Hi Elizabeth, I hear that today or tomorrow another storm might be coming in with the possibility of more snow. As it was, I only went as far as Agnew Lake (well, plus about 1/3 of the way beyond towards Gem Lake). It really kicked my butt. It was a warm afternoon, no shade, and I live and hike at sea level (a couple miles from the ocean). Starting the hike at 7,200 and gaining 1,500' elevation on a warm afternoon was brutal. I would also have done much better with a lot less weight in my pack. My plan is to reduce my packed weight by about 1/2 before my next trip.
My dog was also getting pooped. The excercise wasn't so bad, but she really doesn't care for warm weather. Every patch of shade from a bush on the trail she was lying down (and we both drank plenty of water).
All in all, we had a good time just in the hiking that we did. And I found the scenery to Agnew Lake to be beautiful, so I can only immagine how much better it gets. My end of July trip is for a 4 day 1000 Island Lake starting from Agnew Meadows. The pooch and I are going to have some training to do to get ready for it. Lighter weight pack for me, more practice hiking in warm weather for her.
Sorry, I forgot I hadn't responded to your snow question (since it may change today or tomorrow). People I passed on the trail told me there was no snow at Gem Lake, and only a little past Waugh (none in the exposed areas). I came over Tioga Pass, which is 9945' elevation, and the snow started at least 200 or 300 feet higher on the mountains around the pass.
Vixen, on the trail to Agnew Lake:
Resting in the shade between Agnew Lake and Gem Lake: