Starting from Silver Lake along SR158 (the June Lake loop) in Inyo National Forest, the Rush Creek trailhead provides efficient access to some of the most spectacular scenery in the Ansel Adams Wilderness. The Rush Creek trail heads up past Gem Lake and Waugh Lake to intersect the Pacific Crest Trail. It is used to climb Rodgers Peak, Mt. Davis, Electra Peak, as well as to approach Mts. Lyell and Maclure from the south. Unfortunately, because of the incredible views, the trail is one of the most popular in the Inyo National Forest. Fortunately, the crowds are left behind the moment you leave the trail to head for the peaks in the area.
The Rush Creek trailhead can also be used to approach Banner Peak and Mt. Ritter from the north; follow the Rush Creek trail to Agnew Lake and take a spur trail that leads past Clark Lakes to Agnew Pass and Thousand Island Lake.
Developed camping is found at the trailhead, as well as at several other campgrounds along the June Lake Loop. Please consult the Inyo NF campground information
for details. Dispersed camping is found nearby along SR120 east of US395. Accommodations are also available in the nearby resort of June Lake, or slightly further afield, in Mammoth Lakes or Lee Vining.
If approaching from the north, drive south from Lee Vining for about 5 miles on US395 to the north junction with the June Lake loop (SR158). Head west/south on SR158 for 9 miles past Grant Lake to Silver Lake. Abundant trailhead parking is found on the right.
If coming from the south, take the south junction of SR158 west towards June Lake. The Rush Creek trailhead is obvious, and is located about 3 miles west of town.
In winter, the June Lake loop is gated closed at the north junction with US395, and at the power station two miles west of June Lake, about a mile south of the summer trailhead; see here
for the current road status. (This is a fairly popular ice climbing area at this time of year).
Permits and Red Tape
Wilderness permits are required for overnight stays in the Ansel Adams Wilderness. Please consult the main Ansel Adams Wilderness page
for details on obtaining permits for the Rush Creek trail. No permits are required for dayhikes.
When To Visit
The trailhead is relatively accessible year-round, and has been used as an approach to climb Lyell and Maclure in winter when Tioga Pass is closed. Keep in mind that most of the peaks in the area reached out of this trailhead require a 20-30 mile round-trip approach, and are most easily climbed in the summer and fall months--typically June through October in most years.
External LinksInyo National Forest Mono Lake Ranger District campground information
SR 158 road conditions
climber.org driving directions