A July 4th long weekend brought around the perfect opportunity to go backpacking in the eastern Sierra Nevada. After one night of camping, we set out on our backpacking trip, the plan being to do one overnight stay at Blue Lake in Inyo National Forest and continue on to another lake if there wasn’t too much snow blocking the trails.
We headed out with our pup and all our gear from the Sabrina Basin trailhead, enjoying the beautiful views of Lake Sabrina along the way.
At 0.8 miles, we entered the John Muir Wilderness area. The first trail junction was for Lake George, and we continued straight towards Blue Lake. The ascent was a steady climb along rocky switchbacks, but still very doable with backpacking gear.
There were several stream crossings, but only one where we removed our boots and waded across the frigid water, carrying the pup. Hiking poles were great to have! The trail was pretty exposed, but as we continued on, there were more areas with trees and snow remnants which made our pup very happy.
At close to 3 miles in, the trail flattened and we got to a very large pond. After taking a bit of time to take some photos, we proceeded across another stream crossing, this time with a series of fairly steady logs providing some assistance. The views of the alpine scenery and the giant pond were even better on the other side.
From there, we continued on until we reached Blue Lake. The views of the lake and its reflections were stunning. The lake was pretty busy with other backpackers and there was still a lot of patchy snow, but we didn’t have trouble finding a place to set up camp a bit further away from the lake. Luckily we had time to set up our tent before the onslaught of mosquitos began.
After camping overnight at Blue Lake, we opted to return back to Lake Sabrina since there was too much snow to continue on — at least without more snow-appropriate gear like ice axes. We took our time in the morning, soaking in the views and taking more photos before heading back on the same route. We hope to get back for more!
Distance: 3.9 miles
Elevation: 1400 ft