Parker Lake

Summary  Link to more information about summary

Difficulty 3 Intermediate
Length 11.2 miles round trip
6850 feet
+1450, -1450 round trip
Navigation Road and map
Time Full day
Season Mid-December through mid-March
Snowmobiles Use

Low from trailhead to waypoint 7, and not permitted beyond waypoint 7 (Ansel Adams Wilderness) [Please report illegal use of snowmobiles in this area.]

USGS Topo 7.5' series, Lee Vining, June Lake, Koip Peak
Start June Lake Loop North Entrance on Highway 395, 0.5 mile north of the Highway 120 East and 4.5 miles south of the Highway 120 West.

Description   Link to more information about description

On this tour you ski through sagebrush and up a gully flanked by classic glacial moraines until you reach Parker Creek where the gully turns into a canyon. Parker Lake is situated at the head of this canyon with walls so steep that not even a hiking trail exists to ascend the canyon toward the Sierra Crest.

Mileage Log   Link to more information about mileage log
Numbers in parentheses
correspond to mileage points on map

Waypoint 1 to 2
Miles: 0.0 - 1.4
Elevation change: +200

From the trailhead (1), ski southwest on the June Lake Loop road for 1.4 miles until you reach the turnoff (2) on the northwest (right) side of the June Lake Loop road, which leads to Parker Lake and Walker Lake.

In this section you will pass several small buildings at the 0.2-mile mark, and a sign on the southeast (left) side of the road at the 1.2-mile mark that describes the events that created the beautiful Mono Craters to the east.

Waypoint 2 to 3
Miles: 1.4 - 1.9
Elevation change: +100

Leave the June Lake Loop road and ski southwest (right) on a lesser road for 0.5 mile until you reach a 4-way junction (3).

Waypoint 3 to 4
Miles: 1.9 - 2.7
Elevation change: +250

Continue by gradually climbing southwest (straight) on a road for 0.8 mile until you reach a junction (4) with a lesser, closed road (Forest Service Road 1S27). This tour continues on the road to the southwest (right).

Waypoint 4 to 5
Miles: 2.7 - 3.2
Elevation change: +100

Pass the lesser, closed road on your left and continue on the more well-defined road to the southwest (right) for 0.5 mile until you reach a road junction (5). The road junction is a short distance past a creek drainage.

The fork to the north (right) leads to Parker Creek; this tour continues on the fork that heads southwest (left) to the Parker Lake (Summer) Trailhead.

Waypoint 5 to 6
Miles: 3.2 - 3.8
Elevation change: +250

Continue on the road to the southwest (left) for 0.6 mile until you reach the Parker Lake (Summer) Trailhead (6).

Waypoint 6 to 7
Miles: 3.8 - 4.2
Elevation change: +350

Ascend the abandoned road and the gully at a steeper angle for 0.4 mile until you reach its end at a flat spot (7), which is the entrance to Ansel Adams Wilderness. Parker Creek is a short distance to the west, and the view to the northeast of Mono Lake and Mono Craters is spectacular.

Waypoint 7 to 8
Miles: 4.2 - 5.6
Elevation change: +200

Pick your own route up the canyon to the southwest for 1.4 miles until you reach Parker Lake (8). For the best route, stay away from Parker Creek for the first half of this distance and parallel the creek more closely for the final half.

Return to trailhead
Miles: 5.6 - 11.2
Elevation change: -1450

Retrace the route for 5.6 miles back to the trailhead (1).


Print version of map for tour