Twenty Lakes Basin Loop Trail

MODERATE 10 reviews
#2 of 10 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.

DISTANCE
8.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1309 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

kid friendly

birding

fishing

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

walking

horseback riding

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

snow

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.

8 days ago

I did this hike aug 6 2017. It's a beautiful hike and the weather was great. Be prepared to get wet crossing some of the streams. There isn't a ferry by Saddlebag lake. This app was a big help with finding the trail.

hiking
1 month ago

We hiked the Twenty Lakes Basin Loop two days ago. We appeared to be the first people to attempt this hike this year, because 75% of the trail is still covered in snow and there were no other tracks. The hike was incredibly beautiful, but you absolutely need GPS and a trail map because so much of the trail is buried. We used the AllTrails app to keep ourselves near the trail when it was covered. We brought snowshoes, but we did not need them. Bring plenty of water and sunscreen, because this hike is long and there is no shade. The boat is not running because Saddlebag Lake is still covered in ice, so plan on hiking from the parking lot. The first part of the hike (along Saddlebag Lake) is the toughest, because it is all loose shale or snow on a 30 degree slope. Once you get to the other side of Saddlebag Lake, the hike gets easier. We hiked back on the west side of Saddlebag Lake, which is much easier (and very different if you prefer loops to out and back trails), but also much longer. This hike was a challenge because of all of the snow, but it was amazing nonetheless.

hiking
3 months 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:
https://flickr.com/photos/29498007@N05/sets/72157622467067148

hiking
4 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!

hiking
10 months ago

hiking
10 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)
https://csgirllife.wordpress.com/2016/09/19/twenty-lakes-basin-lee-vining/

backpacking
11 months ago

11 months ago

Great trail.

11 months ago

hiking
11 months ago