Cottonwood Pass Trailhead Campground
Cottonwood Pass Trailhead Campground is located at the end of Horseshoe Meadow Road in the Inyo National Forest. The campground is 24 miles southwest of the town of Lone Pine. At nearly 10,000 feet in elevation, Cottonwood Pass Campground makes a good place to spend a night before setting off into the John Muir Wilderness and Sequoia National Park.
Many northbound hikers leaving Cottonwood Pass Campground cross New Army Pass or Cottonwood Pass to connect with the Pacific Crest Trail or to climb Mt. Whitney from the western side. Some hikers continue west into the magnificent Kern River Canyon. Others choose the 6-mile hike to Cottonwood Lakes.
Pacific Crest Trail hikers sometimes drop down from Mulkey Pass to the 3 campgrounds in Horseshoe Meadow. Cottonwood Pass Campground is the closest to the PCT. (Use the PCT button to find information about the Pacific Crest Trail at Cottonwood Pass Campground.)
Cottonwood Pass Trailhead Campground has 18 walk-in campsites with tent pads. Many of the sites have nice views of the surrounding mountains and meadows. Visitors are limited to a one night stay at the campground. Picnic tables and fire grates are available. Those who want a campfire should bring their own firewood since none is available at the campground. Boxes of firewood are sold at a roadside stand about 7 miles up Horseshoe Meadow Road. Cottonwood Lakes Trailhead Campground, an equestrian camp, and a pack station are nearby.
General Camping Information
Not all campsites can accommodate trailers or RVs of all lengths. Check carefully on the reservation site when you make your reservation to be sure your vehicle will fit your campsite. Purchase firewood locally to avoid spreading pests.
Designated Accessible sites are usually reserved for people with disabilities who have a vehicle displaying an accessible parking placard or license plate.
Pacific Crest Trail Information
Trail Miles Northbound from Mulkey Pass
- Cottonwood Pass - 5.7 miles
- Chicken Spring Lake - 6.3 miles
- Rock Creek - 16 miles
- John Muir Trail Junction - 22.5 miles
- Canada Border - 1,905.5 miles
Trail Miles Southbound from Mulkey Pass
Lone Pine - 24 miles northeast of PCT on Highway 395
Post Office, grocery, lodging, restaurants, laundry, outfitter, public transportation (Eastern Sierra Transit)
Always confirm mileages and directions with a reliable PCT source such as the Pacific Crest Trail Association's The Pacific Crest Trail: Exploring America's Wilderness Trail.