User Dan Hall headed out for a loop on the eastern side of the Golden Trout Wilderness. Curious how it all went? Check out the story below along with a link to his photos. Thanks for sharing again Dan!
This was an easy, seasonal backpacking trip, with a base camp and interesting dayhike. For those who find the September temps of Horseshoe Meadow getting too cold and the temps along the Kern and Little Kern Rivers still too hot, and are seeking a place for an easy and seasonal backpacking trip with a nice dayhike, consider replicating this one that is between the elevations of those other two areas.
I started at the Blackrock Trailhead (8,960′) and hiked down 2 miles to Casa Vieja Meadow (8,310′). It was a gentle forested downslope with easy acclimatization to the elevation. My camp was in the wooded north side of the meadow for two nights.
On the layover day I did a 7 mile loop hike that had a maximum elevation gain of about 450 feet, and that was gradual. I hiked from Casa Vieja Meadow, through the rock formations and thick forest, to the creekside trail junction in Long Canyon. Then I went up Long Canyon by the creek to the trail junction at a meadow and private inholding (8,590′). Long Canyon Creek was the last water source on this hike.
From there my trail went south to Big Dry Meadow (8,720′) and, after crossing the meadow, I found my final trail junction a short way into the trees. From there I headed west on the final leg of the loop back down to Casa Vieja Meadow. The next morning, I did the 2 miles and 650 feet of gain back up to the trailhead.
All the trails were easy to follow and the junctions well marked. Range cattle were near or at all water sources and so water treatment is essential. There is more detail in the captioned photos at http://tinyurl.com/yd4fydwt