Casa Vieja Trail
This is an easy hike to a high mountain meadow that is 4 miles roundtrip with 600 feet drop and 600 feet on the return. The trail leads downward gradually before reaching Casa Vieja Meadow. The meadow has multple former barn structures as well as a snow shelter for times when people came in person to measure the depth of snow pack. The meadow is frequented by fishermen. The return is uphill the whole way, gently rising back to the parking lot and passing another meadow on the east side of the trail.
The meadow serves as a crossroad of trails with five different trails leading off in different directions. The most popular is the trail to Jordan Hot Springs. Caution is required when moving onward, the trail to Jordan is another 3 miles which is steeply downhill (3 miles at 1800 feet drop). Golden Trout Wilderness offers solitude that is elusive in many parts of California.
This hike starts at Blackrock Trailhead. The drive to the trailhead is the greatest work on this hike. The Sherman Pass Road from Hwy 395 is 45 miles. The first 9 miles climbs precipitously to the top of 9 Mile Canyon. Thereafter, the road winds along a high mountain plateau pass the famous Kennedy/Meadows store and another 20 miles to trailhead. Make sure to have enough gas. Road conditions are clean and paved.
Do make sure to call the ranger station at Kernville to confirm conditions before going.
This would be a good trip for children. The short length and easy elevation change make it a good introduction to the Sierras. There are several short creek crossings where kids would need help, but are not very dangerous.
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