Explore the most popular birding trails in Ansel Adams Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Get your permit for the trailhead and at the ranger office per wilderness area They do want to know your loosely projected itinerary, but you're not held to it. If you are starting on the east side, get one from an Inyo ranger station, even if you plan to cross into Yosemite. If starting in Tuolumne, get a Yosemite permit, etc. I did the Minaret Creek, Ediza, Garnet, Thousand Island loop from Silver Lake with side trips to Davis Lakes, Alger Lakes, Koip Peak, Lake Catherine, Nydiver. Phenomenal.

Love this hike!

Beautiful and scenic! The uphill climb was a bear but totally worth it. My six year old enjoyed playing in the creek. Great views of Mono.

We did this as a backpacking trip on July 7, 2017 as a three day hike. We picked up permits at the USFS Mt Whitney ranger station - they have walk in permits reserved starting at 11am. The permit is for Rush Creek trail at Agnew lake specifically. Parked at the rush creek trail head at Silver Lake on the June Lake Loop. The first few miles are the most climbing of the trip if you go counter clockwise. We spent the night at Gem lake and took a nice dip in the water and spotted a bald eagle fishing right in front of us. It was great to be able to bring the dog. Bear canister required. (Or may counterbalance). Second day went around Gem lake, we actually turned up to Waugh lake which adds more mileage and climbing but we loved the view. Mosquitos and flies were CRAZY. Almost unbearable when walking by water- which you do a lot. Would recommend 100% deet and mosquito netting and sleeves. Full coverage. Spent night #2 at Thousand island lake and swam in the water. Last day went back PCT up to Clark lakes and swam there and refilled water. A little bit of a climb but great views. The way down rush creek trail towards Agnew was steep and rocky - difficult for the dogs pads. Stopped at the dam for refueling and finished the hike down with a stop in Silver lake to swim! A GREAT three day hike. Be prepared for bugs. Pack everything out :)

hiking
7 days ago

Gorgeous hike! Definitely one of my new favorites. The views are absolutely stunning and definitely worth the uphill climb at the beginning. It was a fairly hot day when we went and the uphill really wasn’t too bad. Some shady spots every now and then to stop and rest but really wasn’t too bad. Once you get past the uphill it’s fairly flat, following a creek with beautiful wildflowers and trees. Be advised, mosquitoes everywhere!!! We doused ourselves in bug spray ahead of time and still got bit, a lot! Still, totally worth it for the views once you get to Parker Lake! We brought our dog and she had a blast playing in the water, although it’s quite rocky and slippery. Saw some ducks and heard deer frequent the area but we didn’t see any. Parked easily at the trailhead, there is a dirt road to get there. Can’t wait to go back!

One of my all time favorites.

on Parker Lake Trail

8 days ago

Did this 7/5/18. We got to the trailhead later than we wanted (almost 11am) and was surprised on how few cars were here. We attempted this in 2017 on the same holiday week and the place was a madhouse (we couldn’t get to the trailhead due to a very rutted, washed out road in 2017)

This year was different - we made it down the road easily but slowly - we had an SUV but saw sedans in the lot. Only a handful of cars in the parking lot- surprising for a holiday week...

The trail is very well marked but pretty steep. The lake is amazing!! It was very windy at the lake, which likely kept away the bugs because there weren’t any. Excellent, well marked trail but steep.

hiking
10 days ago

Parker Lake is beautiful. We did this hike Sunday, July 1, 2018, and got to to the trailhead at 8:30am. Having heard how popular this trail is, we were surprised to be the only car at the trailhead. There is a porta-potty there. The beginning of the hike is exposed and gravely but the views behind you of Mono Lake are spectacular. You soon reach Parker Creek—keep an eye out for wild irises blooming creekside. There are stretches of aspen and evergreens. As we approached Parker Lake, the mosquitoes came out in full force. I had bug spray on and did not get one bite. My boyfriend did not and got attacked—he had about 20 bites in less than a minute. It was so bad that we didn't even stay at the lake. I was able to take 2 photos and we left almost immediately because he was getting eaten alive. Wish he had worn bug spray! On the way back, we passed by a lot of people and the trailhead had about 30 cars. Definitely need to do this again and actually spend time at the lake. Had our 35-lb dog with us and he did well on this trail though start early because it does get pretty hot.

hiking
11 days ago

We did this hike as a day hike (excluding the out and back section to Ediza lake) on June 18. We took the PCT out and the John Muir Trail back using the Shadow Creek trail to complete the loop as shown. Conditions were good and most of the snow is melted (though some small patches still exist). This is a beautiful hike and the John Muir Trail section is quite spectacular. It was a long hike, but very doable in a day if fit for that kind of distance. I would definitely do this hike again.

The lake is beautiful. I saw a beaver! Lots of mosquitoes when you get close to the lake, so bring bug spray. A couple guys caught some decent sized brown trout with fly fishing. The beginning of the hike was steep.

The climb was relentless but the views and scenery are worth it! Start early because you don’t want to be climbing up the first 2000’ in the hot sun with little shade. The mosquitoes were really bad this time of year, especially at Clark Lake! Really glad we did the loop instead of out and back. We took lots of breaks, took a dip in the cold water below Thousand Island Lake, and stopped to talk to lots of thru-hikers, so it took us 11 hours.

hiking
15 days ago

Very easy hike. Great views at the end. We went around 6:00pm so the weather was perfect. There were a lot of mosquitos by the lake so be sure to bring bug repellant,

hiking
20 days ago

Was a beautiful hike up this morning! The way to get there is fairly difficult - lots of uphill in the beginning but if you just push through the view is totally worth it. The cool mountain breeze and clear lake was worth the hassle! We saw an adorable mama duck and her babies peacefully swimming on the lake. We also met this lovely woman Michelle and her dog Floyd and enjoyed a wonderful conversation with her. Michelle, if you’re reading this, Grace, Ally, and Julia love you very much!! Would absolutely recommend this hike.

hiking
23 days ago

Nice hike in October among the changing leaves. Some initial uphill but it mellows out and you can enjoy some great views and dip your feet in Parker Lake. Parking lot can get busy and there are quite a few people on the trail, but not too many.

backpacking
24 days ago

Gorgeous views and relentless climbing to reach the high Sierra backcountry, but absolutely worth the work. Parking is safe at the Rush Creek Trailhead near Silver Lake. Did this as a four day thru-hike to Tuolumne Meadows in June 2018, using the JMT/PCT over Donohue Pass. This was the most beautiful and committing backpack trip I've done, and is a must-do. Arrange for a ride back from T Meadows via YART, a private shuttle service or hitch a ride. This is a friendly area of California.

hiking
1 month ago

Went on a hike in around noon (was very sunny and warm at that time) but the trail is fairly easy since the incline mainly occurs in the beginning and flattens out midway. The one thing is that there isn't much shade until the last half mile of the trail. The creek also appears several times, but at the end it gets more lush and wet so the bugs come out and we got bit a few times since we forgot bug spray.

We also brought our dog, who loved the hike and kept sniffing every plant and part of the trail on our way up. (side note: the hike was much longer than intended lol.)

The drive to the trail head is the part that could be improved for such a good view of the Parker Lake and Mono Lake on the way back. We drove a Tesla Model 3 and made it since it wasn't too busy and we drove slowly. The drive has more dips / and rocks on the last half mile to the trail head (after the fork in the dirt road). Parking is located at the trail head. I'd recommend a SUV.

Great hike for all ages. Scenery was mesmerizing.

Nice easy trail not far uphill there east back beautiful views.

Pat Ribotto - I'm a little confused on the ANYO Permit request for overnighting on the Loop. Did you get permits for all the areas your traveled on this Loop or was just one needed that included all areas on the loop.

backpacking
1 month ago

We stayed the night at Garnet lake VIA the JMT back in 2017. when we came up on Thousand Island and we knew we had to come back someday. We will be hiking back up from Silver lake this July. Can anyone tell us where is a good safe place to park for the trip? Thanks.

walking
2 months ago

This is a beautiful trail; however, it is a bit more moderate than the skill level mentions. While the trail is only 1.8 miles one way, the first half a mile on the way to the lake is very rocky and fairly steep. We did enjoy the view of the gorgeous lake!

It was a beautiful trail, completely worth it. Not to mention the lake at the very end, wow breathtaking. Don't be discouraged in the beginning, it's a bit of an incline but trust that it's the correct trail.

hiking
2 months ago

For planning purposes ... it’s a dirt road to get to the trailhead. As others have said, the first 0.75 miles are steep and exposed (no shade). I live at 400 feet elevation so I definitely felt the altitude. The hike is worth it though. You can hear the creek rushing from the trail and the mountain lake at the top is spectacular.

backpacking
2 months ago

We actually made a loop hike from Agnew Meadows to Ediza, then stayed the next night at Minnaret Lake having hiked by Iceberg and Cecile. That off-trail section was a bit sketchy due to incline and tallus. However, the Minnarets presiding over all of those gorgeous lakes were breathtaking. Ediza L. to Minnaret L. is some of the most beautiful land in Ansel Adams Wilderness to me, and that is really saying something because there are many spectacular places there.

hiking
3 months ago

Challenging at the beginning, but once you make it past the initial incline it’s a very enjoyable hike. The view at the end is beautiful and there are some obstacles along the way that make it more enjoyable. Very dog friendly too.

backpacking
4 months ago

The first time I did this hike, I was 10 years old and I never forgot it. It remains branded in my head. Now, I’m in my 50’s and its beauty hasn’t changed.

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike and was able to take the dog with us. She did great and enjoyed the shallow creeks. Awesome view at the end of the trail.

Spent a rest day here. Beautiful area and great fishing.

backpacking
7 months ago

I’ve backpacked Thousand island lakes so many times it never gets old. The views and hike in and out are amazing.

hiking
7 months ago

Absolutely beautiful hike !

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