Backpack to Cecile Lake

    Rate this Adventure 16 miles 1904 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

    Added by Addison Klinke

    Take in unobstructed panoramic views above treeline. This spot has low light pollution, making it great for astrophotography.

    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 and continue past Shadow Lake (a nice lunch break choice).

    Further along the trail, you will reach Ediza Lake, rumored to be John Muir's personal favorite in all of the Sierra. The scenery here definitely lives up to its reputation will tall, rocky peaks in the distance and lots of lush vegetation at the lake itself as it is just below treeline. Next, follow some switchbacks on the SE side of the lake as you ascend above treeline to Iceberg Lake. The last stretch to Cecile Lake gets a bit technical as you need to scramble up a fairly steep face at the south end of Iceberg Lake. Just look for the stream flowing out of Cecile Lake to point you in the right direction.

    Once at the top, you are standing at nearly 10,500 feet and will have impressive panoramic views of the Minarets, Mount Ritter, and Banner Peak. Not to mention, you can also look down on Minaret Lake below. The high alpine grass in the meadows around Cecile Lake is very comfortable for afternoon naps. If you plan to spend the night, a sheltered location among the rocks above the lake on the east side is your best bet. Make sure to wake up extra early for sunrise, because the alpenglow on all the peaks is unreal!

    Read More
    Camping
    Photography
    Backpacking
    Hiking
    Forest
    Lake
    Scenic
    Waterfall

    Go Pro.

    We're committed to building a better, more inclusive home for the modern outdoors. Go PRO to support our mission and get benefits like gear deals, no ads, and more!

    Learn More

    Reviews

    Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

    Leave No Trace

    Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

    We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

    Stay Nearby

    Crowley Lake, California

    Agnew Meadows Group Camp

    Unnamed Road

    Palisades Group Campground

    Mammoth Lakes, California

    Chic Condo W/ Pool, Hot Tub & Ski Back Trail

    From $109/night

    Mammoth Lakes, California

    Mountain View Gem With Pool & Hot Tub, Walk To Lifts

    From $129/night

    Nearby Adventures

    Backpack to Waugh Lake

    5.0
    11 mi / 1000 ft gain

    4-Day Backpack Trip to Thousand Island Lake

    5.0

    Climb Mount Ritter

    Backpack to Ediza Lake

    4.0
    13.4 mi / 1200 ft gain
    More Nearby Adventures