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I did this back in September. Amazing especially when you get up top and see the lakes. Very windy though

From Agnew Meadows we took the River Trail and stopped at the fire pit for the night. The next day we met up where the JMT and PTC connect at the breath taking, picturesque 1000 is. lake. We met a ranger who checked our permits and warned us of a bear in the area. We got there early and spent the day sunning, wading in the chilly water and attempted to catch dinner. We passed 2 hikers from the day before who caught 13. No fish dinner for us. The next morning we finished the trail of prescious gems with garnet, emerald a ruby lake. I would do this hike every summer but there are many...way to many amazing places to see in the Sierras. I did this hike with my friend Curry Aug. 2017
My best hiking photos are from this trip.

Did this tail today and it was gorgeous. Trees to mountains to lakes and a big blue sky that turned into a massive fog cloud on the way back in to the car. Had the trail and all of nature basically to ourselves! Ran into a family of three at Heather Lake fora brief moment and then back to just us and nature. The snow was fresh! I think micro crampons would have been a nice addition to our shoe gear but we managed. So so so lovely!

Amazing hike with great views.

Beautiful Hike! The climb back up from Pika lake is a bit rough on tired legs. Went 11/14 and had a lot of fun playing on the frozen lakes

The trail is gorgeous. We went for 2 nights. First night we slept by the Gem lake. second night by the Thousand Island Lake. All together the trail is a little more than 20 mi. its November, so at night the temperature dropped very low, to around 10F. However, during the day hiking was warm enough. There is no developed campgrounds, so you can camp almost anywhere. there is plenty of water, so there is no need to carry lots of water with you. Waugh lake is not really a lake because of the dam, its dried. Our dog was super happy with the hike, too. We picked up permit, maps and bear canister at Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center.

a cool little hike to a pretty removed little lake. no one is ever there! which makes it all the more peaceful

Beautiful view!

2 months ago

We did this 11-3-18 and although it took about 2.5 hours from Fresno, the weather was gorgeous. The fishing however was horrible with not a single bite. The last mile or so of the trail was tough but still gorgeous. Rock lake looks really close on the map but it ends up being down this huge hill that you eventually have to come back up.....we left too late to do it but hopefully next time. :)

backpacking
2 months ago

Great hike!!! My phone/watch actually tracked this trail closer to 20 miles round trip but it was certainly worth the trek. Camped right next to Thousand Island Lake.

Beautiful hike to one of the most peaceful little lakes in the Sierras. Great view and definitely worth the climb. Plenty of water along the way, great day hike.

Did this May 15th, 2018. Be in shape for this hike because it is all up hill. That said it is very worth the climb because you get to see so much more then you expected. The old tracks they used to haul up equipment are still in use it looks like. Then the two lakes you come across are just beautiful.

hiking
2 months ago

This route is closer to 71km (44.12mi) than the reported 63.9km (39.70mi) (and I didn't visit Chain Lakes!).

Thank you to the originator of the track - the detailed waypoint labels were a huge boon on the walk.

After completing Rae Lakes a couple of months ago, I wanted another challenge and felt this would be roughly equivalent in difficulty. Based on previous pace I'd hoped to complete the loop in 15-16hrs and given available daylight wanted to do the lollipop stick in the dark (about 4h). I set off Saturday 06:05 and the light was hitting towards the first stream crossing.

The loop becomes interesting around Merced Pass where we snatch glimpses towards the Valley. Seeing Half Dome from around here was a pretty cool moment for me and seeing it in the distance but still relatively close (just 21.9mi according to an upcoming sign) made Yosemite feel small in my mind.

The approach to Red Peak Pass is very good - extremely well maintained trails with no routefinding issues whatsoever. Presumably this is because the section is shared with the more popular "Clark Range Loop" which starts and ends at the more accessible Happy Isles. The lakes on the way up offer great views and seeing Merced Peak up close is also extremely impressive. Topping out at Red Peak Pass was absolutely *the* highlight of the loop. The visa here is huge - all of the main peaks such as Dana and Conness are laid out in front of us. I'm not great at names but an app like PeakFinder AR is a great option here. Better still is that as you descend just a few switchbacks you get your first glimpse of the Minarets over to your right.

The descent of Red Peak (and Post Peak and even moreso Fernandez) Pass is quite hard going with scree (talus) under foot. I'd hoped to run down some sections of the descents but didn't want to risk it so far out in the wilderness. In late October there was icy snow on the north side of Red Peak Pass but this was only present for a handful of switchbacks.

Descending through the meadows towards Post Peak Pass was absolutely gorgeous and the only real time on the loop I wanted to stop and spend some time. In particular one "unnamed" lake that was accompanied by a waymarker would be an ideal stop for me. For now I can only imagine how gorgeous this would be in summer with more greenery.

Post Peak Pass was a great ascent - crossing over an alpine meadow (again, summer would be a great time to be there) and then slowly ascending and looking back at the meadow as well as the Clark Range. As crazy as it sounds this is where things start to feel really remote. Obviously people ascend this pass but throughout the hike there were signs listing the distance to Fernandez Pass but very few to Post Peak Pass. Amazing views walking along the ridge into Ansel Adams Wilderness. This is where I drew in my last views of the Minarets before starting the descent to the next ascent of Fernandez Pass.

At this time things went downhill for me. I'd already noticed that my pace was slow (I hoped for 14:00/km but instead finished with 15:14/km) but was now beginning to notice just how much of a sandbag the trail was. Due to the low resolution of the track a lot of distance in switchbacks, etc. were cut and as a result my walk was extended by around 7km or close to two hours. I had anticipated on being close to the top of the lollipop stick around the time it got dark and then finish with a two hour descent to the trailhead. In the end I reached Fernandez Creek Trail Junction after dark and walked the next four hours by headtorch. I have no idea what the views from Fernandez Pass are like or any other section on. I expect they were great and regret not having had a chance to see them myself. Perhaps in future I will walk up to Fernandez Pass out and back from the trailhead with an easier approach.

My gripes/thoughts:

The lollipop stick 10km walk is really not fun. Nor is the narrow windy singletrack down from Fernandez Pass. This route can never be 5/5 with those two sections. To add insult to injury you do the 10km lollipop stick twice - that's four hours of pretty grim walking and a significant chunk of this walk.

I debated with giving this a 3 but I think rushing to do it in a short space of time, not seeing Fernandez Pass, etc. I erred on the side of caution.

Finally - this trail is HARD. I thought it would compare favourably to Rae Lakes but that's a doddle by comparison. Your feet, legs, back, everything will take a beating. Three passes (even if neither is as high as Glen Pass) is brutal and mentally challenging. I enjoyed almost every minute of Rae Lakes but would not personally recommend this be done as a day loop - in summer with more daylight it will be too hot and in winter you miss too much.

After reading about this hike, we were excited to visit this lake. The trail going up has a good view of Silver Lake, however, it also has a view of the road and cars on the way up. The trail itself has a lot of rocks, and a lot of scrub brush. There are very few trees therefore very little shade. Once we got to the lake, we were suprised to see a concrete dam and a power station. Not exactly the serene alpine views we were looking forward to. The lake was not pretty and the trees on one side were cut down for some reason. All in all, a pretty disappointing hike. With so many hikes in the Mammoth area, I can't recommend this hike at all.

hiking
3 months ago

Finding the trailhead was a little difficult. Drive past Vermillion Valley Resort and then signs will pop up for the trailhead. Well marked trail with a beautiful end point. In mid October it was really windy and cold on a sunny day with a predicted temp of 60 degrees. I would say it was closer to 40-50 with the wind chill so we weren't able to swim. It took us about 3.5 hours up and 2.5 hours down. About 3 miles into the hike, there is flatter ground to the right of the trail where there is a beautiful view of Edison and the surrounding mountains and valley. The view was just as beautiful if not more beautiful than the Devils Bathtub.

Worth the private lake views! Long moderate incline. Trail is marked fairly well, just pay attention for signs. Getting to the trailhead from Shaver lake takes about 45 minutes.

backpacking
3 months ago

Love this hike, it never gets old! We’ve hiked it a total of four times for a day hike, camping and on our way to thousand island. The trail is pretty steep up until you get to Agnew lake, but after that it’s not bad at all. My youngest son had just turned 5 the first time he went and didn’t complain once! Views are amazing. I suggest starting out early in the morning since there is not very much shade. There’s a nice cold stream as you make your way around Gem lake which is perfect to fill up your water bottle with if you’re camping there or if you just need it for the hike back down.

backpacking
3 months ago

Beautiful lake. Did an overnight trip with my daughter. Temperature at the lake felt about 10 degrees cooler than on the trail. Probably due to the wind gusts. Ended up camping about a 1/2 mile from the lake. Fishing was great as well.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike, serious vertical up and out of the loop. One hour or more on the way up. Lake surrounded by granite walls.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike, serious vertical up and out of the loop. One hour or more on the way up. Lake surrounded by granite walls.

Great trail

Challenging but worth it, went further up to Mirror Lake though

beautiful day hike

Pretty sure it was more than 9 miles round trip. I also definitely recommend going to Dorothy if you’re up there anyways!!

hiking
3 months ago

We hiked it in the beginning of Oct. - it was cold - so you may want to dress properly around that season.
It was challenging a bit but definitely worth it!!! a beautiful little lake, great view on the way down - highly recommended!

Love this hike, make sure you do your homework and are prepared for staying overnight if worst comes to worst with weather moving in too quick.

Gorgeous

hiking
3 months ago

Amazing hike. The start of the trail at the campground is not well marked. Walk towards the fence line and there is a sign. Once past the campground you get great views of Silver Lake and as you climb you see the falls and the cable car tracks straight up. Agnew Lake is small. Gem Lake is beautiful and worth the extra distance. While eating lunch an afternoon storm moved in and the temperature dropped dramatically in a matter of minutes. We watched it snow at the far side of the lake as we put on our jackets and rain gear before heading back down the trail. We got to the car just as the rain started pouring down. Great fall colors in the Aspen trees.

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