Ansel Adams Wilderness Pack Trip

Escape Yosemite’s crowds on this adventurous backcountry horse supported pack trip.

Experience some of the most breathtaking scenery in the Sierra Nevadas, if not the entire country, as you escape the crowds of Yosemite on this three night backcountry adventure. Mules will carry your camp supplies, leaving you to enjoy this unique environment on foot. Accompanied by your private guide, you will pitch camp each evening next to a secluded alpine lake and enjoy a gourmet backcountry meal around a fire.

The Ansel Adams Wilderness

This 231,005 acre wilderness area is one of the best-kept secrets of the High Sierra. Located on the southern border of Yosemite National Park, the Ansel Adams Wilderness has mile upon mile of sweeping granite ridges, spectacular vistas, wildflower-strewn meadows and a lifetime of fishing possibilities in hundreds of sparkling high mountain lakes.  You’ll spend your days exploring this rich mountain environment, via established on and off trail routes.

Your Itinerary

You will be met at your hotel by your guide on the first evening for a short briefing.  After a hearty breakfast the next morning, it is a short drive to the trailhead where you’ll begin. All your gear will be loaded on to mules, leaving you with just a small daypack to carry.

This is an alpine environment and as you gain elevation you’ll pass through stands of red fir, Jeffrey pine, and lodgepole pine. After about a six mile hike, you’ll arrive at your camp beside a pristine alpine lake.

The next morning after breakfast in camp, your guide will lead you up to into the spectacular upper lakes basin.  As you climb, look out for small groves of mountain hemlock, a tree specially adapted to areas with heavy snowpack. You’ll finish the day with a cooling swim at your lakeside camp followed by dinner under the stars.

As with everything, your final full day can be fully tailored depending on your interests. If you’re feeling energetic, there is the option of a peak ascent of one of the 10,000+ ft peaks making up the southern border of Yosemite. The Ansel Adams Wilderness also has some fantastic fly fishing in both the alpine lakes and small creeks. You’ll encounter easy rising rainbows and brookies, as well as the beautiful golden trout, native only to specific areas of the California high country.  For budding Ansel Adams, the photography opportunities are of course endless.

After a leisurely final morning you’ll bid farewell to your cozy camp and make your way back to the trailhead.


From The Magazine


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