Marie Lakes to Agnew Meadows
(14 miles, +1,200/-3,700 feet).
After our terrible, terrible experience on Rush Creek yesterday we all agreed that we should not do a there-and-back hike back to Bloody Canyon. So today we hiked to Agnew Meadows where we could get the bus down to Mammoth. It was another great day on the PCT.
I got up this morning around 5am and couldn’t stop taking pictures (sorry, there are a lot).
Once I could not take any more photos I returned to camp and we packed up to head back down to the PCT.
We made it back down to the PCT around 7am and picked up speed to get away from buggy Rush Creek.
By 8am we arrived at Island Pass, where we were bug free. I wasn’t expecting much because it is a pretty flat pass and at 10,225 feet it is not much higher than the surroundings. But I was so wrong. I saw possibly the most beautiful views I have ever seen there, reflected in the many crystal-calm tarns at the pass.
The descent from Island Pass was equally dramatic, with spectacular views of Thousand Island Lake below Banner Peak and Mount Ritter.
We took a long break and got water at the outlet to Thousand Island Lake. We then continued on the PCT where it split from the John Muir Trail.
The next few hours we walked in and out of forests, stream basins, and wildflower gardens as we (mostly) hugged the 9,600 foot topo line.
After a while, we encountered a pair of hikers who were taking photos. We asked if they would take ours. It was a good thing, because one of them was a photographer! She didn’t charge us, though.
The trail started descending towards Agnew Meadows. It was pretty hot, so we each put in our headphones to listen to some tunes.
By 1pm we made it down to Agnew Meadows and our adventure was over. BarnFinder and MixMaster rented a car to retrieve ours from the Bloody Canyon Trailhead and we checked into a hotel to shower and rest up before heading back to San Diego the following day.