Ansel Adams Wilderness Map

Thousand Island Lake below Mt Ritter

Originally called the Minarets Wilderness, it was renamed to honor photographer, Ansel Adams, in 1984. Covering over 230,258 acres, it contains incredible glacial valleys, high alpine lakes and peaks including the highest peak, Mt Ritter at 13,150 feet.

The wilderness is located southeast of Yosemite National Park and goes all the way south to Lake Thomas Edison. The John Muir Trail (JMT) (a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT)) passes through the heart of the wilderness. It can be reached from either side of the Sierra. Most backpackers tend to enter the wilderness from the east, starting in the Mammoth Lakes area (near Devils Postpile National Monument), or from the south near Lake Thomas Edison at the Vermilion Valley Resort. It can also be accessed from June Lake, as well, as distant trailheads outside Oakhurst, CA. Permits are required for all overnight stays, and are avail from either Sierra or Inyo National Forest depending on where you begin your trip. See our detailed Sierra Wilderness Permit Page.

Central Sierra Trail Map
Check out our Central Sierra Trail Map to help you explore this amazing wilderness area.

Trailheads

Rush Creek or Devils Postpile are the best access from the east, Mono Creek is best from the south

Rush Creek (7245′)
Parker Lake (7790′)
Gibbs Lake (7980′)
Devils Postpile at PCT (7500′)
Quartz Mountain (8230′)
Isberg (7130′)
Mammoth (7490′)
Jackass Lakes (7055′)
Calif Riding & Hiking (6570′)
French (6830′)
Rattlesnake (8090′)
Portal Forebay (7025′)
Mono Creek (7800′)

Campgrounds:

Silver Lake (7245′)
Agnew Meadows (8250′)
Upper Soda Springs (7690′)
Pumice Flat
(7670′)
Minaret Falls (7610′)
Reds Meadow (7610′)
Granite Creek (6990′)
Clover Meadow (7030′)
Vermilion (7700′)
Bolsillo (7410′)
Mono Creek (7425′)
Mono Hot Springs (6560′)

Transportation:

A link to the Reds Meadow Shuttle from Mammoth Mountain (running mid-June to mid-September)

Yosemite Area Rapid Transit in the Mammoth area….YARTS

A Sierra Nevada Shuttles page — from climber.org

Private trailhead transfer — from MAWS

Another private trailhead transfer — from Sierra Shuttle Service

General Links:

A list of the the best destinations in Ansel Adams Wilderness from The Outbound

An informative post for a backpacking itinerary from Summit Hikes

Another nice write up about backpacking from Sonja Saxe

Four must see day hikes from Wonder Farr

Ansel Adams Wilderness page from Summit Post

A link to the Inyo National Forest page

Detailed Info from Sierrawild.gov