Silver Lake to Thousand Island Lake Loop [CLOSED]

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Ansel Adams Wilderness

Silver Lake to Thousand Island Lake Loop [CLOSED] is a 17.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near June Lake, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length17.1 miElevation gain4,140 ftRoute typeLoop
BackpackingCampingHikingNature tripsBird watchingDog friendlyForestLakeViewsWaterfallWildflowersWildlifeRockyClosed
Description
Waypoints (0)

FIRE CLOSURE: As of February 2021 there are closures in this park or area due to wildfire. For more information, please visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/inyo/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD839166

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (18)
Photos (828)
Activities (15)
Completed (72)
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Lisa Ladehoff
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Backpacking

Did this loop for a 3 day/2 night backpacking trip. Insanely gorgeous—especially Thousand Island Lake, which is absolutely breathtaking and well worth the effort. Stayed at the southern tip of Gem Lake on night one, and it was a relatively easy trek from there to TIL. Be prepared for a couple river crossings of varying intensity, and bring bug spray! Mosquitoes got very bad at dusk near both lakes. Only giving this route 4 stars for one reason: the way back. After splitting off the PCT down toward Agnew, be prepared for switchbacks through some steep, rocky gullies, and about a mile of scree fields along the western face of Carson Peak. Not for the faint of heart, knee, or ankle. If you have the time and energy, go back around Gem Lake, which is a relatively tame (and relatively shaded) route. As others have noted, the first (and last) ~2 miles of this trail are almost totally exposed, and quite challenging. Leave early, get liberal with the SPF, and bring plenty of water. Also worth noting that this loop seems to be longer than the AllTrails length; my GPS recorded the route at ~19 miles.

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Joy Huang
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Backpacking

A beautiful loop, we completed it on 6/7/2020. We took a 3 day 2 night backpack trip for this route, start from silver lake TH in the early afternoon, around 1.30is. The first 3 miles is very exposed, fortunately, it was a cooler day. There are many mule dumps along the way, smell pretty bad. Also some big flies, better apply bug repellent. We camped first night by Gem lake, it was very windy. Sunset was amazing by the lake. From Gem lake to Clark lake, there are few snow patches, but nothing really big or deep, mostly we can just walk around it. We camped 2nd night by Clark lake. After settle down our camp, we took a day trip from Clark lake to thousand island lake. There are more snow patches from Clark to thousand island lake, some were big loose snow field. Thousand island lake is amazing, half of the lake still frozen, just a winter wonderland. Wind was supper strong around thousand island lake, only 1 or 2 brave heart set up their tents near the lake. We took Agnew pass back to our Clark lake camp site from thousand island lake, there were no snow on this route. 3rd day, from Clark lake through Agnew lake back to TH. Early in the morning, most of the trails are covered with thick layer of ice. There are few water crossing, where water level is already high in the morning. I could imaging water crossing become an issue later of the day, when more snow are melting. The trail going toward Agnew lake is steep, rocky and slippery, before reach back to the Rush Creek trail after Agnew lake. We did not need snow shoe or crampon for this trip. A good pair of water proof boot was enough for us.

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Geoffrey Cheung
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HikingIcyScrambleSnow

Completed June 1, 2020 - significant amount of deep snow, difficult to find trail so GPS is a must. Thousand Island Lake still frozen, but an absolute sight to behold. Recommend going counter clockwise

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Loran Peterman
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Backpacking

Well marked trail. Constant uphill grade. Very hot and exposed. This one was rough. I needed at least 3 liters of water, food and electrolytes. Only carried 2 liters. .

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Stacie Marshall
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Backpacking

We did this as a backpacking trip on July 7, 2017 as a three day hike. We picked up permits at the USFS Mt Whitney ranger station - they have walk in permits reserved starting at 11am. The permit is for Rush Creek trail at Agnew lake specifically. Parked at the rush creek trail head at Silver Lake on the June Lake Loop. The first few miles are the most climbing of the trip if you go counter clockwise. We spent the night at Gem lake and took a nice dip in the water and spotted a bald eagle fishing right in front of us. It was great to be able to bring the dog. Bear canister required. (Or may counterbalance). Second day went around Gem lake, we actually turned up to Waugh lake which adds more mileage and climbing but we loved the view. Mosquitos and flies were CRAZY. Almost unbearable when walking by water- which you do a lot. Would recommend 100% deet and mosquito netting and sleeves. Full coverage. Spent night #2 at Thousand island lake and swam in the water. Last day went back PCT up to Clark lakes and swam there and refilled water. A little bit of a climb but great views. The way down rush creek trail towards Agnew was steep and rocky - difficult for the dogs pads. Stopped at the dam for refueling and finished the hike down with a stop in Silver lake to swim! A GREAT three day hike. Be prepared for bugs. Pack everything out :)

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Katy Storm
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Hiking
First to Review

The climb was relentless but the views and scenery are worth it! Start early because you don’t want to be climbing up the first 2000’ in the hot sun with little shade. The mosquitoes were really bad this time of year, especially at Clark Lake! Really glad we did the loop instead of out and back. We took lots of breaks, took a dip in the cold water below Thousand Island Lake, and stopped to talk to lots of thru-hikers, so it took us 11 hours.

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Blane Miles
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Hiking
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Blane Miles
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Hiking
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Josh Dunham
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Hiking
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Luis Sanchez
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Hiking
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Jeff Blais
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Backpacking
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olivier Cornet
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Hiking
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Roxy Vogel
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Hiking
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Cristy Clarke
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Backpacking
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Kelly Li
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Backpacking
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Loran Peterman
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Hiking
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Michael Shanklin
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Hiking
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William Stevens
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