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Re: Horesetail Falls trail question

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avatar Horesetail Falls trail question
May 28, 2012 12:48PM
I am familiar with the trailhead location on the north end of Silver Lake. Is there is a closer trailhead in the Rush Creek Substation area going to Horsetail Falls/Agnew Lake? I'm contemplating a day trip to Thousand Island Lake at some point in the future. The possibility of eliminating a couple miles round trip might make this a bit more manageble, like maybe 11 miles instead of 13. Still looks like a long grind. Snail



Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 05/28/2012 12:55PM by tomdisco.
avatar Re: Horesetail Falls trail question
May 28, 2012 06:34PM
No, the shorter route shown on the topo is the tramway for dam maintenance.

However, you might look into the Agnew Meadow trailhead (west of Minaret Summit) as an alternative for reaching Thousand Island Lake.
avatar Re: Horesetail Falls trail question
May 28, 2012 08:33PM
Quote
ttilley
No, the shorter route shown on the topo is the tramway for dam maintenance.

However, you might look into the Agnew Meadow trailhead (west of Minaret Summit) as an alternative for reaching Thousand Island Lake.

I don't have any trail maps of the Agnew Meadow area other than what I can see on the AAA Eastern Sierra Guide Map but that route looks slightly longer. I do note it is the PCT all the way. What is the altitude at Agnew Meadow? Got to find a topo/trail map of that area. I've got the Natl Geo Trails Illustrated Map for Ansel Adams Wilderness but that part of the PCT is just off the map.
avatar Re: Horesetail Falls trail question
May 28, 2012 08:47PM
National Geographic Topo is showing an altitude of 8326' at the location where the shuttle bus stops (mandatory not-free shuttle over Minaret Summit towards Reds Meadow unless you either have a campground reservation or go before 7 AM or somesuch.

I haven't compared the mileages, and while I've used both trailheads I've only been to Thousand Island from Agnew Meadow.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/28/2012 08:48PM by ttilley.
avatar Re: Horesetail Falls trail question
May 28, 2012 09:29PM
Bear in mind a lot of trees got blown down last winter. I think this is the latest update:

http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5367033.pdf
avatar Re: Horesetail Falls trail question
May 28, 2012 10:45PM
Thanks, I had forgotten about the Reds Meadow damage. Sounds like that whole valley took a major hit, also sounds like some areas not oriented north-south also saw major damage (e.g.: the Purple Lake report).
avatar Re: Horesetail Falls trail question
May 29, 2012 06:33AM
After checking out Google Earth I realize the route from Agnew Meadow, especially what they refer to as the High Trail, provides gorgeous panoramas of the Minarets unequaled by the Silver Lake access. A simple day trip is not going to do this area justice at all. I've got to revisit the idea of dropping hiking plans elsewhere in Yosemite in favor of the Agnew Meadow/Donahue Pass route (1-way) and try to arrange transport back to the starting point. This will not be until next year so there's plenty of time to play with this. Thanks for the input so far.
Re: Horesetail Falls trail question
May 29, 2012 07:26AM
Between the YARTS bus and the Reds Meadow shuttle there is public transportation trailhead (Tuolomne Meadows) to trailhead (Agnew Meadows.)
avatar Re: Horesetail Falls trail question
May 29, 2012 10:11AM
Katy,

Do you know exactly where in Mammoth the Yarts bus terminates and the Reds Meadow Shuttle begins? Are they in the same spot?

Jim
avatar Re: Horesetail Falls trail question
May 29, 2012 12:21PM
Quote
tomdisco
Do you know exactly where in Mammoth the Yarts bus terminates and the Reds Meadow Shuttle begins? Are they in the same spot?

Last I heard they are both at Mammoth Mountain Inn.
avatar Re: Horesetail Falls trail question
May 29, 2012 05:46PM
Quote
eeek
Quote
tomdisco
Do you know exactly where in Mammoth the Yarts bus terminates and the Reds Meadow Shuttle begins? Are they in the same spot?

Last I heard they are both at Mammoth Mountain Inn.

That's true for Yarts. The Reds Meadow Shuttle website says it begins at the base of the mountain (Mammoth Mountain Adventure Center).
Is that also where Mammoth Mountain Inn is located? I've only been to the mountain once 3 years ago so I'm not that familiar with all the place names. Perhaps wer'e only talking a couple hundred feet apart?
avatar Re: Horesetail Falls trail question
May 29, 2012 05:57PM
Quote
tomdisco
The Reds Meadow Shuttle website says it begins at the base of the mountain (Mammoth Mountain Adventure Center). Is that also where Mammoth Mountain Inn is located?

Sounds like the same place.

http://goo.gl/maps/GSr2
avatar Re: Horesetail Falls trail question
May 29, 2012 06:31PM
Its basically the same place. Not sure where the YARTS stop is exactly, the Mammoth Mountain Adventure Center is in the bottom floor of the gondola building. The Inn is right there on the north side, the ski lodge on the south.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/29/2012 06:32PM by ttilley.
Re: Horesetail Falls trail question
May 29, 2012 08:11PM
Yup, same place.

In the past there was only one YARTS bus in each direction per day.
The bus to Mammoth arrived the Mammoth Mountain Inn around 9 pm in the evening.
The bus to Yosemite left the Mammoth Mountain Inn at 8 am in the morning.
Looks like the same this year, but the bus has added a couple of runs where the principle remains the same, arrives Mammoth in the evening, leaves Mammoth in the morning.

So the obvious solution is to take the evening bus from Yosemite at the beginning of your trip, arrive in Mammoth, and stay at the Mammoth Mountain Inn.
Or arrive in Mammoth in the evening at the end of the hike, stay at Mammoth Mountain Inn and take the morning bus to Yosemite.

That was my plan when I last hiked out to Agnew Meadows in 2008. Meeting a few other backpackers on the bus we all decided we much rather would go in to Mammoth to hang out, eat and drink for the evening. We discovered that there is a bus that shuttles mountain bike riders up to Mammoth Mountain Inn, and returns them to Mammoth. The return ride to Mammoth was free even if you didn't pay to go up.
Then when we arrived in the town of Mammoth there was everything a backpacker wants after a hike in terms of food, drink and entertainment. We enjoyed. Additionally there was a free bus shuttle that transported us around town. At the end of this revelry we all ended up spending the night at the campground, also accessible by the free shuttle bus. The morning after we boarded the morning 8:30 am YARTS bus outside the Shilo Inn.

YMMV as to the details but as far as public transportation goes, Mammoth rocks!
Re: Horesetail Falls trail question
May 29, 2012 09:55AM
Quote
tomdisco
After checking out Google Earth I realize the route from Agnew Meadow, especially what they refer to as the High Trail, provides gorgeous panoramas of the Minarets unequaled by the Silver Lake access. A simple day trip is not going to do this area justice at all. I've got to revisit the idea of dropping hiking plans elsewhere in Yosemite in favor of the Agnew Meadow/Donahue Pass route (1-way) and try to arrange transport back to the starting point. This will not be until next year so there's plenty of time to play with this. Thanks for the input so far.

I hiked up to Thousand Island Lake last year in mid September from Agnew Meadows specifically taking the PCT - You are right about some of the views - they are nice - I was not in good shape and had just turned 50 but was able to do this hike in 6 hours - If I was in shape, it probably would have been 4 - The ranger station stated to me that the elevation gain on this trail is only 1300 feet and the hardest part of it is at the beginning when you are fresh - really not too bad at all

I posted a small synopsis with pictures back in September http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,47206,47206#msg-47206

Since this location is relatively easy to get to, there can be alot of kids there on the weekends especially in the summer - I have seen several posts where people avoid Thousand Island for this very reason and the lack of solitude - However, I think if you hit it during the week, chances are you won't have too many people - I was there on a Wednesday night and pretty much had the place to myself.

Also, There is transportation between Mammoth and TM - YARTS travels from Mammoth to the Valley every day in July and August - June and September it is only on the weekends so plan accordingly.
avatar Re: Horesetail Falls trail question
May 29, 2012 07:04PM
The Mammoth Lakes/Mono Divide Trails Illustrated map covers that trailhead, and includes part of Thousand Island Lake, but not all the route in-between, the missing part is on the Yosemite map (older revs of the Yosemite map didn't have that either, they had a useless block of text covering that area). Alternatively, USGS topos Mammoth Mountain and Mount Ritter.
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