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Rides from Red's Meadow Area

There are good maps of the area for sale at the Red's Meadow store.  I prefer the Tom Harrison map series.  Yummy food at the cafe.  Make reservations if you want more than the lunch menu for dinner.  Cabins and motel rooms also available through Red's Meadow Resort.  We did the rides in the following order which worked out well for us and our horses.  PCT  = Pacific Crest Trail,   JMT = John Muir Trail.

Rainbow Falls and Devil’s Postpile   - easy, fairly level – 2.55 mi, 2 ½ hrs.

  • Take trail south from pack station down to Rainbow Falls less than 1 mile. Bring halters to tie horses (tie rails) to walk to see falls. Quite spectacular. Can walk down path to bottom of falls. Lower Rainbow Falls another .8 miles further.
  • Back up trail toward Devil’s Postpile. Tie/hobble horse off trail to left just before “no horses” sign. Hike up to Devil’s Postpile Monument. (Lots of people on all these trails along river.)
  • Back down trail, cross over rock area to the bridge over the river.
  • Return, cross river trail and go up trail (south PCT) to pack station (crosses another trail – footpath from trailhead to Falls) .5 miles
  • Back to camp

King Creek  - pretty, fishing – 5 ½ hours with lunch & fishing, 10.5 miles, 7700 – 8400 ft elevation.

  • Take trail down hill just around end of farrier area at pack station. Cross bridge over river PCT/JMT north 1 mile. Take first trail to the left up King Creek, varied terrain.
  • After crossing King Creek go a bit further and cut off trail to the right toward creek where see rock waterfalls. Tie/hobble horses. Enjoy fishing (bites on each cast – Panther Martin lures/worms).
  • Rode up trail a while. Enjoyed (walked back down rock area). Could go on up to Fern Lake about another 3 miles up (6 more miles roundtrip).

Red Cones and McLeod Lake  – changes every ¼ mile, wonderful, through burned area, then forests, meadows, views. ~ 3 ½-4 hours, 10.3 miles, 7700 – 9400 ft elevation, up with level areas and then down.

  • South on trail from pack station near private corrals, first left onto PCT south up hill past Red Cones to Upper Crater Meadow. Great trail condition.
  • Could turn at Lower Crater Meadow for alternate route or not going to McLeod.
  • Left at intersection (shows signs to Horseshoe Lake) in Upper Crate rMeadow. Trail a bit rutted, but OK.
  • Up to McLeod Lake (beautiful). Took longer loop around (either route is OK).
  • Return Mammoth Pass Trail back down to Red’s Meadow. Trail comes in right down to pack station.

Minaret Falls  – lovely, easy, views of Devil’s Postpile – 6 ½ mi. 2 ½ hr.

  • Down past corrals to cross bridge over river.
  • Continue north on PCT, bearing right when JMT goes off to left.
  • Go as far as like, then turn around and come back. Maps showing trails on other side of highway are not correct and not passable by horses.

Agnews Meadow to Thousand Island Lake   – phenomenal, top ten ride, views, variety, spectacular, colored rocks - 16.5 miles, elevation

  • Up High Trail (PCT north), climbs then is fairly level rise, good condition trail.
  • Continue up to Thousand Island Lake

Ride Ideas  :

Take rig to Agnews, take bus shuttle back to Red’s. Ride up PCT to Agnews, spend the night, then ride to Thousand Island.

Ride to Johnston Meadow and Minaret Lakes

Ride up King Creek to Fern Lake

Ride down the river (rocky!!)

Ride to Shadow Lake and Ediza (treacherous rocks on trail up to Shadow Lake – get off horses)