What? : Lake Sabrina
is high in the Inyo National Forest at an elevation of 9,138 feet outside
Bishop, California. Excellent starting point for few day and multi-day hikes into
the high sierra alpine lakes.
Where? : Lake Sabrina is
located south-west of Bishop, at the end of state route 168 west, in the Inyo
National Forest, about 19 miles drive from Bishop center.
When? : The road accessing
Lake Sabrina is close at the winter time where all is covered by snow. This is
excellent place to visit at spring and summer. Fall time may be the best when
all aspen trees changing color to yellow and red.
Due note: This is one of
the best places in California to see the Aspen trees fall colors, the season is
short and exact peek color time is different every year, if you are 2-3 weeks
late than you can miss the season.
My thoughts: I really liked
this 6-miles round trip hike, although strenuous going up the mountains it will
take you to the beautiful alpine Blue lake.
Lake Sabrina is
a lake created by damming the middle fork of Bishop Creek. The dam was built in
1907-8 to supply a constant flow of water to the hydraulic power plants as part
of the Bishop Creek system.
At the dam and
main parking lost it has a cafe as well as a boat landing with boat &
pontoon rentals, the small café offer food as well as drinks and ice-cream.
is located below the dam at the north end of Lake Sabrina, you can see the
clear sign just on the left of the road.
There are only
few legal parking spots near the trailhead, be sure you are pulled well off the
road if you use these spots. The day use parking is at the end of the road.
From the parking area walk 0.3 miles back down the road to the trailhead.
parking is located at a dirt lot along the west side of Highway 168, just
before the turnoff to North Lake, 0.9 miles down the road from the trailhead.
Hike Sabrina Lake to Blue Lake:
This is 3.1 out
and back (total of 6.2 miles hike) trail climbing the mountain side to Blue
ascends the left side of Lake Sabrina into the ridge above. The ascent starts
moderately along the lake increases and rises sharply after a mile.
You will enter
the John Muir Wilderness at 0.8 miles. At the one-mile mark, the trail begins
ascending the open slopes above the lake passing the trail to Lake George, shortly
after the junction the trail going down into a drainage and crosses Lake
George’s outlet stream. From this point this is all uphill, few switchbacks will
bring you to the big Blue Lake, as its name is a clear blue-green lake of water
(10,400-ft.). As you hike up great views extend south to the jagged peaks
rising along the Sierra Crest.
Hop across the
lake’s outlet stream rocks and tree barks “dam” and follow the trail along the
lake’s western shore to the open granite rocks. The jagged surrounding peaks profile
of the Thompson Ridge (13,498-ft.) located right above the Blue lake create the
lake magnificent view.
continue hiking from Blue lake to several lakes up the valleys (Dingleberry
Lake and Midnight Lake), usually people are doing them as a multi-day hike although
you can do them in one long day. This is a popular place for overnight hikes
(need a wilderness permit).
Overall a hard hike
uphill (will take you around 2 hours) and easy one and a half downhill, very
nice route and beautiful views up.