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2020-07-23  
2020-07-21  
2018-09-14  
Sabrina Basin Trail to Emerald Lakes, CA
mini location map2020-07-21
19 by photographer avatarOregon_Hiker
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Sabrina Basin Trail to Emerald Lakes, CA 
Sabrina Basin Trail to Emerald Lakes, CA
 
Hiking avatar Jul 21 2020
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking8.51 Miles 1,766 AEG
Hiking8.51 Miles   9 Hrs   23 Mns   1.14 mph
1,766 ft AEG   1 Hour   55 Mns Break
 
1st trip
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This was my second destination during a planned week long stay in the Eastern Sierras. I drove down HW395 from Green Creek stopping along the way for some groceries and ice and to waste some time on the internet so didn't arrive at the Sabrina Campground until around 1:00pm on a Monday. I was lucky to grab the last available campsite and decided to stay for 4 nights rather than move again and risk not being able to get a campsite. There are plenty of hiking opportunities available a short drive, or hike, from the Sabrina Campground at the Sabrina Lake TH, North Lake TH, and the South Lake TH. This CG at 9000 ft elevation had the potential for cooler temperatures during the heat wave being experienced throughout the west. However afternoon temps were still a little warm if you couldn't find shade but nights and early mornings were comfortably cool if not cold.

The next morning I hiked out of the Sabrina TH up the Sabrina Basin Trail headed for Blue Lake and beyond. I had planned on going to Dingleberry Lake but opted instead to do a little off trail exploring of the Emerald Lakes. Although I started early enough to be the first one on the trail, I was soon overtaken by numerous hikers due to my stopping to take photos and restore blood oxygen levels. This caused further delays. It's interesting how any hiker older than about 60 (including myself) is more than happy to stop and chit-chat on up-hill trails. Despite my delays I still arrived early enough at Blue Lake to have fairly good light for taking photos of this beautiful lake. After spending about a half hour happily handing out advice to hikers asking about how to get to Donkey Lake I was on my way to the Emerald Lakes. This was a short hike from Blue Lake with little elevation gain. The turn off to Emerald Lakes is only 0.6 miles past the Donkey Lake turnoff on the Sabrina Basin Trail. The turnoff is not marked with a sign but was marked with some rocks lined up in two short rows at the location where a short spur trail is shown on the HAZ FS Topo map. There is a little used trail visible for the first 500 yards - after that you're pretty much on your own although trail segments can still be seen here and there but can be easily confused with animal trails. There were no human foot prints visible in the area and I didn't encounter another person while I was in the Emerald Lakes area. The best advice is to just follow the stream which links the lakes. Going to the Emerald Lakes turned out to be a good choice. The lakes were indeed a beautiful emerald green cooler and an abundance of Eastern Brook Trout could be seen prowling around for mid day snacks in the clear water - that plus the solitude made me want to stay a while to fully appreciate this treasure.
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Bald Eagle
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