Lake Sabrina to Blue Lake Trail

MODERATE 50 reviews
#9 of 49 trails in

Lake Sabrina to Blue Lake Trail is a 5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Bishop, California that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

5.0 miles
1,535 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash





horseback riding

nature trips

rock climbing






wild flowers




From the Sabrina Basin trailhead, follow the trail around the south shore of Lake Sabrina. Take notice of the wildflowers and spectacular view of the Sierra crest. As the trail reaches the back of the lake, it ascends up a large draw. The lower portions of the trail are exposed to the sun so this is a good early morning hike. Take note of the waterfall above the back of Lake Sabrina. Once the trail moves south, into the draw, the switchbacks begin. The trail from this point, all the way to Blue Lake consists of short sections of straight trail sandwiched between repetitive series of switchbacks. Much of these switchbacks are forested but those that are not provide an excellent vista looking back toward Lake Sabrina. While this is a good uphill hump, the view is what will take your breath away. The scenery is spectacular. The trail winds up into the forest and flattens out as the trail approaches the lake. Blue Lake is located at about 10,400 ft. and is very scenic. There are excellent picnic areas at the outlet of the lake and along the back of the lake toward the inlet. Don’t stop where you first see the lake. The best spots are further up the tail. Take some photos, eat some lunch, fish a little, and then retrace your steps back to the Sabrina Basin Trailhead.

13 days ago

Beautiful hike! The trail is nice in that it has some switch backs that are spread throughout some meandering paths. Lots of water with at least one waterfall and stunning views of Sabrina.

Definitely need to stay hydrated - even though much of the hike is in the trees it is draining. Blue Lake is over 10,000 feet, so be careful if you are not ready for the altitude.

1 month ago

My first Sierra backpacking trip with a Boy Scout group. The hike is quite strenuous, and the elevation makes it more so. The views are amazing, and the fishing is quite good (I didn't fish, but most of the other hikers did).

There is plenty of water, but make sure you bring a way to purify it.

Also, bring a mosquito net, as they are EVERYWHERE. Worst of all, they did not seem to get the memo that you should not bite someone who wears bug repellent. If anything, it seemed to attract them even more!

1 month ago

What a great day hike, with tons of spectacular views the entire way. We thought this hike started moderate and towards the switchback end was definitely hard. We had our 9 year old and she lasted about 70% of the way, then went back to Lake Sabrina.

Definitely not for kids who are not used to altitude and moderate/hard hiking. Make sure you take lots of water and start early. That sun on the first half was intense!

1 month ago

Absolutely beautiful! Blue lake is crystal clear and surrounded by amazing peaks. Puppy dog had fun chasing squirrels too!

2 months ago

Trail was in good condition with one or two sections still covered by a few feet of snow as you climb toward the plateau. Nothing impassible, although, it was a bit hard to follow at times. We camped on the southern end of the lake.

There were quite a few other hikers passing through over the course of the afternoon, including one couple who decided to setup their tent 20 yards from us. Thank you for that. For a more secluded experience push past Blue Lake to anyone of the other countless lakes tucked away in the John Muir Wilderness. The trails beyond will open up in the coming month or so.

2 months ago

This was a fun afternoon hike. It was closer to 6 miles from the Marina parking lot. Lots of water and some small snow crossing.

2 months ago

camped at blue lake last night it got 1-2 feet of snow overnight so be prepared. with prior accumulation there were some waist deep sections and snow shoes would help

7 months ago

Hiked this trail 4 days ago - absolutely beautiful! Blue lake is frozen over, the area made a gorgeous campsite. There is a lot of snow up at that elevation, and several patches of ice on the trail leading up.

9 months ago

this is one of my favorite day hikes it's just absolutely gorgeous there and such a rewarding hike

9 months ago

The trail starts off at a slight incline and then you'll pass through a section of aspen trees mixed with boulders which makes the landscape look absolutely beautiful! I hiked this trail in the beginning of October and the golden aspens mixed with the gray boulders was breathtaking. You'll pass by 2 waterfalls and then the switchbacks to get over the ridge. Let me tell you, after all those switchbacks, the views of blue lake blew my mind! Absolutely worth it. My intention was to do this as a day hike, but really, I should have spent a few nights here. Well, there's always a next time.

11 months ago


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Best short hike I've done in a long time! The scenery is amazing

Saturday, July 22, 2017

The water crossings were manageable, and the mosquitoes were out in force in the lower portions as well as some of the upper forested portions where patches of snow were present. Found a nice place for a picnic on a granite ledge overlooking Sabrina. The views are incredible. The one mistake we made was doing this hike the same day we drove up from OC... the altitude and our road fatigue definitely made it more challenging, but not in a good way. Overall a great trail and the sight of Blue Lake was a nice reward. Will do it again

Sunday, July 09, 2017

I have hiked this trail 4 times over the years. Just finished it yesterday. Watch the crossings, passable but do it early. Bring your mosquito net and plenty of deet. Very scenic and moderate hike with a backpack.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Monday, July 03, 2017

Hiked here 4th of July weekend, brought my 8 year old son on the hike and he had a blast. There is still a good amount of Snow on the trail past 9500ft. There is 1 decent water crossing and if you want to see the back half of the lake you have to cross some logs to get over the drainage. Overall great Trail!

Monday, June 26, 2017

A beautiful hike. I went the week after father's day and there was still snow up high which made finding the trail near the top a bit more difficult, but we made it without too much trouble- having been there before helped). Water levels- due to a week of 100 degree temps-were pretty high crossing a stream in one area. Doable but be really careful.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Hiked Memorial Day weekend from Sabrina Lake parking lot. About 60-70% of trail was snowed in..trail was difficult to find at times. Took us 3 hours up to Blue Lake which was incredible and almost entirely frozen, some parts of trail were a little sketch with snow pack (crossing waterfall, snow metal on rocks, steep downhill bowl sections)..nice flat rocks for resting up near Blue Lake. Saw and got bites off a couple trout in blue Lake but very limited with ice. Totally worth the hike, in summer would be an incredible moderate hike but with snow I'd call it difficult for average person. 1.5 hours back due to downhill. Saw black bear sign, bald eagle, and mountain lion crossing road on the way down 168 into bishop! Would totally do this hike again.

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Nice trail beautiful scenery. Rained a bit but just helped to keep the temp cool.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Passed on the way to Moonlight Lake. Awesome.

Saturday, June 04, 2016

The trail parallels Lake Sabrina at the beginning and offers some nice views of the valley as you wind up towards Blue Luke. The granite stairs presented a challenge for the Scouts - they look like something out of Lord of the Rings! The trail becomes a little difficult to follow as you near Blue Lake but you are rewarded with one of those trademark High Sierra landscapes of high granite peaks surrounding a beautiful lake. We hiked back down in a storm - the rocks are slippery when wet.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

I ended up doing this trail with a group and was a bit nervous on how they would handle it. They did such a great job! We ended up going out when it was a bit colder so a lot of the people had trouble but we all made it. We did lose the trail once because it was a bit washed off but we found it and the best part was arriving to the lake after a lot of uphill work. Blue Lake was beautiful!

Monday, September 07, 2015

The hike around Lake Sabrina was nice and Blue Lake was so beautiful after the switchbacks (it's nice that they're in the shade also). We didn't fish, but saw lots of people doing so and even a group that was taking a dip in the chilly water! We hiked all the way to Mt. Haeckel during a 3 day trip. It gets even more gorgeous as you continue past Blue Lake.

I would be wary, especially if you have small children, that horses are allowed on the trail which makes it annoying having to navigate the manure in addition to the trail itself. It's really too bad because there are pockets of sweet smelling flowers along the trail (lavender?) and the horsey poo would overpower it.
At some points the crap would cover most of the trail forcing us to make the difficult choice to step off the trail, or step right into it. It would be nice ask horse owners to pick up after their animals.

Other than the dung, it was a nice trail!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

This is not an easy trail of you have a pack on. The last 2 miles are all switchbacks and steep. It's absolutely gorgeous start to finish. The views are awesome.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Wonderful hike! Went on a not-too-hot day, and it was lovely. The map at the trail head wasn't super clear the first time I checked it. This hike starts near the dam at Sabrina Lake, swings around the south end, and up to the west. I recommend it!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Beautiful views!

Monday, December 01, 2014

We spent night one in Bishop Hostel, I'm not usually a hostel type of guy now that i'm 33 but this place is more of a bed and breakfast feel. Awesome kitchen with a great collection of glasses, steins etc. victorian house / furniture etc.. we drank heavily and promptly hit the trail head the next morning with a quick stop in aspen dell to check out he aspens. the trail head which starts at lake sabrina is on the east side of the damn... note you have to park about 1/4 to 1/2 mile down the road from the main day use parking.. this was kind of a bummer.. the first 2-3 miles is along the lake which is pretty but you begin to tire of this mostly sandy trail with not much tree cover it was pretty hot in oct however it snowed the very next weekend after our trip.. at the SE side of the lake you will pass a water fall and begin your hike up to blue lake.. the trees and views of surrounding mountains are great. OF note is the Red peaks not very common in the eastern sierras which i really liked.. once at blue lake you are 6-7 miles in and about 1500 feet higher than u started .. we were defiantly ready for a break due to being hung over from last nights pub crawl through bishop. we were the only one at this lake and camped on the west side , a waterfall could be heard on the south side but we never made it over to check it out.. the next morning we got up and made our way to hungry packer lake , we attempted to find moonlight falls at moonlight lake but it appeared they were dry this time of year so we settled in for night 3 at the north side of the lake which was great.. a big water fall on the west side was visible and you could hear it but we never made it over to that side, which i regret... the next morning we left at 9am and were back to bishop eating burgers by 2... i'd give this hike 3 out of 5 stars, i probably won't do it again but will defianately be back to bishop and possibly aspen dell. the reason for this is i've had better experiences at kearsarge pass and my favorite big pine lakes..

13 days ago

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