Hi all - long time lurker, first time poster. I have a permit for Cottonwood lakes starting next week. Super excited, never been to the Golden Trout Wilderness before. Road department website says the road is open, but Inyo Rangers say a gate is closed.

Can someone tell me how far the gate they are referencing is from the trailhead?
Has anyone parked their car at the gate and hiked up?
Special considerations to take into account if we do decide to leave the truck at the gate?

Grateful for this forum! Thanks in advance and happy hiking.