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Norris Trailhead to Vanderburgh Lake

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Ansel Adams Wilderness

Norris Trailhead to Vanderburgh Lake is a 8.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Oakhurst, California that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 8.1 miles Elevation Gain: 1,469 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly





nature trips





wild flowers


The Norris Trailhead is about 1 hour past Bass Lake, on Beasore Road (which gets rather bumpy for part of the way near the trailhead). There are many destinations from the Norris Trailhead, and this is just one of the lakes that are very nice and have some very nice campsites. A nice lake with great fishing. It makes a great base camp, from where a myriad of day hikes opportunities await. The trail is steep right off the start, and then a little past halfway it gets a bit steep again. The lake setting is very pretty and provides great campsites, with great cover and shade.

4 days ago

Overall a good trail! Not epic but not boring! The first 1.5 miles is all up hill around 1000’ in elevation gain. Then the rest of the 3.5 miles to the lake is pretty easy. The trail is very well maintained complete with steps cut in. BRING bug spray!!!!! The mosquitos are bad right now!

The view at the lake is worth every step! Plenty of trails to go on to from this point. Awesome hike!

1 month ago

The last 10-miles to tailhead is a bumpy, windy single lane road with lots of potholes. Beautiful trail to the lake, some snow still on the trail. Make sure you download the map as it is easy to lose the trail.

Sat Sep 09 2017

A few steep climbs that are a bit tough if carrying heavy packs, but gorgeous views along the way. There are some beautiful, forested sections that feel magical, with a few meadows off the trail filled with wild flowers. Go a mile or so further to lady lake and there are lots of glacial waterfalls coming down the granite walls. There was some smoke from the nearby forest fires ty far affected the air quality last weekend, but a thunderstorm blew some of the haze out. Some mosquitos near the water, but not as many as anticipated.

Mon Aug 17 2015

Would definitely not classify this hike as "easy!" Very rocky, uneven, quite steep in places, but a nice hike and destination.

Thu Sep 04 2014

Fairly abrupt greeting from the Norris TH, as it gets steep right off the get-go. Flat in the middle and then a bit more up towards the end. Vanderburgh Lake is a very nice, smaller sized lake. The setting is beautiful though. Very quiet and great lake to set up camp at. Day hikes to various destinations are available (we chose to hike to Lillian Lake and surrounding areas).

5 days ago

1 month ago

11 months ago

Sat Jul 07 2018

Sun Sep 04 2016

Sat Jun 18 2016