Saddlebag Lake

Just east of Yosemite, a few miles north of Tioga Pass, is Saddlebag Lake. At about 10,100 feet, it’s one of the highest places you can drive to in the Sierra Nevada. It’s also one of the easiest places to hike or backpack at this elevation: you can make an 8 or 10-mile loop trip with only a few hundred feet elevation gain. Nearby ridges are over 11,000 feet and a few peaks exceed 12,000 feet, if you care to climb higher. Earlier this month I followed some paths I had not walked before: from the resort parking area, around the east side of Saddlebag Lake, north to Hummingbird Lake and Odell Lake, and back again (about 6 miles).

Saddlebag Lake (south half), looking west (panoramic view of nearly 180°)

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Saddlebag Lake (north half), looking northwest

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Saddlebag Lake from the north end, looking south toward Mt. Dana

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One of my favorite high mountain grasses:
King’s mountain rice-grass (Oryzopsis kingii)

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Mt. Conness and the remnants of Conness Glacier

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North Peak and what’s left of North Peak Glacier

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Turn right …

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Up the trail toward Odell Lake and beyond

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Hummingbird Lake

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Odell Lake

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An aerial view of my route, in Google Earth

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Tim Messick Photography • Graphics
Copyright © 2012 Tim Messick. All rights reserved.

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About Tim Messick

Photographer, cartographer, and botanist/naturalist. Home is in Davis, California. Home-away-from-home is the eastern Sierra Nevada. Compiling a flora of the Bodie Hills.
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2 Responses to Saddlebag Lake

  1. Janet says:

    Beautiful photos. I’ve always wanted to visit the Saddlebag Lake area. Maybe next year… 🙂

  2. Tim Messick says:

    Thanks, Janet. You should definitely visit Saddlebag and the lakes to the north of it. Your Yosemite Hikes posts remind me of many favorite places that I’m long overdue to re-visit!

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