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Lake Sabrina Trail to Donkey Lake, CA
mini location map2018-09-14
22 by photographer avatarOregon_Hiker
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Lake Sabrina Trail to Donkey Lake, CA 
Lake Sabrina Trail to Donkey Lake, CA
 
Hiking avatar Sep 14 2018
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking8.70 Miles 1,690 AEG
Hiking8.70 Miles   9 Hrs   30 Mns   0.92 mph
1,690 ft AEG
 
1st trip
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This was my third trailhead and hike as I worked my way north along HW395 on my tour of the Eastern Sierras. I drove to the area at mid-day on Friday and found campgrounds were filling up. I got the last available spot at the Sabrina Campground which was beneath a power line. The guys across the campground road from me had a nice tent site right on the creek. I told them although they had a scenic campsite, my site had a cell phone charging station on the power pole by the picnic table. They didn't buy it! After setting up camp I walked up to the Lake Sabrina Dam and marina. There was a cold wind blowing down the lake but it didn't stop guys from fishing off the dam. One guy had caught a nice 4-5 lb trout. I was pleasantly surprised to find Lake Sabrina full of water which I didn't expect for this time of year. When I was in the Eastern Sierras at the end of Sept in 2014 South Lake which is the next lake south of Sabrina was so low the boat launch ramp couldn't be used. A guy working at the marina told me water had been held back while work was being done on the outlet.

The next day I started the hike up the Sabrina Basin Trail with the plan to explore past Blue Lake. I soon encountered another hiker headed in the same direction and after some conversation we ended up hiking together up to Blue Lake. He was 78, had been hiking the Eastern Sierras for many years, and left me in the dust when we got to the steep switch backs on the final leg up to Blue Lake. He was turning around at Blue Lake but recommended that I go to Donkey Lake which wasn't much further away. It was a good choice with the trail following a picturesque stream which flowed out of Baboon Lakes into the upper end of Blue Lake. Some off trail scrambling was required to find acceptable viewpoints for taking photos of Donkey Lake but this hike ranked up there with all the other Eastern Sierra Hikes I'd taken in the Fall of 2014 and on this trip. My temporary hiking buddy also highly recommended hiking to Piute Pass which had already been in my tentative plans for the next day and suggested I add Duck Lake out of Mammoth Lakes Basin to my hiking list. That also would turn out to be an excellent recommendation.
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