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Golden Trout Lake, Inyo / Kings
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Miles Brandman
(milesbrandman) - F
Golden Trout Lake, Inyo / Kings on 08/03/2011 17:21:42 MDT Print View

Thinking about hiking up to Golden Trout Lake out of Onion Valley trailhead / Independence Ca, on a two night trip. Has anyone done this? How are trail conditions? What's it like up at the lake?

Jennifer McFarlane
(JennyMcFarlane) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Golden Trout Lake out of Onion Valley on 08/03/2011 22:41:32 MDT Print View

We just returned Sunday from a hike up to Gilbert Lake late in the day from the Onion Valley Trailhead. The next day we went over Kearsarge Pass to Charlotte Lake. The following day was back to Kearsarge Lake to Gilbert Lake and out. What little snow on the trail we encountered on the way in was melted on the way out. I know this is not exactly what you were looking for but thought I would pass it on. The trails were fine except when it did the typical afternoon Sierra storm thing (rain and hail for 4 hours) and then they got muddy and slippery.

Miles Brandman
(milesbrandman) - F
re: Golden Trout Lake, Inyo / Kings on 08/03/2011 22:51:44 MDT Print View

Thanks for your reply. We were hoping to do the Kearsarge Pass hike to Charlotte, but all the permits are booked for our planned weekend. Hoping to get lucky morning of, but looking for backups in case we don't. That's what brought us to Golden Trout Lake.

Charles Grier
(Rincon) - M

Locale: Desert Southwest
Golden Trout Lake, Inyo / Kings on 08/05/2011 07:26:21 MDT Print View

The Golden Trout Lake with which I am familiar is reached via Piute Pass out of North Lake and Bishop. Of course there are probably numerous Golden Trout Lakes in the Sierra, and you may have a different one in mind, but I don't recall any in the vicinity of Kearsarge Pass.

John Jensen
(JohnJ) - F

Locale: Orange County, CA
Re: Golden Trout Lake, Inyo / Kings on 08/05/2011 07:48:00 MDT Print View

I tried back in June (28th). There was too much snow then of course.

Some pictures start here

The beginning is a pretty steep scramble, this kind of shows the trail

I think it would be a great trip, but I didn't get far enough to provide more info.

(The order of those "golden trout lake" pictures is weird, because they are sorted newest first, and I took some going up, some going down.)

Edited by JohnJ on 08/05/2011 07:50:12 MDT.

Miles Brandman
(milesbrandman) - F
re: Golden Trout Lake, Inyo / Kings on 08/05/2011 12:27:45 MDT Print View

@John - Great pictures, thanks for the advice. We're changing plans this time, hiking Ranger Lake out of Lodgepole in Sequoia, but Kearsarge is definitely on the top of the list for our next trip. That chain of lakes before the pass looks fantastic.

@George - I read about the GTL out of Bishop as well, it was confusing when I was researching the trail. Onion Valley Golden Trout Lake is near Kearsarge, about a five mile unmaintained trail from the parking loop.

Istvan Bakos
(ssppnn) - F
Been there last year on 08/06/2011 01:06:04 MDT Print View

Hey Miles,

My wife and I went up to Golden Trout lakes last June. Hiking poles are am must.
It's a tough hike, but really worth it. There was still some snow, and there's a part where you have to climb over some pretty big rocks (I'm no rock climber, I'm talking about carefully clearing some pretty big boulders. We even had to take the backpacks off a few times).
The meadow just below the first lake is really amazing, and the lake itself is even better (we didn't go up to the second one).
Here are some pictures:

In a few days, we're going from Onion Valley over Kearsage Pass to Charlotte lake, then down to Road's End. I just talked to the rangers today on the phone, they said the snow is basically gone and no winter equipment (crampons and such) are needed.

We've been up towards Ranger Lakes (not all the way) from Lodgepole two years ago, that's beautiful too, you'll love it. Also try Eagle Lake from Mineral King, that's amazing.

Have fun on your tip, see you on the trail!

Edited by ssppnn on 08/06/2011 01:11:00 MDT.

Miles Brandman
(milesbrandman) - F
re: Golden Trout Lake, Inyo / Kings on 08/08/2011 23:09:18 MDT Print View

@Istvan - Great photos. If you're going through Kearsarge to Roads End, don't miss Rae Lakes through Paradise Valley. I haven't been up the Bubbs Creek side, but Paradise is a beautiful place.

Thanks for the pointers, have a great trip.


Istvan Bakos
(ssppnn) - F
Re: re: Golden Trout Lake, Inyo / Kings on 08/16/2011 11:39:14 MDT Print View

We just got back. It was a big charity blood drive to feed to poor mosquitoes :-) but other than that it was a perfect trip. Bubbs creek is really amazing as well. We didn't do the Rae loop, I had an injury last year and have take it easy on the distance.

If you have nothing better to do, pics are here:

How was Ranger lakes?

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Numerous Golden Trout lakes on 08/16/2011 21:28:51 MDT Print View

There are a number of Golden Trout Lakes, one by Kearsarge of course. I was eyeing the sidehill to get to Golden Trout Lake to the east of Kearsarge Pass last Thursday when I was ending my trip for one last night, pretty steep. Opted for a lake close to the TH for a quick out on Friday. Left Independence by 7:30 AM. I thought the mosquitoes weren't bad, I only had to use DEET once and that was one morning while hiking to my next nights destination. They were that bad while on the move.


Miles Brandman
(milesbrandman) - F
Twin Lakes Trail / Ranger Lake on 08/29/2011 12:00:49 MDT Print View

Great trip... there's still a lot of water coming off the melt, creeks are flowing, lakes are clear and there are huge blooms in the meadows. The trails are in good shape but lots of mosquitoes around any water.

By the time we reached Twin Lakes we were tempted to call it a day - but pushed through and crossed over Silliman Pass to Ranger Lake. It's a strenuous day - 10 miles of pretty much constant elevation gain - but totally worth it.

My friend documented a lot of it - when he gives me the picts I'll post them.