→ Photos from Backpack trip out of Agnew Meadows, August 2017
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On our way back from seeing the eclipse in Madras, Oregon, we drove down US 395 and decided to do a 4 night backpack trip out of Agnew Meadows. Our plan was just to wander around back there and play it by ear. We got a late start on our first evening, about 4pm. This is Agnew Meadows.
Nice views along the River Trail.
Our first lake. The name started with an "O", but I don't remember its name right now.
Some kind of tiny red snake!
We found a nice campsite near the river on the River Trail. We missed the turnoff to Badger Lake, which was recommended to us. We could have continued to the next opportunity to find it, but we saw this nice campsite and decided to stay here.
There's a lovely waterfall nearby our camp making for a loud night. This waterfall comes off of Shadow Lake.
We continued on in the morning. We decided to go find Badger Lake.
Badger Lake! What a nice lake! There was nobody here. It seemed very peaceful and quiet.
We walked along the shore to the campsite at Badger Lake, which made for a really nice place to ease in for a dip. I went skinny-dipping, which felt nice. The weather was warm and the lake was just the right temperature.
I hate photo-editing so there are lots of duplicates. Sorry about that.
There was a sign on the PCT near the turnoff to Badger Lake saying that a bunch of trail near Gem Lake and Agnew Pass was closed. So we headed back to the PCT/JMT and headed toward 1000 Island Lake like everyone else. No matter how many people go there, it's still a gorgeous place. This is just before you get to 1000 Island Lake, a smaller lake made from its outflow.
Here's 1000 Island Lake at the JMT/PCT junction.
A better view of the Islands. It's late August and still so much snow! Looks like early July.
We stopped near the summit of Island Pass at this lovely little lake full of frogs and tadpoles. We had lunch here.
The next few pictures are of the frogs and tadpoles.
We met a man from Hong Kong who went by "Crazy 71". He was 71 years old and hiked the PCT from the Mexican border to where we met him here. He averaged about 10 miles per day in Southern California and about 5 miles per day in the High Sierra. He realized he wasn't going to make it all the way to Canada, but he would go as far as he could and hoped to come back next year. I imagine next year he'll be "Crazy 72". He was raising money on his hike back in Hong Kong for cancer or some other disease.
After lunch we continued on. The views and small lakes on Island Pass were so beautiful.
So many flowers of all kinds!
We descended from Island Pass down to Rush Creek. It was really flowing! Lots of mosquitoes down here, too.
We decided to go to Marie Lakes.
It's quite a climb up to this golf course on the way to Marie Lakes. Then after that, it's really a big climb!
I love these High Sierra golf courses. You couldn't make one as beautiful as these natural ones.
The climb up was really tough. We were out of shape and not very acclimated.
We were stopped by this big snowfield. We didn't feel comfortable trying to cross it to the trail on the other end. We did not have crampons or ice axes.
We sat up here for a while resting, then wandered around taking pictures of the view.
I think this is Davis Lakes. We maybe should have gone there instead since those lakes aren't blocked by snow. Or likely still frozen.
There were lots of small, pretty flowers up here at the snowfield.
We headed back down toward the golf course. I kept an eye out for a good place to camp down there and could see some good candidates as we descended.
We found a nice spot in the trees near these really cool waves in the creek. This wave looked like a classic surfer wave.
This wave looked like a little waterwheel falls.
We found a nice sheltered campsite in those trees. It seemed like it might rain and it was pretty windy, but it was still warm and summery.
The spongy golf course grass felt sooo nice on my bare feet. I really enjoyed soaking them in the ice cold creek and walking on the grass.
Lots of nice flowers around the area.
Here's our tent snug among the trees.
I watched the weather and the sunset. The weather never did anything.
I took pictures of the flowers in the golf course. I also met a couple of men who had done some super athletic day hike off-trail around all the peaks in the area. They confirmed that Marie Lakes would have still been frozen. They said some other people had been able to go cross-country around the snowfield. I was perfectly happy camping here in this gorgeous meadow.
The creek looked more like a lake on the other side of our trees. I watched small trout leap out of the water.
A cold looking fog-like cloud formed and swirled up where the Marie Lakes were. I was really glad to be down here where it was pleasant.
In the morning we decided to head back toward 1000 Island Lake. I refrained from taking any more pictures of it, except for this one.
We went back to Badger Lake to take another swim. Tony convinced me that the PCT is a far better trail here than the JMT. I've never done the PCT through here. When I hiked the PCT I stayed on the JMT believing the guide book that going by Shadow Lake was better. Badger Lake is about .2 miles off the PCT.
We started the climb up to the PCT high route. Oh wow wow wow! This feels like the PCT! And smells like the PCT. Mama PCT, I'm home!
This is classic Nor-Cal PCT. Walking half-way up a big hill along the side with great views the whole way and lots of little side creeks and flowers.
We came to this incredible view of Shadow Lake. Wow!
About 2 miles from Agnew Meadows, we decided to make an early camp. I was worried there would be too many people and we might have to pay for camping. I hadn't hiked most of the PCT between Agnew Meadows and Reds Meadow so I didn't know what it was like. (I had done the Devil's Postpile alternate route.) So it seemed like a good idea to just stop early and enjoy the view here and take it easy.
Tony taking it easy. His medicine makes him sleepy in the afternoon so it worked out well for him.
We spent some time admiring this perfect tree.
Mammoth Mountain looked like you could almost still ski it.
There's that trouble-maker from a few days ago.
In the morning we headed for Red's Meadow. I was surprised it was farther away than I expected and the hike was nicer than I expected.
Red's Meadow. Showers are mandatory. I was looking forward to it. It was hot and I get hot flashes all the time!
All cleaned up, we got on the bus back to civilization.
Next stop, some craft beer...
...And the biggest burger ever. It was delicious!