Golden Trout Wilderness
The 303,287 acre Golden Trout Wilderness was designated by Congress in 1978. Of this total, 111,146 acres are on the Sequoia NF and the remainder on the Inyo NF. The western part of the wilderness is a large drainage basin surrounded by high, rugged mountains. The eastern part is an extension of Kern Plateau.
The elevation of the Sequoia portion ranges from 4,800 feet to 12,432 feet. Vegetation ranges from digger and pinyon pine woodlands at lower elevations; Jeffery pine at mid elevations; and red fir, lodgepole and foxtail pine at higher elevations. Approximately 150 miles of trails are located on the Sequoia NF portion for horses and hikers. The Sequoia National Park lies to the north, the South Sierra Wilderness to the south and Mountain Home State Forest to the west. Some of the many access points are located off of Highway 190 via 20S31. Jerky Trailhead one mile from the Golden Trout Wilderness has corrals, toilets, water and fire rings. A Wilderness Permit is required for an overnight stay.
The wilderness contains varied wildlife and vegetation. It is characterized by extensive forest and meadows. The best time to travel in the wilderness is June through October. The Pacific Crest Trail runs through the area. Summer thunderstorms are common. Water is limited in dry periods. Firewood is scarce above 10,000 feet. Stock forage is plentiful but pack in feed before July 1.
The Golden Trout Wilderness is a good area for novice backpackers and stock users. The heaviest use of the wilderness is near Burnt Corral crossing of Little Kern, Little Kern Bridge, Forks of the Kern, Coyote Lakes, Maggie Lakes, Rattlesnake trail and Kern Flat Trail. Special DFG fishing rules east of Kern River apply. Visitor permits are required. A quota system for travel in Cottonwood lakes area is in effect for the last Friday in June through Sept. 15 and for travel over Cottonwood Pass to Sequoia National Park from the last Friday in June through Sept. 15.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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