Twenty Lakes Basin Loop Trail

MODERATE 8 reviews
#3 of 7 trails in

Twenty Lakes Basin Loop Trail is a 8.9 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Lee Vining, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

8.9 miles
1309 feet

dog friendly

kid friendly




mountain biking

nature trips


horseback riding



wild flowers




A day hike around beautiful lakes in the eastern sierra, just outside the east entrance to Yosemite on Tioga pass. This alpine basin studded with lakes and ringed by spectacular mountains appeals to hikers seeking exceptional scenery without the stiff elevation gains required of most lakes in northern Yosemite Twenty Lakes Loop is a beautiful hike that starts from the Saddlebag lake (10,000ft) and takes you around some of the most amazing alpine lakes. You get great views of the near by peaks: North Peak and Mt. Conness. This is an easy hike if you are acclimatized to the altitude. You might feel short of breath if you just arrived and started hiking, since the trail head is at 10,000ft. The section of trail between Shamrock Lake and Lake Helen is often covered with snow into late season. Be prepared to climb down a steep rock near the lower crossing of Mill Creek. The hike is about 8 miles but if you take the water taxi across the saddlebag lake, you can cut down a couple of miles, allowing small children to enjoy a short segment of the hike. The Saddlebag Lake Resort boat taxi operates July through early September.

15 days ago

Nice boat ride/taxi across the lake.
Dog friendly.
Spring flowers in late Summer.
We are planning a return trip in 2017. Photos from 2009:

2 months ago

This was a great hike for someone not used to high elevation. I live at 600 feet elevation and since this was pretty flat I had no trouble. And it's gorgeous!

7 months ago

8 months ago

"If you have just 1 day in the Lee Vining area, I highly recommend to go on this hike", - said one review I've read, and I most whole-heartedly agree.

The trail is very easy - it's almost level, so if you are feeling ok at high elevation, it will feel like a walk in a city park. The views, though, are so gorgeous, that no city part can match!

The loop is actually 8 miles, not 16, if you start from the Saddlebag Resort parking. And you can cut the trail in half by taking a ferry from there across the Saddlebag lake.

More photos of this incredible hike here: Twenty Lakes Basin (Lee Vining)

8 months ago

8 months ago

Great trail.

8 months ago

9 months ago