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Backpacking Sabrina Basin

Posted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:42 am
by Digforfire
Me and the wife are planning a 3-4 night backpacking trip with another couple to Sabrina Basin in mid-late August of this year. Having never been or backpacked in the Sierra any suggestions would be much appreciated!

Re: Backpacking Sabrina Basin

Posted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:11 pm
by kpeter
My favorite destination. It is an easy place to set up a basecamp and then to take a series of dayhikes to explore the basin.

Blue Lake is easy to get to but crowded. I've stopped there with small children, but getting a little deeper in is worth your while.

I've camped at Dingleberry and just upstream from Dingleberry several times.

The most spectacular campsite in the basin (but often taken) is just below the falls downstream from Moonlight Lake and near Sailor Lake.

Emerald Lakes are rather buggy, usually, and lack the spectacular views--I've avoided them. I think I've read here that some folks like them--maybe for fishing? Just a guess.

Depending on your ambitions, you can dayhike to Midnight, pick your way up to Blue Heaven, and then come down via Hell Diver Lakes. Coming down was challenging in a couple of spots.

Hungry Packer is a dramatic lake worth looking at, but rather stuck in its niche, so I have never liked it as a basecamp from which to take other hikes.

Moonlight is a gorgeous lake with some glacial coloration, and it is a reasonable hike to go above it to take a look at Echo Lake.

I think Baboon Lakes are very pretty. Last time I was there I found a trail about 1/2 of the way up, but the last part there was no trail. I did not follow the creek but found a shrubby notch to hike up with no real difficulties. I think it was the small green swatch above the "a" in "Baboon" and it funneled me to lake 10976, where there were thick patches of paintbrush. One day I moved camp up to Baboon and dayhiked up to Sunset Lake--a gorgeous hike through meadows and alongside a cascading creek. The problem with Baboon is that they are a little off on their own compared with the rest of Sabrina Basin. For a first trip you might do better in the Dingleberry/Moonlight vicinity for camping.

Ridge hiking is a possibility in the basin. The ridge between Hungry Packer and Moonlight can be ascended without technical skills for quite a ways and you get great views.

From Dingleberry you can hike steeply up to Fishgut/Bottleneck/Schober lakes. This was a fun day, but I did not think it was as spectacular as Blue Heaven or Echo or Sunset.

Re: Backpacking Sabrina Basin

Posted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:29 pm
I second Kpeter’s post. Sabrina Basin is a wonderful place to either pick a location and day-hike to other portions of the basin or hop around to a different location each night. My favorite lake to camp at is Sailor Lake, but it might be crowded in August. Here are a couple of trip reports to give you an idea of what it’s like: ... rina+basin ... na#p112398

Re: Backpacking Sabrina Basin

Posted: Tue May 01, 2018 7:28 am
by Digforfire
Awesome! I appreciate the input. Definitely helps out a lot.

Re: Backpacking Sabrina Basin

Posted: Tue May 01, 2018 12:08 pm
by SSSdave ... 15-12.html

Some areas of the basin are quite popular thus not much solitude. However the topography is highly variable so by venturing a bit away from trails, prime use routes, and trails alongside popular lakes, it can be easy to find camp site solitude.

Re: Backpacking Sabrina Basin

Posted: Sun May 06, 2018 7:26 am
by MRrogers
Please see my TR from last year. Really enjoyed this area, especially Moonlight Falls. Great area, with easy hiking, not a lot of elevation gain. ... =1&t=16626

Re: Backpacking Sabrina Basin

Posted: Fri May 18, 2018 8:15 am
by Digforfire
Just got my permits for Sept 5th entry at Sabrina trail head! The plan is moonlight falls the first night (if its not too crowded), Hungry Packer the second night and Midnight lake the third for base camps. We plan on doing a lot of exploring and fishing. I will post my trip report and pics when I get back. We can't wait!

Re: Backpacking Sabrina Basin

Posted: Fri May 18, 2018 9:27 am
by Jimr
Hungry Packer is very difficult to find a decent camp spot. There is one right at the outlet, but if that's taken, your choices will be difficult.

Re: Backpacking Sabrina Basin

Posted: Fri May 18, 2018 10:17 am
by Digforfire
Could you recommend some other options?

Re: Backpacking Sabrina Basin

Posted: Fri May 18, 2018 10:44 am
by Jimr
I haven't camped at any of the other lakes high in that basin, just Hungry Packer. I'm sure others will chime in. There are many options in that basin.