We grabbed sandwiches to go from Nicely's and headed to Saddlebag Lake. Embed. Hiking Saddlebag Lake/20 Lakes Basin trail is an 8 mile hike that treats visitors to breathtaking alpine scenery as it skirts a dozen alpine lakes. Guiding in Hoover wilderness is by Yosemite Mountaineering School. I can’t wait to go back and explore the lakes we passed by when completing the loop. ( Log Out /  This was also our turning point, leading us to Lakes Basin Loop trail towards Steelhead Lake, leaving behind Saddlebag Lake trail. Roads Closed for the Season: Tioga Pass and Saddlebag Lake Roads closed at lower gate. Before making it back to camp, it started to rain. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. It was my 5th time hiking this specific trail, but my 1st time completing the loop. Trails extend into what is commonly called the 20 Lakes Basin. The open, gently sloping terrain and easy routefinding on this three-day, on- and off-trail excursion make for family-friendly hiking. At 1.5 miles we arrived at the south end of Greenstone Lake, a popular area for day hikers and fishers. Small RV's or short trailers only, no RV hook ups. Check the Eastern Sierra Back Country Fishing Guide for Trout species in the numerous lakes in this area. Saddlebag Lake Trail is a 4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Lee Vining, California that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. National Forests in California are using recreation fee revenues to improve and enhance recreation opportunities. We scrambled down a bit from the main trail, dropped our packs and set up camp. The Hoover is easily reached from its southern end (along Highway 120 near Yosemite’s Tioga Pass entrance station), as well as from various points along its eastern edge near Highway 395. Length 7.7 miElevation gain 918 ftRoute type Loop Brook and Rainbow Trout are common in the streams in this area. Please Leave No Trace. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until September. But Saddlebag Lake, just east of Yosemite, offered the perfect solution this past weekend. This was the first time I had plans to meet someone for the first time at the trailhead. Sooner than later, I was pretty much running back to camp, since I had my camera and no rain jacket. I had never hiked on this side of Saddlebag Lake, and even though it is a lot more forest-y and shaded, I think I still prefer to hike out on the west side of the lake, as it’ll cut out at least one mile; but now I can officially say that I’ve completed the Twenty Lakes Basin/Saddlebag Lake Loop! Hummingbird Lake, not the best lake along this trail – but if some hummingbirds showed up at the the party I could see this being the place to be. Copy. A loop trail goes around the lake for fishing and hiking. There are some places that you keep returing to because it just feels right. Sitting just outside of Yosemite National Park, this beautiful alpine basin … The clouds were moving fast, and you can start to see the beginning of a pretty colorful sunset. The day was still early, and the clouds were still out, we snacked a little and packed a few things to explore some of the surrounding lakes. Hummingbird Lake is the last lake we passed before reaching the east end of Saddlebag Lake, a slight reminder that we were reaching the end of our loop. How to get there: Rt. My friend Courtney was up before the sun and caught some really awesome sunrise photos! The region behind and including Saddlebag Lake is known as the 20 Lakes Basin. Celebrate Earth Day in a spectacular shrub-steppe ecosystem. Inyo National Forest The route to the left ultimately leads to Saddlebag Lake, while the one leading to the right penetrate into the wilderness, leading to Steelhead Lake, one of the largest in the Twenty Lakes Basin. So, how many times do you visit a place before fully exploring it? Lifestyle & Travel Blogger, I'm Vanessa, hiker at heart & story teller behind Forever She Wanders. At a signed intersection turn left onto Lundy Lake Road. Saddlebag Lake Loop can be hiked in either direction, but after finally completing it clockwise, it’s safe to say that the counter-clockwise direction is much easier, and with way less elevation gain. Trail starts near Saddlebag Lake campground and dam. We appreciated having clearance on the dirt road, but it is not necessary. While the hiking The color of the lake was a deep, almost shiny, blue- a color I’d never seen before from any nearby lake. Of course, by the time we reached camp, it stopped raining. I find passion in getting outdoors, exploring new places and creating new memories to share with you, in hopes to inspire you to get outdoors and follow your passion. No matter how many times I’ve hiked this trail, every time feels a little different. We had plans to meet at the trailhead that morning and one missed text before driving up Tioga Pass, had me worried about not being able to find her right away. Stay at a Cabin . In the summer season tickets can be purchased for a water taxi from Saddlebag Lake Resort that goes to the end of the lake. Backpacking Twenty Lakes Basin & Saddlebag Lake Loop September 11, 2020; A Simple Guide To Wilderness Backpacking August 19, 2020; Hiking California’s 3rd Tallest peak: White Mountain July 22, 2020; Backpacking Mineral king loop July 16, 2020; Throwback: Memorial Day Weekend Roadie November 15, 2019 A loop trail goes around the lake for fishing and hiking. Saddlebag Lake is off of the Tioga Road, but still east of the Yosemite park boundary. It was nice being able to roam around without a heavy pack! Backpackers must go past the end of Saddlebag Lake, to Greenstone Lake or farther into the 20 lakes basin area in order to stay overnight. Contact Inyo National Forest for information about walk in permits for non quota trails. With easy access off highway 120 going down towards Mono Lake, Saddlebag Lake offers a scenic 5.5-mile loop in the Twenty Lakes Basin featuring vibrant wildflowers, high altitude lakes and a mineral world of stern granite beauty. First 500 embedded plays/month are free! It was a beautiful summer morning when I woke up in Mammoth on Saturday. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. At 1.5 miles we arrived at the south end of Greenstone Lake, a popular area for day hikers and fishers. As soon as we hiked up and out of Shamrock Lake, views of Lake Helen can be seen from the top. From our vista it became pretty obvious that a through hike between Saddlebag Lake and Lundy Canyon is an excellent idea for a future 2+ day backpacking trip. and I was a very happy camper. This is where we experienced the most elevation gain along the entire trail, and it wasn’t even that bad. See the sidebar for public transportation options. Dogs are also able to use this trail. This is was a popular destination for overnight campers, and it was easy to see why! Land of 20 lakes: above Yosemite, Saddlebag Lake is a launchpad into hiking and fishing paradise. A mostly dirt road leads to a parking lot for overnight hikers (on the right). "In my entire career, I haven’t seen anything like this — so many disparate interests coming together around a common need …
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