“To the south of Mount Ritter are some grand pinnacles of granite, very lofty and apparently inaccessible, to which we gave the name of ‘the Minarets.’” –California Geological Survey, 1868
I’ve always loved the view of the Minarets from Minaret Summit, behind Mammoth Mountain. When the opportunity came up to hike into Minaret Lake, at the base of these fantastic spires, I jumped on it. The Minarets are an arête, a high, thin ridge formed when two glaciers work toward each other, back to back.
The hike into the lake is somewhat demanding, gaining about 2200 vertical feet over 7.8 miles. We arrived in Mammoth about 1pm, and after catching the shuttle to Devil’s Postpile National Monument, we were able to hike into the lake by 7pm. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to spend much time, as this was a spur trip from our goal of hiking the last 1/3 of the John Muir Trail. We had to leave again by 9am the following morning, giving me time to photograph only one sunset and sunrise. I would have liked to spend a few more days at this location alone!