|Trip Date: 07/01/2016
Distance: 18.2 Miles
Vertical Gain: 3090'
Group Size: 1
Hike Rating: Easy Moderate Hard Strenuous
GPX for this trip
into the parking area near Agnew Meadows, there were some nice views to
the northwest of some of the area that will get to be experienced on
are the trail markers you want to look for to start along the
hike. Make sure to head north on the PCT, otherwise you will
out on the River Trail and miss out on much of the High Trail views
that start off this journey with a bang.
than a mile up the High Trail (on the PCT) you will pass into the Ansel
Adams Wilderness area. No wonder he was so overwhelmed with
area. Anyone who passes through here would be.
a few miles into the hike, the High Trail switchbacks you have been
trudging up offer some incredible views to the west. In this
picture Shadow Lake is visible in the middle, with the Minarets in the
distance and just a hint of the trail you will finish up with showing
to the right of the waterfall spilling out of Shadow.
on the PCT, the views north into the Donohue Pass area in which the
trail crosses into Yosemite are phenominal.
|The panorama from the PCT
along this section are some of the best views from anywhere along the
of the PCT High Trail on this section is exposed and out in the open,
so hiking along it in the morning is your best option. Later
the day this would be pretty hot.
to be outdone by the northern views, looking south from the PCT to the
area in the distance where Red's Meadow and Devil's Postpile are found,
as well as further toward Kings Canyon far in the distance.
are a couple of junctions ahead on the next section of trail, and as
long as you be sure to continue to 1000 Island Lake you will be on the
of the many PCT thru hikers I met along this section of
had already been out for 2 months, and was enjoying this section and
the view of Banner Peak. Said the desert section he just
was a fond memory. Fond, because it was a memory.
off the trail as you approach 1000 Island Lake is an unbelieveable
viewpoint. This was the epitome of this entire hike.
first look at the spectacular 1000 Island Lake (and Banner Peak in the
distance) from the PCT approach.
signpost here is the junction of where the PCT and JMT either merge
going north or split going south. There were many travellers
both directions on this day.
closer look at Banner Peak with nobody on it today.
about crossing the outlets for these large lakes were for naught as
there were semi-permanent methods for getting across them already in
picturesque Emerald Lake was next along the trail, just about 1/2 mile
south of 1000 Island Lake. A number of great campsites on the
side from this spot.
Lake appeared next a little further down the trail, tucked into a
granite bowl and very, very cold.
Ruby Lake the trail reaches its highest point, and then begins a bit of
a drop down into the Garnet Lake basin. This area is right up
there with 1000 Island Lake in terms of spectacular settings.
trail maintenance makes the crossings of these lake outlets a
non-factor on this loop. Good thing, as this would have been
very dangerous crossing on a wet year such as this one.
the far (south) side of the lake, the trail begins to climb again,
taking its toll on your calves but offering some additional great views
of Garnet Lake, Banner Peak and Mt. Ritter just to the left of Banner.
the climb out of the Garnet Lake area hikers are rewarded with far off
views to the south and some downhill along a newly-routed section of
close, the Minarets loom high above the next section of trail as you
approach Shadow Lake, with the gorgeous Lake Ediza and Iceberg Lakes
tucked up next to them, a few miles away but in the wrong direction for
an afterthought on a hike with so many amazing locations, Shadow Lake
itself with the Minarets in the background is strikingly beautiful as
was an abundance of water flowing both into and then out of Shadow Lake
this season, creating this rush as well as an amazing cascade from the
outlet all the way down to the San Joaquin River far below.
Shadow Lake the trail would drop down into th e San Joaquin River
valley far below, with the cascade from the lake ever to the right of
last mile or so sees the trail climb 300' from the river valley up to
Agnew Meadows once again, but the views of Mammoth Mountain in the
distance were enough of a distraction to keep the pace going..
|GPS Track of the full hike.|