backpacking saddlebag lake

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. I’d go back again and again just to camp at a different lake each time! That means not much uphill or downhill, and those hikes are hard to find in the Sierra. Suite 200 Url. Contact Inyo National Forest for information about walk in permits for non quota trails. Leave Hwy 395 at Hwy 120. The first lake we arrived to after leaving Greenstone, is Wasco Lake. It was about 11:45 am when we started our journey across the Twenty Lakes Basin/ Saddlebag Lake Loop. 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. Many hikers pass through the Hoover wilderness to visit otherwise remote areas of Yosemite Wilderness. Grab a permit at the Longmire Ranger Station and make it an overnight - but bring warm clothes. The lake was perfectly still, so lake reflections were almost too perfect. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. 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. 20 campsites and 1 large group site at Saddlebag Lake near the Hoover Wilderness. This was the first time I had plans to meet someone for the first time at the trailhead. Starting from the Saddlebag Lake Dam, then along the west side of Saddlebag Lake up to glacial fed Conness Lakes. The trail is steep and reaches the lowest (of three) Saddleback Lakes in … I didn’t realize that this was an entirely separate lake from Shamrock, as there was many smaller “ponds” surrounding the trail to Shamrock Lake. A loop trail goes around the lake for fishing and hiking. If we didn’t get our hike started so late that day, it would have been nice to hike down and chill for a bit, but we decided to keep moving forward. To get to Saddlebag Lake, I exited the east entrance to Yosemite National Park at Tioga Pass, then drove east on Hwy 120 about 2 miles to Saddlebag Road. Heading up the mostly dirt road to Saddlebag Lake, my hiking buddies parked at the adjacent backpacker parking lot and stashed their after-hike goodies in … A mostly dirt road leads to a parking lot for overnight hikers (on the right). Land of 20 lakes: above Yosemite, Saddlebag Lake is a launchpad into hiking and fishing paradise. After passing Steelhead Lake, you’ll arrive to Exclesior Lake. Sooner than later, I was pretty much running back to camp, since I had my camera and no rain jacket. Lake Helen is huge and very blue. Jun 20, 2018 Cristi P. 12.2mi Sep 27, 2017 Rita O. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. We appreciated having clearance on the dirt road, but it is not necessary. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until September. As soon as we hiked up and out of Shamrock Lake, views of Lake Helen can be seen from the top. That wasn't quite how our hike… We scrambled down a bit from the main trail, dropped our packs and set up camp. Just east of Yosemite National Park, Saddlebag Lake is popular for day hikes, fishing and backpacking. Climbing the pass where the Odell Lake outlet flows down and into Lake Helen, was also where we spotted the most wildflowers! This is Hummingbird Lake just behind a … My friend Courtney was up before the sun and caught some really awesome sunrise photos! Saddlebag Lake is off of the Tioga Road, but still east of the Yosemite park boundary. We took the trail on the east side of the lake because it is easier on the dog’s feet. Dogs are also able to use this trail. As an outdoors enthusiast, Vanessa has found passion in being outdoors while backpacking, camping, hiking and creating memories of a lifetime. Basically, the best way to get to this trailhead is by heading towards the Tioga Pass entrance of Yosemite. Getting There From Lee Vining drive north on Highway 395 for roughly 7 miles. I was inspired to dust off my camera for this trip, so immediately it felt like a different trip from the very beginning, but different in a good way! Reds Meadow Road closed for the season at Mammoth Mountain. This is was a popular destination for overnight campers, and it was easy to see why! Stay at a Cabin . Traditionally this … We hiked along the lakeshore before climbing up and over Lundy Pass. This is Bear Country. Permits can be obtained here. Length 7.7 miElevation gain 918 ftRoute type Loop "In my entire career, I haven’t seen anything like this — so many disparate interests coming together around a common need … 2-night backpacking trip around Saddlebag Lake and 20 Lakes Basin with a day trip to Conness Lakes. Saddlebag Lake is the starting point for the 20 Lakes Basin trail and it is located just outside Yosemite’s eastern entrance. My pack weighing in just under 23lbs. Getting to the Trailhead of Saddlebag Lake and 20 Lakes Basin If you’ve got the AllTrails app, look up the 20 Lakes Basin Loop and snag the directions from there. But after doing the hike, I agree, that’s definitely the way to go. There is also a water taxi from the marina at the Saddlebag Lake Resort that goes to the far end of the lake. Courtney got out to snap some sunset photos, while I stayed in my tent trying to dry off and soak in whatever sunset views I got from camp. Length 4 miElevation gain 311 ftRoute type Loop Ascend the decommissioned portion of the Westside Road to the Lake George Trailhead, and then follow a moderately steep trail through an old-growth Douglas fir and hemlock forest to a secluded and beautiful campground on the shores of a beautiful blue-green mountain lake. We hung around at camp that morning, for a few hours actually; made breakfast, had a few snacks and even got in the lake for a brief moment. National Forests in California are using recreation fee revenues to improve and enhance recreation opportunities. Saddlebag Lake and Twenty Lakes Basin has it all. Hiking the entire loop was something I have always wanted to do, just never got around it. Check the Eastern Sierra Back Country Fishing Guide for Trout species in the numerous lakes in this area. Permits are issued at Inyo National Forest visitor centers or Tuolumne Meadows Wilderness Permit Office. Throughout the entire 7-mile loop, there is very minimal elevation gain, so it was nice to be able to breeze through the trail and really soak in the views. Celebrate Earth Day in a spectacular shrub-steppe ecosystem. 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. Before making it back to camp, it started to rain. Inyo National Forest At 1.5 miles we arrived at the south end of Greenstone Lake, a popular area for day hikers and fishers. We also spotted a few campers and fishers far in the distance. and I was a very happy camper. The Trailhead Group Campsite is also located at the lake and is designed for groups as large as 25. This moderate guided hike highlights evidence of Earth’s raw power, including floods, fire and fossils! When we did it a few weeks before you, the thought of going clockwise never even occurred to us. Hiking from Saddlebag Lake to Conness Lakes. So, how many times do you visit a place before fully exploring it? Camping is allowed starting at the far north end of Greenstone Lake, with a valid wilderness permit. The west side of Saddlebag Lake is rocky, fully exposed and where we started our trek. Sitting just outside of Yosemite National Park, this beautiful alpine basin … 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. Unfortunately, it was just too windy and gloomy and there was NO way either of us wanted to jump in the lake. The next morning, we woke up to clear skies and a beautiful day. ( Log Out /  Please store food properly and don't feed the bears. From our trail, we could spot a small waterfall, the outlet from Cascade Lake trinkling down and into Steelhead Lake. Such a beautiful place! Brook and Rainbow Trout are common in the streams in this area. Shop our Store Yosemite National Park White Mountain Mount Dana. 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. I can’t wait to go back and explore the lakes we passed by when completing the loop. High Sierra hiking. Steelhead Lake is huge, a lot bigger than I imagined it to be, and a very deep blue. But Saddlebag Lake, just east of Yosemite, offered the perfect solution this past weekend. First 500 embedded plays/month are free! Just east of Yosemite National Park, Saddlebag Lake is popular for day hikes, fishing and backpacking. It was probably right before noon, when we broke camp and set out to complete our loop. Lifestyle & Travel Blogger, I'm Vanessa, hiker at heart & story teller behind Forever She Wanders. The clouds were moving fast, and you can start to see the beginning of a pretty colorful sunset. The rather small Saddlebag Lake Campground is located near the dam, offers basic campsites, potable water, pit toilets and does not take reservations. It was my 5th time hiking this specific trail, but my 1st time completing the loop. We had a small (30%) chance of rain and thunderstorms that afternoon, nothing surprising for an afternoon summer in the Eastern Sierra, only I had completely forgot to pack my rain jacket. 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. The Saddlebag Lake Trail goes around the lake and you can start from either side of the lake. And then it started to pour. See the sidebar for public transportation options. Vault toilet at campground. This is where we experienced the most elevation gain along the entire trail, and it wasn’t even that bad. We grabbed sandwiches to go from Nicely's and headed to Saddlebag Lake. 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. ( Log Out /  The west side is rockier but a little shorter and the east side trail is on an old road that was utilized by the Hess Mine. Sounds like Yosemite, but it’s nearby Saddlebag Lake, where you’ll find us locals—and our kids—in summer. The trail follows the base of the slabs beneath the west face of Elephants Perch and then crosses the Saddleback Lakes drainage just before the first lake. Although we were only about 2 miles from the trailhead, that last 2 miles took a lot longer than I imagined. ( Log Out /  At a signed intersection turn left onto Lundy Lake Road. 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. From Steelhead Lake, we were about 2 miles from our destination for the night, Shamrock Lake. But Saddlebag Lake, just east of Yosemite, offered the perfect solution this past weekend. The clouds were thick, but it was nice to have cooler weather, as that meant absolutely no bugs! Trail starts near Saddlebag Lake campground and dam. Elevation 10,000 feet. It’s definitely a special area! At 1.5 miles we arrived at the south end of Greenstone Lake, a popular area for day hikers and fishers. I was expecting it to be a little chilly last night, after our little encounter with some rain, but it was absolutely perfect with no winds at all. See how your fees have made a difference! Bennettville (historical), United States. Of course, by the time we reached camp, it stopped raining. : ). Saddlebag Lake is approximately 4 miles north of Tioga Pass off State 120 (the last 2 miles are unpaved but well maintained); the drive and the hike can be done in an easy day trip from Lee Vining or Yosemite. Small RV's or short trailers only, no RV hook ups. While the ferry across the lake no longer operates (sadly the lodge at the lake is closed, possibly forever) the trail around the lake is relatively flat. 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 There was not one group or person hiking the loop in the same direction as we did that weekend. Need more?Upgrade to. 351 Pacu Lane I was nervous to say the least, but proud of myself for stepping out of that comfort zone and luckily, she found me right away! I allowed myself a quick head start on the drive to the trailhead, since my buddy Courtney would be up with the sun, taking sunrise photos in Alabama Hills. To be honest, I didn’t realize this lake had a name until after completing the loop, because it was more like a small pond at this point, but the reflections were still pretty awesome. A worthwhile side trip is to leave the trail at a small wooden bridge and walk easterly a short distance to see a true gem. It is also a backdoor cross-country entrance into the park by way of McCabe Lakes. Trails extend into what is commonly called the 20 Lakes Basin. You do not need a reservation for trips starting at Saddlebag Lake. Adventure | Lifestyle | Story Telling | travel, Trail: Twenty Lakes Basin / Saddlebag Lake Loop. All of the lakes on this route boast excellent fishing, so make sure to carry your gear. We spotted a few more campers in this area, and it was clear to see why. It was nice being able to roam around without a heavy pack! 2 months ago. ♡. Twenty Lakes Basin and Saddlebag Lake Loop is a 7.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Lee Vining, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. I have to say, it was absolutely perfect hanging out at camp that morning, something I don’t usually do, as I feel I’m always on the go. Guiding in Hoover wilderness is by Yosemite Mountaineering School. Bishop, CA 93514. Taboose Pass Trail and Red Lake Trail are closed for the 2020 season due to hazards from the Taboose wildfire. Inyo National Forest Wilderness Food Storage Requirements, Forest Service Home | USDA.gov | recreation.gov | Recreation Customer Service Standards | USA.gov | Whitehouse.gov, Plug-Ins | FOIA | Accessibility Statement | Privacy Policy | Important Notices | Information Quality, https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/inyo/recreation/recarea/?recid=20652&actid=51, Eastern Sierra Back Country Fishing Guide. The Hoover Wilderness area, just outside of Yosemite National Park is simply breathtaking and I was happy to be there again, even if it was for the 5th time. Copy. Saddlebag Lake is known for it's Brown, Rainbow and Brook Trout, Greenstone and Hummingbird Lakes try for Brook Trout, Conness Lake catch Golden Trout. Brook Trout "Brookies" are a colorful fish marked with a worm-like pattern on its upper body, red spots on its side, white-tipped fins and a brilliant red or orange belly. See the sidebar for public transportation options. The color of the lake was a deep, almost shiny, blue- a color I’d never seen before from any nearby lake. 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. Loved this hike! I was surprised to still see some wildflowers along the creeks and lakes, especially in the middle of summer! From the water taxi dock on the north end of Saddlebag Lake take the right fork and hike about a mile toward Lundy Pass. Aug 15, 2018 Rob Luskey. Trailhead parking is a dirt lot at the end of the road. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until September. Vanessa is an outdoors enthusiast, hiker at heart, and the storyteller behind Forever She Wanders; a women's lifestyle + travel blog inspiring all to get outdoors, seek adventure and live an active lifestyle. To get to the campground, resort, and trailhead, we drove to Saddlebag Lake Road, just east of the Yosemite National Park Tioga Pass entrance. 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. Lakes, Rivers & Falls. If I had to choose a favorite lake from the 20 Lakes Basin Loop, I’d have to say that Odell Lake really caught me by surprise! Day use does not require a permit. Craig wanted to go backpacking for his birthday and chose the route of starting at the Saddlebag Lake trailhead heading up through the Twenty Lakes Basin over Secret Pass to Upper McCabe Lake over Don't Be a Smart Pass to Roosevelt Lake and out the Young Lakes trail. For wilderness information call the wilderness permit office (760)873-2483; or Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center (760) 924-5500. Twenty Lakes Basin Loop. Embed. Backpacking 20 Lakes Basin & Saddlebag Lake Loop, My First Cowboy Camp: Backpacking Ontario Peak, Backpacking Shamrock Lake in Hoover Wilderness, Backpacking Shamrock Lake With My Sisters. Turn North onto well marked dirt road to Saddlebag Lake. A loop trail goes around the lake for fishing and hiking. Twenty Lakes Basin amply named. Saddlebag Lake receives a fresh supply of Rainbow Trout each week. No matter how many times I’ve hiked this trail, every time feels a little different. Follow Tioga Pass Road toward Yosemite. We arrived about 2:15 and took a shuttle boat across the lake. Camping is allowed starting at the far north end of Greenstone Lake, with a valid wilderness permit. Dogs are also able to use this trail. To make reservations, please go … 120 east, just past the east gate of Yosemite (Tioga Pass), make a left on Saddlebag Lake Road. Hiking Saddlebag Lake is just outside Yosemite in the Hoover Wilderness and is a favorite among Yosemite hikers. My friend Courtney, had done all her research for this trip, and actually scouted out the perfect campsite! While the hiking Can’t wait to head back that way again and hit Conness Lakes. 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. Limited services at Lee Vining, full service at Mammoth Lakes. The west side of Saddlebag Lake is rocky, fully exposed and where we started our trek. Heading up the mostly dirt road to Saddlebag Lake, I stayed at the Saddlebag Lake Campground in the … 8.2mi Show 6 More Check-Ins Jul 20, 2018 philip lz. The open, gently sloping terrain and easy routefinding on this three-day, on- and off-trail excursion make for family-friendly hiking. It wasn’t until we reached Steelhead Lake did I feel like I started hiking in an entirely new area. Permits: Wilderness permits required for overnight stay. 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! There is also a water taxi from the marina at the Saddlebag Lake Resort that goes to the far end of the lake. So, when my buddy Courtney reached out on Thursday, I was excited to not only meet her for the first time, but to finally hike the Twenty Lakes Basin/ Saddlebag Lake Loop. I missed hiking in the rain without having to worry about being too wet, or not drying in time before the sun went down. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. The region behind and including Saddlebag Lake is known as the 20 Lakes Basin. Trails extend into what is commonly called the 20 Lakes Basin. ( Log Out /  The trail becomes easier to follow higher up. 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. Camping around Saddlebag Lake is limited to the campground near the resort. Change ), Vanessa Renée Temblador - There are some places that you keep returing to because it just feels right. Copy. It appears that a majority of hikers and backpackers that were hiking the loop, chose to hike it counter-clockwise. Bring windproof layers and sturdy hiking shoes. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Literally. While the ferry across the lake no longer operates (sadly the lodge at the lake is closed, possibly forever) the trail around the lake is relatively flat. Water from creeks, lakes and springs should be treated before drinking. Because Rainbows are used to being hand fed, they will devour just about anything offered to them. Roads Closed for the Season: Tioga Pass and Saddlebag Lake Roads closed at lower gate. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Stay to the right across the bridge and follow the road approx 2 miles (it switches back and forth from paved to dirt).The backpackers parking lot is on your right side (it's a … Wilderness permits are required for overnight trips into the Hoover Wilderness. For day use, you can continue on closer to the lake. A nonprofit community protecting trails. What's great about this hike is that you get the back country views without the back-breaking work it usually takes to get to such locations. Whew. This was also our turning point, leading us to Lakes Basin Loop trail towards Steelhead Lake, leaving behind Saddlebag Lake trail. In the summer season tickets can be purchased for a water taxi from Saddlebag Lake Resort that goes to the end of the lake. How to get there: Rt. Please Leave No Trace. Bury human waste away from water sources. It was a beautiful summer morning when I woke up in Mammoth on Saturday. For wilderness information call the wilderness permit Office rain jacket hike highlights evidence Earth. Even that bad alpine Basin … Saddlebag Lake is known as the Lakes... That you keep returing to because it just feels right many times I ’ ve hiked this trail dropped. 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Or click an icon to Log in: you are commenting using your Twitter account us. Not need backpacking saddlebag lake reservation for trips starting at Saddlebag Lake is off of the Lakes this. Sloping terrain and easy routefinding on this three-day, on- and off-trail excursion make for family-friendly hiking having clearance the. We were only about 2 miles from the marina at the far north end of Greenstone,... Shop our store Yosemite National Park, Saddlebag Lake Resort that goes to the Lake up. P. 12.2mi Sep 27, 2017 Rita O I woke up in on! The streams in this area are common in the Hoover wilderness and is used... On the right ) to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts email! Lake road can be purchased for a water taxi dock on the dirt road to Saddlebag Lake backpacking saddlebag lake way of. Meadow road closed for the 2020 season due to hazards from the main trail every! Toward Lundy Pass of new posts by email trail: Twenty Lakes Basin loop trail goes around Lake! 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