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backpacking
4 days ago

I backpacked through this trail a few years back before it was on alltrails. I was hoping to keep traffic down on it, so I never added it. Now that it IS on alltrails I guess Ill give my opinion. This is my all time favorite trail for a weekend trip! its a pretty good climb up to Lower Sardine lake, but well worth it. There are some beautiful water falls on the way up and the fishing at lower sardine was awesome. We caught 4 fish (brookies)in a matter of 15 mins. We camped at Lower Sardine the first night, there is a good spot at the North end of,the lake. I recommend climbing up to Upper Sardine and checking out the view from up there. We were getting picked up in Yosemite, so we continued over to Parker Pass and camped a second night over there. The light blue waters in the surrounding ponds were really cool.

Snow the day before made for an beautiful mid-October day hike, @ 19 miles via River Trail.

I want to spread my ashes here. That's how beautiful it is.

Enjoyed every step of this hike yesterday! We were not in great shape, and we took our time. We stopped often for breaks and picture ops. We took the High Trail in to 1000 Island Lake, which was approx 9 miles to the lake. Then we returned on the River Trail which was a mile shorter. Very happy we chose this route. Going in on the High Trail gave us plenty of beautiful scenery. Coming out on the River Trail was mostly easy descending with beautiful Fall colors and views of the River flowing over the rocks. It was a total of 17.5 miles for us. We were tired, so we didn't venture around the lake too much. We got an early 7 am start and returned to our vehicle at 5 pm. We are sore the next day, it was long hike. But I would say it's worth It! I would absolutely recommend this hike. And I would recommend doing the directional loop as we did. Happy Hiking!

backpacking
4 months ago

Completely breathtaking. Start at Agnew Meadows, snack at Shadow Lake, and have lunch at Ediza. Trail was easy to follow with good signage. Took about 9 hours round trip with many stops for photos, snacks, and a long lunch. My dog absolutely loved it as well. Stream crossing to get to Ediza Lake is difficult to find. There is a log crossing before the trail crossing. I crossed with the pup across some rocks a little before the trail crossing. You can continue along a bit of a bolder scramble (there is somewhat of a trail) and take some rocks across at the lake. Worth an overnight trip which I plan to do next time.

I'd give it 6 stars if I could. This is the kind of hike where you stop every 20 steps to take a photo. It's not difficult because the trail is pretty flat. We walked clockwise because I wanted to photograph North Peak and Mt. Conness in morning light and the best views of them are on the west half of the loop. The east side of Saddlebag Lake is much less rocky though and much easier to walk on for our pup. All in all, one of my favorite trails ever.

Beautiful! Gorgeous! Amazing! I could go on, but words don't describe how picturesque this hike was. The views at the top are breathtaking. Would highly recommend this trail to everyone.

Solo hike from Agnew Meadow to Shadow Lake and then along the Shadow Creek Trail to just below Lake Ediza. The bridge to cross the creek below Ediza was non-existent. I kept going along a secondary trail but I couldn't find a place that I felt comfortable crossing the creek. It was getting late in the afternoon so I turned back. I did talk to folks who found a place to cross. The trail above Shadow Lake is absolutely beautiful and was a great place for lunch and wading in the creek.

Overall one of the best hikes we've ever done. Something new to see with every turn. Great views of Mount Conness, beautiful lakes, and snow-covered mountains. A few snow and river crossings in early September 2017. Minimal effort for maximum reward.

This hike rivals those in Yosemite. Took us about 7 hours all said and done with a stop at Shadow for lunch and a stop at Ediza to take a dip in the lake (incredibly cold but so nice). Highly recommend. Hike isn't too difficult. The elevation gets you more than anything. Bring some mosquito repellent...i got chewed up...

Wonderful hike on a great trail with mountain and lake views. Dog friendly. Surprising did not see many other hikers in August.

Tiny wieners everywhere.

I hiked this trail in August of 2016. Definitely one of my favorite hikes! Beautiful views the whole way. I started around 6am and finished at 3. After hiking to Ediza, I trekked on to Iceberg Lake and then tried to make Cecil lake, but the trail past Iceberg became much more difficult and I was uncomfortable proceeding alone. Absolutely beautiful, and I highly recommend going on to Iceberg as I liked that one more than Ediza.

I did this hike aug 6 2017. It's a beautiful hike and the weather was great. Be prepared to get wet crossing some of the streams. There isn't a ferry by Saddlebag lake. This app was a big help with finding the trail.

hiking
6 months ago

The Trailhead is from Walker Lake, you need to drive to the Walker Lake campground along Forrest Road 1S23. This road is a dirt road in reasonable condition, although when we went there was some residual storm damage from the winter, but our Toyota mini-van did manage the drive and by the time we left they had filled in the worst divets.

There is a nice campground at the end of the road, it will be obvious when you get there. A pit toilet is there and nice small campground if you want to spend the night before you set off. You start walking through the campground and within 50 feet on your right the trailhead takes you up immediately a small hill from which you can look down to Walker lake. You immediately start down a steep incline until you reach the bottom along the shore of Walker Lake. The trail is well marked and easy to follow.

The hike up to Lower Sardine Lake takes you every upwards with nice switchbacks, but this trail is not heavily used and parts are not well maintained. Small areas are washed out, fallen trees along trail and areas of significant overgrowth of brush. You will have 4 stream crossings and this year with the historical rains a few will challenge your balance with a heavy pack. Lots of wild flowers along the trail and the pleasant scents of wild oregano liven the senses. We did not scout any significant campsites at lower Sardine lake and went on to Upper Sardine. This is the most difficult part of the trail. Ice and Snow cover some of the most steep sections of trail and there is lots of scree and loose rocks to navigate to get up to Upper Sardine lake. This small section after already going up 2000 feet taxed us greatly.
At Upper Sardine Lake there are actually two lakes, plenty of quality campsites can be found, but the best are at the second of the two lakes which is actually Upper Sardine Lake. Great views of Mono Lake are a treat from the ridges on the east side of Upper Sardine lake (which is where the good campsites are). Upper Sardine has great quality fresh water that is constantly being fed from streams above.

We dropped our packs on day two and made the easy hike to Mono Pass and into Yosemite. This part of the trail is easy and beautiful. We then hiked to Parker Pass at 11,000 feet.

The hike out of Bloody Canyon was a real grind due to the areas of iced trail and attempting to find safe routes down the steepest, rockiest parts of the trail. As others have indicated the hike back up to the Walker Lake Campground from Walker Lake is a real work-out. It is a nice trail, but very few switchbacks and just straight back up to the campsite, it is a great cardiac stress test with a full pack.
Enjoy

Love this trail and would like to make this an annual summer trip. As of 7/22/17 the high bridge is washed out. This weekend most hikers have traveled up the right side of the creek, scrambling on hands and feet near the creek for that last .9 to the lake. Lots of snow this weekend so travel is slow. Take the bolder rout to the right when you reach the lake. Your favorite camp sites are available and snow free. Take extra deet! Enjoy.

We hiked the Twenty Lakes Basin Loop two days ago. We appeared to be the first people to attempt this hike this year, because 75% of the trail is still covered in snow and there were no other tracks. The hike was incredibly beautiful, but you absolutely need GPS and a trail map because so much of the trail is buried. We used the AllTrails app to keep ourselves near the trail when it was covered. We brought snowshoes, but we did not need them. Bring plenty of water and sunscreen, because this hike is long and there is no shade. The boat is not running because Saddlebag Lake is still covered in ice, so plan on hiking from the parking lot. The first part of the hike (along Saddlebag Lake) is the toughest, because it is all loose shale or snow on a 30 degree slope. Once you get to the other side of Saddlebag Lake, the hike gets easier. We hiked back on the west side of Saddlebag Lake, which is much easier (and very different if you prefer loops to out and back trails), but also much longer. This hike was a challenge because of all of the snow, but it was amazing nonetheless.

Completed 2015. A great intro for me to solo backpacking!

I am a pretty avid hiker and surprisingly found this hike to be pretty tough. I had intended to start at 7am so I could drive in, but I got up late and ended up starting at noon. This meant I had to cut my hike short. I wanted to get to Iceberg Lake but had to stop at Ediza. I ended up returning around 7:45pm and just barely made the last shuttle out of the valley, otherwise I would have to hike another seven miles up to the resort, and then down the road into town.

The hike is truly beautiful the entire way. It starts off quite easy at Agnew Meadows, and then you're hiking downhill on the ledge of a volcanic ridge which was really cool. Then through some "kissing canopies" of trees past Olaine Lake and the base of the climb to Shadow Lake. The climb to Shadow Lake is... wow. It's entirely on rock and exposed to the sun... not incredibly fun. Once you get to the top, you're at beautiful Shadow Lake. If you know what's good for you, stop here for a while to relax. It doesn't get any easier. From here, you can continue south on JMT to Rosalie Lake after climbing a series of switchbacks, or north to Ediza Lake.

The climb from Shadow Lake was intense and quite a workout, and a little less gradual than I anticipated, but by now you're in the thick of the forest and following beautiful Shadow Creek the entire way. There are wildflowers and tons of random waterfalls throughout. Ediza Lake is breathtaking and peaceful. Again, stop here and rest. At the southern end of the lake, you can see the trail to Iceberg Lake. It goes through a meadow and looks like it leads nowhere.

On the way back I started to panic a bit because I was running out of time. I hightailed the entire way which really took a toll on my body. I was no longer seeing any hikers on the trail except for a group of Cub Scouts. I did see some backpackers setting up tents. Probably the most grueling part of the hike was the end, from the bottom of the Shadow Lake climb back to Agnew Meadows as it was entirely uphill and I was exhausted. My repellant had worn off and I didn't apply more as my goal was to get back before I missed the last shuttle. I was eaten alive at Olaine Lake by swarms of mosquitoes.

I'd like to try to get an earlier start (7am) and do the full loop from Agnew Meadows to Devils Postpile via Shadow-Ediza-Iceberg-Cecile-Minaret. I would need to take more breaks and probably start with a decent breakfast. I tend not to eat before I hike (which goes against all wisdom) because all of the activity can made me sick.

Nice boat ride/taxi across the lake.
Dog friendly.
Spring flowers in late Summer.
We are planning a return trip in 2017. Photos from 2009:
https://flickr.com/photos/29498007@N05/sets/72157622467067148

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