Saddlebag Lake Resort is located at over 10,000 feet in California’s spectacular eastern Sierra Nevada mountains just off of Highway 120 (Tioga Pass). The access road leads off of Highway 120 about half way between the nearby Tioga and Ellery Lakes. The 2 mile drive up is mostly on a rocky dirt road (with two steep sections of pavement) all uphill (suitable for passenger vehicles).
The lake was built in 1919 by the Southern Sierra Power Company. This picturesque post card looking lake is nestled among tall often snow covered peaks. During the summer, a restaurant operates next to the southern shoreline (the building that houses the cafe and tiny gift shop was built in 1947). A nearby water taxi can be hired to transport you to one end of the lake and then pick you up later in the day; or you can make the return trip by walking along the rock trail above the western shore. The north end of the lake leads to higher country – an area that is good for day hikes.
Limited camping on a first come first serve basis is located just up the hill from the lake (via the main parking lot).
The resort is open only after Tioga Pass is cleared and the lakes access road is free of snow. This works out to an opening of usually mid June and a closing date of late September to early October. One year we hiked in during late winter and found the lake to be completely frozen over with snow and ice. There are also other beautiful lakes beyond Saddlebag if you continue hiking into the wilderness further. For more info visit: www.saddlebaglakeresort.com
We also have articles on other California Sierra Nevada locations: Bishop, Mammoth, Mt. Whitney & vicinity
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