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George Lake from Sabrina Trailhead, CA
mini location map2020-07-23
16 by photographer avatarOregon_Hiker
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George Lake from Sabrina Trailhead, CA 
George Lake from Sabrina Trailhead, CA
Hiking avatar Jul 23 2020
Hiking7.71 Miles 2,067 AEG
Hiking7.71 Miles   8 Hrs   17 Mns   1.16 mph
2,067 ft AEG   1 Hour   38 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
1st trip
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This was my second hike out of the Sabrina Trailhead on my 1 week visit to the Eastern Sierras. I had planned on hiking to Treasure Lakes out of the South Lake TH but decided against it after finding out that the road to South Lake would have up to 30 minute delays while the road was being re-paved after major work replacing old culverts, etc. I had seen the sign for the trail to George Lake off of the Sabrina Basin Trail 2 days before on a hike to Emerald Lake. After checking topo maps it looked like a worthy destination. Being able to just walk up the road 0.4 miles to the TH from my camp at Sabrina CG was also a plus.

It was another beautiful morning as I started the hike. Lake Sabrina mirrored the surrounding mountains and the trail to George Lake up the east side of Sabrina Basin provided great views. The trail crossed the stream cascading down the hillside from above providing opportunities for replenishing one's water supply. That stream was mostly covered with large boulders hiding it from access except at the trail crossings. The trail leveled out in the George Lake valley with one final steep but short section to climb up the knoll which hides the lake from view when you first enter this little valley. I made a short off-trail detour to check out Little George Lake which added about 0.5 miles to the hike. It was in a small depression in the boulder debris at the base of the steep south side of the valley and probably wasn't worth the effort.

George Lake is a short distance off the trail, # 31E02, which continues on climbing up another 860 ft to cross over the ridge at 11590 ft before descending to the Tyee Lakes and then the Tyee Lake TH on the road to South Lake. This would make a nice day hike for those in good shape if arrangements had been made for a shuttle at the Tyee Lakes TH. One way distance from Sabrina TH to Tyee TH is about 8 miles with 2700 ft AEG . It also would make for a nice one to two day backpacking trek. There was a large area along the northeast lake shore that would be great for camping. I encountered a mom and two young boys (about 9 to 10 years old) who were doing the backpack version camping one night near George Lake and the second night at Tyee Lakes. They were the only people I encountered on the trail to George Lake. I've read reports that fishing is good at the Tyee Lakes but found no fishing reports on George Lake. It had the appearance of being a good habitat for trout but I did not see any swimming about in the clear water as I had at Blue Lake and the Emerald Lakes.

I walked along the edge of the lake to its southeast end. That end of the lake is surrounded by a marshy area dotted with boulders. A duck was standing on top of one of the smaller boulders keeping an eye on me as I approached. He/she stayed there while I took numerous photos and switched to a telephoto lens. Finally this sentinel got nervous and gathered up a brood of 7 almost adult sized ducklings and one other adult. They then paddled off near the lake shore and waited for me to leave. I found a large flat topped boulder near the water's edge and proceeded to have a lunch time snack and then took a 45 minute senior nap. When I woke up the ducks had gotten tired of waiting for me to leave and had disappeared.

This was a nice hike with great views of the Sabrina Basin and beyond as you climb up the trail on the southeast side of Lake Sabrina. It's probably not quite as scenic as my previous hike from the Sabrina TH past Blue Lake to the Emerald Lakes. A definite plus was the solitude once leaving the Sabrina Basin Trail although there probably would be more people on a weekend.
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