Madera County, California

Looking for the best hiking in Madera County? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around Madera County. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top Hiking Spots in and near Madera County

  • Madera County, California

    Cecile Lake via Agnew Meadows

    16.11 mi / 2667 ft gain
    Located in the heart of the Ansel Adams Wilderness, Cecile Lake can be reached from a variety of trailheads. I chose to start out in Agnew Meadows. From here, the trail criss-crosses through a serene lowland environment with several crystal clear streams. After passing Olaine Lake, veer left an...
    Read more
  • Madera County, California

    Climb Mount Ritter

    Mt Ritter is a long climb, but it is worth the effort. Start out by establishing camp at Ediza Lake prior to your ascent. The SE Glacier route (first ascent by John Muir) follows the path of least resistance up the SE side of Mt Ritter.The route first gains a broad bench below Ritter and Banner P...
    Read more
  • Madera County, California

    Backpack to Waugh Lake

    5.0
    11 mi / 1000 ft gain
    There are several trailheads you can start at to get to the lake, but we chose the River Trail in Agnew Meadows because it was the only trailhead that hadn't met the quota yet. You can check on permit's and trailheads here. If the River Trail is booked other great options are Shadow Creek, Fish C...
    Read more
  • Mammoth Lakes, California

    McLeod Lake

    5.0
    1.84 mi / 390 ft gain
    Start your journey at the Mammoth Pass Trailhead at the back of the parking lot for Horseshoe Lake. From the start, the trail ascends steadily through dense pines, and big granite stair steps.  Although it is a moderately steep route (and the altitude doesn't help), it is only about 0.6 miles to ...
    Read more
  • Mammoth Lakes, California

    Backpack from Mammoth Mountain to Yosemite Valley via the John Muir Trail

    5.0
    52 mi / 6300 ft gain
    Cross country hiking can be a daunting idea. There are so many things to plan for, and such a long distance to cover. If you are an experienced backpacker, and you want to get a taste of hiking on the John Muir Trail this hike might interest you.  Planning GPS Map (Caltopo): https://caltopo.com...
    Read more
  • Mammoth Lakes, California

    Lake George Trail

    5.0
    1.34 mi / 89 ft gain
    The Lake George Loop is perfect for exploring the shoreline and fishing near the top of the Mammoth Lakes wilderness. The lake can get quite cold due to the elevation and surrounding mountains not allowing the sun to hit it for an extended time, but if you go during mid-day you should have a refr...
    Read more
  • Mammoth Lakes, California

    Crystal Lake via Mammoth Crest Trail

    4.8
    2.5 mi / 1257 ft gain
    In Lake George, park along Lake George Road and walk towards Crystal Crag Trailhead sign to begin the hike. If you couldn't find it, you can head to the boat rentals by the lake and you will see a sign saying trailhead is behind you. The trail is well maintained and it is really easy to follow. ...
    Read more
  • Mariposa County, California

    10 Lakes Basin in Yosemite

    5.0
    13.38 mi / 2200 ft gain
    Beginning at the Ten Lakes trailhead, the trail to the lakes is a moderately strenuous uphill grind to Ten Lakes pass, followed by a quick downhill into the lake basin. We met a woman at the top who made sure we didn’t miss the short side trail to a vista point on the pass that offered a sweeping...
    Read more
  • Mariposa County, California

    Grant Lake via Ten Lakes Trailhead

    4.0
    12.24 mi / 2000 ft gain
    The trail begins at the Ten Lakes trailhead (7600 ft) right beside Yosemite Creek. The first 4 miles start you on the ascent through the wooded forest, however there are portions of the trail that will take you through granite rock valleys marked with only cairns so keep your eyes peeled througho...
    Read more
  • Mammoth Lakes, California

    Backpack to Garnet Lake

    5.0
    14 mi / 2030 ft gain
    Although this trip specifically describes how to get to Garnet Lake, there are several other pristine alpine lakes (Shadow Lake and Thousand Islands Lake) along this looped trail, only a few short miles away from each other, that are just as worthy if you have the time. A minimum of 3 days/2 nigh...
    Read more
  • Crowley Lake, California

    Emerald Lake

    4.0
    1.76 mi / 417 ft gain
    Emerald lake is a relatively short 1.7 mile out-and-back hike. There is ample parking at the parking lot and trailhead. There is also overflow parking at the upper lot for Duck Lake and Skelton Lake.  The trail has a decent amount of uphill, but you should arrive shortly (<30 mins) at your de...
    Read more
  • Mammoth Lakes, California

    Duck Lake via Duck Pass Trail

    4.7
    9.29 mi / 1880 ft gain
    The Duck Pass trail in the John Muir Wilderness combines breathtaking views, wildflowers and plenty of icy mountain lakes for swimming into a trail that is moderate in both difficulty and distance. With multiple lakes along the way to pitch your tent and plenty of day hike options from a base cam...
    Read more
  • Mammoth Lakes, California

    Arrowhead Lake

    5.0
    2.25 mi / 538 ft gain
    If you make your way to the Goldwater Campground there is plenty of parking. The trailhead you take leads to many lakes but the Duck Pass trailhead is the on you want to take. This is a easy trail to follow and walk with very little obstacles. You follow it along for around a mile and you won't ...
    Read more
  • Mammoth Lakes, California

    Pika Lake via Duck Pass Trail

    9.41 mi / 1880 ft gain
    As many of the other hikes start in this area, you start at the Goldwater Creek Campground where there is plenty of parking and restrooms. You will take the Duck Pass Trailhead for this hike. • I wanted to point out that this is not the easiest hike to do as a day hike. Many people do overnighte...
    Read more
  • Mammoth Lakes, California

    Skelton Lake Trail

    5.0
    3.2 mi / 804 ft gain
    The hike to Skelton Lake in Mammoth Lakes, CA starts off at the Duck Lake Pass trailhead just past Lake Mary. The hike starts off with quite a few switchbacks as you climb through the John Muir Wilderness. About one mile up the trail, you'll see an option to veer off to Arrowhead Lake. Continue o...
    Read more
  • Mammoth Lakes, California

    Heart Lake

    5.0
    2.11 mi / 500 ft gain
    You will see a couple of trailheads starting by parking at the Coldwater Creek Campground parking lot. This one is specifically marked Heart Lake. There will be a couple of forks in the trail, but if you stay right and on the more obvious path, you will be up to Heart Lake in no time. (Going left...
    Read more