Horseshoe Meadows Area

Inyo National Forest - Wilderness Permits, CA

Cottonwood Pass - PCT GT60


ICE and SNOW ALERT- Mountain elevations in this area traditionally have ice and snow until late June or early July.

Cottonwood Pass trail permits are available from Inyo National Forest visitor centers. Reservations are not needed for trips that begin before the last Friday in June. For additional information call 760-873-2483.

Permit Availability

Entrance Description

Starting from Horseshoe Meadows, Cottonwood Pass is the gateway to the northern part of Golden Trout Wilderness and provides access to the Pacific Crest Trail. Small streams meander through tree-rimmed meadows in this wilderness area named for California's state fish, the Golden Trout. Options for loop trips of various lengths branch out from Big Whitney Meadow. Following the Pacific Crest Trail north into Sequoia National Park leads to Crabtree Meadows and the headwaters of the Kern River.

Know Before You Go:


Cottonwood Pass Area:

  • No campfires at Rocky Basin Lakes or Chicken Spring Lake.
  • Bear containers are required for storage of food and trash. Look at USFS Webpage for food storage restriction area maps.
  • Check the area map for the correct trail name. Trips going toward Cottonwood Lakes are a different reservation.
  • Golden Trout Wilderness regulations apply.
  • Sequoia and Kings Canyon wilderness regulations apply if entering the National Park. (includes, Cross Country permit to hike to Mt Langley; no night box permit pickup)
  • Deadline: Reservation will be canceled unless the permit pick up instructions are completed before the deadline. Instructions are in the confirmation letter.
  • Only the group leader or alternate leader may pick up the permit; the person picking up the permit must be going on the wilderness trip.
  • BE SURE YOUR DATES AND TRAIL ARE CORRECT - The entire group must start on the trail on the entry date listed. Reservations cannot be changed or transferred.

Golden Trout Wilderness Regulations Apply

USFS Webpage for: Cottonwood Pass.


A: Available for online reservation (click to book entry date)
L: Accepting Lottery Application (click to apply for the lottery)
W: Available at the Facility
R: Reserved
C: Closed
X: Not available
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