Explore the most popular forest 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.

1 month 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.

I want to spread my ashes here. That's how beautiful it is.

One star because you suck at the internet?

7 months ago

Completely breathtaking. Start at Agnew Meadows, snack at Shadow Lake, and have lunch at Ediza. Trail was easy to follow with good signage. Took about 9 hours round trip with many stops for photos, snacks, and a long lunch. My dog absolutely loved it as well. Stream crossing to get to Ediza Lake is difficult to find. There is a log crossing before the trail crossing. I crossed with the pup across some rocks a little before the trail crossing. You can continue along a bit of a bolder scramble (there is somewhat of a trail) and take some rocks across at the lake. Worth an overnight trip which I plan to do next time.

Beautiful! Gorgeous! Amazing! I could go on, but words don't describe how picturesque this hike was. The views at the top are breathtaking. Would highly recommend this trail to everyone.

Solo hike from Agnew Meadow to Shadow Lake and then along the Shadow Creek Trail to just below Lake Ediza. The bridge to cross the creek below Ediza was non-existent. I kept going along a secondary trail but I couldn't find a place that I felt comfortable crossing the creek. It was getting late in the afternoon so I turned back. I did talk to folks who found a place to cross. The trail above Shadow Lake is absolutely beautiful and was a great place for lunch and wading in the creek.

This hike rivals those in Yosemite. Took us about 7 hours all said and done with a stop at Shadow for lunch and a stop at Ediza to take a dip in the lake (incredibly cold but so nice). Highly recommend. Hike isn't too difficult. The elevation gets you more than anything. Bring some mosquito repellent...i got chewed up...

Wonderful hike on a great trail with mountain and lake views. Dog friendly. Surprising did not see many other hikers in August.

Fantastic hike up through the valley and into the Sierras. There were a few areas with snowpack at the higher elevations but the trail is totally fine. The trail starts out with a gradual climb but levels off after the first 3 miles. Would highly recommend for a full length day hike if you have the time!

I hiked this trail in August of 2016. Definitely one of my favorite hikes! Beautiful views the whole way. I started around 6am and finished at 3. After hiking to Ediza, I trekked on to Iceberg Lake and then tried to make Cecil lake, but the trail past Iceberg became much more difficult and I was uncomfortable proceeding alone. Absolutely beautiful, and I highly recommend going on to Iceberg as I liked that one more than Ediza.

9 months ago

Where do I get a permit for the trail? Tried looking on Recreation.gov and can't find it. Thank you.

9 months ago

We took this trail and continued from Ediza to Thousand Island Lake for a 3 day backpacking trip and it was nothing short of incredible.

For future hikers to Ediza Lake: beware, the crossing over Shadow Creek just before you reach the lake is very dangerous right now due to high water and a fast current. Do not attempt to cross. Keep the creek on your left and follow to the north side of the lake, you will have cross the cliff scramble to reach Ediza.

Simply amazing. A must do. Pictures don't do these Lakes justice. All Trails doesn't have a listing for this loop including Thousand Island Lake, which adds a lot to the experience - both due to adding Thousand Island and to be able to come back along the PCT with amazing views of the Minarets. Did it in a day (11 hours total with a couple rests), but it's probably more enjoyable to camp and savor it a little longer. As of 7/29 there are minor slick snow patches to deal with in several places, particularly on the descent into Garnet, and the river crossing is out below Ediza which means you have to bend to the right and do some minor rock scrambling to reach it. Above Ediza looked like micro spikes were probably needed if you wanted to get to Iceberg and Cecile but I didn't take a close look. Mosquitoes were very present all along Shadow Creek but Garnet and Thousand Island were relatively bug free.

Love this trail and would like to make this an annual summer trip. As of 7/22/17 the high bridge is washed out. This weekend most hikers have traveled up the right side of the creek, scrambling on hands and feet near the creek for that last .9 to the lake. Lots of snow this weekend so travel is slow. Take the bolder rout to the right when you reach the lake. Your favorite camp sites are available and snow free. Take extra deet! Enjoy.

I am a pretty avid hiker and surprisingly found this hike to be pretty tough. I had intended to start at 7am so I could drive in, but I got up late and ended up starting at noon. This meant I had to cut my hike short. I wanted to get to Iceberg Lake but had to stop at Ediza. I ended up returning around 7:45pm and just barely made the last shuttle out of the valley, otherwise I would have to hike another seven miles up to the resort, and then down the road into town.

The hike is truly beautiful the entire way. It starts off quite easy at Agnew Meadows, and then you're hiking downhill on the ledge of a volcanic ridge which was really cool. Then through some "kissing canopies" of trees past Olaine Lake and the base of the climb to Shadow Lake. The climb to Shadow Lake is... wow. It's entirely on rock and exposed to the sun... not incredibly fun. Once you get to the top, you're at beautiful Shadow Lake. If you know what's good for you, stop here for a while to relax. It doesn't get any easier. From here, you can continue south on JMT to Rosalie Lake after climbing a series of switchbacks, or north to Ediza Lake.

The climb from Shadow Lake was intense and quite a workout, and a little less gradual than I anticipated, but by now you're in the thick of the forest and following beautiful Shadow Creek the entire way. There are wildflowers and tons of random waterfalls throughout. Ediza Lake is breathtaking and peaceful. Again, stop here and rest. At the southern end of the lake, you can see the trail to Iceberg Lake. It goes through a meadow and looks like it leads nowhere.

On the way back I started to panic a bit because I was running out of time. I hightailed the entire way which really took a toll on my body. I was no longer seeing any hikers on the trail except for a group of Cub Scouts. I did see some backpackers setting up tents. Probably the most grueling part of the hike was the end, from the bottom of the Shadow Lake climb back to Agnew Meadows as it was entirely uphill and I was exhausted. My repellant had worn off and I didn't apply more as my goal was to get back before I missed the last shuttle. I was eaten alive at Olaine Lake by swarms of mosquitoes.

I'd like to try to get an earlier start (7am) and do the full loop from Agnew Meadows to Devils Postpile via Shadow-Ediza-Iceberg-Cecile-Minaret. I would need to take more breaks and probably start with a decent breakfast. I tend not to eat before I hike (which goes against all wisdom) because all of the activity can made me sick.

Monday, February 13, 2017

My wife and I hiked this loop last July and it is one my favs for sure. The Ritter Range is something to see. I mapped out this route myself and it turned out to be a good one. We were going to spend 6 nights, but we cut it short by one night as we had done all we wanted to anyway. Starting at Silver Lake, it climbs steady to Agnew Lake, then another pretty good climb from there to Gem Lake. It mellows out a bit after Gem Lake as it follows Rush creek thru the woods towards Waugh Lake A really nice stretch right there. One last little pitch to get up to Waugh Lake and then a nice walk around the north side of the lake. We made this our first nights spot. There weren't a ton of camp spots, but there are a few as you get to the west end of the lake. Pretty windy all day our first day, and that night as well. The next day we packed up and were headed for Garnet Lake as our next stop. Once on the JMT, we started our climb to Island Pass. What a great view from up there in all directions. Great photos from this spot. Then down to 1000 Island Lake. All the lakes were great. Each one with it's own character to it. The view of Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak just kept changing the further south we walked along the JMT. Then we did another little up and down stretch between 1000 Island Lake and Garnet Lake. Finding a nice spot to camp at Garnet lake was a little more difficult. I did find what looked to be a possibility on Google earth before we left home, and that's where we wound up. No shade, but it had all the other criteria. Close to water, a level spot for the tent and privacy. The next mornings reflection shots on the lake were perfect. Worth getting up early for. From Garnet we hiked along the JMT until the cutoff to Ediza Lake. That was our 3rd and 4th nights destination. Again, found my camp spot from my research on Google earth. Great spot and we enjoyed our 2 nights there. On our off day, we hiked up to Iceberg Lake, and hoped to get to Cecile as well. But the amount of snow along the south east shore of Iceberg was such that I wasn't risking a slide into the lake. We settled for that as being our furthest point on this trip. Incredible spot with the Minarets right in your face . Then back to our campsite after and I wanted to do one more jaunt. So up towards Banner and Ritter I went. My wife bowed out of this one. Another incredible spot to be standing right below these two peaks. Water pouring down everywhere from above. Had the place to myself. High country at its best. The next day we packed up and headed down Shadow creek all the way to the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River. We crossed the bridge over the river and then got on the river trail north. We hiked all the way to the Clark Lakes that day. A long haul, and Agnew pass at the very end was something we hadn't planned on. Super steep and really kicked our butts. I again found our camp spot from previous searches on Google earth. Great spot with a huge view. The next morning we hiked back to our truck down a really steep trail, back past Agnew Lake on the opposite side , and then back to Silver Lake on the last 2 miles or so that we had been on before. Great loop. Another Sierra hike off the list. This area of the Ansel Adams Wilderness is a must do!!

Friday, September 23, 2016

One of the most beautiful hikes I've been on in the Mammoth area! I don't know if it was the altitude or my physical condition, but it's on the difficult side of moderate, but well worth it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

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).

Monday, September 19, 2016

Just finished this trail yesterday. The autumn colors really came out and was a magnificent sight to see! Our trip from Agnew Meadows to Ediza Lake was a total of 14 miles. This is a good trip for beginners that are just getting into backpacking! The steep ascend to Shadow Lake is a good challenge, which is highly rewarded with the view.

Monday, September 05, 2016

This is the most gorgeous hike I have ever been on. Wow. My life won't be the same. Definitely make this a three day trip by spending the night at Ebiza lake and on Day 2, hiking to Thousand Island lake, and then on Day 3 taking the PCT back (nearly all downhill) to the Shadow Lake trailhead. I've never seen anything more beautiful.

Monday, August 08, 2016

I consider myself a pretty seasoned hiker, but I found this hike to be unusually brutal. I did do it in one day though, and didn't get out early enough so I didn't have much time for breaks.

Beautiful hike. Shadow Lake is breathtaking especially when the water is calm and you can see the reflection of Banner and Ritter in the water. The climb up to Shadow Lake from the bridge is exhausting and very rocky and was only 0.5 miles but took close to an hour. Plan for these climbs when trying to calculate the amount of time it will take. Shadow Lake is a good place to take a break. The climb out of Shadow up to Ediza seemed even more tiring but there is a lot of shade and a creek with several waterfalls follows the trail. There are also some beautiful marshes. There are some extended sections of rock (similar to the Shadow Lake climb). The hike ends with a sketchy log bridge which was kind of cool. Ediza Lake is magnificent. Enjoy all the work you did to get here because you are much closer to the tops of the Minarets than you were when you started! The wildflowers were in the middle of their bloom at this elevation where they had all withered down lower in the valley.

I was hoping to get to Iceberg and maybe even Cecile, but I was exhausted and couldn't take any more climbing. I am glad I skipped those as I just barely made the last bus out of the valley. I'll do those on another trip.

Remember that repellent wears off, especially with sweat. I put plenty on, but had to rush on my way back to make the shuttle bus and didn't put more on. I was eaten alive by mosquitoes, especially near Olaine Lake.

This hike would be absolutely amazing as a camping trip so you can go at your leisure and take plenty of breaks.

Friday, July 29, 2016


You really couldn't ask for anything more on this trail. Hiking under a canopy of trees, raging waterfalls and of course the tranquil, yet breathtaking Ediza Lake. My numbers read 14 miles out and back with 1802 ft total elevation gain. A bucket list item for sure.

Monday, June 27, 2016


Friday, October 23, 2015

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!!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Great. Very scenic

Monday, July 20, 2015


Monday, May 26, 2014

Everything my wife said below is absolutely true! And take a camera you'll need it...

Monday, May 26, 2014

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!

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