Golden Trout Natural History Workshop, Inc.

High Sierra Wilderness Workshops

for Families and Individuals
Located at Golden Trout Camp in the Golden Trout Wilderness
At the southern border of the John Muir Wilderness
West of Lone Pine, CA

NOTE -- The Golden Trout Natural History Workshop will not be offering any workshops at the Golden Trout Camp in 2018.

In fact, the Workshop group is looking for new venues, as Thacher, the primary lessee of this public property from the Forest Service, will no longer lease the facility to the Workshop group.

We thank all the participants and volunteers for participating in the workshops over the years. If the policy of Thacher changes, or if we are able to find an alternative, viable venue, we will post that here and also notify our mailing list of recent past participants.

The historic Golden Trout Camp log cabins

Campfire under the Milky Way
At 10,100 ft. elevation, away from the city lights,
you can see clearly what 80% of people in our society never have.


[The remainder of this webpage is being left as it was at the end of our 2017 season; there are currently no sessions scheduled for the future. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me, the Registrar, at one of the links, below.]


To Register, receive a Brochure, or for any further Information, you can contact us via , or, for registration information, via our Registrar.

You can download the 2017 Golden Trout Workshop brochure/registration PDF here. Note that we now e-mail our brochures instead of using physical mailings. Past participants and those who have expressed interest since 2006 are on the e-mail list. If you have never attended one of the workshops or are uncertain whether you are on the mailing list, contact registrar Paul Roark at one of the above G-mail addresses.

Registrations, deposits, and final payments must be mailed to our Post Office box address, below.

PO Box 253, Solvang, CA 93464 - 0253

We do not have an on-line payment capability.

Summer Schedule -- 2017

Session 1: Sun., July 2 through Fri., July 7: [WAIT LIST ONLY]


David Lukas, naturalist & author, and
Daniel Kruth, geology & natural history.

Session 2: Sun., July 9 through Fri., July 14: [WAIT LIST ONLY]


Adam Lieberg, wildlife field biologist, and
Daniel Kruth, geology & natural history.

Note that the sessions end on Friday this year.

Those wishing to enroll for the sessions listed should reserve space early. However, no reservations are taken until the brochures are mailed or e-mailed, which is expected to be near the end of January.

A non-refundable registration fee of $100 per person is due at the time of registration and is included in the total fee cost. Full payment must be received not later than May 1. Absolutely no refunds will be made on cancellations after May 1 unless there is a replacement. Note that travel insurance may be available but is the responsibility of individual guests.

The camp is at 10,100 feet, and day hikes usually go to somewhat higher elevations. If you have ever experienced problems with high elevations or have a heart condition, consult your doctor about potential altitude and medical problems prior to registering. This is a wilderness camp with no emergency facilities. There is a satellite phone that can make outgoing calls, but it is for medical emergency use only and cannot receive incoming calls.



Adults: $550
Children (age 5 through 12): $325
Children under 5 are free, but not recommended for this high elevation, wilderness camp.



Facilities include canvas tent cabins for guests and a log dining cabin where breakfast and dinner are served daily. Guests make their own sack lunches with food supplied by GTC. Hot showers are provided twice weekly; cold showers are available daily. Water to Golden Trout Camp is provided via a safe underground spring. Camp supplies are packed in weekly by mule train. Guests are responsible for packing in their own sleeping bag, clothes, and personal items.

How to Get There

Golden Trout Camp is in the southern Sierra Nevada, south of Mount Whitney, and can be reached only by trail. Take Hwy 395 to Lone Pine in the Owens Valley, about 215 miles from Los Angeles. Go west on the Whitney Portal Road and then left (south) on Horseshoe Meadows Road to the Cottonwood Lakes trailhead (approximately 20 miles). Leave your car there, then hike the 3-mile, 500-foot elevation gain trail to the camp. Depending upon weather conditions and your level of fitness, the hike will require at least two hours to complete. Participants are encouraged to spend one night at the trailhead before hiking in to acclimate themselves to the altitude.

Topo Maps

There are 4 maps of different scales and resolutions. For the smallest topo map of the area (scale 1" = 1 mi.) click here. The hike in is highlighted in yellow.
For a larger map (1 MB) that shows up to Whitney, click here.

For map that shows more detail of the immediate camp and Cottonwood Lakes basin area at 125 dpi (2 MB) but does not quite show up to Mt. Langley, click here.

For map that shows more detail of the immediate area at 300 dpi (9 MB) but does not quite show up to Mt. Langley, click here.

Note that the top portions of the last 2 maps use meters instead of feet for the top 1/4 of the map area. I have added the elevations in feet for the important features in that area.


Links to Other Sites of Interest

Weather & Snow Level at Golden Trout camp
This web page shows the amount of snow at the camp as well as the temperatures. BE SURE TO CHECK THE MINIMUM TEMPERATURES when calculating what sleeping gear you'll need. The camp is at 10,100 feet elevation, and temperatures drop about 5 degrees per 1000 feet. The website says "Cottonwood Lakes," but the elevation indicates it is not actually at the lakes; the weather station is right next to the camp.

For a forecast of future weather at camp, click here. Look at the forecast for what they call, "10 Miles SW of Lone Pine CA." (Ignore what is above that heading.) That is, again, based on the weather station next to camp.

Altitude Sickness
In addition to this general article on altitude sickness, see the section on prevention. "Ascending slowly is the best way to avoid altitude sickness. Avoiding strenuous activity such as skiing, hiking, etc. in the first 24 hours at high altitude reduces the symptoms of AMS. Alcohol and sleeping pills are respiratory depressants, and thus slow down the acclimatization process and should be avoided. Alcohol also tends to cause dehydration and exacerbates AMS. Thus, avoiding alcohol consumption in the first 24-48 hours at a higher altitude is optimal."

Altitude Sickness and Ibuprofen
See this NPR summary of a study that found ibuprofen to be useful in lowering the possibility of altitude sickness.

"A Trip to God's Country,"
This 16 page booklet describes and illustrates a trip to Golden Trout Camp in the 1960's. It was written by E.F. O'Keefe and illustrated by C.G. Maxwell. The O'Keefe family owned and operated the camp prior to Thacher School's purchase of the facilities. Note that this description is prior to the Horseshoe Meadow road being built. The booklet contains interesting historical information about the camp and area. The PDF is 5 MB.

Paul Roark, Photographer
A B&W gallery of Golden Trout camp area images by Paul Roark.

Adventure 16 Outdoor and Travel Outfitters
Adventure 16 has a reputation as one of the best outdoor outfitters in the United States.
It has a wide selection of gear you might want for High Sierra hiking and camping.

This page by WWW.395.Com provides a compact description and history of the Golden Trout Wilderness.

Click here to learn more about Golden Trout Camp workshops, their purposes and goals.

Click here for a thorough discussion of altitude sickness.

Thank you for visiting us.