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Agnew Meadow trails

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Agnew Meadow trails

Postby amigo » Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:53 am

My friend and I are planning to hike out from Agnew Meadows trailhead this coming August. We want to head to Thousand Island and Garnet Lakes and do a loop hike for 3 days. Would you recommend going first via the Shadow Lake trail and then back either via the high trail or river trail? Trying to figure out the best trails to do and which direction (factors are scenery, difficulty and time). Especially important is the starting trail for permit reasons. We'd probably want to camp at two different places. Not sure if 3 days would allow us to visit Ediza Lake as well.

If one doesn't camp at Agnew Meadows campground but drives in before 7am (or is it 7:30am?), can one leave their car at the trailhead for the 3 days? Actually, is there a parking lot around the campground?

backpacking experience: Level 2

main interests:
- Lakes
- Forests
- Big Mountain scenery
- Photography

Length of trip: 3 days
How many miles did you want to do a day: up to 10
Last edited by amigo on Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:40 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: Agnew Meadow trails

Postby AlmostThere » Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:24 am

There is trailhead parking at Agnew. You can also park at the resort and ride the shuttle bus for a small fee. Since the shuttle stops at Agnew and at Red Meadow you can hike the JMT to Red and get back to your car either way.

Beyond that, I suggest you review the sticky at the top of the backpacking forum to remind yourself how to provide more info, so we can provide more specifics on the hike itself.
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Re: Agnew Meadow trails

Postby kpeter » Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:33 am

The Shadow Lake Trail is very well engineered and follows the waterfalls and cascades up the Shadow Lake outlet. If you get an early start you could easily go past Shadow Lake and see Ediza, one of Ansel Adams's most famous models. You could camp somewhere near the intersection that takes off over the pass to Garnet. The second day you would grind over the pass to Garnet for lunch and then the next hump to Thousand Island, greeting all the JMT hikers coming in the opposite direction. Ideally you would have a layover day to explore around Thousand Island, look at Island pass, climb up towards Banner on the west end, etc. But it is just one long day out on the high trail, which gives big views.
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Re: Agnew Meadow trails

Postby maverick » Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:46 pm

Previously discussed here and in many other threads:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5311&p=33080&hilit=lake+ediza#p33080
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Re: Agnew Meadow trails

Postby kpeter » Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:17 pm

In perusing the other threads it seems like most others do the high trail first and come back down from Shadow--the opposite of my route. It is true that the climb to Shadow can be hot unless you do it by mid morning.
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Re: Agnew Meadow trails

Postby amigo » Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:29 am

Thanks for the helpful comments. How hot does it get in that area in August? Hot days and cool nights?

Sounds like, from all I've been reading, that the Shadow, Ediza, Garnet lakes trail is the one not to miss. Considering we only have 3 days, I think that the JMT may be the better one to do first. On the return, we always have the option of taking either the high trail (as I gather is also quite scenic) or the river trail if we want to get back more quickly or take an easier route back. Even so, I don't think you can go wrong starting one way or the other. Just a matter of trying to decide in order to reserve the permits.
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Re: Agnew Meadow trails

Postby oldranger » Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:21 am

Åmigo

One issue may be picking up your permit if you are driving in at night for an early am start. Coming down from oregon I usually pick up permits at the Mono Lake Visitor Center. Once they left it outside when we arrived after business hours. Don't know if that process is still in effect or if you can do it in Mammoth as well. Something to think about, as well as acclimation issue.

Mike
Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!
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Re: Agnew Meadow trails

Postby AlmostThere » Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:18 am

amigo wrote:Thanks for the helpful comments. How hot does it get in that area in August? Hot days and cool nights?
.


Hot? When we were there it snowed on us. First week of August. I go to high elevation to get out of the heat... we hike from 6,000 - 10,000 feet on a regular basis all summer long, and it's generally in the 70s during the day, 30s - 40s at night. Unless it snows. Don't know what to tell you other than to be prepared for temps ranging 20-80F.
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Re: Agnew Meadow trails

Postby amigo » Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:17 am

Don't know what to tell you other than to be prepared for temps ranging 20-80F.


Now, that's an excellent piece of advice! Now I know I have to upgrade my sleeping bag :)
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Re: Agnew Meadow trails

Postby maverick » Sun Feb 13, 2011 2:20 pm

Hi Amigo

I use a 20 degree Ultralite by Western Mountaineering and it works fine spring
through early fall.
Also make sure you keep a clean camp, bears are a big problem in this area especially
1000 Is Lake.
Also skeetrz will be a problems so come prepared otherwise they will make your trip
miserable.
You will no doubtably have a lot of company in Aug at these lakes so when you stay at
Lake Ediza you can stay below the lake near the creek to get some solitude, and at
1000 Is Lake stay up in between the trees, and not near the shoreline like a lot of
folks do.
The Minarets Range from the High Trail looks like a small kingdom of its own, and is
especially intriguing with Shadow Lake, at the right angle, situated right under them
like the photo in my purchasing gallery titled "Kingdom of the Minarets".
You can also see a few photo's of 1000 Is, and Ediza Lake in there.
Also the High Trail is famous for its beautiful wild flower displays which is worth a trip
on its own.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Agnew Meadow trails

Postby ajiacs » Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:37 am

I am looking to take a similar loop as the original poster and had a question on the route. I am going to start at Agnew Meadows and head to Thousand Island Lake via the High Trail. Is this possible to complete in one day for a novice backpacker (with weekly day hikes of 6-8 miles and a few warmup backpacking trips as preparation)? If not, are there decent places to camp along the High Trail between Agnew Meadows and 1000 Isl Lake? Thanks in advance for any help!
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Re: Agnew Meadow trails

Postby maverick » Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:55 pm

The High Trail is 1500 ft climb in 7.8 miles, but with an early start you should have no
problems making it to 1000 Is Lake even if you take your time and enjoy the great views.
Bagger Lakes is 1.6 from 1000 Is Lake if for some reason you got a late start and you
need a lake to camp at, but the days are long enough with light till 9 pm.
Also there are places along the way on the High Trail that has water, so finding a spot
to sleep is not a big deal.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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