Ritter Mountain Range, California

>
>

Ritter Range

The Ritter Range’s rugged peaks and pristine alpine lakes make for ideal backcountry camping, climbing, and hiking.

  • Take an overnight backpacking trip to Thousand Island Lake, or day hike to Shadow Lake.
  • The adventurous can attempt to summit Mount Ritter, the highest peak in the Ritter Range.
  • For camping, utilize Reds Meadows as a base camp, then head out to explore the backcountry. 

Overview

The Ritter Range is a small mountain range that lies within the Ansel Adams Wilderness. Though small, the range boasts abundant outdoor adventure, including opportunities for day hiking, backpacking, and peak bagging.

Location & Information

The Ritter Range is located just outside of Mammoth Lakes and is best accessed by using the Red's Meadow Shuttle System. Most of the range’s features are not available by car, and instead must be reached on foot.

The range is best accessed from early spring until mid fall.

Activities

Climbing Mt. Ritter
This popular climb summits 13,143 foot Mount Ritter, the highest peak in the Ritter Range. Though you can climb the mountain year-round,  most choose to climb in summer, as winter adds a significant degree of risk, as well as an additional eight miles of walking (the Red's Meadow Shuttle stop operation) Mt. Ritter is a serious technical climb, and most will benefit from hiring a guide service.

Camping
Backcountry hiking is available throughout the Ritter Range. For those looking for front country camping, consider the sites at Red's Meadow. They allow access to the range, and serve as a great base camp.

Hiking Trails

  • Thousand Island Lake
    From Agnew Meadows (Reds Meadow Shuttle Stop 1), head 7.8 miles to this breathtaking high alpine lake. Though the hike can be done in one day, it's best tackled in two.
  • Shadow Lake
    Begin at Agnew Meadows (Reds Meadow Shuttle Stop 1), and hike 3.5 miles to beautiful shadow lake. The adventurous can continue an additional 6.5 miles to reach Lake Ediza.
  • Minaret Lake
    Use Shuttle Bus Stop 6, and begin hiking towards Devils Postpile. After approximately 0.3 miles, veer right on a signed trail, and continue 6.2 miles to Minaret Lake.

Questions & Answers