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Thousand Island Lake

A 3-4 night trip to Thousand Island Lake with day-hikes to both Lake Catherine and Garnet Lake in Mammoth Lakes, CA
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Strenuous
Length: 27 miles
Duration: Multiple days

Overview :  This is a 3-4 night trip through the Ansel Adams Wilderness along the Pacific Crest Trail to Thousand Island Lake with nearby... more »

Tips:  - It is recommended that travelers have some backpacking experience.

- This route requires a wilderness permit which can be... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Trailhead

The trailhead for this route is at Agnew Meadows Campground which has overnight camping available with permit. The trailhead is accessible by vehicle via Minaret Road but passenger vehicles are not permitted between 7:00am and 7:30pm. A shuttle is available from the Mammoth Mountain Inn.

From the Agnew Meadows shuttle stop walk down the dirt... More

2. Thousand Island Lake

The Pacific Crest Trail will take you to the eastern shore of Thousand Island Lake. This is a great place to camp the first night but make sure to check with the Mammoth Ranger Station for information on what areas have restrictions for overnight use.

The lake is well stocked with fish so make sure to bring a fishing license.

3. Banner Base Camp

After your first night on the eastern shore of the lake make sure to travel to the western side to get some amazing views of Banner Peak. Plenty of leveled spots are available in this area. This is a great place to use as a basecamp for both Lake Catherine and Garnet Lake.

4. Secluded Pond

The secluded pond is along an unmarked but semi-traveled path. The head-on views of Thousand Island Lake are spectacular from here and you are very unlikely to see another soul at this location. This is the prefect place to catch your breath before the long haul to Lake Catherine.

5. Lake Catherine

After climbing over the ridge from the secluded pond make your way up towards Lake Catherine by following the large rock field. Visitors who are new to scrambling should beware of trying to avoid the rock field by traveling along the shoulders of the valley rather than the center of it. The talus is loose and somewhat fragile in these areas.

... More

6. Garnet Lake

From your base camp below Banner make your way southeast by following the various use trails. The path over the ridge to Garnet Lake is well traveled and easy to follow.

Take a break at the large pond and streams above Garnet Lake which produces some great reflections of Banner Peak.

Continue to follow the trail down to Garnet Lake. Like... More