Minaret, Cecile and Iceberg Lakes
Mammoth Lakes, California
Ansel Adams Wilderness is located in the Inyo National Forest in Mammoth Lakes, CA. Home to alpine lakes and beautiful peaks it’s the kind of place where you can truly disconnect from the modern world.
Mammoth Lakes lives up to its name - all you have to do is look up Mammoth Lakes on google earth and you’ll see more lakes than you can count. With so many options to choose from, one of the best backpacking destinations in the Ansel Adams Wilderness is Minaret, Cecile and Iceberg Lakes. Accessible from Devil’s Postpile National Monument, the hike is about 7 miles (one-way) with 2,500 feet of elevation gain to Minaret Lake. With a bit of scrambling near the North-West side of Minaret Lake, you’ll reach the clear blue Cecile Lake. Circle Cecile lake and you’ll get a bird’s eye view of Iceberg Lake.
Following the correct trail from Devil's Postpile to Minaret Lake can be quite confusing. Follow the signs in the order they appear during your hike as described in the tips below and you’ll be on the right path.
- Watch for the following signs in the order in which they are listed here (starting from the parking lot of Devil’s Postpile): Devil’s Postpile, Minaret Falls, Minaret Lake, Johnston Lake and finally, Minaret Lake.
- Download the Maplets app for your phone; then download the Inyo National Forest maps within the app before you go. Using the app, you can use the GPS enabled maps to see where you are on the trail without having a cell signal.
- Be sure to purchase an Inyo National Forest Wilderness permit for Minaret Lake from recreation.gov for any overnight camping.
- To be able to take your time to enjoy great views of all three lakes, stay a minimum of three nights.