe their is something OK. I have no camping stuff just a sleeping bag.

    August 23, 2014

    • Susan J.

      Thank you still a lot closer than Bako.

      1 · August 23, 2014

    • Susan J.

      I have to figure this out if not I well just bow out.

      August 23, 2014

  • Susan J.

    Wes is 530am early enough it indicates a 8am start time. I would love to hitch a ride if possible If I do not spend the night.

    August 23, 2014

  • Kelly D.

    Anyone driving in the morning of the hike from Bakersfield ? That is my plan at this time.

    August 18, 2014

    • Kelly D.

      What time will you be leaving ? I am driving with someone and want to be sure we are on time.

      August 19, 2014

    • Wes B.

      I'm leaving at 5:30am. Have room for 1 more.

      August 20, 2014

  • Richard D.

    Hey Guys, just had a chance to hike the New Army Pass and the Old Army Pass in the same day and the difference between the two is incredible. The Old Army Pass is no longer maintained and is treacherous and dangerous! The New Army Pass is wonderful. A very nice, well-maintained trail. Also, on my hike with another group we saw a big herd of Bighorn sheep right below High Lake. Some counted over 12. There was a mix of males and females!

    2 · July 20, 2014

  • Richard D.

    Hello Everybody, I have just climbed up New Army Pass, as of 06/20/2014 and the trail is in excellent shape. There was a bank of snow blocking the very top of the trail, but we were able to scramble to the top of the pass. I imagine that by September the cornice of snow will be gone and trail will be very passable. There were a few mosquitos at the lakes area, but not big swarms. We saw three Bighorn Sheep near the trail as we descended from the Mt Langley summit. Maybe we will see Sheep too; one more reason to climb the pass.

    2 · June 22, 2014

    • Gina

      I would love to see Sheep!

      June 22, 2014

    • Richard D.

      Check out the pictures on this website of the hike we did up to Langley. You will see several really good shots of the sheep we was. It was magnificent.

      June 22, 2014

  • Richard D.

    Great idea for a day hike Alice. When I go, I will spend the night at the walk-in campsite near the equestrian site. To get to that campground turn right at the equestrian sign and follow the road as it winds up to the walk-in campsite. If you pass the equestrian exit you will end up at the regular walk-in campsite but that site is a bit farther from the Cottonwood Lakes trailhead. If you arrive on the morning of the hike take the same road so you end up near the trailhead (this will save you some hiking distance). I was there on the weekend of 06/14/2014, and I did encounter mosquitos on the shore of Cottonwood Lake #4. I was swarmed by them and it was scary. However, I was DEETed up so I received only 1 bite. I am returning to the area on 06/21/14 to attempt to summit Mt Langley. The trails I hiked where in good condition. It was magnificent and hauntingly beautiful.

    June 15, 2014

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