Ansel Adams Wilderness


Ansel Adams Wilderness encompasses 232,000 spectacular acres of granite peaks, steep-walled gorges and rock outcroppings. Several small glaciers cling to north and northeast facing slopes of the highest peaks. There are also a number of fairly large lakes on the eastern slope of the precipitous Ritter Range. Elevations range from 3,500 feet to 13,157 feet. The area includes approximately 350 miles of trails, including portions of the John Muir and Pacific Crest Trails. 79,000 acres of the Ansel Adams Wilderness are managed by the Inyo National Forest, while the remainder is managed by the Sierra National Forest and Devil’s Postpile National Monument.

At a Glance

Permit Info:
  • Wilderness permits are required for all overnight use.
  • From May 1 to November 1, use is regulated by limited entry quotas.
  • Permits may be reserved in advance, or obtained on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • For information about wilderness permits and reservations click here...
Closest Towns:
  • Lee Vining, CA (gas, food, lodging)
  • Mammoth Lakes, CA (full service, hospital)

General Information

General Notes:

Inyo National Forest, Sierra National Forest and Devil's Postpile National Monument share management responsibility for the Ansel Adams Wilderness. Approximately 79,000 Acres (34%) of the its 237,000 acres is managed by INF. Ansel Adams Wilderness is contiguous with Yosemite National Park, John Muir Wilderness, Owens River Headwaters Wilderness and several other wilderness areas. Together, they constitute one of the largest roadless areas in the lower 48 states.

The Ansel Adams Wilderness is very heavily used. Approximately 30 million people live within a few hours’ drive. Access routes to Yosemite National Park, as well as the iconic John Muir and Pacific Crest Trails, pass through it. High levels of use and the flux of visitors across jurisdictional boundaries require that visitors to adhere to high standards of conduct. Before visiting, familiarize yourselves with jurisdictional boundaries, regulations and appropriate Leave No Trace practices.



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Horse Riding & Camping

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