Troop 26 from Los Angeles went on the Flatiron Loop trip through the Golden Trout Wilderness. Trail conditions, water sources, and their experience was contributed to the site by Chris. Here is what they found. Brackets were added for clarification purposes.
This past weekend, Troop 26 from Los Angeles, completed the partial loop starting at Jerkey Meadows TH and ending at Forks of the Kern TH. We camped at the TH [Jerkey Meadow campground] on Friday night. There was no water. We left one car at Jerkey and one car at Forks and headed out. We departed at about 9am. The trail was good all the way to Trout Meadows. We saw many other people on the trail, some heading to Trout Meadows, some heading to Kern Lake, some heading to Grey Meadows. We saw some folks camping at the Little Kern Bridge. It rained for about an hour Saturday afternoon between the bridge and Trout. We encountered one baby rattle snake. We arrived at Trout at around 3pm and set up camp near the cabin. About an hour later another enormous troop arrived and set up down below under some trees and the horsemen showed up with their animals. They opened the cabin up and started mending fences. The water at the cabin was flowing well until we left Sunday morning, when the horsemen noted that it slowed way up. One of the pit toilets was close to full.
We broke camp and headed around the meadow toward the flat and encountered a few downed trees, only one was a little tricky to go around. The water from Cold Spring into the trough was slow, but the spring seemed to be flowing well, perhaps the supply pipe is clogged. There were more downed trees above Kern Flat. We continued on toward Kern Flat and turned to go down river. We encountered the first folks all day along the river. They advised us that many of the campsites along the river were occupied and advised us to grab one as soon as we could. We ended up hiking about 11 miles on day two and found a fair site along the river. There were much better ones, but we lost out. We saw one more baby rattle snake along the river. I saw lots of trout and tried to catch some, and they were interested in my flies, but I think the flies were a bit big for the fish. It was a clear warm night on Sunday.
Monday morning we broke camp at about 8.15 and were at the TH [Forks of the Kern] by about 10.15. We were moving fast. The crossing was easy and the ascent tough. Water in both the Little Kern and Main Fork were sufficient, but I bet very low for the time of year.
Great weekend for the trip and it was pretty clear by the parking lots that many other people thought so to.
If you have or plan to travel into the Golden Trout Wilderness, please consider leaving a trail report. A few minutes of your time can help others plan for a fun and successful trip into the wilderness this summer season.