Lake Sabrina leads to several trails that reveal a series of alpine lakes in glacial basins and several 13,000-foot peaks along the way. High in the Sierra Nevadas not far from Bishop, California, hikers can embark on strenuous day hikes or multi-day backpacking adventures from the trailhead at Lake Sabrina. No matter which way you go, you’ll be immersed in beautiful Southeastern California Sierra wilderness, at times surrounded by pine forest, others looking straight up at the 13,000-foot peaks of Mount Darwin and Mount Powell, and eventually looking down on the alpine lakes while standing above the tree line. For those who choose to make their trip an overnight trip (which we highly recommend), find an area with an open patch of sky as the stars on a clear night are unrivaled, as is awaking to the sunrise over the Eastern Sierra.
What Makes It Great
The scenery is remarkable, and the trails are well-maintained and easy-to-navigate. The hikes around Lake Sabrina lead to panoramas of the many nearby lakes and the granite cliffs and peaks that rise throughout the glacial valley. As you climb steep switchbacks, you’ll find yourself revived by the beauty at every turn, be it another 13,000-foot mountain top or another glistening blue lake below. Flora and fauna are abundant, and in the early summer, the wildflower displays add immense color all along the hike, covering mountainsides and meadows.
While the trails are popular, it’s still possible to find solitude along your hikes. Gaining 1,350 feet over the course of the trek, the 6.2-mile Blue Lake Trail is moderate-to-strenuous, but is a round-trip hike that can easily be done in a day—with a mountainside picnic overlooking the lake at your summit. If you’d like to hike more distance, or make your journey a camping trip, the hike to Dingleberry Lake is 9.2 miles round-trip, and the hike to Midnight Lake is 11.2 miles, gaining close to 2,000 feet. You’ll hike past Emerald Lakes, resting in one of the glacial basins en route to Dingleberry Lake and look for a lush waterfall at the 5-mile mark on the way to Midnight Lake. Whichever path you take, you are guaranteed that the scenery will be magnificent.
Who is Going to Love It
Day hikers and backpackers alike will enjoy the trails near Lake Sabrina. Because the higher points of the trails are well above the treeline, photographers love shooting from the mountainsides, whether they prefer daytime landscapes or capturing the night sky from the mountaintops.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Take Highway 168 West outside of Bishop for approximately 18 miles. Continue onto Lake Sabrina Road, where you’ll find the trailhead on the left.
_Campfires are prohibited on this trail. _
Food must be stored in bear-proof containers at least 15 feet above ground; beyond Blue Lake, bear canisters are required, as you’re above the treeline and it’s the only safe way to store food. Thus, bear spray is also necessary.
Treating water before consumption is also recommended.
Featured image provided by Marty B