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

hiking
3 days ago

WRONG PHOTOS Hikers beware, the photos uploaded by Tim are wrong (probably by accident). The large waterfall you see in his pictures is actually Rainbow waterfall, which starts from the same trailhead but goes in the opposite direction toward Devil's Postpile and Rainbow waterfall. I'm not sure if any of his pictures actually depict this hike.

FANTASTIC trail. Rating is accurate at difficult. Would recommend for backpackers to leave early in the morning because there are countless breathtaking panoramics of the Minarets and mountain range around each corner, so taking your time to stop and appreciate it was really something that I'm glad we did. The total hike time was over 6 hours, with a heavy backpack, and we actually had to camp about .5 mile from Thousand Island due to a late start, it getting dark, and being EXHAUSTED! Would have been much quicker without the backpack full and ready for a weekend of camping with a heavy tent. We passed a handful of people doing this trail as a day trail who were making great time if that's the route you're hoping to go. Again, would recommend to leave early even then! Luckily summer days are long and offer sunlight until late in the evening.
There is a parking lot at the trailhead with Agnew Meadows Campsite just up the road. You can also reach the trail head via shuttle ($9 round-trip) and walk a bit. I would recommend to drive your car down to save time and money. The line for the shuttle was long, the shuttle was crowded, and we were itching to get started much sooner than the shuttle allowed us to.
There is a bathroom at the trailhead. The High Trail via the PCT almost immediately starts at an incline, and then is primarily uphill for majority of the trail. There is a long, open (Sunny) stretch that is relatively flat, and about .5 mile that is slightly downhill, but that meant heading back uphill. Two sets of switchbacks. Both are a short distance, one near the beginning and the other almost at the end.
This was difficult but very rewarding. One of the prettiest trails with everything still in bloom. A lot of butterflies, and A LOT of mosquitos. Treat your clothes, take deet and a bug net. Even with deet and a bug net we were still eaten alive and spent most of our time in the tent. There was a bit of wind at the lake itself which meant relief from the mosquitos which was very welcome. Lots of fish jumping, and other travelers fishing!
Again, tough trail, but very worth it! Met a lot of nice PCTers. You definitely earn your views!

backpacking
6 days ago

FANTASTIC trail. Rating is accurate at difficult. Would recommend for backpackers to leave early in the morning because there are countless breathtaking panoramics of the Minarets and mountain range around each corner, so taking your time to stop and appreciate it was really something that I'm glad we did. The total hike time was over 6 hours, with a heavy backpack, and we actually had to camp about .5 mile from Thousand Island due to a late start, it getting dark, and being EXHAUSTED!
There is a parking lot at the trailhead with Agnew Meadows Campsite just up the road. You can also reach the trail head via shuttle ($9 round-trip) and walk a bit. I would recommend to drive your car down to save time and money. The line for the shuttle was long, the shuttle was crowded, and we were itching to get started much sooner than the shuttle allowed us to.
There is a bathroom at the trailhead. The High Trail via the PCT almost immediately starts at an incline, and then is primarily uphill for majority of the trail. There is a long, open (Sunny) stretch that is relatively flat, and about .5 mile that is slightly downhill, but that meant heading back uphill. Two sets of switchbacks. Both are a short distance, one near the beginning and the other almost at the end.
This was difficult but very rewarding. One of the prettiest trails with everything still in bloom. A lot of butterflies, and A LOT of mosquitos. Treat your clothes, take deet and a bug net. Even with deet and a bug net we were still eaten alive and spent most of our time in the tent. There was a bit of wind at the lake itself which meant relief from the mosquitos which was very welcome. Lots of fish jumping, and other travelers fishing!
Again, tough trail, but very worth it! Met a lot of nice PCTers. You definitely earn your views!

Just got done with this trip. Personally, I thought the hot springs were overrated while underreported in total distance and elevation gain. We clocked almost 25 miles from the Rainbow Falls trailhead to the first hot spring with an elevation gain of almost 4500 ft. The first 7 miles seemed to be all downhill and you know what that means going back. Watch-out for rattlesnakes. We had a close encounter with one who wasn’t very happy. Great challenging hike if that’s what you’re looking for. Nice views.

13 days ago

Nice trail, pretty easy with a great payoff — Postpile!

hiking
13 days ago

Beautiful lake, nice trail. Worth the extra side trek from Pacific Crest Trail. Near two shuttle stops. Very dry and dusty during summer.

Great hike. Worth noting that the Crater Creek Trail between the bridge crossing and the indicated river crossing is an unmaintained, unmarked trail. The area is passable, but requires some bushwhacking. Staying on the trail and using the bridge will add a quarter mile or so to the hike, but would be a better call for a person/group not interested in hiking through dense vegetation.

A note on one of the trail maps: do not take the Island Crossing, stay on the trail, there’s a bridge. I did a through hike from Duck pass to Iva Bell out through Fish creek.

Wonderful hike, amazing views, beautiful hot spring baths. Mosquitos. I’d totally go back, preferably with less mosquitos.

If you have time on your way to the Postpile, take an opportunity to see this fall. It’s a little way up the JMT and into the forest you go...lose your mind and find your soul. Cheers!

This hike was short and sweet. It was a beautiful hike .

Tried to go today instead of boarding and the main road was closed :(

Started at Lake Mary campground and walked to Mammoth Pass Trailhead. Hiked through patches of snow on the way up. Not much shade on the way down to Red's Meadow Resort. Trail on the map looked like it went to Red's Meadow Campground but takes you more towards the resort. Went via the pack trail down to Rainbow Falls and the Lower Falls. Hiked up to Devil's Postpile and back to Red's Meadow Campground (Closed). There was luckily water at the Red's Meadow Resort that we could fill up from because it was very hot.

Breathtaking spot!
Awesome hike!
Highly recommend !!

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

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!

on Sotcher Lake Trail

9 months ago

Beautiful starter hike for beginning hikers or for getting used to the altitude if you're newly arrived to the area. Gorgeous lake and many tiny streams feeding into the lake. The best treat is a small but breathtaking waterfall along the way.

This is a nice trail in and out from Devil's Postpile. The views aren't spectacular but the trail is not crowded and there's a nice spot at the base of the falls to chill and picnic.

The hot springs are amazing. Hit them on day 6 of an 8 day trip. Some cool camping spots too. The hike out of Reds Meadow and back is long and very hot. The switchbacks coming down to Fish Creek are very steep. This hike is definitely a backpacking trip, not a day hike.

Tiny wieners everywhere.

Fantastic hike up through the valley and into the Sierras. There were a few areas with snowpack at the higher elevations but the trail is totally fine. The trail starts out with a gradual climb but levels off after the first 3 miles. Would highly recommend for a full length day hike if you have the time!

hiking
11 months ago

This is a great walk from bus stop 7 to stop 10...or the other way around...great views of the lake and the falls with the egg shape formation was very cool...what I found interesting is that two park rangers had no knowledge of this small waterfall when I asked them for additional trail information...hike safe folks!

hiking
Monday, July 17, 2017

National Monument closed due to washed out road. Hiked in via Mammoth Pass. Excellent hike with no people at the monument. Challenging hike on way back to Horseshoe Lake but luckily snow is almost gone. I would rate this hike as moderate to hard.

backpacking
Sunday, July 16, 2017

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

hiking
Friday, January 20, 2017

We did the trail from the bus last stop back to the scotcher lake stop. Unfortunately one side of the Scotcher lake trail was closed so we coul dnot make it as a loop.
This Dino Fall is mentioned in a lot of guides, but I could not find anywhere the GPS tracks for it so this is why I created the trail

backpacking
Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Breathtaking.

backpacking
Thursday, November 03, 2016

Best part on JMT and PCT...!

backpacking
Thursday, October 20, 2016

Lakes after lakes after lakes!

Amazing views!

Beautiful trail!

backpacking
Thursday, October 13, 2016

Did an overnighter to Thousand Island Lake and back on Saturday, 17 September 2016, to Sunday, 18 September 2016. Started 12PM via the PCT High Trail at Agnew Meadows Trailhead. Arrived at campsite by 6:10PM. Little more of a brutal/long hike than I expected, but I carried most of the weight for group of two, other person was a little slower as this was a first for them backpacking. Left next day at 11AM via the River Trail. Arrived at Agnew Meadows Trailhead at 3:30PM. Significantly easier and faster hike back. You are descending from Thousand Island Lake the entire way, except for the last 1.5 mile pitch back up to Agnew Meadows, which is pretty steep. Took along a first-time backpacker who did very well but struggled the last two miles both ways. It's a long hike but worth it.

This was the first weekend after Labor Day. The shuttle was closed down for the season (stops after Labor Day), but the road to Agnew Meadows was still open (closes after October 1, after which you can hike in/ski in from Minaret Vista ranger station. I'm not sure if gate will be unlocked to drive/park at Agnew even if there is no snow. So that would add about 3 more miles to the journey both ways), so we could simply drive to and park at the Agnew Meadows Trailhead since the road was open. However, the trailhead was extremely packed, and there were no spaces to park. I somehow found a way to slip my truck into a small spot between a handicapped spot and a tree. You cannot park your car on any non-dirt/non-paved surface. Cannot park on top of any foliage. They will check this and put stickers on your wheels to mark overnight vehicles. So you can't get away with not purchasing a permit and overnight your hike (they take down your make/model/color when you pick up your permit, not sure how that works for when people get their permits night-dropped though...).

Temperatures for this weekend were about high 70s to low 80s during the day. I hiked in camo pants and t-shirt. Could have gone shorts. Temperature fell to high 30s low 40s at night. I went to sleep in shorts and shirt and woke up to put a jacket on (had a black synthetic MSS surplus sleeping bag). Other person had a 0 degree North Face Furnace bag and slept in shorts/shirt and was fine. I don't recall wind being an issue at all. Saw two does and two fawns on the High Trail hiking in. Saw another doe prancing through our campsite right as we were going to sleep towards end of dusk. Woke up and had alpine lake–filtered french-press coffee. 10/10. Altitude didn't prove to be a problem to me, but other person may have been getting too winded for normal towards the last 1.5 mile stretch on the way back. Doing this trip there and back all within 28 hours is probably not recommended for newer hikers. But that's all I could do with when I got the entry date for my permit and a normal work week.

Additional hidden costs to get to Thousand Island Lake from the Bay Area:

1) $30 fee to get through Yosemite Park ranger stations via CA-120. We left night before entry date so we passed through after-hours ranger stations, so it was free. However, if you go through in the day and pay, the pass should be good for 7 days, which should be long enough to cover you on your return route. If not, you will have to pay $30 again at the Tioga Pass ranger station. Good news is that both payments add up to $60 which qualifies you for the $60 Yosemite Annual Pass, so now you can go anywhere in Yosemite for free now and not have to pay a fee. I'm not sure how to get those two receipts exchanged for the pass, but Rangers could probably do it then and there. So keep your receipts. My trip was under 7 days, so I only paid once. However, my $30 is good towards the Yosemite $60 pass or America the Beautiful $80 pass up to a year I believe. Again, save your receipts either way.

2) Permits: 2 $5/person permit reservations plus a $6/group reservation fee totaled $16. Had to rent a bear canister for two days at $2.5/day for total of $5. Total for permit and fees for two people was $21.

3) Minaret Vista ranger station fee (to get from Mammoth to the Trailhead to park) was $10.

Wish I could have stayed longer and climbed Mt. Ritter at Thousand Island Lake on Day 2, then Day 3 hike over the pass between Thousand Island Lake and Garnet Lake and camp at Garnet, then Day 4 hike to Shadow/Ediza Lakes and camp, and Day 5 hike back. Life got in the way, but it was a great trip nonetheless. I also packed too much food, clothes, and water. I hiked in and hiked out in the same outfit, and then slept in clean dry clothes with a jacket. Didn't need anything else. Carried too much water (6L for 2 people) when I could have filtered along the way (didn't know that since I've never been). Used my Sawyer Squeeze for first time which was great. Thousand Island Lake water tasted as pure as it gets.

That's all I have. Was a good trip. Hope all that was helpful. I didn't get any of that info when I was researching.

hiking
Monday, August 29, 2016

Great. Would recommend going down the River Trail instead of the PCT... alot better I thought. Anyway we did the PCT to 1000 Islands then took the River Trail back to the Agnew Meadows campgrounds...

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