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The Great Golden Trout Wilderness

...going for the gold (and Kern Peak)

Over the fourth of July, I returned to the Golden Trout Wilderness for a four day backpacking trip with Bob and Jimmy. There were three goals for this trip:

    1) catch some Golden Trout
    2) summit kern peak
    3) relax by the fire each night

I’m happy to report that all of those goals were accomplished, and our 37-mile itinerary was as follows:

Day 1:
We joined the trailhead to Trail Pass in Horseshoe Meadow, and from there we continued through Mulkey Meadows (very sandy, flat, and long). Camp on the first and second nights was near the Tunnel Guard station at the end of Tunnel Meadow. The end of the first day brought with it some beautiful — albeit small — golden trout, which I caught in the Golden Trout Creek.

Day 2:
The entirety of the second day consisted of Jimmy and myself climbing Kern Peak. (Bob decided to stay back and rest at camp.) We were the fourth and fifth people to summit the 11,510 ft peak in 2010! It was certainly a beautiful day, and some very majestic views were to be had at the summit. There used to be a fire lookout at the summit, but today it stands in ruin.

Day 3:
We packed up camp and hiked to Big Whitney Meadow. My beta on a great campsite served us well, and it was here that we spent the night of the fourth.

Day 4:
We hiked over Cottonwood Pass through a large number of mosquitoes and down lots of switchbacks to Horseshoe Meadow. Of note, the conventional end to our backpacking trips has just been stepped up a notch – the regular Double Double order at In-N-Out has been replaced with a very tasty 3×3!

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