FATMAP difficulty grade
The route starts near Horseshoe Meadow (10,000ft - 3,000m), in the South East region of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
The trail goes north through Golden Trout Camp, to reach the Cottonwood Lakes.
Here, you will pass by multiple pristine high altitude alpine lakes.
Leave Cottonwood Lake #4 on your left to access the foot of Old Army Pass.
Refill water here, you will not find any streams until you enter the other valley. Depending on the conditions, you might encounter some snow patches.
Follow the cairns and make a big turn on the south face of the pass to gain elevation.
Old Army Pass stands at the height of (12,000 ft - 3,650 m). From here, go north to access the large and long summital plateau.
Follow the trail and then the massive cairns that show the way.
Multiple options are available at this point.
Open your eyes: you might encounter Sierra Bighorn sheep who live in the area.
Once you reached the summit, take a break and enjoy the view on Mount Whitney, the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States.
Gaze at the endless Sierra Nevada mountain on the west and the Owen valley on the east.
Go back the same way to Old Army Pass, and then turn right to go down the valley and reach Soldiers Lakes.
Here again, open your eyes to spot numerous marmots and deers. Soldier Lakes is a perfect place to gather some strength before hitting the trail again.
Back up on the Siberian Pass Trail until to reach the legendary Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).
Here take a left on the PCT, to go back east towards the trailhead.
The atmosphere will change again, always staying at the upper limit of the forest.
You will soon reach viewpoint 11.
It's the marker of the end of the climb for the day.
Now go down, go check out Chicken Spring Lake, which is close by, and then leave the PCT, going east to Horseshoe Meadow, the endpoint of a great adventure!