Looking for a great trail in Ansel Adams Wilderness, California? AllTrails has 38 great hiking trails, trail running trails, views trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 19 moderate trails in Ansel Adams Wilderness ranging from 5.8 to 30.2 miles and from 7,237 to 12,283 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!






nature trips


wild flowers


bird watching



trail running

dog friendly

dogs on leash



4 days ago

Hiked this a few years back. Our first camp was at Clark lakes and ended up staying there both nights because it was so nice. We did take our day packs out to Thousand Island lake and do some fishing on the second day and headed back up to our camp at Clark Lakes. Really cool place to camp between two lakes on either side of the trail. We took the River Trail down to Angnew meadows on our last day and the wild flowers were awesome. I have permits again for this year in July and I can't wait to go back with the wife this time!

26 days ago

one of the best backpacking trips I have done and the views are like nothing I have ever seen. hard to believe it's real some tines, I will definitely be getting back up here again.

your maps of ansel Adam's wilderness area access routes down plays or ignores the western trail heads

From Agnew Meadows we took the River Trail and stopped at the fire pit for the night. The next day we met up where the JMT and PTC connect at the breath taking, picturesque 1000 is. lake. We met a ranger who checked our permits and warned us of a bear in the area. We got there early and spent the day sunning, wading in the chilly water and attempted to catch dinner. We passed 2 hikers from the day before who caught 13. No fish dinner for us. The next morning we finished the trail of prescious gems with garnet, emerald a ruby lake. I would do this hike every summer but there are many...way to many amazing places to see in the Sierras. I did this hike with my friend Curry Aug. 2017
My best hiking photos are from this trip.

3 months ago

Beautiful trail the entire way!

on Parker Lake Trail

3 months ago

Fairly easy hike with a beautiful small lake at the end

3 months ago

Great hike!!! My phone/watch actually tracked this trail closer to 20 miles round trip but it was certainly worth the trek. Camped right next to Thousand Island Lake.

4 months ago

Like others have mentioned, the beginning of this hike is a little steep, but isn’t too bad. I haven’t hiked in a year and was able to hike the incline in the beginning just fine while carrying my newborn in the baby carrier. It took us about 30 minutes to get to the lake. In my opinion the Mountain View and the creek that you hike along are much more beautiful than the lake itself. With that being said, the lake does look pretty good during sunset.

Two stars due to all the horse crap. People with dogs are expected to clean up after, why not the trail horses and mules. I was raised with horses and poo is poo.

4 months ago

Really nice

4 months ago

Loved this trail! There is a bit of an incline in the beginning, but after that it is smooth sailing. Be advised there are no bear lockers at the trailhead (though we were told it wasn’t a problem during the day). This time of year was especially pretty with the changing leaves. Would have loved to stay longer! Next time we will pack a picnic.

on Parker Lake Trail

4 months ago

If you are brand new to hiking (like I am) it’s does take an effort to make it thru, but is absolutely worth it!

4 months ago

Excellent hike ,had lunch at lake no bugs because of time of year

4 months ago

My wife and I did this trail as an overnight backpacking trip on 9/16/18. We were celebrating our one year wedding anniversary and we couldn’t have picked a more beautiful location.

Rather than doing this as an out-and-back, we decided to do it as a loop. We began on the High Trail (PCT) from the Agnew Meadows Trailhead toward Thousand Island Lake. At about the three mile mark you get a spectacular view of the Minarets, Mt. Ritter, and Banner Peak looming over Shadow Lake. Eventually, about eight miles in, you reach Thousand Island Lake. As you may have guessed, this lake is very unique because it has a ton of islands. The lake is at the base of Banner Peak, making this a very scenic location to set up camp. In the morning, we set off southbound on the JMT. Two miles later we reached Garnet Lake, which provided amazing views of Banner Peak and Mt. Ritter. We continued another four miles to Shadow Lake, with the last half mile paralleling a beautiful creek with numerous waterfalls. When you reach the east end of Shadow Lake, you can look back across the lake to the west for an awesome view of the Minarets and Mt. Ritter. Then it’s a steep, rocky descent through the gorge along the Shadow Creek Trail. When you reach the bottom, it’s an easy couple miles and a final uphill push back to the Agnew Meadows Trailhead.

I recorded my loop at 18.7 miles with 3,406 feet of elevation gain. It ended up being just a couple miles longer than the out-and-back to Thousand Island Lake, but with twice as many spectacular views. I couldn’t imagine missing out on everything we experienced on the back half! It was challenging, but well worth it.

Mid-September turned out to be a great time to go. It wasn’t very busy, the weather was great, there were no bugs, and the colors of autumn were starting to appear. It did get pretty cold at night, but it was a small price to pay given the other huge upsides.

Overall, this was my favorite hike so far and definitely the most scenic. I would highly recommend trying it!

You can download my recording if you decide to try the Thousand Island, Garnet, and Shadow Lakes Loop Trail instead of just the out-and-back trail to Thousand Island Lake. It will make navigating a lot easier!

Happy hiking!

Always enjoy this hike.

This hike was amazing a must do hike you can’t find better scenery then Garnet and thousand island lake started at Agnew meadows at 6:30am finished at 2pm there wasn’t much traffic either highly recommend this hike

We mapped this trail to be more like 7.5 miles. The return is where you will see your elevation gain with 9 switch backs and a gradual climb. I'm not the strongest hiker and made it back up about 4 miles, without stopping.
If you go past the bridge towards the end and not across you will come to Soda Springs camp ground which has a bathroom, water, and bear boxes.
Overall the trail was easy to follow and well maintained. I rated it a 4 due to the lack of traffic, beautiful views of the river, and being so shady. It was a bit anticlimactic and if you love water you will enjoy the clear waters of the river and a dip.
If you continue a few more miles down the trail you will reach Reds Meadow, Devil's Postpile/Rainbow falls. We would have if it wasn't getting late in the day. If you are looking for peace and quite and some seclusion, choose this hike.

on Parker Lake Trail

5 months ago

Very pretty views of Parker Creek and Mono Lake. Starts out with minimal shade and a little rocky incline. Actually gets easier, more shade and prettier forest and river views as you get closer to the end. Beautiful lake. Very pretty wildflowers in June. Excellent little day hike.

The Hike up to Gem Lake is a constant uphill, but well maintained trail. Lots of day hikers and people entering the high country. Agnew lake and Gem Lake are impressive, but unfortunately, they just have a reservoir feel. However, getting a glimpse of the entire hydroelectric works with old buildings, railtracks and old style reservoir buttress style dam is a throw back to a bygone era and fascinating when all taken together. At Agnew Lake we got a glimpse of the way down from the Spooky Meadows trail and it was impressive to get an idea of what we were instore for.

Our goal was to keep our camp two nights at Clark Lakes and day hike a loop up to thousand Island Lake. Clark Lakes are very picturesque, multiple places to set up camp, but most are close to the trail. Due to the late date in the season we encountered absolutely no mosquitoes, I am sure that in July there must have been alot, as the lakes are shallow with still water in many places.

The hike to Thousand Island lake from Clark Lakes is fantastic, each vista and view is better then the next with Banner Peak and Mt Ritter as the backdrop. At the junction with the JMT you encounter lots of people, up until then, from Gem lake to Clark Lakes to Thousand Island we had seen just about no one. However this section of the JMT is really stunning. we went south from Thousand Island to Garnet Lake and the trail was well maintained and just a joy to take in and hike.

At Garnet lake across the bridge ( once again a congregation spots for many hikers) we went east and down the trail next to the outlet falls to hook up with the river trail along the San Joaquin River. This little tail is poorly marked and poorly maintained, a fun pleasant scramble, but we left scratching our heads wondering if we were on the correct trail. However once on the river trail going north we were amazed. The river trail is really just a very sweet trail with great canyon wall views to the left as you ascend back up to the PCT.

Back at Clark lake we were able to find a great spot to enjoy the sierra sunset and get tremendous views just a 5 minute walk from our camp. we could see the orange glow off the mountains in Yosemite towards Mono Pass or east towards Banner peak.

The next day was the trip down, going through Spooky Meadows. Any place called Spooky Meadows just can't be passed up. The trail towards Spooky Meadows is a gentle upward climb with views and scenery that just keeps getting better and better. Mono lake occasionally comes into view, you hike through bristle cone forests go along the delightful Sullivan Lake. Then starts the climb down, down, down. The trail is very steep,but if you take your time quite is manageable with stunning views. We loved every minute of the hike back down to Agnew Lake, but were happy to make the decision to hike down this trail and not up it. The hike up would have been brutal with a full pack. Spooky Meadow trail has become one of my favorites and I already wish I had spent more time hanging out and explore Spooky Meadows. One of the pleasant things about this trail is to have a typical Eastern Sierra stream running along the trail with wildflowers and the scents of wild oregano and sage waif up through the air. We did not encounter any other people on the Spooky Meadow trail. It is hard to get to, but should be on your list of trails to hike.

We encountered light rains in the afternoon, and clear star filled nights with very little wind. We probably had the clearest air of the summer and the smoke from the recent fires had all cleared out.

Beautiful hike. Hikes through a variety of landscapes ranging from meadows, crests and valleys, pine forests, river and waterfalls, a handful of lakes varying in size and surroundings. Did the hike clockwise, saving the PCT views for last as a reminder of the landscapes I was in earlier on the hike. Recommend the extension to iceberg lake.

Hiked the loop on Labor Day weekend, was hot during the day (shorts weather, likely in the 70s) and cooler in the evening/early morning (high 30s). Very few mosquitos

Such an amazing hike. Beat the crowds at Yosemite and venture to the Ansel Adams Wilderness- you’ll be glad you did. While we initially set out to do Ediza as a 20 mile loop trail some complications and setbacks turned this into an out and back from Agnew Meadows, past Ediza, and onto Iceberg Lake. While Ediza is pretty, and almost swimmable, the real gem is the trek through the meadows en route to Iceberg. The scenery changes dramatically and you feel you’re hiking in the alps with little streams trickling down the mountain through flower filled meadows. Even in September there was still glacier remnants on Iceberg lake, since it’s over 9k ft. Pro tip: leave EARLY! They close the road to cars after 7:30 am so you’d have to take a shuttle. We got the last parking spot at Agnew Meadows campsite at 7:00 am.

Excellent trail

Truly an amazing hike! The trail is well maintained, though gets a bit confusing while crossing the river near Ediza Lake — I found some stepping stones that did the trick. There was still some haze from the recent California wildfires, but from what I noticed it seems to blow through fairly quickly and isn’t too big of a deal. I started the hike around 7:45am and made it back to my car by 2:30pm. The views of the Minarets at Ediza Lake are breathtaking — I’m sure they’re even better earlier in the season when there is more snow. Bring a camera for this one!

Great family hike, ages 4-68 this time

Great hike, elevation gain at beginning. we went to the left, found nice beach area about 3/4 down the lake. Kept going towards waterfalls and found beautiful rock piles. Kids (14, 13, and 7) were tired and wanted to go back. Put repellant on as soon as you get near the creek, lots of mosquitos.

The hike is amazing shadow lake is nice but it doesn’t compare to Ediza. The trail is flat for most of it just rocky parts of gravel and rock a some steep inclines. Once you get to Ediza u won’t be disappointed you get a beautiful view of mount Ritter and banner peak even tho for me there was smoke that day


6 months ago

The first part is a steady incline. Not too bad if you are an average hiker. Dog friendly. First part is not covered from the sun but there are spots of shade. Beautiful view. Lake is beautiful and the ducks definitely have some attitude with my dogs.

great reward of parker lake at the end for relatively short and easy hike

Load More