Agnews Meadow - Thousand Island Lake Loop | High Sierra Topix  

Agnews Meadow - Thousand Island Lake Loop

If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!
User avatar

Agnews Meadow - Thousand Island Lake Loop

Postby Bearman » Wed May 14, 2008 3:29 pm

Just received my reservations for a late August trip out of Agnews Meadows. We've never been to this section of the Sierra before (typically we are in Emigrant, Yosemite or Desolation). There seems to many different route possibilities; High trail, river trail, PCT, JMT, etc. Anyone have any recommendations on a 3 day loop? We definitely want to see Banner from Thousand Island Lake. Thanks.



User avatar
Bearman
Topix Novice
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 8:04 am
Location: San Jose, CA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Agnews Meadow - Thousand Island Lake Loop

Postby The Other Tom » Wed May 14, 2008 5:07 pm

OK, here's one idea. Go to Mammoth and park near the elephant (actually a Mammoth) at the ski lodge. Take the shuttle down to Agnew Meadow. I think it's the first stop but I don't remember exactly. Hike down the road, past the stables, to the trail. I took the high trail (but you can take the river trail if you prefer walking along the river) to Thousand Island Lake. There is a trail down the right side of the lake where camping is allowed. As a side trip, go up to Island pass (toward Yosemite). For the return trip, follow the JMT to Red's Meadow and pick up the shuttle back to Mammoth. The shuttle makes a "loop" between Agnew and Red's Meadow, then on to Mammoth.
It's been a few years since I've been in the area, so maybe I don't remember the facts exactly, but I'm sure some of the vetrans will correct me if I'm wrong.
Sounds like you've already looked at a map. If you don't already have one, I recommend the Tom Harrison map of the area. You can check your mileage from the map and stretch the trip into 3 days.
User avatar
The Other Tom
Founding Member
 
Posts: 713
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 6:06 pm
Location: Upstate South Carolina
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Agnews Meadow - Thousand Island Lake Loop

Postby Bearman » Wed May 14, 2008 5:19 pm

Thanks for the feedback. One question though, why do you recommend going to Island Pass? Is it a killer view?
User avatar
Bearman
Topix Novice
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 8:04 am
Location: San Jose, CA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Agnews Meadow - Thousand Island Lake Loop

Postby hikerduane » Wed May 14, 2008 6:30 pm

The High Trail I thought was long last summer, but great views just about the whole trail. In our group of four, I hung back with the slow hiker, so it seemed to take a long time getting to Thousand Island where we took a break then continued on for another mile or so. I've been there before a couple times from other directions. The River Trail is shorter with gradual gain towards Thousand Island. You can do a loop in three days, with two nights out. We hiked in the dark for half and hour to get about a mile from Agnew Meadow for our first night. Worth the trip for the views. Brain fade here, trying to think of the lake below Banner and Ritter, great view, pretty lake, not much camping there so it seems. Your second day out will be the hardest if you go counter clockwise.
Piece of cake.
User avatar
hikerduane
Founding Member
 
Posts: 1194
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2005 9:58 am
Location: Meadow Valley, CA, Carson City, NV
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Agnews Meadow - Thousand Island Lake Loop

Postby The Other Tom » Thu May 15, 2008 3:58 am

Bearman wrote:Thanks for the feedback. One question though, why do you recommend going to Island Pass? Is it a killer view?


It's a nice side trip if you have some extra time. Beautiful area, and if I remember correctly, you're above Thousand Island Lake and get a good view.
User avatar
The Other Tom
Founding Member
 
Posts: 713
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 6:06 pm
Location: Upstate South Carolina
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Agnews Meadow - Thousand Island Lake Loop

Postby hikerduane » Thu May 15, 2008 6:48 pm

Garnet Lake. Came to me in a few seconds at work this morning. I don't think you will have time to hit Island Pass if you are going to loop around. The view as you drop down to Garnet Lake is super. Great photo ops of Ritter and Banner.
Piece of cake.
User avatar
hikerduane
Founding Member
 
Posts: 1194
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2005 9:58 am
Location: Meadow Valley, CA, Carson City, NV
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Agnews Meadow - Thousand Island Lake Loop

Postby Bearman » Fri May 16, 2008 11:12 am

Thanks for the info. August can't come soon enough!
User avatar
Bearman
Topix Novice
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 8:04 am
Location: San Jose, CA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Agnews Meadow - Thousand Island Lake Loop

Postby quentinc » Fri May 16, 2008 8:38 pm

Be sure to visit Ediza Lake if you have the time. The views of the Minarets are amazing. Even better if you hike up a bit from the lake towards them. You probably wouldn't have time on a 3 day trip, but if you're real fast what I'd recommend most would be traversing around the west side of Thousand Island Lake cross country over easy cols, around Garnet and down to Ediza. It's spectacular. Forgive me for saying this, but the JMT along this stretch is surprisingly dry, dusty and dull as heck by comparison.
User avatar
quentinc
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 890
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2005 10:28 pm
Location: Los Angeles
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Agnews Meadow - Thousand Island Lake Loop

Postby SSSdave » Mon May 19, 2008 10:45 am

If you have reservations, the outgoing trail will already be identified as either the River Trail or the PCT along San Joaquin Ridge. In other words one doesn't have an option. You may however change that as long as the quota hasn't been filled. As Duane note the River Trail is somewhat shorter with less vertical climbing. Parts of River Trail are within shady forest while the PCT is in the sun after about 9am. Morning views to the west towards the Ritter Range are spectacular while the River Trail is down in the canyon walking through brush and forest areas while infrequently getting close enough to actually see the river. With just three days I'd advise against any idea that has you camping in two locations or rambling long distances on the second day. Thus camp at Thousand Island Lake area the 2 nights allowing a pleasant layover day and simply return.

The views during afternoons from the east or northeast sides of the lake are mediocre because all the interesting landscapes to the west will be backlit thus contrasty with drab unsaturated color. Thus day hikers that only reach there by noon, or backpackers that hike through that zone after late morning don't experience the better light of that landscape. If you still have energy to burn later in the afternoon on the first day, just exploring west around the large lake will take more time than you have. The famous world class views are westward early to mid morning from the east and northeast shores. Be sure to visit the short stream section below the outlet and nearby Emerald and Ruby Lakes.
User avatar
SSSdave
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1965
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:18 pm
Location: Silicon Valley
Experience: N/A


Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 6 guests