High Trail


The High Trail starts from the Agnew Meadows (shuttle bus stop #1). Instead of crossing Agnew Meadow, the trail climbs partway up the east side of the canyon. There are magnificent views across the valley of the Minarets, Mount Ritter and Banner Peak as the trail contours along the slope to the headwaters of the San Joaquin River. Several trail junctions give options to travel to Summit Lake, Agnew Pass, Clark Lakes, or Badger Lakes. The High Trail is also part of the Pacific Crest Trail. If you continue on the Pacific Crest Trail you will connect with the John Muir Trail near Thousand Island Lake.

This is an active bear area so you must use bear canisters to secure your food and refuse.


Download area map for trail names.

To purchase more detailed maps or guidebooks of the area, visit esiaonline.com

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 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 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 is closed in winter.
Usage: Medium
Restrictions: - No campfires at Thousand Island Lake, Garnet, Ruby, Emerald, Badger or Clark Lakes; and no campfires above 10,000 ft. see Maps of Campfire Restrictions.
- Bear containers are required for storage of food and trash.
- No Camping within 1/4 mile of the outflow of Thousand Island Lake or Garnet Lake.
- Groups cannot be larger than 15 people (includes day use).
- Quota of 20 people permitted to start overnight trips each day from May 1 to November 1 for the High Trail. Trips going toward Shadow Creek or the River trail are a different permit. Check the area map for the correct trail name.
- Ansel Adams Wilderness regulations apply.
- Yosemite wilderness regulations apply if entering the National Park.
Closest Towns:  Mammoth Lakes
Water: Water from creeks, lakes and springs should be treated before drinking.
Restroom: Vault toilet at trailhead. 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 #1 is Agnew Meadows.


 Backpacker parking is at Mammoth Mountain Main Lodge.



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  Elevation : 
8,322 ft. at Agnew Meadow Trailhead - 9,839 ft. at Thousand Island Lake


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