Beautiful 6-mile hike from Horseshoe Meadows through pine forests, meadows and lake country to Long Lake, where we camped overnight and summited Langley the next day. Wanted to do Cirque, too, but it was too much for one day. NPS or the Forest Service has built huge cairns to mark the way (trail is too strong a word) from New Army Pass to Langley. AS 14ers go, Langley is very accessible. Views of Whitney, Williamson and other peaks in the southern Sierra Nevada are spectacular.
Camped at Cottonwood Lakes and fished, but didn't catch anything. Following day we decided to climb up Old Army Pass...weather turned on us as we neared the summit, light snowfall. Very nice and gentle 14er.
Great for avoiding crowds and if you're into snow. This turned out to be a hard one for me. I followed some old instructions to stay high after the wikiup (a little above the hut) so spent a lot of time bushwhacking along game trails and wearing myself out. Turned out instead there was a great trail that contours from the wikiup and eventually meets up with the creek (found that on the way down). Got dehydrated and crampy :^( Late start, late summit, and then got lost in the dark on my way back to camp. All that manzanita looks the same when your headlamp batteries are about dead. I probably walked back and forth within 50 yards of my tent about 12 times. Just as I was packing up camp the next day, someone scoping out bouldering problems sees me and says, "No way! I haven't seen anyone up here on this route the last 20 times I have been!"
I tried to do this in June as a solo day hike, but route-finding caused some delays along with much snow on Old Army Pass, requiring me to ascend and descend the much longer New Army Pass. So I turned around at 13,200 ft and made it back to the trailhead before dark after hiking 23 miles in 12 hours.
This time I brought a buddy along and we camped the night before and after summiting at High Lake. Since it was a weekend this time, there were plenty of other people there to help us find our way to the top. We ascended New Army and descended Old Army, with a short detour near the top around an avalanche. We had good weather until the night after summiting, when it rained much of the night, and the following morning we hiked to the trailhead in rain, hail, and lightning much of the way.
Great Sierra weather! First time to Cottonwood Lakes.
This time I had already spent much time from 9,000-14,000 feet the two weeks prior to the hike. Via Old Army from the equestrian parking lot, I did the whole dayhike with several photo stops, food breaks, and water breaks in under ten hours. Five hours to gain the summit from the parking lot after four hours from O.A. Pass to summit my last time up. What a difference! Still, not one of my favorites. Too stark and dry. Did see a bighorn standing atop Old Army as I made way up the pass.
Day hike. My GPS said 21 miles. Up Old Army Pass. A bit of snow at the top of Pass, pretty icy. Hit the summit of Langley in 4.5 hours from parking lot. Down New Army Pass which is longer than OAP. Roundtrip 11 hours. Very windy on top. I'd recommend Old Army since more direct.
Very awesome hike. Spent one night at Horseshoe Meadows campground, and then one night at Cottonwood Lake #3. Hiked up Old Army the following morning. Had a 30 ft section of snow that had to be navigated just before the top of the pass. A little hairy to say the least but we made it and it was smooth sailing to the summit. We then double timed it back down to lake 3, packed up camp and hiked back to Horseshoe Meadows.
Did this as a day-hike. It is long and strenuous (22 miles round-trip) but I found it quite enjoyable.
I've been on the Cottonwood Pass Trail many times. I never saw a bear, though. Lucky you!
Did this last weekend over three days (spent 2 nights up at long lake)via New Army Pass for my first 14er. Beautiful scenery on the way up and awesome views.
We went up to Chicken Springs Lake, I wish I had some pictures of the bear but it was way out in the field. I am sure that bear is still in the area, last year we hiked the same route and saw a bear behind a bush about an hour into the hike, it ran into the same meadow, perhaps 1/2 mile above the meadow spot we saw the bear at this time, it was proably the same bear. Do you kow this trail, the meadow/bog folllows the trail almost to the crest where the trail splits in two.
"Caterine Lake?" Near Mt. Langley?
I was hiking the cottonwood trail and to the left is a large meadow. About ten minutes into the hke I saw a giant mother bear with two large cubs in the meadow eating and playing. I hiked to caterine lake and returned 5 hours later and the bear was still there, it was an awesome sight. Has anyone esle seen this bear?
2nd of my 2014 California 14ers. It was a hot day. Ascended New Army Pass. Met a dad and son near the summit and descended Old Army Pass with them. A large snowfield choked the top of Army Pass but it was passable if you were very careful.
Do you know where/how she fell? The standard route is pretty easy... Was she rock climbing?
See my trip report, "Langley High Camp".
Really enjoyed camping above timberline. No mosquitoes, expansive views, beautiful night sky - couldn't ask for more.
Its always a treat when the route to the peak is just as beautiful as the views from the summit. Did this as a solo day trip. A tiring trip to Old Army Pass. Old Army was clear and snow free. However, by the time I got to the top is was all cloudy and muggy preventing any real photos from being taken. Mt. Whitney was large and in charge from here.
Tried this mountain two other times, but both times others in the party caused us to turn around. This time I just did it myself. A lot of scree at the top, and not really any true trail near the summit.
The lakes on the Army Pass route have to be some of the most beautiful in the world. I kept expecting to find Grizzle Adam's cabin.
An easy ascent but one of the best views from the summit of any mountain I have ever climbed in the United States. Also got a nice, freezing swim in one of the lakes and bitten on the eyelid by a mosquito in the middle of the night, swelling it shut. Unfortunately, I also saw a woman who had fallen to her death on my way up and saw her wrapped in a space blanket awaiting removal of her body from the mountain.