TR: Horseshoe Meadow to Cottonwood Pass to Siberian Pass Creek to Boreal Plateau to Big Whitney and out - Lollipop Loop

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KathyW
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TR: Horseshoe Meadow to Cottonwood Pass to Siberian Pass Creek to Boreal Plateau to Big Whitney and out - Lollipop Loop

Post by KathyW » Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:25 am

On July 6, 2019 I backpacked from Horseshoe Meadows, over Cottonwood Pass, and on past Chicken Spring Lake on the PCT. I turned off the PCT and down toward Siberian Pass Creek before dropping all the way down to Rock Creek on the PCT. I set up camped at about 10,500' along the Siberian Pass Creek, which would have set me up for a climb up Mount Anna Mills as I had planned but I decided that might not be a good idea without crampons or an ice axe. I got a good night sleep and packed up in the morning just wandering along Siberian Pass Creek and then I turned up toward the high point of the Boreal Plateau. It turned out to be a glorious hike - beautiful views and easy terrain. I scoped out what looked like a gentler route to Anna Mills from Funston Lake but decided to save that for another trip when I was able to camp closer to Funston Lake.

I didn't have my route planned out but it became obvious my maps were right and there was an easy route down from the Plateau to Rocky Basin Lakes; so, down I went. From Rocky Basin Lakes I followed the lakes and then the outlet creek down along a trail that faded in and out until I hooked into the official trail where it crossed Barigan Stringer Creek. I followed the trail through the woods toward Big Whitney Meadow. The sky became cloudy, which kept the temperature pleasant. The mosquitoes were a bit annoying in this area but the light breeze helped. I continued on through Big Whitney Meadow and gave up trying to keep my shoes dry in the meadow along the way in the slushy meadow. When I reached the woods on the east side of the meadow I camped for the night, which set me up for the final climb back up to Cottonwood Pass the next morning and a quick hike out on July 8th.

The snow certainly made the scenery more beautiful but my route was generally snow free except where I crossed one short section of easy snow cups, there was plenty of water along the way and I never had to carry much water, some of the tarns looked more like lakes, the weather was beautiful, and I it was a really enjoyable outing. My GPS tracked the trip as 31.75 miles with 5,300 feet elevation gain.

Some pics I took: https://kathywing.smugmug.com/Californi ... 19-070819/
Last edited by KathyW on Mon Jul 15, 2019 6:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.








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rightstar76
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Re: TR: Horseshoe Meadow to Cottonwood Pass to Siberian Pass Creek to Boreal Plateau to Big Whitney and out - Lollipop

Post by rightstar76 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:33 am

Thank you KathyW for sharing your beautiful pictures of Golden Trout Wilderness east. This is a good year to visit with the cold late season snowpack making it greener than usual. A real change after the last seven years. Great views!

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GGC23
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Re: TR: Horseshoe Meadow to Cottonwood Pass to Siberian Pass Creek to Boreal Plateau to Big Whitney and out - Lollipop

Post by GGC23 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 5:55 am

I was at the Rocky Basin Lakes ~2 weeks ago, and there's so much less snow now! Good to know that things are actually melting...in years like this, I start to lose all hope that that will ever happen.

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sekihiker
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Re: TR: Horseshoe Meadow to Cottonwood Pass to Siberian Pass Creek to Boreal Plateau to Big Whitney and out - Lollipop

Post by sekihiker » Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:46 am

Looks like a great area to visit in years like this one. Thanks for the report and great photos.

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HYKNRKS
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Re: TR: Horseshoe Meadow to Cottonwood Pass to Siberian Pass Creek to Boreal Plateau to Big Whitney and out - Lollipop

Post by HYKNRKS » Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:55 pm

Great report and pics. Wondering if there are any sites with fire rings? Taking my nephew in the area for his first backpacking trip.

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KathyW
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Re: TR: Horseshoe Meadow to Cottonwood Pass to Siberian Pass Creek to Boreal Plateau to Big Whitney and out - Lollipop

Post by KathyW » Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:12 pm

HYKNRKS wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:55 pm
Great report and pics. Wondering if there are any sites with fire rings? Taking my nephew in the area for his first backpacking trip.
Campfires are prohibited at Rocky Basin Lakes and Chicken Spring Lake. I think they are also prohibited anywhere above 10,000' elevation - I saw a sign that said so while out there. The only place I was down below 10,000' for a while was in Big Whitney Meadow and at the edge of the meadow but I didn't see any campfires where I camped at about 9,800' but I didn't camp in a place that looks where it looked like many people camp. I also don't recall seeing any fire rings while hiking. Sorry, I'm not much help. Have a great time with your nephew!

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HYKNRKS
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Re: TR: Horseshoe Meadow to Cottonwood Pass to Siberian Pass Creek to Boreal Plateau to Big Whitney and out - Lollipop

Post by HYKNRKS » Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:58 pm

Thank you. We may just push to Lower Rock Creek.

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