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Top 3 Ansel Adams Hikes and Reader Photos

The legendary shooter once said that photographs were "usually looked at, seldom looked into." Take a look into three hikes that inspired some of Ansel Adams greatest photos, and take a few pictures yourself.
destinations november 09 denali np baunton Dnali NP, AK (Photo Credit: Brett Baunton)

Pecos Wilderness, NM
Shoot a seldom-seen alpine lake.

The snow-crowned mountains in Adams’s photo, "Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico," lie in the southernmost reaches of the Sangre de Cristo Range. Trek deep into those peaks on this 9.5-miler to a never-crowded lake surrounded by 12,000-foot peaks. From the trailhead at the end of NM 161, pick up the Serpent Lake Trail. After .3 mile of easy doubletrack, you’ll scramble over rocks and roots as the trail climbs 1,300 feet to a junction at 3.4 miles. Turn right to reach the small, jewel-like pool in about half a mile. Since traffic in this part of the wilderness is light, the shore is surrounded by dense meadow grasses, marigolds, and other wildflowers. Shot tip: On shore, kneel down with your camera so the water fills most of the frame. Angle upward to get flowers, lake, 12,835-foot Jicarita Peak, and the sprawling sky overhead.

Get a latte and internet at Taos’s Wired? Cyber-Cafe.

The Way
From Taos, drive 3.5 miles south on NM 68 and turn left onto NM 518. Head 29 miles to FR 161. Turn right and take the gravel road 4.5 miles to the trailhead.

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