(the hard way to reach Monache Meadows)
Revised 12 Oct 2014 - please send updates to the webmaster
Roughly 10 miles south of Olancha (waypoint OLANCH) on Hwy 395, turn west on Haiwee Canyon Road (waypoint HAI395). This is an un-marked intersection but a road which crosses the 4-lane Hwy 395 with turn lanes is easy to find.
Cross a cattle guard where a brown and white sign says Haiwee Pass Trail straight ahead, continue west-ish under the power lines (waypoint HAIPWR) and into National Forest land. The road is rocky but suitable for any vehicle.
There is a great place to camp with an old concrete slab and fireplace, and an unusually good shade tree (waypoint HAICMP). Above that the wind is stronger as you enter a canyon. Beware the water in the small burbling stream! Cattle were standing in it and the makeshift fence higher up the drainage didn't look like it would last forever.
In 2012 the road required high clearance (but not really 4WD) beyond an irrigation dam (waypoint HAI2WD) where passenger cars could park in a small turnaround. The trail washed out around 2010, and as of 2012 a ranger notice at the trailhead said 2 miles of trail had been obliterated. There is parking at the trailhead sign (waypoint HAI4WD) or you can leave vehicles further down by the campsite. Until the stream fork just below Soda Springs (waypoint HAISOD) it used to be essentially cross-country scrambling.
|The dirt road leading to Haiwee Pass trailhead is now fine for any 2wd car. The hiking trail leading to the pass is now once again in good condition. The trail peters out 200 yards from the pass itself, dissolving into a tangle of cowtracks, coalescing back into a hiking trail at the pass itself. There is no water evident from the trailhead to slightly beyond the pass.
Above Soda Springs where there is sometimes water, the trail becomes very obvious and easy to follow, but there is no water until you get over the pass (waypoint HAIPAS) and hike all the way down to the South Fork of the Kern River.