Fern Lake Trail


The Fern Lake trail follows Snow Canyon toward King's Creek and Summit Meadow on the way to Fern and Anona Lakes. Start from Shuttle stop #6 in front of the Devils Postpile Visitor Center. It is less that a mile to the junction with the John Muir Trail where a bridge across the river leads to several trail junctions. Trips going to Beck Lake or Minaret Falls have different trail designations and quotas. Fern Lake trail does not give access to the John Muir Trail.

You can continue past Fern Lake junction to Summit Meadow and Granite Stairway to go toward Bench Canyon or Isberg Pass.

Common Destinations: Summit Meadow, Fern Lake, Anona Lake, Mammoth Trail in Sierra National Forest

Download area map for trail names.

To purchase more detailed maps or guidebooks of the area, visit sierraforever.org

At a Glance

Reservations: Reserve up to 6 months in advance at Recreation.gov
Day use does not require a permit.
Rentals & Guides: Reds Meadow Pack Train is located near Reds Meadow Resort. 1(800) 292-7758
Fees All visitors to the Reds Meadow Valley pay a per-person transportation fee which allows use of the mandatory shuttle bus. Call Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center for more shuttle information. (760)924-5500.
Permit Info: Wilderness permits are required for overnight trips into the Ansel Adams Wilderness. Permits are issued at Inyo National Forest visitor centers. 
Open Season: Road closed in winter.
Usage: Light
Restrictions: - No campfires at Fern Lake, Anona, Ashley, Holcomb or Beck Lakes; and no campfires above 10,000 ft.
- Bear resistant food storage containers are required for storage of food and trash. 
- Groups cannot be larger than 15 people (includes day use).
- Quota of 10 people permitted to start overnight trips on the Fern Lake trail each day from May 1 to November 1.
- The Fern Lake trail includes trips to Anona Lake or Summit Meadow.There are several different trails in the area. Fern Lake trail does not access the John Muir or Pacific Crest trails. Check the area map for the correct trail name.
- Ansel Adams Wilderness regulations apply.
Closest Towns:  Mammoth Lake
Water: Water from creeks, lakes and springs should be treated before drinking.
Restroom: Flush toilet at shuttle stop. Please Leave No Trace. Bury human waste away from water sources.
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: For wilderness permit information call (760) 873-2483; or for area information call the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center (760) 924-5500

General Information


Leave Hwy 395 at Hwy 203 to the town of Mammoth Lakes. Turn right on Minaret Road and go to Mammoth Mountain Adventure Center (Main Lodge) for long term parking and to board the mandatory shuttle to the trailhead. Shuttle stop #6 is Devils Postpile Visitor Center.



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  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
7,543 ft. at Devils Postpile Visitor Center - 8,780 ft. at Fern Lake