This 5 mile roundtrip, 1300 foot elevation gain hike passes numerous waterfalls and an old tramway built in 1915 to service the hydroelectric power plants that provide electricity to the communities of Mammoth Lakes, June Lake, and Lee Vining.

South of Lee Vining and the Tioga Pass cutoff, we took the June Lakes Loop. Just as we reached Silver Lake, we parked at the Rush Creek Trailhead near the pack station at around 7,200 feet elevation.

Take the June Lakes Loop until you reach Silver Lake. There’s parking at the Rush Creek Trailhead near the pack station at around 7,200 feet elevation.

We decided to take an off-trail shortcut on our hike to Agnew Lake. We continued to climb, finding ourselves in some pretty tricky situations the higher we got.

We decided to take an off-trail shortcut on our hike to Agnew Lake. We continued to climb, finding ourselves in some pretty tricky situations the higher we got.

It was already hard enough but became more difficult as the climbs got steeper which forced us to give Rusty the dog a boost up the rock face.

It was already hard enough but became more difficult as the climb got steeper which forced us to give Rusty the dog a boost up the rock face.

Looking back on Silverlake from the trail.

Looking back on Silverlake from the trail.

Soon we crossed the border into the Ansel Adams Wilderness.

Soon we crossed the border into the Ansel Adams Wilderness.

We soon came into view of Rush Creek and the falls.

Rush Creek and the falls.

The views along the trail are spectacular.

The views along the trail are spectacular.

Cascade #2 is a little more difficult to see in this photo but it was there.

Cascade #2 is a little more difficult to see in this photo but it was there.

Near Rush Creek we encountered the tramway, a super steep rail system.

Near Rush Creek we encountered the tramway, a super steep rail system.

One site, The Sheet, says the tramline, which runs to Agnew Lake and Gem Lake, serving the SCE hydroelectric power plants at each, was built in 1915. Another site says, “this tramway was used in the construction of the hydroelectric facilities above. Its rails, lifts, and cars were purchased from a defunct mine at Bodie. This first section of tramway, 4,800 feet long, runs from Silver Lake up to Agnew Lake, with a rise in elevation of 1,250 feet.”

The tramline, which runs to Agnew Lake and Gem Lake, was used in the construction of the hydroelectric facilities. Its rails, lifts, and cars were purchased from a defunct mine at Bodie. This first section of tramway, 4,800 feet long, runs from Silver Lake up to Agnew Lake, with a rise in elevation of 1,250 feet.

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Shake Shack near Lake Agnew Dam area.

Shake Shack near Lake Agnew Dam area.

Agnew Lake was rather dry. Gem Lake Dam is in the background.

Agnew Lake was rather low. Gem Lake Dam is higher up in the background.

Hornywood

Hornywood

Obsidian Rock/Ivory Dam

Obsidian Rock/Ivory Dam

Dam Fetish

Dam Fetish

I was a little tired from hiking so much the previous three days but we eventually made it down and back to our comfortable home in Mammoth Lakes.

I was a little tired from hiking so much the previous three days but we eventually made it down and back to our comfortable home in Mammoth Lakes.