TR: RushCreekTrl/1000 Is.Lake/Spky Meadow 9/11-9/13 | High Sierra Topix  

TR: RushCreekTrl/1000 Is.Lake/Spky Meadow 9/11-9/13

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TR: RushCreekTrl/1000 Is.Lake/Spky Meadow 9/11-9/13

Postby thatguy » Sat Sep 20, 2014 2:22 pm

Hi everyone, I'm a long time lurker, thought I'd post a quick 3 day I did recently.

TL;DR - No skeeters, plenty of water in the natural lakes, man-made ones are low, beautiful weather, no bears, only a few hikers, pretty much what you'd expect in September.

More pics can be see here if you are interested: https://www.flickr.com/photos/trvlndan/ ... 365024808/

Nothing too terribly exciting too report, pretty much an uneventful trip. There is a little bit of a backstory, I've been traveling with my family to the June Lake area for years. Way back before it became popular from the Sunset and LA Times articles, when you could pull in to Silver Lake campground late on a Saturday in the middle of high summer and there would be about 5 people there. So we fished and hiked, and a couple times I decided to head up Rush Creek Trail, but I never made it passed Gem Lake. Then I'd sit at the Sierra Inn in town eating lasagne and ogling the place mat with the map of the area on it, dreaming about what 1000 Island and all the other little lakes up there look like.

Fast forward a decade or so and thanks to the miracle of the Internet I didn't actually have to hike it! I could see the pics from the comfort of my own home. That was fine until I finally decide to get off my butt and see the area for myself. So I took a couple days off, woke up at 3am and drove up so I could be on the trail around 7:30. I studied the area fairly well and got some advice reading articles on this forum but I didn't have a set time frame just a goal of seeing 1000 Island Lake starting at the Rush Creek Trail-head.

ImageRush Creek Trail by Trvln Dan, on Flickr

The first two days were warm, the skies were completely devoid of any clouds. The hike up to Waugh passed without incident and I only saw two other groups of hikers.

ImageAgnew Lake by Trvln Dan, on Flickr


ImageGem Lake by Trvln Dan, on Flickr

ImageWaugh Lake by Trvln Dan, on Flickr

Once I got up to the dam at Waugh lake I decided to take a little detour and head up to Weber or Sullivan for the night. I was pretty tired so it made the climb up feel more brutal than it should have been. I thought Weber was beautiful but someone on the trail said they liked Sullivan better so I trudged on. After reaching Sullivan I thought Weber was more picturesque and had better camping spots but I really didn't want to hike back up to Weber, so I set up camp far to the right of the inlet from Weber.

ImageWeber Lake by Trvln Dan, on Flickr

ImageSullivan Lake by Trvln Dan, on Flickr

From looking at the topo too much I got this bug in my head. I could just climb up and over the hill due South and hit the trail that goes from 1000 island up to Agnew Pass. But being that I was solo, and no one really new my plan, I thought better of it and decided to go all the way around Waugh and up Island Pass. So the next day that's what I did. But I'd really like to know if anyone has attempted this. Once I got to the PCT I ran into a few groups going toward Donohue. Once at the top of Island Pass I caught a view of a beautiful lake with Banner Peak in the background, a perfect spot for lunch.

ImageIsland Pass by Trvln Dan, on Flickr

Image1000 Island Lake by Trvln Dan, on Flickr

After that I got to my destination. I headed along the north shore to find a camp and I probably should have hiked further back but I ended up at a nice little site on the right up above a pretty little beach.

Image1000 Island Lake by Trvln Dan, on Flickr

I went for a hike:
Image1000 Island Lake by Trvln Dan, on Flickr

Watched the sunset:
Image1000 Island Lake by Trvln Dan, on Flickr

And the stars come out:
ImageBanner Peak by Trvln Dan, on Flickr

Then, just like that, it was day again. Who knew!:
ImageBanner Peak by Trvln Dan, on Flickr

I decided to head out via Agnew pass and Spooky Meadow. I have to admit I was leery about Spooky Meadow cause people are all 'Oh, don't go that way' 'Eeeeehhh' 'blah blah blah' 'Something something Spooky Meadow'. It wasn't that bad. Granted there are some areas where I wouldn't really want to go up it, but from all the talk I was fully expecting to go sliding down the side of the mountain side, when in reality most of it really isn't all that bad, just a little steep in places. So that's it. Hope you enjoy the pics! Which brings me to something else, everyone on the trail last weekend said 'Enjoy it!' Which is fine I guess but is that a thing now? It was fully like 80% of people I passed said it. Like I'm not going to enjoy it. I'm just going to be grumpy on my trip. Maybe I look grumpy when I hike, I don't know.

ImageBanner Peak by Trvln Dan, on Flickr

ImageBanner Peak by Trvln Dan, on Flickr

ImageSpooky Meadow by Trvln Dan, on Flickr

ImageAgnew Lake by Trvln Dan, on Flickr



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Re: TR: RushCreekTrl/1000 Is.Lake/Spky Meadow 9/11-9/13

Postby Herm » Sat Sep 20, 2014 3:21 pm

thatguy;

Thanks for sharing your TR and pictures. A few years ago, my wife and I day hiked the Rush Creek Trail up to Gem Lake, where we enjoyed lunch along the lakeshore. The backcountry enticed, but we were not prepared to go any further. Many years prior, the two of us did a multi-day backpack trip to Thousand Island Lake from the Agnew Meadows trailhead. That is an area worthy of exploration.

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Re: TR: RushCreekTrl/1000 Is.Lake/Spky Meadow 9/11-9/13

Postby lvray » Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:41 am

Nice TR.
Regarding your question on going directly to 1000 Island from Weber: It is pretty simple cross country. A few weeks ago we day hiked off trail from 1000 Island to Davis Lakes to Weber Lake and back to 1000 Island. We went past Ham & Egg Lakes (just south of Island Pass) and then up and over to Weber at the low point just SE of the mini peak that is just SE of the higest cluster of tarns (than make any sense??). Pretty much all class 1 with some minor scrabling.
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Re: TR: RushCreekTrl/1000 Is.Lake/Spky Meadow 9/11-9/13

Postby thatguy » Sun Sep 21, 2014 10:13 am

Hey Herm, yeah I actually thought I'd explore that area on my next trip. Kind of break up the the area into two trips, 1000 isle and north on this trip, and Garnet and south on the next coming up from Agnew meadows.

@Ivray that's awesome, thanks for the info. I think if I was hiking with someone else I would have felt more comfortable about it, but I hadn't really studied the idea before I left. Your loop sounds like fun but I think I'll wait for a hiking buddy before I blaze my own trails.
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Re: TR: RushCreekTrl/1000 Is.Lake/Spky Meadow 9/11-9/13

Postby markskor » Sun Sep 21, 2014 10:22 am

lvray wrote:
It is pretty simple cross country... Pretty much all class 1 with some minor scrambling.



Nice TR.
Re: Your trail class distinctions though...Maybe I'm wrong (as usual), but always thought class 1 was trail walking.
If cross country, (no trail), then class 2.
Off trail with hands - class 3...etc
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Re: TR: RushCreekTrl/1000 Is.Lake/Spky Meadow 9/11-9/13

Postby lvray » Sun Sep 21, 2014 6:22 pm

How people define the ratings varies (sometimes greatly), but I generally consider class 1 to be easy walking that does require use of hands, be it on or off a trail (I know a lot of "trails" there are class 2 or higher and many cross country routes that are easier walking than some established trails).

See:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yosemite_Decimal_System

Roper uses a similar distinction. However, Secor's class 1 description is more in line with yours. As I said, there is no definitive definition for the classes.
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Re: TR: RushCreekTrl/1000 Is.Lake/Spky Meadow 9/11-9/13

Postby RiseToADry » Sun Sep 21, 2014 10:14 pm

Fantastic report and photos. Thanks for sharing!
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Re: TR: RushCreekTrl/1000 Is.Lake/Spky Meadow 9/11-9/13

Postby FeetFirst » Tue Sep 23, 2014 11:31 am

Great pictures. :thumbsup: Thanks for sharing.
I'm still rather convinced that you can achieve more than you've ever dreamed of if you just lower your standards.
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Re: TR: RushCreekTrl/1000 Is.Lake/Spky Meadow 9/11-9/13

Postby Sittingbull » Tue Sep 23, 2014 6:40 pm

Looks fun, thanks for sharing.


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