Ediza Lake Loop Trail is a 14.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Oakhurst, CA that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
This hike was nothing short of amazing. I've done a number of hikes in Yosemite / Tuolumne and other national parks in the area - and this rivals them all. Views are incredible - plan to make some stops to take in the lakes along the way, plenty of fresh water to filter if need be. I would caution anyone attempting to make the jump from the River trail to the John Muir Trail to keep a really really keen eye out for the left turn. We walked past it before realizing we had missed it. Also, when you get close to Garnet Lake, you kind of lose the trail - we found the rock scramble up a small valley shown in the GPS track here, but the trails are faint and a number of them lead in many different directions (having the GPS definitely helped!).
This would be a great day hike or weekend backpacking trip. There is VERY limited parking in the lots at Agnew Meadows. And we had no issues with bugs, I suppose because at night it had already started getting below freezing (I've heard others have had a terrible time with bugs here).
This is one of the most beautiful hikes I've ever done. I feel like the effort to reward ratio of this hike is well worth it - it is a relatively easy hike with a very reasonable gain and the stunning views and pristine lakes are absolutely amazing!!
Great. Very scenic
How did you get to the trail head? I see the shuttles are not open in May. Looking to do this hike on Memorial weekend.
Everything my wife said below was spot on! Get out there and hike this one! Truly one of the most beautiful hikes I've ever done and I've done many including the Swiss Alps!
My husband and I enjoyed this hike Memorial Day weekend 2014 while camping at Red's Meadow. We hike pretty regularly and accomplished the 15 miles, 2898 ft ascent, as a day hike in just over 7 hours with plenty of snack breaks and even lunch at Ediza Lake.
The first mile is pretty flat along Agnew Meadow and just as you enter into the Ansel Adam's Wilderness it drops down into the valley. At 2.8 miles you pass the first lake, Olaine Lake. Very pretty but don't stop here!! Continuing on, just as you pass the bridge, the up hill trek begins. But don't be discouraged, it's more like an epic stair climber with GORGEOUS mountain views. At 5.5 miles you will be welcomed into Shadow Lake. This is one of the most beautiful and rewarding mountain lakes I have ever seen. And if you don't feel like doing the whole 7.5 miles to Ediza, this is a worthy stopping point. Moving on past Shadow Lake the trail meanders for another 200 ft elevation climb (only 2 more miles!) And these 2 miles are stunning, with glassy clear rivers, towering trees, and majestic peaks. As you round the last corner, Mt Ritter, Banner, and the Minarets give you quite a show. And my husband says he hasn't seen anything like it since the Swiss Alps! The time of year we did the hike, there was still snow on the lake (and crunchy patches along the trail) I would suggest waiting till mid June or July for the snow to melt. Reward yourself with a nap and head back. It's mostly downhill from here.
Here's a few extra pointers...
-You will be crossing quite a number of little creeks, so waterproof hiking boots are a plus.
-Bring lots of water. We went through 3 Liters each in out hydration packs, so lugging a water bottle isn't a good option. Or just bring a water filter pump and enjoy abundant mountain water.
- Be prepared for possible random thunder shower.
- Bring more food and snacks than you think you need. We had 2 Clif Bars each and an MRE (meals ready to eat) which we prepared with our JetBoil (an excellent investment)