Siberian Outpost is located just north of Big Whitney Meadow and outside of the Golden Trout Wilderness. Most of the trail will provide large panoramic photos as you travel over passes, nearby a lake, and along the Pacific Crest Trail. The trip is designed to keep you camping within the Golden Trout Wilderness so you won’t have to worry about different regulations.
Day 1 – Horseshoe Meadows to Big Whitney Meadow (8.1 miles)
The trail starts on the west side of the parking lot and is a nice gradual grade to warm up the legs. Less than a half a mile another trail joins from the south. Continue going west towards Cottonwood Pass (3.4 miles approx.). The trail crosses two unnamed tributaries to Horseshoe Meadow prior to making the steep ascent to the pass. The climb up to the pass is about a mile long and rocky. However, don’t forget to look back down into Horseshoe Meadow for some nice scenic photos!
From Cottonwood Pass continue in a southwest direction towards Big Whitney Meadow. The trail follows along Stokes Stringer Creek for about 3 miles. The trail now enters the eastern portion of Big Whitney Meadow. Continue trekking westward towards the “island” and set up camp there. Spend the rest of the day exploring the meadow and fishing.
Day 2 – Big Whitney Meadow to Chicken Spring Lake (8.7 miles)
Depending on the time of year, starting early may be the way to go for this day. Start by hiking west about 0.7 miles to a trail junction located on the west side of Big Whitney Meadow. Turn right (north) and head towards Siberian Pass. The trail makes a gradual climb for most of the first mile to another trail junction. Continue north and head up steeper terrain towards the pass. After hiking uphill for approximately another 2.2 miles from the trail junction, the trail arrives at Siberian Pass. The trail now continues downhill and into the Park Service jurisdictions.
Enjoying the views of Siberian Pass and now the eastern side of Siberian Outpost, the train continues for another 0.7 miles and meets the Pacific Crest Trail. Take right going east on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) towards Chicken Spring Lake / Cottonwood Pass. Approximately a mile along the PCT the trail navigates around a small meadow. Water should be located within the meadow if you need some. However, depending on the water and time of year, this source varies. Continue along the PCT approximately 3 more miles to Chicken Spring Lake and enjoy the views along the way. A nice camping area for the night is located along the lower west side of the lake.
Day 3 – Chicken Spring Lake to Horseshoe Meadows (4.2 miles)
Continue east on the PCT for approximately 0.5 miles. You’ll arrive at a four way junction and Cottonwood Pass. Take left, going east, towards Horseshoe Meadows. The trail continues downhill and along the northern side of Horseshoe Meadows for approximately 3.7 miles.