5.20.13 – Horseshoe Meadows to Cottonwood Pass

Wifey and I got out today on loooooong day hike. The day hike itself wasn’t super long but the 5 hour car ride from Santa Barbara and 4.5 hours back made it a bit long…but worthwhile.

We reached Lone Pine by 1130 and drove up the amazingly graded Horseshoe Meadows Road. We were at the 10,000 foot trailhead and ready to rock by 1230. Conditions were perfect; 58 degrees and pure sunshine with a light breeze… and no snow on the trail or road up. This was Laura’s first time here, as well as mine and we could not have been happier. We followed the trail along the right side (north side) of the sprawling meadow for two miles, mostly flat. However, after this, the trail started to pick up in elevation, as evidenced by the sweet altitude headaches we were getting, as well as switchback after switchback. Again, though, slow and steady wins the race. After a couple hours of our diligence and consistent effort, we arrived at the beautiful Cottonwood Pass at 11,340.’ Many people will often advance further up this trail, over towards Cirque Peak, Big Whitney Meadow, or Chicken Spring Lake, but not us…at least today. Today was a day off from work and was going to be a nice, recreational effort.

Time: Under 5 hours

Elevation gain: 1304′

Calories burned: Approx 2000

Calories consumed: Approx 500 (Shot Bloks and Honey Stinger Waffle)

Water consumed: 1.5L


Getting there: Get on Whitney Portal Road in Lone Pine. After about 5 minutes, you’ll see the turnoff for Horseshoe Meadow Road and take that up for about 13 miles. Take your time and if you have a fear of heights, let your friend drive or just focus on the road. You’ll run right into the trailhead. No pass needed unless you’re doing something overnight.

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Posted on May 20, 2013, in hiking and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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