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Marie Lakes or Davis Lakes in Ansel Adams

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Marie Lakes or Davis Lakes in Ansel Adams

Postby Splash » Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:38 am

Hi Everyone,
If you had your choice would you rather go to Marie or Davis Lakes;we'll be hiking from Agnew Meadows to the Valley the first week of July . Will be fishing along the way. I read that first Marie lake is void of fish. Also read that the wildflowers at Davis are fantastic. Does anyone have an opinion on whether skeeters would be worst at one over the other? Like one is real marshy and the other isn't. Are there campsites for three tents?


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Re: Marie Lakes or Davis Lakes in Ansel Adams

Postby TehipiteTom » Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:53 am

It's 20-some years since I visited either, so take this with a grain of salt...but my recollection of Marie is that camping space is a little hard to come by--lots of rocky vertical relief, not too many flat spots. Davis I think has more room to spread out.
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Re: Marie Lakes or Davis Lakes in Ansel Adams

Postby wildhiker » Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:00 pm

I've never been to Marie Lakes. The main Davis Lake reached by trail has steep slopes with few campsites near the water. There is one primo campsite on the south side a bit above the lake; unfortunately for us it was occupied. We found a very small site on the north side - just enough room for a small 2-man tent. There are many possible campsites in open relatively flat forest downstream from the lake - but they don't have good views. The packers seem to use this area. There are fields of paintbrush flowers in mid-season on the slopes above and to the south of the lake. Also good views from the lake and slopes above of the entire upper Rush Creek basin, especially north to Kuna Crest.

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Re: Marie Lakes or Davis Lakes in Ansel Adams

Postby RoguePhotonic » Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:35 pm

If you scroll down a bit in this album it shows both Davis Lakes upper and lower and the Marie Lakes.

In my opinion Davis Lakes is a nicer place to camp. It has some forest and has allot of green grass while Marie Lakes are more typical barren high alpine lakes although both have great scenery.

The lower Davis Lake's outlet has large ponds that are shallow that can be nice to swim in or fish also. Adds a bit more to the dynamic nature of the scenery.
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Re: Marie Lakes or Davis Lakes in Ansel Adams

Postby cgundersen » Fri Jun 06, 2014 8:03 am

Hi Splash,
Like Rogue said, it's a bit of a tossup. Davis are easier to get to, especially the huge lower lake, so you're likely to see more folks there. The last time I was up there (3 years ago; TR was filed in Sept.2011), it was September, so the huge fields of Indian paintbrush (which should be in peak form) were no longer evident. But, we scrambled up to the upper lake and had it to ourselves (there were a couple parties at the lower lake). By the way, if you want to expedite things, it's pretty easy to cut off the JMT just before reaching Island pass and hop the ridge over to the Davis lakes.

That said, I'm a fan of Marie Lakes, because you typically are further off the beaten path so that you're less likely to have company. Although the campsites are somewhat limited around the first Marie Lake, they are not that hard to find. There is a great outflow from the second Marie Lake that flows into the lower lake and if you bother to scramble to the upper lake there are a couple decent campsites on the far side of the upper lake. It's a bit of a schlep to get to them, but worth the effort and serenity. However, I do not have useful info on the fishing possibilities, but I will add that the scenery on the way to either location is stunning, especially if you're doing the high trail.
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Re: Marie Lakes or Davis Lakes in Ansel Adams

Postby maverick » Fri Jun 06, 2014 1:22 pm

Yes, you can find campsite for 3 at both places, more looking at Marie. The question
is which you would prefer based on your groups preferences? Both are pretty and you
will not go wrong with either, but if wildflowers make you weak to your knees then you
know where to go. :)
Skeeter wise Marie can have more breezy days, which may keep them at bay, at least
for a while.
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