Friday, April 10, 2009

Backpack to Upper Jackass Lake, Ansel Adams Wilderness

  • Upper Jackass Lake
  • Ansel Adams Wilderness
  • Sierra National Forest

Take Beasore Road out of bass lake about 1.5 hours. The trail head is Norris and it is about a 40 mile drive from Oakhurst, CA. I recommend taking a SUV or pickup due to the rough dirt road.

  • Trail conditions are good and the path is clearly marked
  • Based on an average hiker’s pace, the hike will take you about 3.5 hours in and 2.5 hours out.
  • The trail is apx 5 miles long
  • Day hikes include Madera Peak

Upper Jackass Lake is perfectly positioned to stage a day hike to the top of Madera peak. About a 3 hour hike (round trip), the peak features 360 degree views of the Sierras and serves as a vista to several lakes, valleys, and notable peaks.


Good luck on your hike! Tell us about your trip including best times, personal experiences, etc, by filling out the comments field, below.


  1. I wanted to know if you've ever been to Norris lake. I'm thinking about taking a quick weekend trip and wanted input from somebody that knows the area. Thanks! Please email me:

  2. In June 2003, my son and I backpacked to Jackass Lake with a guide from Southern Yosemite Mountain Guides. We had flown into California from Ohio, and we were able to rent a tent, sleeping bags, etc., from SYMG. Our guide was Tenaya, and she was amazing.

    I was recovering from a badly broken leg (surgery in November and cast taken off in Jan. 2003), and my 11-year-old son had never really hiked before, especially with a pack that weighed 50 pounds! It took us about 5 and a half hours to reach the Lake, but the experience was exhilarating and the views spectacular. Water from the brilliant blue alpine lake cascaded down the mountainside, rushing over rocky terraces and forming a string of waterfalls and lovely pools. Unforgettable.