Chicken Spring Lake sits at 11,242 feet elevation. From Horseshoe Meadow it is an uphill climb to enjoy the chilling waters of the lake (approximately 4.4 miles). The views though are spectacular along the ridges surrounding the lake.
Download the map! – Chicken Spring Lake Day Hike
Start by heading west towards Cottonwood Pass from Horseshoe Meadow campground. The first trail junction is 0.3 miles into the hike. Continue westbound along the northern rim of Horseshoe Meadow. About 1.7 miles into the hike the trail crosses Horseshoe Meadow Creek.
The trail beings to steepen for the next 1.7 miles towards Cottonwood Pass. The zigzags or switchbacks help make the climb easier. The trail is rocky in spots as you gain elevation. Once the trail arrives at the pass, take a right at the trail junction (north) and follow the Pacific Crest Trail for another 0.7 miles. The trail crosses a creek, which is the outlet for Chicken Spring Lake. A small cross country trek and you’ll be at the lake. Wanting a view? Continue up the Pacific Crest Trail until a view to the south appears. On a clear day one could see Templeton Mountain, Monache Mountain, Kern Peak on the Toowa Range, Coyote Ridge, Mineral King area, and sections of the Great Western Divide.