Explore the most popular camping trails near June Lake with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

16 days ago

Pretty hike, several switchbacks along the face. The hike is prettier than the destination of Lake Agnew though. Recommend going in morning if hot weather as the rocks can get pretty warm

The initial climb overlooking Silver Lake to your left was very beautiful and rewarding. After some switchback, you'll get to Agnew Lake (2 mile), keep going another 0.9 mile and you'll reach Gem Lake (2.9 mile). Gem Lake was definitely more impressive than Agnew Lake, but I would suggest further continue to the west end of Gem Lake, which is even more picturesque and has an access to the serene beach (4.4 mile). It was a perfect lunch spot for us, and my husband enjoyed a dip and swim in this beautiful cold water before lunch. No single soul around us. Great thing is that from this corner of the lake, the man-made structure was out of site (both Agnew Lake and Gem Lake are reservoirs supplying water to LA).
We started the trail head at 10:30, reached Gem Lake at 12:30, then the western end at 1:00, ate lunch and relaxed for an hour at the lake and headed back down at 2:00 pm, returned to the trail head at a little after 4 pm. A beautiful rewarding day hike. Highly recommend.

It was definitely a good work out. There were some nice scenery but nothing that I felt captured by.

Getting to the lake seemed less intuitive towards the end (after the “lake Agnew access” sign), but keep going and there’s a bridge on the left.

Awsome views went to thousand island lake August 21st thru 24th off duty rangers asked us to move 40 feet from our original site so be careful when camping at thousand Island
Fishing was decent on one day off the next but overall great

This is one of the coolest trails. It has so much to it. Besides the amazing views. We passed several waterfalls. Went through Rock formations. Crossed over cable car Xing three times. Saw two dams. One for Agnew lake and the above dam for Gem lake. Once you get to Agnew lake crossing you can keep going straight to Gem lake or the PCT trail. Ruch Creek trail has its own parking lot. We had no problem finding a spot for our 31 foot RV.

nice

Steep climb up to Agnew Lake but great views of Silver Lake and the valley on the way up. FYI it's just under 1.5hrs up to Agnew with a few photo breaks

Great hike with incredible views the whole time. Jumped into the lake mid July and it was very refreshing! Decent incline for the whole way up

Get your permit for the trailhead and at the ranger office per wilderness area They do want to know your loosely projected itinerary, but you're not held to it. If you are starting on the east side, get one from an Inyo ranger station, even if you plan to cross into Yosemite. If starting in Tuolumne, get a Yosemite permit, etc. I did the Minaret Creek, Ediza, Garnet, Thousand Island loop from Silver Lake with side trips to Davis Lakes, Alger Lakes, Koip Peak, Lake Catherine, Nydiver. Phenomenal.

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 :)

backpacking
2 months ago

This was an amazing trail, but a difficult one. Hubby and I were bringing in packs for an overnight stay, but even with day packs it would have been difficult. The first mile or so is straight uphill, with loose rock and a steep, steep incline. In the heat, I had a lot of difficulty getting up the trail.

That said, the payoff at the end is spectacular. It's worth spending the night (be prepared for the overnight chill!) if you can't leave early in the morning, or even just to spend the night. The lakeside camp area was closed when we arrived, so we set up camp down the trail a little way.

The lake is gorgeous, but mosquitoes clearly think so too, and they are abundant there, so be sure to bring bug spray for you and your pets (we were packing in with 5 dogs, and bug-sprayed the heck out of them). If you're planning on spending the night, be sure to stop at a ranger station and get a wilderness and fire permit. Camping without one in the national forest is not allowed.

A word of caution to the driver of whatever vehicle takes you to the trailhead - it's a rough road. If you can, take a car with decent ground clearance. If you can't, know that my little Hyundai Accent made it up, but we had to drive about 5 mph when the paving on the road vanished. Some of the washouts are pretty bad.

Parking at the trailhead is limited, but we were able to find a spot on a Sunday afternoon.

Overall this made for a great hike, and I highly recommend it :)

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.

Started late morning and definitely felt the lack of shade while hiking the uphill switchbacks. Didn’t climb up the tram/cable car tracks - looked a little sketchy. Lake at the top isn’t the most beautiful alpine lake I’ve ever seen, but we saw lots of wildflowers and a few small waterfalls on the way up that made it worth it.

Solid hike with plenty going on around you. Had an afternoon to fill in (late June). Left from the start of trail behind RV park at 4pm which turned out to be great timing as the shadow of the mountain was starting to cover the track (30 degrees celsius.) Not much tree shade so take sun protection if you are doing this of a hot day.
2 waterfalls seen. Also family of deer closer to RV park!
Although tempting to ignore signs and walk up tracks for power station trolley I would advise against as some of the tracks pass on very narrow passes and I also noticed some squashed grass on tracks that looked way too consistent to be from peoples feet so I think that the trolley is still active. I have seen some people complain of the power station at the outlet of Agnew lake but I loved this section!
Continued until I could see the dam wall of Gem Lake then turned back at 5.45pm, I was only carrying a light pack. Allow more time if carrying camping gear.
Next time I would continue up to Gem lake and beyond if time allowed it.

backpacking
3 months ago

Gorgeous views and relentless climbing to reach the high Sierra backcountry, but absolutely worth the work. Parking is safe at the Rush Creek Trailhead near Silver Lake. Did this as a four day thru-hike to Tuolumne Meadows in June 2018, using the JMT/PCT over Donohue Pass. This was the most beautiful and committing backpack trip I've done, and is a must-do. Arrange for a ride back from T Meadows via YART, a private shuttle service or hitch a ride. This is a friendly area of California.

nature trips
3 months ago

Great hike. Not too hard for my 2 - 12 year old companions. Most of the trail was slag. The views around every corner was great. You pass a very ugly Agnew Lake. Keep going all the way to Gem Lake. It is worth the extra hiking

Great weekend trip to Yosemite Wilderness without the crowds.

Beautiful views. Loved it.

Pat Ribotto - I'm a little confused on the ANYO Permit request for overnighting on the Loop. Did you get permits for all the areas your traveled on this Loop or was just one needed that included all areas on the loop.

backpacking
3 months ago

I proposed to have this trail added to AllTrails because it's a great alternative to the Norris trailhead in the early season that still ends at the Jackass Lakes. Not having done Norris, I can't compare the difficulty. Early season meant a little snow on the ground, but only in the shady areas. Not on the trail.
Getting there - it takes about an hour and a half to drive back Beasore Road after you turn off from Bass Lake. The road is unpaved at times, but I don't have 4WD and it was not an issue. But if rain is in your forecast, call the ranger for a road report. Make sure you either load the route into your Google Maps app before you lose service, or keep an eye on mileage so you know when to expect the parking lot. There is a large trail head sign for Jackass Trail head - you just start guessing the meaning of life that far back a dirt road and if you missed it some how.
The trail - the elevation climb is no joke. We did it in 2 hours with our packs on which sounds like cake to the experienced. When you start out, you're pretty pumped to be heading out, so you tend to not let it phase you. Just keep a trekking pole handy. We met a dad and daughter at the lakes, she was 10 and it was her first over nighter. So take that for what it's worth. Trail has a lot of shade, but some open hot spots as well if the sun is out. Since we went up so early in the season, some of the trail was hard to follow - look for stacked rocks to keep you on track. You shouldn't have much of an issue. Props to the USFS for going out there and clearing the trail - lots of fallen trees over the winter.
The lakes - lower Jackass Lake is great. I won't even try to explain the views, too incredible for words. There were 2 other campers up there, so 3 total sites set up along the lake and that was a good capacity. There is an upper Jackass Lake, we hiked to it the next day. You can see it on the map here. It was still frozen over but totally stunning. Again - views on views. Hike will make your glutes talk.

backpacking
4 months ago

We stayed the night at Garnet lake VIA the JMT back in 2017. when we came up on Thousand Island and we knew we had to come back someday. We will be hiking back up from Silver lake this July. Can anyone tell us where is a good safe place to park for the trip? Thanks.

All I can say is wow! This Trail starts off at a nice gentle slope for about 1 mile, after that be prepared for some serious altitude gain. I did this hike in May 2018 and the mountains surrounding the trail were still covered in snow. there was a small river running across the trail which require waterproof boots and some careful footing. If you're looking for a real leg workout about halfway up you will come across a set of railroad tracks that were used for a pulley car to haul supplies up to the dam. You can take this track up to the dam but your legs better be in excellent shape. I measured a 37 degree incline.
I continued on to Gem Lake and it was worth the extra time and effort.

This trail leads up by Horsetail Falls which was an awesome sight to see! It crosses a smaller waterfall/stream so waterproof shoes would come in handy. The last ascent to Gem Lake is very steep with lots of loose rocks. It's kind of a gnarly hike to be rated moderate but I loved it! The views are amazing! Also, bring a hat as there is no shade!

backpacking
6 months ago

The first time I did this hike, I was 10 years old and I never forgot it. It remains branded in my head. Now, I’m in my 50’s and its beauty hasn’t changed.

Spent a rest day here. Beautiful area and great fishing.

backpacking
9 months ago

I’ve backpacked Thousand island lakes so many times it never gets old. The views and hike in and out are amazing.

Perfect day for a perfect long hike (note: We continued to the far side of Gem Lake, 5 miles in from the trailhead and 5 miles back.......but if this hike isn’t rated “Hard”, I can’t imagine what would be. So to call it "Moderate" is a bit of an understatement, IMHO. However to think of it or categorize it as “Hard" might scare away a few hikers, and in truth this climb is do-able by most. Lots of loose rocks and scree. Hiking shoes or boots highly recommended. Advice: When in doubt the trails goes UP, (except on the way back, LOL)

This trail presented a tough climb up & a difficult stream crossing due to the snow melt. The views at the top of Gem lake & Agnew lake were well worth the effort. Crowds thinned out once you crossed the falls. Start of trail was a bit confusing from the campground, but you can continue on the road for about 5oo yards to reconnect to the trail head as the signs at the campground said the trail was closed due to flooding.

Wow. It is October and the colors are incredible right now. We headed up at 10am. It was hot at first then got windy and cold at Agnew. The dam was quite a site. The trail is easy to follow and maintained. It is noted as MODERATE but for me it was tougher. The altitude to begin with and the elevation climbing was what made it tough for me (I have two new stem cell treated knees!).

The weather was perfect.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

From Silver Lake, following the Rush Creek trailhead it looks deceptive on the map. Do not be fooled. This is a relentless climb to the lake. If you are back packing I strongly suggest an early start. If they have closed the south route around Agnew you have hard climbing. I recommend spending the night at the larger of Clark Lake where you can also catch dinner.

There are two brutal switchbacks before Clark. They will help make up your mind whether to push on or camp.

Thousand Island is worth the pain to get there. If you are camping you are limited to the west side. We day holed from Clark so we swam around the islands. Great fun. The downside is that because of the spectacular scenery it is well travelled. You will not be alone.

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