|Paul at May Lake, Yosemite - a most peaceful place!|
We drove up to visit our friends Mike and Eleanor who were staying in Mammoth (300 miles, 5 hours north of Los Angeles), and next day went on one of the best hikes in the region, the Saddlebag Lake Loop Trail in the Twenty Lakes Basin. This is reached by turning off main highway 395, and driving ten miles on the spectacular mountainous Tioga Pass Road, to Saddlebag Lake, a few miles east of Yosemite.
|Boat ferry on Saddlebag Lake|
At Saddlebag Lake, we took the short boat ferry ride across the lake. It's a beautiful ten minute ride, and costs $11 return; you book it at the Saddlebag Resort (where they bake fabulous berry pies and make sun-brewed iced tea) and reserve your ride back. You can walk to the far end of the lake, but it adds a mile or so walk on shale.
|The start of the trail|
The loop trail winds past approximately ten of the basin's Twenty Lakes, and is extremely wild and beautiful. It's a well marked trail, easy to follow and not too steep, though you are at 10,000 feet elevation the whole time, which makes any hiking more difficult!
|The first lake, Shamrock|
|A steep shale chute down to Helen Lake, filled with yellow monkey flowers|
|Paul at the chute, which had some of last winter's snow, still there in August.|
|White alpine columbine|
|Me and Paul|
|Beautiful flowers by the lake|
|Leelee on the trail|
|Sierra Primroses - first time I've ever seen this flower|
|A variety of paintbrush called Indian pinks|
|Greenstone Lake, almost back to the start of the trail and the boat landing.|
|Me at May Lake, Yosemite|
Mt. Hoffman, over the meadow above May Lake