Ansel Adams Wilderness – Parker, Silver, Agnew & Clark Lakes

Ansel Adams wilderness is so huge that one will never run out of loops or day hikes to do.

This is our second trip to the wilderness.

Parker Lake

We only had permit for one night at the wilderness this time. These permits get sold out quickly. However at visitor center, they do issue walk-up permits. Call ahead to check timing for when the permits are released. Last Ansel Adams wildnerness trip started at Oakhurst,CA. This time from June lake area. So, we picked up the permit from Mono Basin visitor center.

When we got there by around 1PM, they had 7 permits available for next day (Sunday night). So, you might get lucky at the last minute too.

Agnew Lake

We stayed at Oh Ridge campground at June Lake loop on Saturday night. And did a short 3.8miles round trip hike to Parker lake.

The trail head for Parker/Walker lakes go through a dirt road from June Lake loop. You will see a sign for it on the loop. It’s at least a 2-miles on the dirt road before reaching the trail head. We drove our Honda Accord and it was just fine.

There is a backcountry campsite at Parker lake for those with permits for Ansel Adams wilderness.

Agnew lake top view

Next day morning, we started on the Rush Creek trail head in the direction of Clark Lakes. The trail head is next to a RV park on the june lake loop road and opposite to Silver Lake. There is parking lot with bear box for overnight hikers.

Silver lake seen from Rush creek trail

We started the hike by around 9AM and took it slow. The night at Oh Ridge was super windy and freezing. So, it took us a while to get up, break the tent etc., plus our destination for the day was not that far.

From Silver Lake to AgnewLake is 2.1 miles. And from there we crossed a bridge to go on to Clark Lakes.

One of the clark lakes

A few lakes located within a mile are collectively called Clark Lakes. The first of it is 2.4 miles from Agnew lake.

As you reach the clark lakes area, there is a small pond on the right side and the first lake within few feet on the left. There is a really nice flat campsite near this lake. It’s not obviously visible on the trail however. As you approach the lake, look for somewhat used path that goes uphill and you will find the campsite.

Pond near the clark lakes

From Silver to Clark lakes, the elevation gain was about 3000ft, pretty much uphill all the way through.

There are couple of access to rush creek to fill water after Agnew lake, coming from Silver lake. We took a filter with us.

Sunday night was freezing to say the least. Wind did subside after sometime. We heard the night before at Thousand island lake was super windy and someone we saw the trail decided to cut-short the stay and return.


Next day we took it super easy and started the hike back at 11:40AM. It was all downhill back to silver lake, where our car was parked.

Another beautiful hike with pretty lakes. Must go back for Thousand Island lakes sometime.

Without heavy backpack, day hikes are probably pretty straight forward. From Clark lakes, thousand islands is only another 2.5 miles.

Pets are allowed on this trail !!