Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 36.44538°N / 118.2113°W
Additional Information County: Tulare
Activities Activities: Hiking, Scrambling
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Additional Information Elevation: 11622 ft / 3542 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Cirque Peak and Mt. Langley
Cirque Peak and Mt. Langley from Smatko Peak
"Smatko Peak" (unnamed on topo) is a nondescript mountain containing a series of small summits about a mile long that runs north/south in the Golden Trout Wilderness.
In spite of it's relative obscurity this peak is higher than it's fairly popular neighbor Trail Peak. This very accessible half day hike is a short scramble directly from Cottonwood Pass. It could be done as a brief diversion by anyone crossing the pass or the forested east slope can be hiked directly from Horseshoe Meadows. The high point is the second one .6 mile south from Cottonwood Pass.
The summit views include Cirque Peak and Mt. Langley to the north. To the east over Horseshoe Meadows and the Owens Valley rise the Inyo Mountains. To the southeast are Trail Peak and Muah Mountain with Olancha Peak further down range. To the south the breadth of the Golden Trout Wilderness stretches to include Kern Peak and to the west is the Great Western Divide with Kaweah Peaks Ridge rounding out the vista to the northwest.

Getting There

Cottonwood Pass area
Cottonwood Pass area with Smatko Peak on left
From Hwy. 395 in Lone Pine go west on the Whitney Portal Road. At 3 miles turn left on the Horseshoe Meadow Road. Go south along the foot of the range then up the long swichbacks to Horseshoe Meadow parking lot at 23 miles from Lone Pine.
From Cottonwood Pass: The Cottonwood Pass Trailhead is off of the road's circular loop at the far west end of the lot (9,920').
Take the Cottonwood Pass Trail along Horseshoe Meadow and up the forested swichbacks to Cottonwood Pass at 3.5 miles (11,120'). From the pass hike/scramble .6 mile directly south up to the second high point (class 2) which is the summit.
East slope from Horseshoe Meadows: Take the Cottonwood Pass Trail about a half mile break off to the left, cross Horseshoe Meadow with a small creek crossing and hike the forested east slope of Smatko Peak to the summit.

Red Tape

Southeast from Smatko Peak
Southeast from Smatko Peak. Muah Mtn. and Trail Peak, right.
There are no permits required for day hiking.

The Cottonwood Pass Trail is a quota trail. For overnight access to Sequoia National Park or Inyo National Forest contact the Eastern Sierra Interagency Visitor Center in Lone Pine.
640 S. Main St.
Lone Pine, Ca. 93545


Talus pile on Smatko Peak
Talus pile on Smatko Peak
There are 2 campgrounds .3 mile from roads end on the north side of Horseshoe Meadow Road about a half mile up a side road on the right at 10,000'.

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Andy Smatko was a well known Sierra peakbagger and Sierra guidebook author. (1917-2005) He was a Dr. of gynecology by profession and an early member of SPS.