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Devil's Postpile to thousand Island (or further)

Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 5:56 pm
by sisterwolf
My dad and I are planning a trip for NEXT year. We have been thinking of going from Devil's Postpile to Thousand Island Lake area. Maybe (if we have the energy and food) over Donahue pass into Lylle Canyon, to Yosemite.

I am wondering, has anyone here hiked this route before? How rough was the hike between Devil's Postpile to Thousand Island? My dad will be 74 years old. This was Dad's idea to hike from Devil's Postpile. A couple years ago we went from Lylle over DOnohue pass, and down to Agnew. IT was a little rough (we did it too fast). It was so incredibly beautiful!

My other plan is to Hike to Thousand Island, and then to hike around for day hikes to the other lakes near by. This trip would give us time to enjoy the scenery, and take our time.

SO, what can you tell me about the hike between Devil's Postpile to THousand Island area? I seem to not be able to find online maps of the trails. Any tips, ideas, and info would be much appriciated.

Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 7:05 pm
by hikerduane
My late Pooch and I had been over quite a bit of the country there. The River Trail is pretty gradual up to Thousand Island for the most part. Exploring around Garnet and some of the other lakes east, that are off the trail a little make for an interesting day or two. Pooch and I had been over most trails up there in that area. We haven't been on the High Trail. We were close to Devils Postpile on two different trips, there is an area a few miles west of there that has the same geological features, without the people. We left from Agnew Meadow on the last trip in that area and returned via part of the River Trail on the way back also. Clark Lakes are pretty and you could fish a little there also. A good climb from Thousand Island to get there though. If you go a little bit past the Clark Lakes you should have an excellent view of Banner and Ritter peaks looking back the way you came. Can't remember if you pass the lakes or after for the view, seems before you get there coming from the east. As Billy Crystal would say, simply marvelous.

You should be able to get a Ansel Adams Wilderness map, REI should have it or other outdoor online stores. Look a little more don't give up. You don't need to be a member of REI to order or snoop online.

Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 7:26 pm
by BSquared
I would definitely recommend a slight modification: start at Agnew Meadow instead of PostPile/Red's Meadow, go up to Shadow Lake, then to Thousand Island from there. The Shadow Creek Trail up from the San Joaquin to Shadow Lake is absolutely gorgeous, and the John Muir Trail from Shadow to Thousand Island has spectacular view of the Minarets.

Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 7:31 pm
by copeg
First off, welcome to HST.

This is a wonderful hike. Most of it follows the JMT from Red's meadow toward shadow, garnet, and finally 1000 island lake. There are several up's and down's along this route. You steadily climb up past several lakes (lots of skeeters) to Rosalie Lake. From there it is a steap drop to Shadow Lake. Then you climb over two moderate humps - one to Garnet and the next to 1000 island lake. A more liesurely way to go would be to follow the River or High trails (I've hiked all three ways to 1000 island, and would rank these two to be easier - the High trail being the easiest IMO). These start at Agnew Meadow rather than Red's Meadow, and can be combined into a loop. The high trail follows the PCT to 1000 island and has great views of Ritter and Banner with lots of wildflowers in peak season along its length. The river trail climbs to shadow lake and follows the JMT to 1000 island. Both are great trails.
SO, what can you tell me about the hike between Devil's Postpile to THousand Island area? I seem to not be able to find online maps of the trails. Any tips, ideas, and info would be much appriciated.
Here's a topo of Agnew Meadows and you can navigate northwest from there to 1000 island ... ayer=DRG25

Posted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 9:53 pm
by SSSdave
Your second idea is the wise one. The JMT from DP until one gets all the way to Garnet is mostly down in hard to see out forest thus not particularly scenic. Hike out of Agnew Meadows and go towards Thousand Island but just not all in one day. Instead hike the River Trail and just hike a few easy miles along the river and make camp. A good zone is 4 to 5 miles along in the 9000 foot area where the Garnet Lake creek meets the river. From there, if you still have energy after making camp and resting, you could day hike up to Garnet Lake or the even easier nearby Badger Lakes. Then the second day, get up at sunrise and continue the two or so miles further to wonderful Thousand Island Lake and find a nice place to camp at the northeast side of the lake. By doing so, you'll reach that world class lake in the morning when the lake looks best in all its glory. If you have more days to burn, try camping at the remote far west end of the lake and or continue south on the John Muir Trail stopping at Ruby, Garnet, or Shadow Lakes.


Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 7:14 am
by yosemitechris
I would recommend hiking the High Trail between Agnew Meadows to Thousand Island Lake, with an overnight at Badger Lakes. There are fabulous views west and it's relatively level. That way, you would definitely have the energy to hike over Donahue Pass and down to Lyell. There are a lot of elevation changes on the JMT betweem TI Lake and DP.

Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 12:33 pm
by markskor
Having done this trail more than a few times, may I suggest doing it the other way - Tuolumne to Agnew Meadows? why:
1) Starting at Tuolumne, the first day is relatively flat for the first 7 - 8 miles..., which may prove beneficial first day, while at altitude - 9000 ft.
2) The steepest part - up the talus trail to Donahue Pass can be broken down into 2 days...maybe a bit easier the way to go.
3) Once over Donahue, it is almost all level going, (relatively speaking) - Yes I know about Island Pass - but it is no big thing - level until 1000 Island and then only a small little hump before Garnet. From then on, it is downhill.
4) The rest of the trail (trails?) down is mostly a long forest slog, but there are many lake options available to take in, on the way down - take your time and see a few.
5) The afternoon bus - ~ 3 PM (YARTS) - Mammoth to Tuolumne - might be easier to get on, logistically speaking, than the early morning bus - Tuolumne to Mammoth.

Whatever way you decide, this is a great trip. Do not forget the fishing gear.

Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 1:25 pm
by Buck Forester
I'll give my two cents here, having hiked this area for many years and still going annually because it's so gorgeous! I would start at Agnew Meadows and hike past Shadow Lake and spend the first day night at Lake Ediza, one of the most spectacular lakes in all the Sierra. I absolutely love it there! Then I would backtrack a couple miles back to the JMT junction and head north on the JMT over to Garnet Lake and on to Thousand Island Lake. There's some ups and downs over ridges but nothing too strenuous and the scenery is breathtaking. Remember to look back during breather stops to admire the Minarets! From Thousand Island Lake you can explore other areas and then hike back down the outlet of Thousand Island Lake to the River Trail for an easy downhill stroll along the river back to Agnew Meadows.

Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 1:41 pm
by BSquared
Absolutely Buck! Perfect trip! Wish I could do it every year! I think Lake Ediza is one of the most beautiful places on Earth, and the Shadow Creek trail from Shadow Lake up to Ediza is absolutely incredible: beautiful clear pools with sandy bottoms, rushing rapids, small falls. It just doesn't get any better than that!