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Agnew Meadows - TH, Parking, Shuttle, Etc.

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Agnew Meadows - TH, Parking, Shuttle, Etc.

Postby scrotata » Fri Aug 22, 2014 10:23 am

Hi All:

I am planning a short trip in either the last weekend of September or first weekend of October and will be entering at Agnew Meadows for a loop going in on the Shadow Creek Trail and exiting on the High Trail. I have never been out of Agnew Meadows and am confused by parking options, shuttle, etc. My questions are (and yes I have searched previous threads, called the rangers, looked on the internet, etc., but I feel like I have been told conflicting information) as follows:

1. Are there any shuttles running at that time? If so, I will be entering the area before 7:00 am and can I then drive in and bypass the shuttle?
2. Can I park at the TH?
3. I am travelling down from Northern CA and picking up my permit in Lee Vining afterhours, are there areas I can camp near the TH (i.e. Upper Soda Springs, Pumice Flat, etc.) or any areas for dispersed camping (i.e. throw down a bag or sleep in car)?

I am most concerned about the logistics of parking/shuttles. I will be arriving late to the area on a Thursday night (i.e. 10:00 pm) and want to hit the trail as early as possible on Friday (i.e. 6:00 am).

And yes, I am well aware that weather may throw a wrench in my plans this late in the season, but I can keep dreaming...

Thanks for the help!

Michael



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Re: Agnew Meadows - TH, Parking, Shuttle, Etc.

Postby thebacs » Fri Aug 22, 2014 10:34 am

In the past, the shuttles stopped running after the labor day weekend, however there was rumor this year that the shuttles would continue to run well into September. With that being said, you have no worries. Your arrival time (late or anytime before 7am) will allow you to drive down without worrying about having to take a shuttle. Just make sure you are past the booth at the top of the crest by 7am if your entry time should change.

The turn into Agnew Meadows area is at the hairpin turn from the main road. This puts you on a dirt road leading to the trailhead and Agnew Meadows campground. There is parking at the trailhead and a little further down the dirt road is the campground you can stay at that night.

The only caveat I can think of is when you drive out, if it is during the day, be prepared to pay $10 at the booth.
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Re: Agnew Meadows - TH, Parking, Shuttle, Etc.

Postby mkbgdns » Fri Aug 22, 2014 11:33 am

agnew meadows campground is still closed from the big blowdown. whether the forest service will care if you park at the trailhead lot, and walk into the campground to spend the night, I don't know.
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Re: Agnew Meadows - TH, Parking, Shuttle, Etc.

Postby kpeter » Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:01 pm

Yes, you can park at the trailhead--provided there is space. There was space when I was there--I imagine the shuttle and the permit system help to make that possible.

I do not know when/if they will take the daytime driving curfew off, but if it is on, just get past the booth by 7am.

The campground was still closed when I was there in late July--the blowdowns were thick. Lots of options for camping or moteling around Mammoth the night before, so you don't really need to camp at Agnew. There are other campgrounds in Devil's Postpile too, I think, so that could be another option. I think most of them are first-come-first served, but I have not used them.
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Re: Agnew Meadows - TH, Parking, Shuttle, Etc.

Postby SSSdave » Fri Aug 22, 2014 10:04 pm

There are vast areas one may legally disperse camp in the Eastern Sierra. But illegal to disperse camp west of Mammoth Lakes anywhere on SR203 including all those areas west of Minaret Summit and all the trailheads. Although some clueless people illegally sleep overnight at trailheads all over Inyo National Forest due to lack of enforcement because of limited manpower, that does not mean they don't roust people sometimes and may result in future restrictions due to abuse. Best to get an Inyo National Forest Map that will show where and where not, disperse camping is allowed. Disperse camp on Mammoth Scenic Loop anywhere between US395 and Dry Creek Rd Spur. use the tabs at upper right to switch between Topo/Map/Satellite

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=37.70101,-118.97210&z=15&t=M

There more lonely spur roads coming off MSL than the Map tab shows. View the Topo and Satellite tabs to see them.
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Re: Agnew Meadows - TH, Parking, Shuttle, Etc.

Postby scrotata » Sat Aug 23, 2014 8:17 am

Thanks all for the info!

It sounds like it would be safe to assume that as long as I get past the booth before 7:00 am or after 7:00 pm, that I should not have to deal with a shuttle and can park at the TH (provided there is space).

I understand that if I arrive late, I can't camp at the TH and that Agnew Meadows campground is closed, so I could also try to camp at one of the other campgrounds (i.e. Upper Soda Springs, Pumice Flat, etc.) or disperse camp on Mammoth Scenic Loop anywhere between US395 and Dry Creek Rd Spur or other legal areas (thanks for the link SSSDave!!).

Appreciate the help in working out the logistics of arriving and getting started!!
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