Best trails in Ansel Adams Wilderness, California

1,617 Reviews
Looking for a great trail in Ansel Adams Wilderness, California? AllTrails has 46 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. Gearing up for a challenge? There are 34 hard trails in Ansel Adams Wilderness ranging from 7.2 to 53.2 miles and from 7,237 to 13,064 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
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Map of trails in Ansel Adams Wilderness, California
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Top trails (46)
#1 - Parker Lake Trail
Ansel Adams Wilderness
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(454)
Length: 3.6 mi • Est. 1 h 53 m
#2 - Thousand Island Lake via Rush Creek Trail
Ansel Adams Wilderness
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(131)
Length: 18 mi • Est. 8 h 23 m
Microspikes and trekking poles are highly recommended. A permit is required if you wish to stay overnight on this trail. Thousand Island Lake is one of the most beautiful points along the John Muir Trail.Show more
#3 - Shadow Creek, John Muir and Pacific Crest Trail Loop via Agnew Meadow
Ansel Adams Wilderness
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(79)
Length: 20.3 mi • Est. 10 h 40 m
This challenging loop starts at Agnes Meadow and travels into the mountains on the Shadow Creek Trail. During this section you'll pass the beautiful Shadow Lake, and then continue climbing up to the striking Ediza Lake. Along the way you'll have beautiful views of Shadow Creek as well. After reaching Ediza Lake, you can either return via the way you came, or do the loop shown on this page. You'll go north on the JMT, eventually taking a right onto the PCT, returning back to Agnes Meadow. If you plan on backpacking this route and camping in the wilderness, you'll need a permit.Show more
#4 - Shadow and Ediza Lakes Trail [CLOSED]
Ansel Adams Wilderness
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(264)
Length: 13 mi • Est. 6 h 26 m
Note: The road leading to the trailhead closes in the winter so please check with the park before visiting.Show more
#5 - Thousand Island Lake via PCT [CLOSED]
Ansel Adams Wilderness
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(152)
Length: 16.6 mi • Est. 8 h 21 m
This is a backpacking trip through the Ansel Adams Wilderness along the Pacific Crest Trail to Thousand Island Lake with nearby day-hikes focused around Banner Peak. Day hikes include a secluded pond with a panoramic view of Thousand Island Lake, Lake Catherine with a perfect view of the glacier between Banner Peak and Mount Ritter, and nearby Garnet Lake.Show more
#6 - Agnew Meadows to Thousand Island Lake via Shadow Creek and John Muir Trail [CLOSED]
Ansel Adams Wilderness
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(87)
Length: 19 mi • Est. 9 h 39 m
Dogs are allowed in the Ansel Adams Wilderness, but are not allowed in adjacent national parks.Show more
#7 - Silver Lake to the Minarets Loop [CLOSED]
Ansel Adams Wilderness
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(26)
Length: 30.2 mi • Est. Multi-day
#8 - Shadow Creek Trail to John Muir Trail [CLOSED]
Ansel Adams Wilderness
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(70)
Length: 8.1 mi • Est. 4 h 5 m
As of June 2020, trailhead parking is closed so you will need to start at the top entrance.Show more
#9 - Mammoth Crest Loop [CLOSED]
Ansel Adams Wilderness
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(35)
Length: 12.7 mi • Est. 7 h 10 m
#10 - Bloody Canyon Trail [CLOSED]
Ansel Adams Wilderness
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(36)
Length: 7.2 mi • Est. 4 h 33 m
The Trailhead is from Walker Lake, you need to drive to the Walker Lake campground along Forrest Road 1S23. This road is a dirt road in reasonable condition. There is a nice campground at the end of the road, it will be obvious when you get there. A pit toilet is there and nice small campground if you want to spend the night before you set off. You start walking through the campground and within 50 feet on your right the trailhead takes you up immediately a small hill from which you can look down to Walker lake. You immediately start down a steep incline until you reach the bottom along the shore of Walker Lake. The trail is well marked and easy to follow. The hike up to Lower Sardine Lake takes you every upwards with nice switchbacks, but this trail is not heavily used and parts are not well maintained. Small areas are washed out, fallen trees along trail and areas of significant overgrowth of brush. You may have stream crossings. Lots of wild flowers along the trail and the pleasant scents of wild oregano liven the senses. Lower Sardine lake and to Upper Sardine is the most difficult part of the trail. Seasonally, ice and Snow cover some of the most steep sections of trail and there is lots of scree and loose rocks to navigate to get up to Upper Sardine lake. This small section after already going up 2000 feet will tax you greatly. At Upper Sardine Lake there are actually two lakes, plenty of quality campsites can be found, but the best are at the second of the two lakes which is actually Upper Sardine Lake. Great views of Mono Lake are a treat from the ridges on the east side of Upper Sardine lake (which is where the good campsites are). Upper Sardine has great quality fresh water that is constantly being fed from streams above.Show more
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