Thousand Island Lake

Thousand Island Lake


Thousand Island Lake

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Thousand Island Lake is a large alpine lake in the Sierra Nevada, within the Ansel Adams Wilderness in eastern Madera County, California.

The lake is named for the many small rocky islands that dot its surface. Theodore Solomons probably established the 'Thousand Island' name, as this appears on his 1896 map. John Muir called it by "Islet Lake."Browning, Peter (1986) Place Names of the Sierra Nevada. Berkeley: Wildnerness Press. p. 215.


The lake is within the boundaries of the Ansel Adams Wilderness of the Sierra National Forest and Inyo National Forest. Thousand Island Lake sits at the base of Banner Peak in the Ritter Range. It is the source of the Middle Fork San Joaquin River, which flows west into the San Joaquin Valley. The lake is a glacial tarn, formed in the bottom of a cirque when a glacier retreated.


Thousand Island Lake is accessible from several hiking routes:


The black and white photographs by Ansel Adams made Thousand Island Lake a famous Sierra landmark.

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