Golden Trout Lake Trail. We had a reservation for the campground, so we didn't have to leave early. After setting up camp, we took his advice and took a short hike up towards the waterfall. The trail first climbs within the trees, then in the bushes, which became thicker and thicker, and after a while, we couldn't follow it anymore. Starting from Onion Valley, Golden Trout Lakes Trail ends at Golden Trout Lakes, in the John Muir Wilderness. The afternoon was spent on the lake shore, walking around, fishing (no luck this time), trying to get used to the altitude. The place is very popular with backcountry people, as it sits 5 trail miles from Kearsarge Pass, and only 8 trail miles from the PCT/JMT, making it an obvious resupply point. Overnight parking without a paid parking permit is prohibited. The paved road is long and very winding; sheer cliffs, steep drop offs, hairpin curves, minimal guard rails. 4 / 51. Wowza. This is a fantastic place, with great resources for all aspects of the Sierras and Death Valley. It's a single-walled, non-freestanding tent pitched with a hiking pole, and it has a few good points, like being very light (just over 2 lbs.) Favorite See All. We knew it was there, but decided to try going up the boulder field next day. Looking over at the Robinson Lake Trail from the Golden Trout Lakes Trail. That's where we'll be going next day. The main trail rises gently for some one and a half miles to the first lake, Little Pothole Lake. It was past noon by the time we got to Lone Pine, and stopped at the the Eastern Sierra Interagency Visitor Center to pick up our permits. This was at 11,300', higher than any of us has ever been, and we really felt it. There are 25 photos in the gallery. As much as we like it, we did not know for sure what awaits us, and though it would not have been impossible for us to camp on snow, we definitely did not have the gear to spend two nights in a complete winter wonderland. Onion Valley starts at 9,200′ and is surrounded by jagged alpine ridges and several streaming waterfalls around all sides. Our trip to Mineral King in 2009 emboldened us. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/golden-trout-lake-loop, https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/inyo/recreation/recarea/?recid=20778, Eastern Sierra Back Country Fishing Guide (CA). Then we had all the other heavy stuff from last time, like the big gas burner, one Gear Guide pad and non-pro clothing. Onion Valley; Golden Trout Lakes Trail. It took us forever to get ready, and the was past 9 when we finally secured the car at the main parking lot and left. Pictures of Onion Valley, Kearsarge Pass, Mt Gould and Golden Trout Lake, California: Blue waters of Golden Trout Lake This trail is steep, rugged and difficult to follow. Then in May, we went for a long weekend to Convict Lake and stayed in cabin. Trails from Onion Valley provide acces to the John Muir Wilderness and Kings Canyon National Park. It just wouldn't be right to call the day we started "Day Two." A backpacking, camping and climbing trip to California's Sierra Nevada John Muir Wilderness starting at Onion Valley. At a Glance (Note: we've been there many times since then, the the trail is in better condition. ONION VALLEY INYO NATIONAL FOREST Once an Indian trading route, the Kearsarge Pass trail provides access to a lovely east-side lake basin and the spectacular backcountry of Kings Canyon National Park. US Lakes > California > Inyo County > Golden Trout Lake Custom Search If you go for the outdoors you'll go for it here in the Southern Sierra Nevada. Rough trails lead to the high bowls containing Robinson Lake and the Golden Trout Lakes. The road to Onion Valley is usually open from May to November. After arriving to the car a few minutes past 1pm, we both had this sense of total serenity and calmness. With all the breaks, it took us over 5 hours to walk (climb and crawl) less than 3 miles. Going down was of course much, much easier, but we still had to take the packs off on big boulders below the meadow, and we had to take several other breaks to rest a bit. The scenic hike to Kearsarge Pass (11,823-ft.) travels by five shimmering lakes and features great views of the rugged crags and peaks along the east side of the Sierra Crest. There were two small snow fields, but nothing serious, and from the tracks, we could see that most likely only one single person has been up here since winter, more than a week ago. 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