Thousand Island Lake Backpacking Trip
Photos by Dylan H Brown
The best adventures are the ones you didn't expect to come along. When @Dylan.H.Brown and I set out on a month long road trip from Colorado to California, we had every minute of every day almost mapped out to a T. And can you guess what happened? Yep, non of it. It seemed as though the universe was laughing in our face the whole way.
Until we stopped in the Inyo Nat. Forrest visitor center in Bishop, CA and asked a ranger for a completely spontaneous way to spend the next 6 days. She set us up with backcountry permits to hike the June Lakes Loop up to Thousand Island Lake. With no idea of what to expect – other than possibility of bears – we were sold.
We spent the next 4 days trekking 22 miles from the valley of June Lake up to Agnew Lake, camped our first night at Gem Lake, and made the hump over Thousand Island Lake pass where we set up camp for the next 2 nights. We fished until dark (and ate the fish we caught), we filtered our water in the nearby lake. I painted pictures by the stream, and lay in the sun without any music or book or distractions from nature.
We passed hikers who were 50 days in to their expedition of the Pacific Crest Trail or two weeks into the John Muir Trail. We saw signs of mountain lions and bears though thankfully never any encounters. It was the most magical backpacking trip of my life and we can't wait to go back.
Distance: 22 miles (A LOT of vertical)
Trailhead: we parked at Silver Lake trail head
Permits ($5/person plus $6 booking fee) at recreation.gov; bear canisters required
Season Mid-July to early October
Shop my gear:
Backpack: Deuter Futura Pro 34SL
Boots: Danner Mountain 600
Pink Pants: Prana Kara Demin (pink)
Fleece: Patagonia Cotton Quilt Snap Pullover
Puffy Down Jacket: Patagonia Down Sweater Jacket
Sleeping Bag: Big Agnes Hazel 15
Tent: (no longer avail, closest comp = Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2)
Water gravity filter: Mission
Water bottle: LifeStraw Go
Namaste Shirt: Spiritual Gangster