Upper Rock Creek Trailhead Backpack (Cottonwood Lakes Trailhead)
June 23 - 27, 2023
June in the Sierras is the opening of the Summertime backpacking window with a chance to visit magnificent alpine environs. This trip is a 5-day 24-mile loop hike, starting from Horseshoe Meadows along the Cottonwood Lakes trail, up over New Army Pass to Upper Rock Creek, then proceeding along the PCT to Chicken Spring Lake, and return to the trailhead on the Cottonwood Pass trail.
This trip is limited to 6 hikers plus the 2 co-leaders. Permit slots will be filled on a first-come-first-served basis. All others will be added to a waiting list.
You must contact the trip leader directly if you are interested in participating. The trip leader will send you the registration form after confirming that you are qualified as fit for the activity. This trip is rated as “moderate” because of elevations exceeding 11,000 feet. Altitude effects can significantly impact a hikers ability and altitude sickness is a real risk. Some sections such as ascending New Army Pass may be considered as “strenuous” by some hikers. It is “non-technical”.
Contact either trip Leader: Doug Cable email@example.com, or Larry Purtle firstname.lastname@example.org
Please be aware that you are not registered for this backpack trip until the trip leader has determined you are qualified, and you have completed and submitted the registration form and payment of $40. The registration form needs to be returned to the trip leader and payment made within 7 days of receiving the registration form or the trip leader will contact the next person on the waiting list and you will forfeit your spot.
You may cancel at any time up until June 1, 2023 and your fee will be refunded. There will be NO refunds after June 1, 2023, unless the Trip Leader decides to significantly alter the trip due to weather or safety considerations.
The higher elevations are likely to have snow so you have to ensure that you bring appropriate clothing and microspikes and large baskets for your poles. (yes, you have a large basket already)
Sorry, no pets.
Although not part of the official trip, it is essential to drive up on Thursday 6/22 and camp at Horseshoe Meadows Campground near Cottonwood Pass Trailhead, to acclimatize better to the altitude of about 10,000 feet and rest up for the hike the next day. Diamox prescription medicine is HIGHLY recommended for 3 days prior to avoid altitude sickness.
Click here for an overview map of the backpack.
6/23, Day 1: Hike 5.3 miles from Horseshoe Meadows to S Fork Lakes 5.3 miles, to 11,073’ elevation. Depending on how we feel, we may go on to Long Lake or High Lake in preparation for ascending New Army Pass on day 2.
6/24, Day 2: we will ascend New Army Pass, 12,300’. It has rocky switchbacks that proceed from the South Lakes basin to above the tree line with outstanding views. Our destination will be Upper Rock Creek. It is 6.5 miles from the S Fork Lakes. We can stop early at Soldier Lakes if necessary.
6/25, Day 3: we will go to Chicken Spring Lake 11,258’. 6 miles.
6/26, Day 4: rest day at Chicken Spring Lake. We will look for the chicken, or do day hikes to explore the area
6/27, Day 5: Return to Horseshoe Meadows and the trailhead along the Cottonwood Pass trail.
Key distances and altitudes
Cotton Wood Lakes Trailhead
New Army Pass
Upper Rock Creek Campsite
3 & 4
Chicken Spring Lake
You will need your ten essentials and appropriate backpacking gear. Click here for the list. Carpooling is recommended to reduce fuel costs and vehicle emissions.
MCGEE PASS BACKPACK TRIP August 8th – 13th 2023
John Muir Wilderness? Yes Please!
This backpacking trip is considered strenuous/moderate, and you must be able to keep a moderate pace with the group.
This is an exciting and challenging 5-night backpacking trip under the Eastern Sierra Sky during one of the most active astrological phenomena of the year. We will be visiting the sierras during the Perseids Meteor Shower 2023 which is predicted to peak August 12th and 13th . We will leave from the McGee Creek trail head at 8 AM on the morning of August 9th at 8,045 feet.
At first, our ascent will be moderate. After passing locally known Round Lake at the 5 mile mark, we will climb more steeply, reading Big McGee Lake about 7 ½ miles at altitude 10,472 feet. There are heavily used campsites at the lake where we will stay the night. We will be surrounded by the colorful walls or Red Mountain and White Mountain.
On day two, we will cover 5.5 miles, crossing over McGee Pass at 11,909 feet, and then descend steeply to Fish Creek, crossing the creek at about 10,600 feet to camp at beautiful Tully Lake.
We will spend the remainder of our stay at Tully Lake and enjoy exploring the surrounding lakes and valleys. Plenty of great views, fishing, day hikes, or just relaxing about the scenic lake.
The trip will be limited to 5 people max (plus the leader). You must be a GO member in good standing and contact the trip leader directly if you are interested in participating. The trip leader will send you the registration form after confirming that you are qualified as fit for the activity. This trip is rated as “strenuous/moderate” because of elevations exceeding 11,000 feet. Altitude effects can significantly impact a hiker's ability and altitude sickness is a real risk. Some sections such as ascending McGee may be considered as “strenuous” by some hikers. Also, there is a thirteen mile hike out of the last day, including returning over McGee Pass.
You may cancel at any time up until July 20, 2023 and your fee will be refunded. There will be NO refunds after July 20, 2023, unless the Trip Leader decides to significantly alter the trip due to weather or safety considerations.
Things to consider
Click here for a map of the trailhead.
SAVE THE DATES
This event is being planned by PS and SBVC Chapters. For more information about this trip: