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California > Sierra National Forest > Minarets Ranger District
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Minarets Ranger District

Ansel Adams Wilderness- Named in honor of the pioneering landscape photographer, this wilderness area is known for spectacular alpine scenery, sparkling lakes, and steep, rock-walled gorges.

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General Information

Description - Minarets Ranger District is located in the northern tier of the forest. Various peaks over 10,000 feet dot the landscape. About one quarter of the Ranger District is occupied by the Ansel Adams Wilderness area. Although a heavily traveled wilderness area, it offers pristine views and many hiking trails. Two of these trails are the Pacific Crest and the John Muir Trails which go through many other forests in California.

Recreation - There are many camping areas scattered throughout the Ranger District and the Minarets Scenic Byway offers some breathtaking sites. The district features scenic vistas, excellent fishing, and great hunting when in season. Hiking trails are found throughout this district, especially in the northern part where the Ansel Adams Wilderness Area is located.

Climate - Weather conditions in the Sierra National Forest vary locally with elevation and exposure. Weather changes more rapidly and severely in the Forest's higher elevations. In general, temperatures in the Sierras drop three degrees with each 1000' of elevation gain.

Precipitation falls mainly from October through April. At higher elevations, much of it comes in the form of snow. Snowpack above 8000' can be 25 fee in the winter. Winter temperatures well below freezing and summer temperatures above 100 degrees indicate the normal seasonal spread. Clouds can build up during the summer to produce thunderstorm activity. It is wise to pack for any season when venturing into the high country, with clothing that can be "layered", ready to peel off or add on as the thermometer dictates. Always include some kind of rain gear.

Location - Minarets Ranger District is in the north-central part of the Forest. It's northern border is Yosemite National Park and is surrounded by Mariposa to the west and Pineridge to the east. The northeast part of the district overlaps part of the beautiful Ansel Adams Wilderness Area.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: Ward Hollesen Jr (Fresno, Ca)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: What a great trip, Nov 11th thru the 14th. Saw about 4 cars on the last day. A little snow on the ground from the previous storms, mostly on the northern faces, until you get a little higher on the roads. Snow stopped our higher journeys, but not the mud. We were on our XT 500's with knobbies. Creeks and snow were a little higher than last year at our Thanksgiving trip. Definitely needed that 4 wheel drive to pull in the tent trailer. Almost didn't make it into the site, lots of mud! I would recommend a more aggressive tire than M & S if you plan on going in the colder, wetter months. All in all, a great trip. Going to try to go a little earlier next year, we want to ride the trails without snow! Good luck

More Information

Contact Information:
Minarets Ranger District, P.O. Box 10 , North Fork, CA, 93643, Phone: 559-877-2218, Fax: 559-877-3108, TTY: 559-877-2218

Additional Information:
Sierra National Forest - The Sierra National Forest lies in Central California, on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada, bordering the south end of Yosemite National Park. Terrain varies from rolling foothills to the peaks of the Sierra Nevada crest.


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