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River Trail vs High Trail from Agnew Meadows with dogs

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River Trail vs High Trail from Agnew Meadows with dogs

Postby MrsWanderFull » Sun May 17, 2015 3:41 pm

First, thank you for reading this. I know there are a bunch of conversations about this highly used section, however I'm researching specifically for hiking with dogs. I've combed through just about every forum/blog/recap that I could, but can't seem to find a comparison/clear description that fits us.

Itinerary:
I'm planning on hiking with my two black labs out of Agnew Meadows and going to 1,000 Island Lake to camp overnight.
We'll then go on via the JMT to Shadow Lake, spend a night and ultimately end up at Red's. It's a 2 night, 3 day trip.
I can't seem to decide which trail to take out of Agnew Meadows, however and I'd love your help and advice.

Which trail is best suited for hiking with dogs: River Trail or High Trail?
Is there one trail that has more pack animals? (we'd avoid that one)
Is one trail more exposed than the other? (tough to have black fur in the sun all day)
Does either trail have any bouldering or tough water passes?
Are there any steep sections they may need help crossing?

We're good hikers, and they are great dogs. They are friendly, and extremely well trained to respect hikers, other animals, avoid and respect wildlife (snaked trained, they wear bear bells) and they love the area.I've got one dog that isn't crazy about water, and another that isn't crazy about bouldering, so I must choose my route wisely.

Any advice on the JMT out of 1,000 Island Lake is appreciated too.

Thanks in advance!
Amanda, T.C. and Dungee :bear: :bear: (closest I could get to a dog!)



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Re: River Trail vs High Trail from Agnew Meadows with dogs

Postby Sierra_Summits » Sun May 17, 2015 4:52 pm

I went to thousand island last year for memorial day with my black lab and we took the river trail to 1000 island and then the high trail back to agnew and the high trail was awesome the whole way! Water is a concern on this trail but this time of year i would think you would be fine. High trail for the win. no exposure either and very little boulders. The weather this coming week looks unsettled just an FYI.


please post photos of your trip as we all love to see the mountains...and black labs too!

summits
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Re: River Trail vs High Trail from Agnew Meadows with dogs

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sun May 17, 2015 7:16 pm

I think the OP meant sunlight exposure, not cliffy steepness. My long ago memory of the High Trail is that there is not as much shade as the River Trail. My take on it is that the High Trail is great for views (people criteria) and still OK for dogs, but I think the dogs would prefer the River Trail, but their humans may find it less spectacular. Call the Reds Meadow store and ask about which trail is most used by the packers. I am not sure packers use either trail.
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Re: River Trail vs High Trail from Agnew Meadows with dogs

Postby WarrenFork » Sun May 17, 2015 9:16 pm

I used to take my Rhodesian Ridgebacks on afternoon outings from Agnew Meadows fairly frequently. I'd agree with Wandering Daisy that the River Trail is more appealing from the canine point of view. Lots more smells and variety in critters and vegetation. There's little shade on the first two-thirds of the High Trail and it can get very hot. We always went up the River Trail as far as Olaine Lake and sometimes on up the Shadow Lake trail to the outlet. The surroundings on the River Trail are more pad-friendly as well since you're in forest duff a lot of the time. That said, your dogs will have a grand time either way.

The Tanners run day trips out of Agnew Meadows Pack Station. The pack strings leave pretty early in the morning and as far as I know they take the High Trail up to Summit Pass and Clark Lakes. I'd guess they make a loop and come back on the River Trail but I never encountered any stock when I was up there with my dogs.
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Re: River Trail vs High Trail from Agnew Meadows with dogs

Postby ExploreABitMore » Mon May 18, 2015 9:39 am

I haven't been on the High Trail, but I know my dogs would absolutely love that River Trail. I personally thought it was a really pleasant hike to 1000 Island Lake. Not real steep anywhere, shady, but also scenic on the second half.

I think next time I'm going to take the River Trail in and on the day we plan to leave get up early to beat the heat and take the High Trail out to enjoy what should be better views.

Another option that looked nice (for dogs too) is go up to Shadow Lake, to Garnet lake and then on to 1000 Island lake. More lakes, more scenery, more creeks, etc, but it looks like quite a bit more work too.
Sierra Nevada, Mojave Desert, Night Sky Photography: http://www.evanthomasphoto.com/
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Re: River Trail vs High Trail from Agnew Meadows with dogs

Postby MrsWanderFull » Mon May 18, 2015 10:14 am

Thanks, everyone!!

I so appreciate your input! Sounds like we'll be hitting the River Trail! I'd much rather have them enjoying shade and a good walk! Glad to hear it is so pleasant, with some views at the end! Thanks for the advice on the packs, too! They are great with other animals, but we'd happily go another way to avoid spooking others. :)

I'm so excited!

I'll catch the view of the high trail another time! It sounds awesome.

We'll be coming back "down" via JMT to Garnet and Shadow, then on to Red's, so excited to hear that is a nice route, too.

I'll be sure to take lots of photos, we truly LOVE exploring and post them when we are done!

This is a little video we made last year, featuring just a few day hikes in the area.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjO30LoXuRQ

THANKS, AGAIN, awesome people! :D
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