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Backpacking to Miter Basin -- Sept. 06, 2013
Sierra Nevada

cottonwood pass trail

Day 1. September 06. Trailhead to Chicken Spring Lake.

We left Las Vegas early, but after stops in Death Valley, the Interagency Visitor Center in Lone Pine (hiking permit), and a few other stops, got a late start on the trail. Even so, we had an easy time hiking from the Cottonwood Pass Trailhead (9,950 ft elevation) 4.1 miles west to Cottonwood Pass (11,150 ft). We then continued northwest another 1.2 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) to Chicken Spring Lake, which has several nice campsites near the outlet. We took the northeast-most site (farthest from the outlet and another pair of hikers) and had a nice quiet and starry night.

cottonwood pass trail
Cottonwood Pass trailhead parking
cottonwood pass trail
Cottonwood Pass trailhead parking
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Cottonwood Pass trailhead parking with bear boxes and toilets
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Cottonwood Pass parking and trailhead
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Cottonwood Pass trailhead
cottonwood pass trail
Cottonwood Pass trailhead
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Walk-in campground near Cottonwood Pass trailhead
cottonwood pass trail
Foxtail Pine (Pinus balfouriana) at the trailhead
cottonwood pass trail
Entering the Golden Trout Wilderness
cottonwood pass trail
Hiking west along Horseshoe Meadow towards Cottonwood Pass
cottonwood pass trail
Trail through Lodgepole (Pinus contorta) and Foxtail pine woods
cottonwood pass trail
Crossing the only water along the trail
cottonwood pass trail
Douglas Squirrel feeding on a lodgepole cone
cottonwood pass trail
Hiking through high-elevation forest
cottonwood pass trail
Looking back towards Horseshoe Meadow
cottonwood pass trail
Climbing towards the pass
cottonwood pass trail
Climbing towards the pass
cottonwood pass trail
Climbing towards the pass
cottonwood pass
Arriving at Cottonwood Pass (view SW)
cottonwood pass
Cottonwood Pass (view E)
cottonwood pass
Cottonwood Pass (view NE)
foxtail pine
Old Foxtail Pine atop Cottonwood Pass (view SW)
cottonwood pass
Trail continues over Cottonwood Pass (view SW)
chicken spring lake
Spur trail to Chicken Spring Lake (view N)
chicken spring lake
Chicken Spring Lake
chicken spring lake
Chicken Spring Lake
chicken spring lake
Sunset above camp at Chicken Spring Lake
chicken spring lake
Chicken Spring Lake (view NW from campsite)
chicken spring lake
Chicken Spring Lake campsite
chicken spring lake
Chicken Spring Lake campsite (a good LNT campsite)

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
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