Hiking Stats as of 11/15/2019
Total Trips:
Total Distance:
Total Elevation Gain:
 3,891.68 miles
 1,060,050 feet

Jun 27, 2013 - Horseshoe Meadows


Partners: Kyle Breen

Distance: 5.10 miles

Elevation Gain: 478 feet

Trip Time: 1:50

Trip Report  |  Trip Photos  |  GPX: (1)
Summitpost | USDA Forest Service
Maps and Stats:
...after spending the night at Motel 6 in Mammoth Lakes Kyle and I hit the road by 8 AM to first pick up our permits at the Ranger Station in Lone Pine, where a fine view of the Mt. Whitney crest was offered. We arrived at about 10 AM and picked up our permits and took note of the extreme weather conditions forecast for the area. Thankfully we would be facing temperatures in the low 70's up at 10,000 feet instead of the 98 in Lone Pine or 120 in Furnace Creek. Permit in hand, we left the station and set off for Horseshoe Meadows to spend a day acclimating.

One of the great things about Horseshoe Meadows is it takes less than a half hour to drive up from Lone Pine through a surprisingly well maintained and easy drive up the 7,000 feet needed to get up to 10,000. Leaving Lone Pine we were worried about the heat, but upon our arrival at Horseshoe Meadows we knew we were okay. Since we had no plans to do any difficult hiking, the full sunshine and low 70's temps would not be a problem. I had planned to hike the same trail as I had last year, as it wound around a stream with several great locations in which to set up camp for the day.

Unfortunately, I didn't realize that I had pulled into the wrong parking lot and we set off on the wrong trail. We followed it as it wound around a horse stable and eventually wound up at the second parking lot where I should have parked in the first place. At this point I did not want to attempt to get to the same stream as last year, as we needed to limit our efforts to 5-6 miles with minimal elevation gain in order to save ourselves for Friday's hike of Whitney. It really wasn't that big a deal, however, as we just needed to go a couple more miles and then find a good place to pull off trail and read or play games on our iphones. This amended strategy worked well, and we followed the trail through some nice countryside before finding a shady area about 150 feet off the trail that was hidden behind some thick vegetation that was growing in a nearby creek.

I had brought a pillow and a blanket to lie down on and began to read under the shade of a large tree. I finished the last few chapters of "Trading Bases" by Joe Peta and then played Candy Crush Saga on my iPhone for a couple of hours. At 3 PM we decided we had spent enough time at this elevation and wanted to get down and check into the Courthouse Motel in nearby Independence. With a 3:15 AM wakeup call on the horizon, we wanted to have everything packed and ready to go for the morning. We enjoyed the flat walk on the trail back and despite a minor problem where we made a wrong turn and appeared to be headed for the middle of nowhere, we were back at the car a bit before 3:45PM and on the road towards our motel in Independence. In all we had about 500 feet of elevation gain and 5 miles over about 1.5 hours of hiking (plus another 3 hours of doing nothing).

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