4-Day Backpack Trip to Thousand Island Lake
Yosemite › Agnew Meadows Trailhead
Added by Aaron Bird
One of the most picturesque views in all of the Eastern Sierras and the backdrop to one of Ansel Adam's most iconic photographs of Banner Peak. It will be the best 4-days of your life.
Start from Agnew Meadows about 7 miles away. You can take the High Trail out as part of the River Trail with a long detour passing by several other scenic lakes, including Shadow Lake, Garnet Lake, and Ruby Lake. You will arrive at Thousand Island Lake a few hours after lunch, just in time to set up camp, nap, then have dinner.
If you're heading down Minaret Road (SR 203) to get to the Angnew Meadows trailhead during the summer, it's closed to passenger vehicles beyond Minaret Summit from 7am to 7:30pm. During that time, you have to ride the shuttle ($7 per person) from the Mammoth Mountain Inn into Devils Postpile National Monument. For more information on the shuttle, see here. If you're looking to get an early start or are coming back late, the gates are unmanned.
Camped along Thousand Island Lake for 3 nights:
- Day 1: Hike in, set up camp
- Day 2: Short hike to Lake Catherine & back, stayed up to stargaze
- Day 3: Long hike around Waugh Lake followed by well deserved nap
- Day 4: Hike out, drive to Mammoth for burgers & beer
- Sleeping bag & pad
- Water purification
- Food, snacks & water
- Bear canister (required)
- Deet or netting (both optional but recommended)
- Warm clothing (summer nights can get chilly)
- Backcountry Permit
- Hiking boots
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More
Backpacking, Camping, Chillin, Hiking, Photography
Spring, Summer, Autumn
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ReviewsLeave a Review
Fantastic spot! Bring your camera, stay up late and watch the stars. This is a wildly popular backcountry spot because the JMT (John Muir Trail) runs through this area. Try to get to the lake earlier in the day to pick a great campsite. Bear cans are a must out here.
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