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TR Day Hike up Rush Creek Trail to Gem Lake 5/12/12

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TR Day Hike up Rush Creek Trail to Gem Lake 5/12/12

Postby norak » Thu May 17, 2012 10:38 pm

My husband and 17 year old daughter and I hiked to Gem Lake from Silver Lake last Saturday - our first time on this trail. It was a glorious day, in the low 70's I think, and a pleasant breeze. The trail up to and around Gem Lake was completely clear, bone dry and dusty except for a couple of little muddy spots. Rush Creek was roaring impressively and creating rainbows. It was tempting to walk up the old rail tracks that go up in a straight line (what were they for, does anyone know?) but we stuck to the trail. At Agnew Lake we could see the steep trail going up to the Clark Lakes - some of the upper switchbacks were still under quite a bit of snow. We met some backpackers coming down from the Clark Lakes via Waugh Lake - they said there was still a lot of snow on the ground up there. Agnew Lake was not the prettiest lake, especially as none of the aspens and shrubs had leafed out yet. When we came over the rise to Gem Lake the view improved markedly - there was still a bit of ice on the lake, and in the background the snowy peaks of the Ritter Range (I believe?). We walked around the lake to the trail junction, had lunch and a short nap on the pebbles by the creek outlet and hiked back. Water in Gem Lake was low - I wonder do they drain it in the winter and it's now filling up?

We usually don't get up to the mountains until July or August so this was a treat - it makes the whole season feel much longer :) .

Some photos:
Attachments
IMG_3708.jpg
Rush Creek
IMG_3690.jpg
Gem Lake
IMG_3700.jpg
Banner Peak peeking over the ridge
IMG_3703.jpg
Mt. Davis (I think)



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Re: TR Day Hike up Rush Creek Trail to Gem Lake 5/12/12

Postby Hobbes » Fri May 18, 2012 7:13 am

Image

I came down the Spooky Mdw trail from Summit lake last August. This is the view from Gem @ the beginning of the loop. I don't think I'd want to hit this trail if it was (partially) covered with snow/ice - even with proper equipment.

The allure is that it's the shortest direction to TI/Garnet - even a little closer than the Agnew Mdw TH. What with the tree blow down, this provides a good alternate way to get to the Ritters.

We're going to be car camping up @ June during the 4th of July. The trail should probably be clear, so I might try a 1 day fastpack/jog there & back.
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Re: TR Day Hike up Rush Creek Trail to Gem Lake 5/12/12

Postby scrapbooker » Fri May 18, 2012 2:16 pm

I've heard the tracks going up Rush Creek are for Southern California Edison, maybe for work on the dams?
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Re: TR Day Hike up Rush Creek Trail to Gem Lake 5/12/12

Postby hwy395lvrz » Fri May 18, 2012 4:27 pm

Water level in Gem is still low due to draining a couple of years ago for retrofitting work on the dam.I found it almost dry in August that year when we hiked in from 1000 Island lake.Sounds like it is still recovering,
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Re: TR Day Hike up Rush Creek Trail to Gem Lake 5/12/12

Postby bdandy » Wed May 30, 2012 9:51 pm

great report! how is the hike from silver lake? how long did it take you guys and how many hours?
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Re: TR Day Hike up Rush Creek Trail to Gem Lake 5/12/12

Postby norak » Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:07 pm

The hike from Silver Lake to the junction with the trail to the Alger Lakes and back took about 5 hours I think. Our pace was fairly leisurely with lots of stops to take photos.
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