Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
220.00 ft (67.06 m)
Trail type
Loop
Distance
4.10 mi (6.60 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Saddlebag Lake Loop is an easily-accessible high elevation trail that circles the lake and offers access to the Eastern Sierra's dramatically beautiful 20 Lakes Basin area, as well as the quickest way to Mount Conness' North Ridge climbing route.

The trail begins at the Saddlebag Lake Resort, absolutely modest in terms of 'resorts', who offers a boat launch and rentals, as well as an hourly water taxi that transports visitors to the far end of the lake. While the hike can be taken in either direction, heading in a counterclockwise direction puts the majority of the dramatic scenery in view before you throughout the hike, while going in a clockwise direction will offer hikers a shorter distance into the 20 Lakes Basin backcountry.

Heading counterclockwise, the trail leaves the resort area, and about a half mile in leaves most of the casual visitors behind as it winds around perched a few dozen feet above water level. A dramatic mountainous skyline rises from the background, much of it lying within the Hoover Wilderness Area. The trail itself sticks to gradually rolling terrain, passing a couple streams and heading through small stands of pine trees.

At the lake's far end, a network of trails leads deeper into the 20 Lakes Basin area. Using the mountains as a reference, it is easy to explore any of these trails and find your way back to the Saddlebag Lake Loop afterwards. Greenstone Lake is a very short detour from the path, with the trail crossing Lee Vining Creek as it continues around Saddlebag Lake.

The final portion of the hike is along a footpath through scree and flattened rocks, before the resort comes back into view. Finally, hikers will cross a dam before arriving back at the campgrounds and parking area.

Potable water is available at the campground and vault toilets are located at the trailhead parking area.

Tioga Pass is closed to traffic during winter and spring months, and at an elevation of over 10,000 feet, winter conditions remain in the Saddlebag Lake area much later into the season.

The Ultimate
Adventure Maps

Access 650K+ miles of trail data, Offline Maps, GPS Tracking, Waypoint functionality, Outdoor Project Adventures, and more with onX Backcountry. Start your free trial today–no credit card required.

Start Free Trial

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

No

Open from

May 01 to November 30

Pros

Easy high country access. Beautiful scenery.

Cons

Seasonal closures.

Trailhead Elevation

10,110.00 ft (3,081.53 m)

Highest point

10,150.00 ft (3,093.72 m)

Features

Vault toilet
Near lake or river
Backcountry camping
Big vistas
Family friendly
Wildflowers

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Comments

Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.