When we arrived in the Eastern Sierra at the end of September, I thought it was probably too early for the fall colors. Little did I know Lake Sabrina near Bishop, CA had a wonderful surprise waiting for me.
First, we stopped at Looney Beans in town for breakfast. I like this little coffee shop and we always make a stop here when we are in town. Their outdoor seating is dog-friendly so it’s a good place to enjoy a meal with Xena. My avocado toast was delicious!
Next, we drove 19 miles to the Sabrina Lake Trailhead in the Inyo National Forest. After passing the Sabrina Campground, look for the trailhead on the left. These information boards are somewhat obscured from Lake Sabrina Road. You can park along the road or in the day-use parking lot not too far from the trailhead.
I could already see the golden leaves ahead from the trailhead. I was elated with joy!
In the first mile, you hike along the Sabrina Lake and the trail is pretty flat. It’s an easy hike with a beautiful view of the lake. That’s where most of the fall colors were when we visited. The trail is wide enough for two people in the beginning then it soon tapers off.
Maybe it was too early. Xena didn’t smile for the camera.
That is until we made it to the Inyo National Forest sign about a mile into the hike. She got up next to the sign on her own and posed. So I got the hint and took this photo. She cracks me up!!
Off we go to Blue Lake.
After the first mile, the trail starts to gain elevation and veer off to the south towards Blue Lake. At the 1.2-mile marker, there is a sign for George Lake. If I remember correctly, this was the only sign on the trail but no worries. Sabrina Basin Trail is well-maintained and easy to follow.
The trail started to get rocky and rugged after the waterfall.
The view of Lake Sabrina on the way to Blue Lake
After 2.7 miles of climbing, we reached Blue Lake. The only place that was a bit confusing for me was right here. I made my pack hop on the rocks here to get over to the main part of the lake but I recommend you get on the boulder on the right side and go toward the lake instead. You will eventually find a trail there. I only saw it when we were on the way back out.
Welcome to Blue Lake! I can’t get enough of the raw beauty of alpine lakes.
Good to Know:
- Hike Date: 9.27.2019
- Distance: 6 miles RT
- Elevation Gain: 1,380 ft
- Maximum Altitude: 10,410 ft
- Difficulty Rating: Challenging
- Trailhead: Sabrina Lake Trailhead
- Fee/Permit: None for a day hike; Permit is required for overnight camping
- No toilet
- Notable: lakes, wildflowers, stream crossing, partly shady, rock climbing, backpacking