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Thousand Island Lake

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Thousand Island Lake

Postby don norton » Sun Mar 02, 2008 1:12 pm

I am planning a trip to Yosemite this August and was thinking about going over Donohue Pass and down to Thousand Island Lake. Can someone tell me where I can find a good campsite for about 4 tents maybe less I like to sleep under the stars that way I can see when a bear approaches. Any help would be appreciated. :)



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Re: Thousand Island Lake

Postby Rosabella » Sun Mar 02, 2008 5:29 pm

One of my favorite places to camp is just below Donahue Pass. As you come up from Lyell Canyon, and it starts to climb, just keep going up. I pass the bridge towards the top; there are camp sites in that area, and I understand they're nice, but I keep going. When you get to the top of the climb, it opens up, to some really nice spots. Veer off to the left at the top for the camp sites (there are only a few)... don't continue crossing the water, which will take you over to the right and circle arround,up to Donahue Pass. There's no bridge there - hiking poles come in real handy for balance when you do go to cross it.

There are so many great places to camp on the JMT, but this place has always been a favorite of mine. There are some trees arround the camp sites... this picture below is the view from my camp site. Donahue Pass is off to the left.

I've never camped at Thousand Island Lake... I've always gone down to Garnet, but I think I'll camp at Thousand Island Lake this summer.

Have a great hike!


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Re: Thousand Island Lake

Postby The Other Tom » Sun Mar 02, 2008 5:34 pm

I assume you're going to make this a 2 or 3 day trip ? I'm sure you'll get a lot of responses about campsites, but personally I wouldn't worry about it. There are a lot of good sites along that route.
If you don't have a set of Tom Harrison maps already, I would recommend them highly. Also, the latest verson of the John Muir Trail by Wenk and Morey is a good guide and has campsite references. Whatever you wind up doing, the hike you describe is a beautiful one. Good Luck !!
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Re: Thousand Island Lake

Postby dharter » Sun Mar 02, 2008 7:12 pm

My wife and I camped about 100 yards just below the lake in the picture. There is a group of trees on the left and you can easily see where others have camped. We did have a bear walk right thru the campsite as my wife was putting on her boots in the morning - must have been within 20 feet of her, but she said it never even looked up!

Be sure not to miss the crossing at the lakes outlet. I walked up to see a hiker all the way at the far end of the lake apparently trying to figure out what happened to the trail. And for sure, this is a spot where poles can be a life saver!
Doug
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Re: Thousand Island Lake

Postby don norton » Sun Mar 02, 2008 7:51 pm

dharter wrote:My wife and I camped about 100 yards just below the lake in the picture. There is a group of trees on the left and you can easily see where others have camped. We did have a bear walk right thru the campsite as my wife was putting on her boots in the morning - must have been within 20 feet of her, but she said it never even looked up!

Be sure not to miss the crossing at the lakes outlet. I walked up to see a hiker all the way at the far end of the lake apparently trying to figure out what happened to the trail. And for sure, this is a spot where poles can be a life saver!


Thanks Dave but i just want to camp around the lake I am not going over the bridge.You gave me some good info I will look for that spot :)
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Re: Thousand Island Lake

Postby dharter » Mon Mar 03, 2008 11:03 am

Don,
Sorry for the misunderstanding, but the lake I was referring to in the earlier post is the one pictured in Rosabella's post. This lake is located below Donahue pass. The JMT crosses at the outlet of this lake and there are only a few small stones marking the 90 degree right turn to the crossing. It is very easy to miss and to continue walking along the same side of the lake thinking you are still on the JMT when you are not.
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Re: Thousand Island Lake

Postby SSSdave » Wed Mar 05, 2008 3:26 pm

Thousand Island Lake is one of the Sierra's most beautiful and thus most popular lakes. Most people on the two mile long lake camp within 200 yards of the JMT north of the lake. Anywhere within 1/4 mile of the outlet as the bird flies is a no camping zone. On the southeast side of the lake, partially a quarter mile from the outlet is the other area often used. Beyond that all the way around the big lake to half way around the north side is rarely used. Thus one can easily avoid the crowds by vectoring due south from Island Pass straight to the lake instead of taking the trail southeast. I'd quite recommend the west end of the alke in particular that has a number of nice no name lakes. All the lakes have rainbow and brook trout. Much better fishing and no bears of course about the west and southwest ends of the lake where people are rare. The world class views however are from the outlet areas. So if one is a photographer like me, I tend to camp a quarter mile downstream from the outlet southeast of the big pond in the jump across infant river. Won't see the lake from there while at camp though Banner and Ritter still have an exception profile. ...David
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