Located in the heart of the Sierra National Forest, the Isberg Pass trailhead provides access to the west side of the Ansel Adams Wilderness, as well as the lightly travelled southern regions of Yosemite National Park. The trail can be used to climb peaks in the Clark Range (Gray Peak, Red Peak, and Merced Peak), but it's more commonly used to approach the remote peaks in the beautiful Bench Canyon and North Fork San Joaquin area: Foerster Peak, Mt. Ansel Adams, Electra Peak, Mt. Davis, and Rodgers Peak.
From the trailhead, the trail makes its way approximately 11-12 miles past several lakes--Cora Lakes, Sadler Lake, and the Isberg Lakes--to reach its namesake pass at the Yosemite Park boundary. (The trail continues from here to intersect trails from Red Peak Pass, Yosemite Valley, and Tuolumne Meadows). Several well-signposted trail junctions are encountered en route to the pass. Of these, only the first is of any real relevance to climbers; a spur trail leads off to Hemlock Crossing, from where the peaks along the North Fork San Joaquin (Electra, Rodgers, and Davis) can be reached.
There are no facilities at the trailhead, but plentiful bivy options are found adjacent to the parking lot. Developed camping is available nearby at the Granite Creek campground, as well as at Clover Meadow; see the Sierra National Forest's campground information
for details on fees and facilities.
From Oakhurst, CA, drive north on CA 41 for 3-4 miles until you reach a prominently signposted junction with Bass Lake Road. Follow Bass Lake Road around the north side of Bass Lake for another 3-4 miles until you reach a turn for Beasore Meadow on your left, signposted for Clover Meadow.
Head north along the long and winding Beasore Road (a mixture of pavement and graded dirt, passable to all passenger cars), past the Balls and Jackass Meadow, following the signs to Clover Meadow. Shortly after passing the Clover Meadow Ranger Station, the road forks. Follow the left fork, signed at that junction for the Isberg Pass trail (the right fork heads to Granite Creek campground), until it crosses the West Fork of Granite Creek via a bridge. (Several unsigned spur roads are encountered along here, none of which are shown on the 7.5'; when in doubt, keep to the main, most-traveled road).
An unsigned junction is encountered immediately after the creek crossing; turn right here and drive another mile or so to the trailhead. Parking is found on the south side of the road, a short way east of the trailhead. (If you miss the turnoff at the creek crossing, you'll end up at the end of a gated road. The 7.5' shows a trail emanating from here and meeting up with the main Isberg Pass trail above The Niche. If it existed, it would be the shortest route to Isberg Pass. Unfortunately, I saw no trace of it when I was here).
Extremely detailed driving directions
, including GPS waypoints, can also be found on climber.org
Permits and Red Tape
Wilderness permits are required for overnight stays in the Ansel Adams Wilderness and/or Yosemite Wilderness. Please consult the main Ansel Adams Wilderness page
for details on obtaining permits for the Isberg Pass trail. No permits are required for dayhikes.
Due to their popularity, additional camping restrictions beyond the standard wilderness red tape apply at Cora Lakes and Sadler Lake. Current regulations are prominently posted at the lakes.
When To Visit
Beasore Road is closed during the winter months; see the conditions link below for the current status. It generally opens around Memorial Day, closing after the first significant snowfall (typically sometime in October or November).
External LinksSierra National Forest Clover Meadow area camping information
Sierra National Forest road/weather conditions