Backpacking Sabrina Basin

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gary c.
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Re: Backpacking Sabrina Basin

Post by gary c. » Fri May 18, 2018 11:14 am

Digforfire wrote:Could you recommend some other options?
I would just stay the second night at Moonlight and day hike to Hungry Packer. It's not that far from Moonlight.

Actually, even thought it has a lot of people I would stay the first night at Blue L and spend a day hiking up to the Baboon lakes. Then go on to Moonlight for the second night. For me the trail head to Moonlight is a pretty long day.


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Re: Backpacking Sabrina Basin

Post by Wandering Daisy » Fri May 18, 2018 1:04 pm

If you traverse the northwest ? (right) shore of Hungry Packer there are campsites on the peninsula on the rock slabs, up from the lakeshore, on sandy spots. It is windy out there, but it works. There are actually quite a few little nooks and crannies on both sides of the outlet, if willing to be above the lake.

Soldier Lake has good views of Hungry Packer (although at a distance) and is centrally located. It is only about 10 minutes down from Hungry Packer.

I agree with first night at Blue Lake. Personally I hate the car-camping before a trip, so I like to walk in on the same day I drive. Since most of the Sierra is 4-6 hours drive for me, that leaves half a day to hike in. There are plenty of established campsites both at the outlet and inlet of Blue Lake. Many of the inlet sites are considerably above the water level. There are a couple you can walk down to that sit near lake level just adjacent to the inlet. The hike up to Baboon is tricky- but had good fishing when I went. The really scenic lake is the one beyond Baboon Lakes. Getting around the shores of Baboon Lakes is also very tricky. I was not particularly impressed with Donkey Lake.

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Re: Backpacking Sabrina Basin

Post by Digforfire » Fri May 18, 2018 1:23 pm

From the sounds of it, blue lake might be the best option for the first night as we are going on a Wednesday and maybe it will be (I hope) a bit less crowded. Then second night at moonlight and day hike to hungry packer.

We are driving from San Diego so probably realistically won't get on the trail until 11-12 and won't want to kill ourselves on the first day after that drive.

What about midnight lake? How are the campsites around that area?

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Re: Backpacking Sabrina Basin

Post by Wandering Daisy » Fri May 18, 2018 4:01 pm

I like Moonlight better. Good fishing, great sunrise and lots of camping options, but not as easy to get to as Midnight. Here are photos of each. More limited camping at Midnight.
6172-3_Midnight Lake.jpg
6133-4_Moonlight Lk.jpg
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Re: Backpacking Sabrina Basin

Post by SSSdave » Fri May 18, 2018 4:41 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:If you traverse the northwest ? (right) shore of Hungry Packer there are campsites on the peninsula on the rock slabs, up from the lake shore, on sandy spots. It is windy out there, but it works. There are actually quite a few little nooks and crannies on both sides of the outlet, if willing to be above the lake...


On that Hungry Packer peninsula one is most likely to find groups illegally tenting too close to the lake edge. Although there is a flat site for a few tents 150 feet vertical above the lake and over 200 feet horizontal from the lake edge, all the others that are not surprising the ones I've seen groups use so they don't have to climb up, are flat spots illegally within the 100 foot limit. Just check that out with Google Earth with its Ruler Tool.

Wilderness policy allows camping within the 100 foot limit if there are not otherwise locations to do so. At Hungry Packer there are plenty of locations east of the outlet. I've also rousted two groups tenting right beside Blue Lake shores that were embarrassed so moved. The scenic Sabrina Basin is very popular especially with novice groups with not a few of the later attracted as by a powerful mental magnet to camp as close as they can once they arrive and see these alpine wonders thus disregarding what's written on the permits down in their packs, especially when they find spots with signs of other's recent use.

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Re: Backpacking Sabrina Basin

Post by cvr » Wed May 30, 2018 6:40 pm

I have been to all but two lakes in this basin and can highly recommend it as others have. You really cannot go wrong. Since not too many people have touched on the Baboon Lakes, I will do so. There are MANY great campsites at the largest (first) lake you come to. Many can be found just left (south-ish) of where the unmarked trail ends. There are others on the other side of the outlet falls further south-ish. A few of them are up high on rock outcroppings sitting above the lake. The views all along this shore are quite nice (as shown in the pic) and you are likely to have much more solitude than in the rest of the Basin. There are many more camping and day hiking options on the other side of the Basin, so i would go towards the lakes the other posters have mentioned first and then go to Baboon for the last night. It is also a very quick hike out from Baboon.
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Re: Backpacking Sabrina Basin

Post by Matthewkphx » Wed May 30, 2018 8:31 pm

What a gorgeous spot. Thanks for sharing the photo and information. Just to clarify, which direction are we looking in the photo?

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Re: Backpacking Sabrina Basin

Post by cvr » Thu May 31, 2018 11:29 am

The view in the pic is looking pretty much due south a short distance from where the trail from Blue ends at Baboon. I don't think the trail is maintained beyond the junction above Blue, but it is easy to follow.

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Re: Backpacking Sabrina Basin

Post by exodus » Thu May 31, 2018 1:11 pm

You may be doing this already, but you may want to look at what exploration you want to do... That will give you options in terms of where to setup base-camp. For example, if you want to head up to the Baboon Lakes area, Blue Lake is a decent base camp. Or if you want to explore Bottleneck and Fishgut, you might want to camp at Dingleberry.

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Re: Backpacking Sabrina Basin

Post by exodus » Thu May 31, 2018 1:15 pm

Also, being from San Diego myself... you may want to consider driving up the night before your entry and then staying at a local campground to acclimatize. That's a strenuous 3 - 4 mile hike going up 1500+ ft just coming from sea level.

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