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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Agnew Meadows to Shadow Lake, CA

Guide 4 Triplogs  0 Topics
  4.5 of 5 
59 4 0
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 9.2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 8,323 feet
Elevation Gain 1,043 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 5.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 14.42
Interest Perennial Waterfall & Perennial Creek
Backpack Yes
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136  2015-08-13
Tuolumne Meadows to Agnew Meadow
40  2015-07-02
Ansel Adams Wilderness
18  2015-07-02
Ansel Adams Wilderness
59  2013-07-17 slegal
Author slegal
author avatar Guides 74
Routes 102
Photos 2,962
Trips 56 map ( 351 miles )
Age 59 Male Gender
Location Thousand Oaks, CA
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Sep, Jun, Aug, Jul → 7 AM
Seasons   Summer
Sun  4:35am - 7:21pm
Official Route
2 Alternative

Fantastic lake and moutain views
by slegal

Likely In-Season!
This hike has the same starting point as the PCT - Agnew Meadows to Devils Postpile hike that I posted several years ago. The hike travels along the Agnew Meadows Trail to the Pacific Crest Trail. Along the way the trail enters the Ansel Adams Wilderness. At this point you will want to take the right fork rather that the left fork that you would take for the PCT - Agnew Meadows to Devils Postpile hike. The PCT descends the side of a cliff toward the canyon floor.

Once on the canyon floor you are at the lowest elevation of the hike at a little over 8,000 feet. The hike along the canyon floor is relatively flat.

A little more than half way between the Agnew Meadows Trail and the Shadow Lake Trail is Olaine Lake. This lake is beautiful, particularly if the water is glassy. The high mountains behind the lake make for great reflections. The other great feature of the lake is the abundant wildflowers that surround it, particularly on the north side of the lake. I have never seen a greater concentration of tiger lilies as I saw on the north side of Olaine Lake.

Soon you reach the fork where the Shadow Lake Trail splits off to the left from the PCT. After a short trip across the canyon floor you reach a bridge over the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River. After crossing the bridge you begin the long sun exposed climb to Shadow Lake. The entire mountainside is basalt. The forest service has done a wonderful job of building this trail including multiple steeper sections that have multiple steps laid in them. My only complaint is that some of the steps are so short that by size twelve hiking boots don’t fit on the steps.

As you near the top of the climb the trail nears Shadow Creek. You are greeted with s view of cascading waterfalls heading down from Shadow Lake. Just before you reach the lake the trail and the creek start to level out. Here the lake starts to come into view. As the trail bears off to the right along the shore of Shadow Lake, you are greeted by stunning views of Mount Ritter, the Minarets and Volcanic Ridge. If you are lucky enough to be there when there is little or no wind, the reflections off the lake are spectacular.

It’s about a half mile hike from the east end of the lake to the west end. I highly recommend going all the way to the west end. Just past the west end of the lake the trail ends at a junction with the John Muir trail. From here you can go to the right to reach Ediza Lake, Garnet Lake and points beyond. To the left the trail will take you done to Devil’s Postpile National Monument.

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2013-07-18 slegal
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Mammoth Lakes take Minaret Road (Highway 203) west to Mammoth Mountain's main lodge area. Park your car there and purchase a ticket to ride the Devils Postpile bus. Get off of the bus at the Agnew Meadows stop, which is the first stop.

    If you are an early bird, you can drive in if you reach the ranger station at the top of Minaret Summit before 7:00 AM. If you do drive in you can park next to the Agnew Meadows trailhead, thus shaving almost a mile round trip off of your hike from where the bus lets you off. Just be aware that the drive down from Minaret Summit is a one lane road and I personally wouldn’t want to meet a bus going the opposite direction on this road.
    page created by slegal on Jul 18 2013 11:46 am
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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