Agnew Meadows to Thousand Island Lake Backpacking

Mammoth Lakes, California 93546

Agnew Meadows to Thousand Island Lake Backpacking

Agnew Meadows to Thousand Island Lake (Backpacking) Professional Review and Guide

"Your destination, Thousand Island Lake, is one of the Sierra’s great beauty spots, a huge—by Sierra standards—sheet of sky-blue water dotted picturesquely with granite islands and situated at the foot of the wild, jagged Ritter Range. The area around Thousand Island Lake is chock-full of more lakes and ponds than you can count, including Thousand Island’s big neighbor, Garnet Lake. There’s spectacular dayhiking, especially for those willing to tackle some easy cross-country travel. Finally, there are three major trail routes you can take to Thousand Island Lake, all of them marvelously scenic, so that getting to and from the lake are joys in themselves. I combine two of the routes into a loop trip here and mention the third under Variations. I describe a favorite dayhike, looping through Thousand Island and Garnet lakes via the saddle between their southwest ends and the John Muir Trail, in the Take this trip! section of trip 46, “Tuolumne Meadow to Agnew Meadows.” Another I highly recommend is ascending to 10,203-foot Island Pass, a little to the north on the John Muir Trail, and enjoying a cross-country ramble around the many little ridges, meadows, and ponds on the interesting plateau east of the pass."

More Agnew Meadows to Thousand Island Lake (Backpacking) Professional Reviews and Guides

"Set in the geologically outstanding Ansel Adams Wilderness, this popular trail offers day hikers and backpackers traveling on the Pacific Crest Trail the opportunity to enjoy sweeping vistas, excellent swimming at Thousand Island Lake, and a number of alpine-lake side trips along the way."

Agnew Meadows to Thousand Island Lake (Backpacking) Reviews

4
4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
icon6 Total
3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars
9/3/2010
A gorgeous, forest shaded nine mile hike which takes you through a beautiful river valley. Mostly moderate altitude gain until the last few miles. All of a sudden the pass opens up to the spectacular Thousand Island Lake and Banner Peak. Walk an extra mile to the head of the lake where there are fewer people and waterfalls.
0
Comments
4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
7/4/2008
Great views, but tons of bugs, especially at pretty much every water source. I'd do this again, but wait until later in the year when the mosquitoes subside.
0
Comments
4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
8/12/2007
A very enjoyable moderate loop hike. The hike up to Thousand Island Lake was pleasant and not too strenuous (as long as your pack isn't too heavy!) But plan on an extra 1/2 mile to 1 mile of hiking once you reach the lake to find a decent camp site. the further you go to the head of the lake the better the sites and less crowded. We swam in the lake which was very refreshing and not too cold. The hike out I thought was exceptional. The views during the hike out are terrific. Wear sun protection because you're exposed much of the time. I brought my 19 year old nephew along on his first backpacking trip. it was a bit tough for him. overall it's a long hike going in and coming out. so while it may be listed as moderate (which i agree with) it can kick your butt given the elevation, the distance, elevation change and weight of the pack; but worth it.
0
Comments
3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars
7/21/2005
The trail starts off going by Agnew Meadows then drops into San Joaquin River and runs along the river. It is relatively level and easy to hike. The trail then climbs sharpy up Shadow Creek to Shadow Lake with tremendous views at higher elevations. Shadow Lake is beautiful, however their is no camping around the lake. The trail continues past Shadow Lake following Shadow Creek. This time od year with all the snow it still had a tremendous flow to it with many falls. Ediza Lake is small and beautiful. With the wet year the ground was still wet with melted snow and a lot of snow packs still around. We backtracked to an area and camped on Shadow Creek. It took about 4 hours to pack in. With the wet winter there were a lot of mosquitoes. We got as far as Garnett Lake the next day and did not make it to Thousand Island Lake. The return hikre only took 2 hours. I would recommend this hike for anyone looking for a 2 or 3 day outing. The scenery is tremendous. I look forward to hiking in this area again.
0
Comments
3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars
6/6/2004
OVERREGULATED! After numerous phone calls to reserve our overnight trip (20 min. on hold with forrest svc.) and another phone call to figure out the "shuttle" system, we arrived to the Inyo ranger station the morning before our trip to find out that not only was the shuttle not in operation (as we were told on the phone) but that the road was CLOSED and we would need to hike 3 miles on pavement to get to the trailhead at Agnew Meadows. There was certainly plenty of solitude (we saw 3 people total) on the river trail even on a weekend. I agree with last reviewer, a bit of elevation gain towards the lake and we too couldn't find the trail to Garnet lake at all.
0
Comments
4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
6/22/2003
Entered through River Trail. Easy Hiked to Shadow Lake with moderate elev. gain. First time hikers/or if you want an easy day, camp there; otherwise, you might feel the next elev. gain on John Muir Trail up to Garnet Lake (above 10,000 feet) I spent time catching my breath rather than enjoying the scenery. Above 10,000 feet, trails are still covered wih snow until mid July. Some parts are extremely dangerousm, cold, and wet from snow melting. The trail from Garnet Lake back to River Trail was not marked and are covered with snow. At River trail, i decide to hike back to Agnew Meadows instead of returning on High Trail (PCT). In other words, if you don't have the right gears and equipments for snow...wait to mid-late July to on this trail above 10000 feet. Overall, this is an awesome trail ....light traffic on weekdays; quota system is in place, but i think it doesn't stop the heavy traffic on weekend. I definately go back to complete my hike before summer ends.
0
Comments

Agnew Meadows to Thousand Island Lake (Backpacking) Photos

Trail Information

Mammoth Lakes
Nearby City
17.6
Distance
1,707 feet
Elevation Gain
Loop/Lollipop
Trail Type
Moderate
Skill Level
3 days
Duration
Best late summer through early fall
Season
Inyo National Forest - permit required
Local Contacts
USGS 7.5-min Mammoth Mtn., Mt. Ritter
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018