Incredible Places | Made For The Media Interpretive Tools Follow Us on FacebookFollow Us on TwitterFollow Us on YouTube

Connecting Youth To The Outdoors

Ansel Adams


Ansel Adams Wilderness

Named after the renowned photographer Ansel Adams this wilderness area encompasses both sides of the sierra crest. Once inhabited by Miwok, Monache, Mono, Washo, and Shoshone tribe, this area still keeps its primitive nature after being protected in the Wilderness act of 1964. Established as the Minarets Wilderness in 1964. These “minarets,’  a jagged ridge of peaks is considered to be the one of the most spectacular massifs in the Sierra. There are 349 miles of trail, including both the John Muir Trail and the Pacific Crest trail that traverse the portions of the wilderness .


  • Highest point 13,157 feet at the summit of Mt. Ritter
  • 230,258 acres
  • Located in Fresno, Madera and Mono County
  • Sierra Nat’l Forest and Inyo National Forest

How to Get Here:

The Ansel Adams is located between Yosemite National Park and Mammoth Lakes. The John Muir Trail (and Pacific Crest Trail) passes through this wilderness, and it can be accessed from both sides of the Sierra crest. Most people enter the wilderness from the east, starting in the Mammoth Lakes area (near Devils Post Pile National Monument), or from the south near Lake Thomas Edison.

All visitors accessing Reds Meadow Valley must pay a per-person user fee which will allow use of the mandatory shuttle bus.

What to Do:

Backpacking, Hiking and Camping


Permits for backpacking in the Ansel Adams are available from theSierra and Inyo National Forests, depending on where you plan to enter the Wilderness.


Like all areas in the Sierra Mountain range the summer months are best once the snow has melted and the trails are accessible.

Local Tip:

Keep your eyes peeled for obsidian! A beautiful rock formation used by the Native Americans for tools and jewelry.