Saddlebag Lake Trail


 

This is the time of year (Fall Season) when I really like to venture out of town to look for more trails.
I have never heard anybody talk about this trail but once again referenced it from the Eastern Sierra Mountain Bike book.

Saddlebag Lake Trail details from the book.

Saddlebag Lake Trail details from the book.

This was has been on the list for a couple years, but it’s kinda short right 4 1/2 miles. My friend Jodi wanted to ride so I mentioned Saddlebag Trail…she said OK knowing me with a slight hesitation haha. So we loaded up are fat bikes and drove up Tioga Pass (HWY 120) pulled off right to Saddlebag Lake.

Parking the car off of HWY 120

Parking the car off of HWY 120

Book said there was a rough 2 1/2 mile dirt road so we thought we would add a little mileage. Book stats must be a little old because a bit of the road was paved. After a good climb of probably 900ft we came to an amazing panorama of Saddlebag Lake.

Climbing the not so rough dirt road.

Climbing the not so rough dirt road.

Jodi and I road up past the parking lot, by the bathroom as the book said and there was the trailhead. This trail starts at 10,000ft elevation we felt it in are lungs.

Saddlebag Lake Trailhead.

Saddlebag Lake Trailhead.

I was thinking this would be an easy trail. We started down the trail hum ok this is kinda techie, The classic High Sierra jagged rocks and shale. Jodi hum I don’t know about this.

Before she could talk herself out of it I kept riding. So she womaned up and started to ride. I looked back and saw her getting after it, smiles came to my face.

Jodi riding snowdrifts and Jagged Shale Rocks

Jodi riding snowdrifts and Jagged Shale Rocks

Once again thinking this was a lakeside trail seems like it should be easy. You are riding on a old mine kind of trail, pretty high above the lake. Riding along your just in aw, of the views.

Panorama Lakeview aw the views.

Panorama Lakeview aw the views.

There was a good snow drift in the middle of the trail so we where riding the edge of the trail. Riding along about 2.3 miles we came to a Cabin. This cabin is used for backcountry wilderness rangers but of course we had to stop for photo ops.

Cabin in the Woods

Cabin in the Woods

Ok back on the trail you will see a couple trail that branch off but these go to wilderness areas and bikes or prohibited here so don’t ride those trails follow the main trail to the back side of the lake which of course is friggin awesome.

Alpine Trail Backside of the Lake.

Alpine Trail Backside of the Lake.

We stopped at the backside and had a few snacks. Looking in aw the 360 views and amazed we where riding here. The trail is on the edge of the wilderness border. This is true alpine country. Savor this trail and tread lightly. After a snack break we tried riding the rest of the trail. There is a log bridge that you need to cross but kinda hard to see because of the shrubs.

Crossing the Log Bridge.

Crossing the Log Bridge.

So we crossed and tried to ride the rest of the trail around the lake. The snow was to deep. I know right we had Fatbikes but the snow was to soft and not packed down to keep pedaling thru. So we turned around and enjoyed the views from reverse and a great different point of view.

To Much Snow, Retreating.

To Much Snow, Retreating.

Returning back from backside of the lake.

Returning back from backside of the lake.

Riding High above the Lake.

Riding High above the Lake.

Once we got back to my car we had rode 1000+ feet of climbing in about 11.3 miles.

Map of Saddleback Lake Loop

Map of Saddlebag Lake Loop

Elevation Scale of Saddlebag Lake Loop

Elevation Scale of Saddlebag Lake Loop

After Saddlebag we drove down to Power Line Trail RD for a quick 2.5 mile ride to check out the fall colors. They where popping, great gravel road up to the Southern California Edison power plant.

Start to Poole Powerplant RD

Start to Poole Powerplant RD

Fall Colors ride on Poole Powerplant rd.

Fall Colors ride on Poole Power Plant rd.

Historic Powerwheel at the end off the road.

Historic Power Wheel at the end off the road.


 

 

#ridebikeswithfriends

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One Response to Saddlebag Lake Trail

  1. Pingback: Ride Report: Saddlebag Lake Trail near Yosemite, CA |

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