A horse with backpacks, and a woman walking in the background in Sierra Nevada, USA

Ansel Adams Wilderness Mule-Supported Trek

Fresno, CA

Trip Highlights

  • Pack Stock Support
  • Spectacular Wilderness
  • High Alpine Lakes
  • Mountain Vistas
  • Meadows & Wildflowers
  • 10,000' Summit

Description

The Ansel Adams Wilderness – running along the spine of the High Sierra in California – is one of America’s most stunning alpine mountain landscapes. Originating along the southern and eastern edges of Yosemite National Park, the Ansel Adams Wilderness encompasses 79,000 acres and features 350 miles of hiking trails! It is characterized by imposing granite peaks and ridges, jaw-dropping views, vast alpine meadows covered in wildflowers, pristine creeks and lakes, and a lifetime of exploration opportunities for the adventurous traveler.

On this extraordinary trip, we hike with light day packs as horses and mules transport all of the gear and supplies to our amazing camp on the shores  of a scenic lake. We’ll spend the our days exploring this unique, spectacular mountain environment on and off maintained trails. We’ll hike to high mountain cirques, summit peaks, hidden lakes and more!

This trip is operated in partnership with Southern Yosemite Mountain Guides: a permitted outfitter on the Sierra and Inyo National Forests.

Read more …
From USD
$2600 Per Person
$225 Single Supplement  

$225 Single Supplement

The single supplement applies to the first night at the Pines Resort in Bass Lake, CA. The camping portion of the trip includes a 1-person tent for all solo travelers.

Trip Type: Portered Trek
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 4-12 Guests
Trip Length: 5 Days
Distance: 24MI / 39KM

DIFFICULTY LEVEL 3

Scale of 1-5. 1 is least difficult; 5 is most difficult

SUMMARY OF DIFFICULTY
This trip features moderate hiking distances on moderately rugged terrain that includes on-trail and off-trail sections. Backpack weights are on the light-moderate side at 10-20 lbs.

Hiking Distances:

Up to 6 miles

Backpack Weight:

8-12 lbs

Terrain:

Moderately Rugged

Max Daily Elev. ↑↓:

Up to 2,500 feet

Heights Exposure:

Moderate

Please Note: Terrain, Elevation Gain and Heights Exposure ratings reflect the section or day of the trip with the maximum difficulty of each. Much of the trip is at easier levels. See the trip itinerary for more detailed information.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS OF THIS TRIP

  • Hiking uphill or downhill with a 8-12 lb backpack for 4-6 hours
  • Maintaining balance and footing on terrain that can be uneven, steep, rocky, snowy, or muddy
* For an official and complete list of physical requirements, please see our Essential Eligibility Criteria.

SOLITUDE LEVEL 3

1 least solitude, 5 most solitude

We rate this High Sierra stock-supported trip a solitude 3. Expect hours of solitude at a time.

We require a minimum of 4 guests to confirm this trip. If a trip date is not confirmed yet, you can register and will be notified when the trip is officially confirmed. We recommend not making final travel arrangements until your trip meets the minimum number of guests and is confirmed.

In most cases, if a trip does not reach the minimum number of guests, you may choose to transfer to another trip date or another trip, be refunded your payments in full, or you may have the choice to pay a supplemental fee to run the trip with fewer guests. We make the final determination for these trips 65-60 days before the departure date.

PRIVATE TRIPS

Travel in perfect company by booking a private trip exclusively for your group!

Our sliding scale for private trips is based on the final number of guests in your group. Rates are per person and do not include sales tax, national park fees or guide gratuity. The final rate is based on the actual number of guests on the trip and may adjust based on cancellations or additions.

Please Note: you can also enjoy a private trip at our normal scheduled rates by filling any empty tour to capacity. However, if group members drop from the tour those spots will automatically become available on our website for instant booking. By purchasing a private trip at the rates listed below, your trip will remain exclusive to your group regardless of cancellations. 

PRIVATE RATES FOR THIS TRIP

  • 2 People: Rate x 2.5
  • 3 People: Rate x 1.75
  • 4 People: Rate x 1.25
  • 5+ People: Rate x 1.15

*all rates are per person

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ITINERARY

ITINERARY

Day 1

On Day 1 you will meet your Guide in Fresno around 4:00 pm.  We will transport you to the Pines Resort in scenic Bass Lake, California. You will brief with you’re guide and group at 6:00 PM in the main lobby of the resort for a pre-trip orientation. Your guide will review the itinerary, check gear and answer questions. After the orientation, your guide will provide recommendations for dinner, which is on your own tonight.

Please note: beginning in 2025, on the first night of this trip we will be camping at Bass Lake instead of staying a the Pines Resort. Dinner and breakfast are included and will be prepared by your guide(s).

Day 2

  • Drive Time: 1 hour
  • Hiking Distance: 6 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1709 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 322 feet

Today we’ll get an early start. Breakfast is on your own (there’s a wonderful bakery at the Pines Resort), after which we will shuttle to our starting trailhead. We will begin our hike through beautiful conifer forests and along rushing mountain creeks and set up camp near the shores of a gorgeous subalpine lake with stunning views of the surrounding high country. This is our home for the next 3 nights, so we’ll settle in and have a bit of down time before our first delicious backcountry dinner prepared by your guide(s)!

Please Note: beginning in 2025, breakfast is included on Day 2.

Day 3

  • Hiking Distance: up to 6 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: up to 2,000 feet

Our first morning waking up in this amazing place will be complimented by a hot breakfast and steaming tea or coffee prepared by your guide(s). After breakfast we will enjoy our first day hike from camp: this one takes us into a stunning basin with multiple lakes in the high country above camp. Our hike follows established on-trail and off-trail sections, and the hike can be customized based on the desires of the group. 

After our hike you’ll have time to relax in camp, fish or swim in the lake. We’ll reconvene for another hearty dinner and amazing evening beneath one of the most beautiful night skies you’ve likely ever seen.

Day 4

  • Hiking Distance: up to 6 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: up to 2,500 feet

After another tasty breakfast served up by your guide(s) we’ll set out once again to explore the mountains, valleys, basins and cirques that define the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. Today we’ll tackle a summit hike of one of the nearby 10,000-plus feet peaks that comprise the boundary between the Ansel Adams Wilderness and Yosemite National Park. From our highest point, we’ll relax for a picnic lunch and soak up the panoramic mountain views, then return to camp. Your guide(s) will prepare a celebratory dinner tonight to commemorate our last evening in the wilderness.

Day 5

  • Drive time: 1.5 hours
  • Hiking Distance: 6 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 322 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 1709 feet

After a relaxing morning we’ll break down camp, load the mules and say goodbye to our lakeside camp. Today we reverse our route from Day 2, taking our time to soak in the mountains. We aim to be back to the trailhead by 4 PM, where we’ll sort the gear and say our fond farewells.  Your guide will transport you back to Fresno Airport or Hotel of choice.

Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary access restrictions, weather, lodging/campground availability, guest ability/injury, natural events like fires and flooding, and other potential causes. Normal terms and conditions apply to trips with itinerary changes.

Trip Dates & Booking

TRIP DATES & BOOKING

Click on a date to register. You can also click here to request new dates or book through customer service.

Available to Book

AVAILABLE TO BOOK

This trip is available and bookable online! Click on the date to register now or contact us online to book through our award-winning customer service team!

Going Fast

GOING FAST

This trip has 1 or 2 spots remaining and is bookable online! Click on the date to book now or contact us online to book through customer service.

Request a Reservation

REQUEST A RESERVATION

This trip is exclusively booked through customer service due to logistics with lodging, permits, staffing, availability, or something else. Please contact us online or call us at 800-715-HIKE (4453) to request a reservation.

Don't see your dates? Call us! We may be able to add new trip dates.

800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Details

Trip Details

What's Included

  • Day 1 lodging at Pines Resort in Bass Lake, CA (being replaced with camping in 2025)
  • Transportation for the duration of the tour beginning and ending in Fresno, CA
  • Mules to transport the majority of gear and food
  • Trained hiking guide(s) with years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. See Guide Bios.
  • Top-of-the-line tent, backcountry sleeping pad and multi-day backpack
  • High quality, synthetic sleeping bag (professionally laundered after every use) – or bring your own.
  • Use of trekking poles
  • 2024: All meals are included from lunch on day 2 through breakfast on the last day
  • 2025: All meals from dinner on day 1 through breakfast on the last day
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and communication device (InReach Explorer or satellite phone)

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear (see recommendations)
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Waterbottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Dinner on day 1, breakfast on day 2 at the Pines Resort at Bass Lake (included in 2025)
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-15% of trip cost)

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about what to pack.

Meals: What to Expect

All of our hiking and backpacking tours include a diversity of tasty meals packed full of critical carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We carry foods that travel well in the backcountry – rice, pastas, lentils, beans, couscous, packaged meats, nuts, breads, oatmeal, granola, and more.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables (fresh and dried). In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.

Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:

  • Deuter or Osprey backpacks
  • Sierra Designs or Mountain Hardware tents
  • Sierra Designs, Big Agnes and Mountain Hardware synthetic-fill sleeping bags (or bring your own)
  • Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
  • Leki trekking poles
  • Mountain Safety Research cooking stoves
  • Mountain Safety Research cookware
  • Bear spray cannisters and food-hanging gear
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Emergency communication device(s)

Guest Packing List

When you register for this tour you’ll receive access to a printable, downloadable trip information packet with a detailed packing list specific to this trip (click here to see it now.) All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, a recommended clothing system, a headlamp or flashlight, a hydration system (water bottles and/or bladder) and other items specific to each trip.

Additionally, some guests choose to bring their own sleeping bag. We supply high quality, synthetic fill bags that are professionally laundered after every trip. Synthetic fill is non-allergenic, insulates when damp and stands up well to repeated washings, but is heavier and bulkier than down. If you’re able to bring your own down sleeping bag, there are multiple benefits. If not, we’ve got you covered!

Trip Logistics

Trip Logistics

How Do I Register?

Reserve your spot today! In the Trip Dates & Booking section of this page, the green and red dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you’re ready to register we’ll email you a link to a registration profile. You’ll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit.

Feel free to call us for more info – we’re here 7 days a week!

Where Do We Meet?

This trip originates and concludes in Fresno, CA.   You will be transported from Fresno to Bass Lake where we hold the pre-trip orientation at 6pm. During orientation we will review the packing list, communicate the next day’s logistics and answer any last-minute questions you have.

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about flights, shuttles, recommended lodging and more.

Start/End Times

This trip originates at the Fresno Airport at 4:00 PM on Day 1. We will have you back to the airport or hotel of your choice in Fresno no later than 8 PM on the final day.

Safety Precautions

Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT’s, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. Guides adhere to standardized risk management protocols in case of any potential or actual incident, and all tours carry an emergency communication device and comprehensive first-aid kit. Additionally we have a “24/7” system through which guides or guests can reach Wildland support personnel at any time.

If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.

Essential Eligibility Criteria

Essential Eligibility Criteria (“EEC”) have been specifically identified to help you understand the skills and abilities necessary to participate on each Wildland trip, and they apply uniformly to all potential trip participants, irrespective of the presence or absence of any disability.

Once you identify a trip in which you may be interested, please carefully review the EEC and itinerary details. If after reviewing the EEC that apply to your desired trip, you determine you need an accommodation in order to meet the EEC, please contact us prior to registering to discuss your requested accommodation.

The EEC exist for your own safety and the safety and enjoyment of all participants. If you are unable to meet the EEC for the trip, with or without an accommodation, you are not eligible for that trip. If you register and arrive for a trip for which you do not meet the EEC, you will be disqualified from participation on the trip and will be dismissed or evacuated from the trip without a refund.

Weather in the Sierras

Being a high mountain environment, the Sierra Nevada Mountains are prone to sudden temperature and weather shifts. This is an exciting aspect of being in the mountains. On trips in June, snow is a possibility, and the rest of the summer rain is always a possibility on your trip. To be fully prepared, please follow the recommended clothing list closely (this list comes as part of your trip packet when you register). See below for average summer temperatures:

Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)
Month
Valleys
Alpine
hi
low
hi
low
January
49°
26°
45°
25°
February
55°
28°
46°
26°
March
59°
31°
48°
27°
April
65°
35°
54°
30°
May
73°
42°
62°
37°
June
81°
51°
71°
46°
July
89°
57°
77°
50°
August
89°
56°
81°
53°
September
82°
51°
71°
46°
October
74°
39°
62°
37°
November
58°
31°
51°
29°
December
48°
26°
46°
25°

Accommodations

Accommodations

Bass Lake

1 Night

2024: We will be staying at Pines Resort on the shores of Bass Lake. Dinner and breakfast are not included.

2025: We will be camping near the shores of Bass Lake. Dinner and breakfast are included.

Backcountry Sleeping

3 Nights TENT CAMPING (4 nights in 2025)

Sleeping on llama treks is in premier 1-person, 2-person or 4-person backcountry tents. Solo travelers, and anyone else who requests it, are issued single tents. Top-of-the-line self-inflating sleeping pads and synthetic-fill sleeping bags (professionally laundered after every trip) are also provided.

Backcountry Cuisine

FRESH & DELICIOUS

Meals from breakfast Day 1 through lunch the last day are fully included and prepared by your trekking guide. We never use dehydrated backpacking meals, instead serving freshly prepared, delicious backcountry cuisine made with a variety of common and specialty ingredients that travel well in the wilderness.

Amazing Campsites

IN THE ACTION

Of course campsites vary tremendously by destination, trip and even by the individual day of a trip. However, you can expect to camp in beautiful areas that put you right in the action to make the most of your llama trekking adventure. We carefully design our itineraries with campsites in mind.

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